A few weeks ago Barb Polan talked on her blog about failures as a stroke survivor. I say failure is not an option I will not accept it in recovery ever. How about you?
- Do you look at your rehab efforts and recovery as failure?
- Do you look at you rehab efforts and recovery as humbling?
- Do you look at your rehab efforts and recovery as setting yourself up for failure?
Stop that! ( Dean that's for you grinning)
You are not empowering yourself, but demoralizing yourself and setting yourself up for failure. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. Ever heard of it? The thing about stroke recovery is that it's all about the brain...damaged brain, healing brain, thinking brain, and the visual brain. The human mind is powerful and is constantly learning until the day you die. The neurons are constantly firing to remember, to store, produce movements, and has redundant system operating systems just waiting for re-education and activation.
You've all heard the phrase, "You are what you eat." The same applies to stroke recovery, "You are what you think." I often use a quote from Edison and always screw it up. I find 10,000 to big of a number to visualize. Have you ever visualized it? It looks like a crowded mess. But the point is taken...keep trying until success.
To feel successful is awesome to anyone.It is strived for and just as elusive to obtain for everyone. Granted we just want to have our old lives back prior to the stroke. But realize this...even with 100% recovery, it won't be the same lives EVER. We are forever changed by circumstances we live through.
Okay, so you want to be a little more normal. Like me, I'd love to have my right arm back. Life would would be semi-sorta normal if I could use two arms, elbows, wrists, and fingers. Just the thought fills me with abundant joy, but that just ain't happening right now.
I remember my in hospital based rehab just after my stroke, I was determined and very optimistic about making it happen before I came home. It didn't happen. Okay, I thought, two months of hard work and I'll have partial use. It didn't happen. Then the date was within six months of my stroke. Nope, but I did manage some voluntary elbow movement. A victory to be sure, but was it enough to me? Nope. I extended my goal to a year, my first anniversary of my stroke. In fact, I back tracked due to a separated AC tear in my shoulder and spasticity set in. Was I disappointed, yes! Was I a failure, no.
All of this was very disheartening but a failure to achieve? Because that's what failure or the sense of failure really is. Nope. I was still attempting my goal. I am still attempting my goal after almost 18 months post stroke. Just what have I achieve and grab onto as successful. That's the key to any good cheerleader. "That's okay. That's alright. Now get up and fight, fight, fight!"
But what if you've been going at recovery for weeks, months, or years without success? How do you keep going and not accept failure as an option? I don't know about years because I'm not there yet, but it helps to have a good support network. Even if it is one person. A spouse, a dog, your kid, another stroke survivor, even if that one person is me.
I'm donning my high school cheerleading outfit. Actually, truth be known, I never was a cheerleader, but I did dress up as one for Halloween. Hmm, it rides up at the midsection. Grumble, grumble. Darn these spandex panties. one leg fits into the waist band now. Ah heck, good enough. Here I go. Squeezing the pom pom into my paralyzed hand and grabbing one in my functional one and waving them wildly visually.
"Go Strokee go!
If you can't do it
It's all basically up to you.
Nothing is impossible with determination.