observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

Good health to you …

So life goes on. As some of you know, and some may not, I had a stroke at the beginning of December. I’ve been in intensive rehab and continue to work on my progress. I don’t feel this is the venue for elaborating on this issue but I do feel it’s important to share a few things about this with you.

AutumnleavesFun-

Although I’m definitely one of the more fortunate people in that regaining the use of my right side has occurred more quickly than some and even to a larger degree, it will take quite a while to regain things like strength, coordination, balance, and some more of my brain function. This is another reminder: stroke is a brain injury; we do not heal like we do from an operation or a broken bone — the brain is damaged. I’m sharing this because whether you know me in person or simply through contact with this online journal, I have a message or take-away that you may find beneficial.

Fact: If you combine deaths by heart and stroke here in Canada, they account for more deaths than deaths by cancer. Yes, despite what you may have been led to believe. And the following facts about stroke-only, quoted by the Heart & Stroke of Canada and taken from Statistics Canada:

  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada. Six percent of all deaths in Canada are due to stroke (Statistics Canada, 2012).
  • Each year, over 14,000 Canadians die from stroke (Statistics Canada, 2012).
  • Each year, more women than men die from stroke (Statistics Canada, 2012).

And now that doesn’t count all the people out there, like me, who have stroke and do not die. Add to that all the people who have stroke and, unlike me, will never get back to ‘normal’. Stroke affects every person in a different way, to a different degree, and the recovery rates vary drastically. Again, I am one of the lucky ones because I am regaining most of the use of my right side and I can talk. Not everyone who suffers a stroke is nearly as fortunate. The other thing I want you to know, that may surprise you, once you have a stroke you have a high likelihood of having another.

The medical staff tell me, partly because I was so healthy and so active, that is why I am recovering so well. But that’s not always the case either.

Please inform yourself about the risks of stroke, how to prevent it, and what lifestyle changes that can positively be implemented to work towards that end. Believe me, stroke will change your life.

To learn more, read information, watch videos, get statistics, or sign up for a monthly health newsletter, visit Heart and Stroke Foundation online.

This is likely all I will say for now and hope to get back to posting photos and uplifting notes in the near future.

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~ Buddha
To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.~ Gene Tunney

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lisa - January 17, 2014 - 4:59 pm

Diane, I did not know, and I am so sorry this happened to you.
I am very happy to hear that you are on the road to recovery, and please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Stay strong, and take care of you, my friend. xo.

Susan - January 17, 2014 - 7:59 pm

I didn’t know for sure but I had a feeling that this was what you were dealing with. So sorry to hear this but knowing how active you were…your photography, your cooking, your reading, your piano…I have a feeling that you will come back strong as ever! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs to you Diane.

Jessie - January 17, 2014 - 8:36 pm

I’m very glad to hear you are still mending.
Better everyday I hope.
I read an interesting book a few years ago, My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor about a brain scientist who has a stroke herself. Your stroke facts brought it to mind, it was a very interesting book, full of lots of info. I hope I’ll never need, but as you say, the percentages are so high…

dinahmow - January 17, 2014 - 11:47 pm

Well, firstly, I am glad you are progressing so well.And secondly, on behalf of all stroke folk, kudos to you for this information.You may just jolt a few people into taking stock.

Your bubbles will surely lift you up again! Go well, my friend.:-)

Sherry G. - January 18, 2014 - 7:28 am

First and foremost, sweet Diane, I am holding you in a bubble of light and vibrant health. I am certain that your previous good health and positive attitude will make for a great recovery. I am so glad that you can come online once in a while to share with us. Your blog has always been such a happy and inspiring place for me to visit. And isn’t it so like you to think of others in this post and give us good information and resources about stroke? I read Jill Bolte Taylor’s book too a while back and learned so much…Take good care of you!

Laurie MacBride - January 18, 2014 - 6:30 pm

Diane, I had no idea you were grappling with this. I’m so sorry – and so relieved to hear you are on the road to recovery. I hope that road proves smooth and steady for you, and I admire your ability to write so clearly and helpfully about this issue so soon after your stroke Your reminder to the rest of us to be active is important and I will endeavour to heed it – more time in photo shooting, less in processing, would be a good start for me. Thank you and take care.

Lotta - January 19, 2014 - 9:51 am

So sorry to hear about your stroke. I know what can happen in the aftermath.
It’s so uplifting to read about your speedy recovery. Sending warm and positive thoughts to you!

Gabriele - January 22, 2014 - 5:03 am

I came upon your post today and want you to know I am thinking of you. Your experience sounds scary yet empowering. Your message is timely and important for us all to hear.. My best to you as you reset your expectations and plans. You are a gracious and creative woman.

Michele at Sweet Leaf - January 25, 2014 - 7:12 am

Diane–
Thank you for sharing your experience with stroke, and encouraging your readers to learn more about it–before it happens to them. I hope this doesn’t stop you from participating in the Liberate Your Art Post Card Exchange this year–if that’s something you want to do. I so enjoyed your images! May you have a full recovery, so you can get back to the things you love doing. — Michele

erin - February 1, 2014 - 12:46 am

thinking healing thoughts, diane, continue to work at wellness and bravery, two things i really pulled from this post. i have so much admiration for your strength and determination. xo

A New Favourite Thing » observed by Diane - February 5, 2014 - 1:44 pm

[…] you know I’m learning to knit as part of my rehabilitation after a stroke. The crazy thing is, it’s becoming such a deep enjoyment and fascination I wonder why I never […]