About Me

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I suffered a serious stroke over 10 years ago (aged 43 at the time) and it's been a slow, often frustrating, recovery... I lost my speech and was totally paralyzed on my right side, but with patience and regular physiotherapy, I can now speak, walk short distances, operate the computer, but my right side is still paralyzed. I get botox injections 3 times a year in my right bicep and forearm, which relaxes the high-tone muscles and makes it easier to stand and walk. Last year I started weekly sessions of hydrotherapy, where I build up the wasted muscles by exercising while supported by the warm water. It's bliss at the time, but I ache like heck next day - but it's so worth it :)

20 September 2013


Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness;
I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome
that one cannot walk away from it.
Soren Kierkegaard, letter, 1847
I was wondering how to start this first post of my new blog, but nothing came...
Then this quote appeared in my email. I subscribe to several daily emails including Gretchen Rubin's Moment of Happiness, as I love collecting quotes, and I'm always open to synchronicity :)
Now, I cannot physically walk far since the stroke, but I can walk in my mind...

In my mind, as in my dreams, I am able-bodied. I walk, I run, I skip, I dance. My body is strong and flexible - I have a dancer's body, at her physical peak!

The reality couldn't be more different...

Yes, I have regained my speech well enough, maybe, for strangers to not know it was lost for a year after the stroke, and when it did return, it was that of a Scandinavian learning English. (My speech therapist was soooo excited, as she'd read of this phenomenon, but not seen it!)
My 'normal, pre-stroke' voice returned a couple of years ago, but when I'm tired or under stress, I struggle to find words, to form sounds, especially r's.

My right side is still paralyzed, and my balance is poor. I drag my right leg, and tire very easily...

But, as the quote says, I can 'walk myself into a state of well-being'. This is a conscious choice, day by day, moment by moment...

On good days, the fact I'm 'Able at Heart' translates into my physical capacity...

I can type.
I can write left-handed.
I can draw left-handed (my profile pic was drawn last year for an art swap).
I can paint left-handed,
I have opened an Etsy shop.
I have sold a painting.
I can contribute.

And today is a good day.

1 comment:

  1. Claire this is a beautiful honest post. I did not realize that you have FAS! Mine comes and goes now, but for a few years I had an ongoing accent, however the nationality changed throughout each day! It is very rare to have FAS with MS, and none of my doctors (or their curious esteemed colleagues) had ever witnessed a globe trotting accent like mine. Mostly I sound
    "American" these days, but when I'm very fatigued in the evening I could be from anywhere! I'm so pleased you are able to see all the "can do's" in you life and embracing your life with such gratitude.


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