Welcome to our blog! I originally started this blog in November 2010 just prior to having a major brain surgery to remove a large bleeding cavernous angioma from a deep part of my brain. You can best understand the gravity of our experience by reading the first several entries.(Nov 2010-Dec 2010) I wrote the first one and my sweet, adoring husband, John, wrote the next several (while I was too sick to do much of anything) that documented surgery, immediate recovery, and our reaction to the surgery complication (stroke)that was revealed 2 days after surgery. This recovery process has been difficult but we are making it. We appreciate all the kind words of encouragement we have received and we would like to thank everyone that has participated in helping us along this difficult journey. Also, if you have any questions about my personal experience, please leave them as a comment or contact me directly at thankfulforeveryday@yahoo.com and I will respond although I am not a doctor and this is not a replacement for medical care or advise. Please ask a real professional, or probably several. :) I hope to be able to help at least one person along the challenging road of brain surgery and recovery.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Progress to report

Let me just start by saying, "Life is good!! Really good."I continue to be grateful for how good I'm doing especially considering where we were almost three months ago. We are thankful for all that I can do and continue to work on all the things I can't do yet...or can't do well yet. I have been in rehab for just over a month and for the most part it is going well. I am meeting/exceeding lots of goals and that is something that makes me very happy, especially because my #1 goal is to take care of Jack. I had missed him so much while I was in the hospital and even at home when I wasn't strong enough to pick him up. Well, I can pick him up now and I have been able to do so for about two weeks...huge accomplishment!!! and I feel like I'm getting my boy back. (tears of joy!!!) I got to take care of him by myself last Tuesday afternoon for the first time since surgery/stroke and it was like bliss. I got to feel "normal" again. Thrilling! He's also starting to know that I can do more too. He'll ask me to pick him up now, but he knows to be gentle and to help me when I ask him. He says, "Mama has an owwe on her head", and then he taps my head gently if I'm holding him. It's so precious. Sometimes when I'm carrying him I will ask him to help me by holding on and he does...sometimes I just ask him because it's so cute how he wants to help me and I love his tight squeezes. :) A few nights ago was another first. John was reading him books and putting him to bed, then he was rocking him like we always do. Normally Jack will request a certain song for you to sing to him and John thought he was requesting a new song, but it turned out he was saying, "I NEED Mama". Of course, I couldn't be any happier to fulfill his request until I figured out he was just playing us for more delay time. As soon as I got in his room to rock him and John left the room he said," I NEED Dada." My ego was instantly deflated ;)  So the short story is that I'm doing lots more with Jack and I'm super happy about it. As for rehab, I said for the "most part" it's going well and by that I mean occupational therapy and physical therapy are going well. Speech therapy...not so much. Speech therapy is the one area that has the least objective criteria, so maybe it's also more difficult to note progress, but according to John and myself there is much progress to be made. While I have made huge strides since surgery, my speech is still slightly slurred and somewhat monotone. We were working on what's called prosody and intonation in rehab in Phoenix, but they have not focused on that in this new place. I'm not happy about that because I feel like that is where your personality comes through in your speech, and I want to still be me once I'm recovered. I used to be pretty animated (maybe too much) and now it's the opposite, but according to the therapist, working on those issues are not priorities because they are not considered medical necessities. I have a ton of other deficits that fall into the speech therapist's realm too like information processing, focusing attention, multitasking, short term memory issues, and the list goes on. So to me speech therapy is really important, and I was pretty upset when she told me last week that she was going to reduce my time spent on speech therapy. In my opinion, I need more time in speech therapy not less!! John and I had a meeting with them last week to discuss this very issue and we didn't feel good after the meeting, so I'm not sure if I'm going to have to find a new rehab or maybe just speech therapy somewhere else. What I do know is that I'm not giving up on making progress on any of my deficits yet!! We'll see how it turns out, because I really don't want to start over with a new rehab altogether...but I'm not ruling it out either. Transportation (since I can't drive) has been a pretty big issue too so it just makes more sense to have all the therapies at the same place ideally. We'll work it out one way or another and we won't settle for any thing less than effective thorough therapy although at the end of the day, I'm just happy to be alive and as always, we continue to be be thankful for everyday!!


  1. I'm so happy that you're feeling better and that you have high spirits. Little kids/toddlers are quite intelligent, aren't they? The first time my nephew cried to manipulate me, it worked - then my sister filled me in. I was so taken aback, like I had been betrayed LOL :D

    How we express ourselves verbally is very important to our identity. Your personality comes through in your writing, so it's hard for me to imagine you talking in person and not being able to express yourself how you wish. This is something that's very important to you, so I agree with your 100% that you should seek out someone that's willing to work with you. It's your life, and while it may not seem to be important to someone else, it's a huge deal.

    Good to see you update and I wish you continued success in rehab and hopefully find someone who will make it a priority to help you more on your speech :)


  2. So glad to see a new post and hear that things are good, maybe not perfect but good! I am so happy that you are able to hold Jack again....good work Elizabeth. We are all so proud of you and keep your spirit strong...thoughts and prayers are always coming your way! xoxo, Elizabeth

  3. I'm so happy and excited for you Elizabeth!!!
    You have been through A LOT and have worked hard and accomplished so much in a short period of time (though it may feel like an eternity!;)
    I love and admire your positive, fighting, I-CAN-DO-IT spirit and have no doubts you'll continue to progress in your recovery.
    Yay, Elizabeth!!!

  4. Elizabeth, we are so glad to hear of your progress! You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you, aunt cathy& uncle joe