Fifth Anniversary of my Stroke

By Lin Wisman


Today is the 5th anniversary of my cerebral hemorrhage (March 6, 1997.) I want to share some and reflections on the last five years. It has been a very positive experience. My life has changed dramatically. I find I have much to be grateful for.


I have always been a very inpendent person. The forced dependence has been difficult for me. I have struggled to get my independence back.


The stroke has changed who I am. None of us remains the same throughout our lives. This has been another step on my journey.


I am grateful for:


1.                      I知 grateful that I was found before I died. It had been a number of hours, but my body was fighting to survive.

2.                      I知 grateful for the doctors at the hospital. Even though I was comatose they were able to figure out what had happened and give me immediate treatment. Even though I remained unable to communicate with anyone for 2 ス months, they continued to find ways to help my body heal.

3.                      I知 grateful that my doctors and therapists pushed my insurance company to pay for my stay at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. It is a first class institution, which gave me the best care possible.

4.                      I知 grateful for my therapists at RIC and later at St Josephs Outpatient. They showed me how it is possible to live in a world diminished by a stroke.

5.                      I知 grateful for family and friends who stood by me during this time. It was not easy for a number of them. None of us is prepared to face the realities of stroke.

6.                      I知 grateful for my sister痴 constant care. One thing I am particularly thankful for is that when the hospital said I could not live by myself and recommended a home she visited the homes. She said she could not imagine my improving in these facilities and decided to move me into her own home. This decision has been key to my recovery.

7.                      I am grateful for the hired caretakers, who did so much to make it possible for me to be at my sisters. I am especially thankful to Maria who ended up being my full time caretaker for 16 months. She was great at deciding when to push me to be independent and when to do things for me.

8.                      I am grateful that my sister and I decided to buy a home together 3 years ago. This has made it possible for neither of us to be living in the others space, but rather to have 登ur space.

9.                      I am grateful for various therapies, which have helped.

10.                 I am grateful for the exercise bike. Over and over again it has helped keep me going.

11.                 I am thankful for my cart. It has been crucial in allowing me to 田arry items. This has really helped my independence. It enabled me to accomplish things, which I could not do with canes.

12.                 I am grateful for my computer. It provided a means to communicate when talking and writing by hand were limited. It has also provided a way for me to be connected to others through the Internet. It has also given a way for me to shop without having to brave the crowds.

13.                 I am grateful that in addition to regular therapy I tried several alternatives. I have been particular pleased with acupuncture and shiatsu.

14.                 I am grateful that I was able to research diet and vitamins and make changes to both.

15.                 I知 grateful that I found out about healing music. It has helped to keep me calm and has furthered my body痴 attempts to heal.

16.                 I知 grateful to students and staff at the acupuncture clinic I attended 6 to 18 months after my stroke. When the medical world was ready to throw in the towel they pointed out possibility.

17.                 I am grateful for my water aerobics class. There are movements I can make in the water which are not possible on dry land. I am thankful for all the great folk who are in the class. Through their perseverance they have given me hope.

18.                 I am grateful that I have been able to continue to be an avid reader. This has helped with research, but it has also helped to keep my mind active.

19.                 I am grateful that I have been able to do crossword puzzles. I have always enjoyed them, but reading how they can help the brain to make connections I decided to push the activity. I find myself solving them not only on paper, but also on the computer. As my handwriting has improved so has my ability to use paper.

20.                 I am grateful that I found the Stroke Network online. I have become editor of the monthly Newsletter. This has allowed me to use my writing skills, which have been somewhat neglected over the years. It also gives me a way to connect with other stroke survivors and to be of assistance.

21.                 I am grateful for my recent addition of my cat, Cleopatra. Cleo is ever attentive and forces me to daily go beyond myself.

22.                 I am grateful to the State for renewing my driver痴 license. This has given me the motivation to practice and improve. Driving helps to push my independence.

23.                 I am grateful to the State for providing me with a disabled placard. This has enabled me to get in and out of cars more easily, and to park closer to my destination.

24.                 I am grateful for my neighbors who have been willing and able to help with various tasks.

25.                 I am grateful that my bank has always honored both my checks and my credit cards even though my handwriting has often been questionable.

26.                 Finally, I am thankful for life itself. I am pleased I have had the opportunity to live on this planet for 51 years. I hope for many more!


Copyright ゥ October 2002

The Stroke Network, Inc.

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