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, June 28, 2011

The best therapy I ever had....JACK!

It's amazing how little things just all of a sudden make perfect sense. Jack is a very busy little boy and caring for him has been a bit of a challenge since....well... probably forever, but since surgery it has been a huge challenge for me to take care of him by myself. He's really heavy, busy, and has way more energy than I do.  Last Friday I had a special therapy session that involved grocery shopping with Jack and my speech therapist. She wanted to see how I could manage him and finding all the stuff on my list. Jack was on his best best behavior which made it look easier than normal but it was a success, achievement, accomplishment none the less. I got almost everything on the list and I was able to attend to Jack's needs simultaneously. I forgot to ask the checker for postage stamps...checking out is the hardest part...Jack's done by then, I have to manage the money..and a lot is going on at the end. So, I did really well and I was happy with my ability to manage multiple things at the same time. My speech therapist said that she thinks if I could manage all of what I did that she thinks I'm ready to drive...so that's a BIG deal. I still need to do the driver's evaluation and maybe a class, but being cognitively prepared to drive is a huge accomplishment. As I was thinking about it the only way I think I'm getting there is by practicing attention and multitasking constantly while watching Jack. He is an extra busy boy and that is exactly what I needed to get better. Watching him is the perfect therapy...in every way. He pushes me to my limit every day...and I WANT to rise to the occasion..so I do. At first I was too weak to lift him, so I practiced my weights a million times a day, many times even late at night when I was so tired I thought I was going to drop dead,  trying to get strong enough to lift him. Holding and lifting him was something I wanted so badly...it just HAD to happen....and it did! Jack was my personal physical therapy exercise and motivation. Also, I think reading to kids is really important and Jack loves books, so it was a perfect match to improve my tone, intonation, and prosody, by reading to him with passion. Who wouldn't strive to emote dramatically when your "therapist/sweet little boy" is hanging on every word with the excitement and glee of a two year old? I could hardly wait to read Thomas and the Great Race for the zillionth time with more excitement than any time previously. This was the best speech therapy in town! Same deal for attention and multitasking...which were huge deficits for me post stroke. Jack is always on the move...trying to get into everything and anything. Attention is a full-time requirement and no therapy would have been this demanding. Watching him has been difficult but so super rewarding in every way. Point is Jack is exactly what I needed and I feel so blessed to be his mom. So now I know why I got a wild boy...because that's exactly what I needed!!


  1. You are a wonderful mommy and Jack sounds like the perfect little bundle of energy! I am so excited for you that the the special therapy session went so well. I hope the driving comes back soon too. I hate being without a license and I don't have a little child to haul places.

    Last weekend I was walking on the beach carrying my 7 month old grandson. I complained to my physiotherapist yesterday that I had such a difficult time doing that. His response was that it was very good for me and I should do it more often. I said you don't understand, the baby wiggles and is hard to not drop him and the sand feels so unsafe. He said the baby is what you would call a "dynamic weight" and oh so much better than any weight exercises he could come up with!

  2. This is such a moving post. I've created a link to it for an upcoming post on my blog at homeafterstroke.blogspot.com.

  3. Thanks Linda and Rebecca! Yes, loving Jack has been/continues to be my best therapy by far!!!