Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Perception of Time

Time is measured the same for everyone in the world... 24 HOURS in a day, 7 DAYS in a week, and 365.25 DAYS in a YEAR. Right?

What's with that? Why are we taught from a young age and everything revolves around time. It's all put in neat, little, compartmentalized boxes of measured units.Time blogs are all abuzz around the stroke tribe so I'll add my quarter's worth here. (It used to be a penny, but with inflation...)

We are taught from a young age...
  •  Not to waste time.
  • Time is money.
  • Time is power.
  • Just in time.
  • Always waiting for time to do or dreading something.
  • It's time for a change.
  • You're running out of time.
  • It's about time! When you're late.
For stroke survivors it is...
  • Time is brain.
  • 2-4 hours to administer tPa from the onset of your stroke for the optimum recovery... Whatever that is.
  • If you don't recover a loss by the first 30 days, recovery is measured in months.
  • If you don't recover in the golden first 6 months, recovery is nonexistent or measured in years. Yes even decades.
  • Forever (yes, this is time too) as is never (another measure of time) to recovery.
How do we mark time...
  • Watches and clocks
  • Internal clocks
  • Assorted calendars to help us remember important dates and times.
  • Alarms go off to remind us.
  • Something, anything, to make us keep track of time.
My question to y'all is...WHY? What is so all fired important that we have to mark time like a row of soldiers marching in cadence?  Oops, there's another reference to time. From the day we are born to the moment we die, we are watching the clock. Well, as a small infant, it's actually hunger or comfort that marks time for us.

Whether you do something or not, time continues to pass us by. Time stops for no one. You ever hear that one before?

I mean...
Time flies by
Time flies when we are in good company, or are enjoying ourselves.
"But it was just 9:00. How did it get to be midnight so fast!"
When you are older time moves at a faster pace than when you were younger.
"What it's my birthday again!"

Snail's pace
Remember when you were waiting to turn 16 and drive a car by yourself legally?
How about 21 so you could legally have an alcoholic beverage?
Or that last ten minutes before you get off from work on a Friday with the weekend off?
It went by at a snail's pace, didn't it?

Even a clock with no hands marks time
Time never stands still. It's always in motion. There's no way humanly possible to stop time while alive. It's all about your perception of time. If it wasn't for clocks and calendars everyone would be on their own time schedule sun up to sun down. Oops there's another way of marking time.

My point is this...
Recovery will or won't happen when it wants to. Worrying about what you don't recover doesn't help you recover. I used to be concerned by the passage of time, now I'm not. I guess that happens when you get to be my age and have my faith or point of view. What will happen; will happen or it won't. How long does it take to get from point A to point B is irrelevant. How long it takes is entirely a personal journey.

No, I'm not saying each stroke is different in recovery, but their are certain truths that may or may not apply to recovery. Does it sound like I'm writing in circles? It sure feels that way. It takes two years for damaged nerve cells to regenerate. That's a fact. The brain has the capacity to relearn learned behavior. That also is a fact.

But if strength of will and never ending therapy exercises is the way to recover, I should have recovered everything I lost with my first stroke and my second by now. Because there are very few dyed in the wool, more stubborn, or tenacious stroke survivors out there than I am in my quest to recover. I mean four plus hours a day, seven days a week for two years. There are just no guarantees or program that works for everyone. I honestly wished there was.

So as a stroke survivor or a person in general who focuses on time passing, my advice is this...
  • Stop!
  • Carpe Quo! Seize the moment!
  • Don't compare yourself with others.
  • Nobody knows "when or if" it will happen. Because regardless of what you think. It's not your decision it's God's and/or you.
  • Be happy the way you are because you could be in a worse situation.
  • Go out and enjoy this life you've been given because otherwise you are wasting time!
Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. What a *timely* post, Jo! ;-)

  2. Worrying doesn't speed things up or slow them down, so why worry?
    Although I still feel that time speeds up as you grow older.


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