Monday, August 3, 2015

I'm Still Me

A couple days ago, I had just gotten home from dinner with a long time friend, when I thought about it...He treats me so normal...But IS he the type of person whose head is racing at 100mph every time he sees me, thinking, "Oh should I ask her how she feels, is this going to make her mad, OMG But I don't want to sound insensitive UGH OMG I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!" I didn't think so but I didn't know, and he's the type of person where if you want to ask him something you should just do it, because he never lies to you. And so I texted him after he dropped me off, probably not the best idea, since I knew he at that time, was in the middle of Lake Shore Drive, but nevertheless, I texted him. I asked him, Whenever we are together, do you ever think of me as your sick friend? Do I still act the same? Do I act sick? Or do I act totally normal? And honestly I totally had no idea what his answer was going to be, because everyone acts differently to other people, but to them they could think it was totally normal. and he said exactly what I wanted him to say. He said, No you act completely normal. If I didn't know you were sick, I would never know. And I can't thank friends enough for saying this.

People ask me all the time, how I cope with it, and even I think it's very cliche to say this and half the time you never believe it until you go through it, I didn't either, but you really do get used to it. I had heard other people say this and I never believed it until I went through it myself, "You get to the point where being sick becomes the normal, because I never feel good but then you just get used to it so it takes being really really sick to even know there's anything wrong", and that's really true.The thing I have had the biggest problem getting used to is the fact that one of the best rehab places in the country, that will remain nameless because I don't want them to find my blog and possibly send me to prison, didn't handle my therapy right at all. The only part of my therapy there that was beneficial was my speech therapy, which all of you can see is now just fine. But that's where it ends. My leg still feels like I have a 5 lb weight on it and in fact will continue to get worse over time, until basically I am unable to walk/put weight on that leg at all, And so about 8 years ago, I got orthotics, but being a teenage girl, I wanted to be able to wear cute shoes, and so I sort of tricked my mind into thinking, oh you only need to wear them when you go for long walks, and then I barely did that......I guess you can call it my version of teenage rebellion, I know you're thinking, OMG if I was going to not be able to walk I would wear them all the time! What are you  thinking!? And I know on it's face that's what it sounds like, but it's not that simple. I wanted to be normal. I was a girl who had just gotten her entire identity stolen from her in a matter of 10 seconds. In the amount of time it took to snip that one blood vessel, my entire 17 years of becoming comfortable in my own skin was taken away from me. But now I'm seeing what my not wearing orthotics for basically probably 6-7 years when you count up the total number of days I didn't wear them, has done. Now every pair of shoes I own, I tell what foot they go on by looking at the front of them. If the front is totally demolished, I know it goes on the right foot. Because the way foot drop works is it makes it so the front of your foot can't really lift itself when you're walking and so you drag it along the ground for lack of a better term. I also now use my left hand to do virtually everything, not necessarily because I'm lazy, I learned that the area of the brain where I had my bleed, in the easiest terms, if you're right handed and you do something with your left hand, your brain says, What are you doing? You're right handed!? Mine doesn't anymore. In fact, when I'm using my left hand, my brain forgets that I even have a right hand. I probably could have written this entire thing with one hand and not even have known it.(I didn't by the way, I'm just saying I could and probably wouldn't have noticed.)

After all of this happened, my admiration for my doctor sort of disintegrated. Once I learned what he was "Supposed to do" and then "totally neglected to do". I told my mom that I was so mad at him. Why did he do this to me!? And she gave me one of the best pieces of advice I think I have ever gotten. She said that the one way I can show him and the whole world that I can bounce back, is by being happy! Now at the time, I thought that's easier said than done, I went to bed nearly every night wanting to cry. But now looking back on it, even though I had my days, for the past 3,016 days since the stroke, I've been happy for most of them. And I've asked my mom through a lot of this, "Is my personality still the same?" and she told me, "You're a little more reserved, or cautious is a better term for it, but you're also much more endearing, and compassionate, and I'll take that any day." And I guess I will too.......

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