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

Post-stroke reality

Parksville sand dollars ©Diane Schuller

Just some reality to get started. After being incredibly grateful that I have been able to recover the use of my right arm and leg after suffering a stroke, I do have some reality to share. I’ve been forging ahead, and working very  hard in an attempt to get back to where I was  before this all happened. The reality is — getting back to that place isn’t going to happen. I’m not about to do a downer, nor will I ever complain about the deficiencies I have been left with. I’m so very grateful that I’ve had such a significant recovery of key faculties. The reality, however, makes it quite clear that there are certain things I really need to come to terms with and accept as being a new-normal.

I’m gaining weight, which I never like to do. But I can’t seem to push myself like before to ‘wear off’ those pounds. Exertion is very difficult these days. I fall over when I exert myself. Other days I don’t have enough energy to even exert myself. I begin to slow down like watching a slow motion movie. At times, I can’t seem to move and when I do, it’s with a limp and weakness that I don’t seem able to push through. I realize now, the doctors and rehab professionals were correct when they told me I wouldn’t regain everything. So be it.

Now on to more positive realities. Did I happen to mention how much I love my piano? Did I mention before how delighted I am to learn to play the piano? I finished my first Saroyan scarf (a knitting project). The scarf is named for the character on the TV show “Bones” by the name of Dr. Saroyan. We’re planning our second annual garden party and I’m feeling quite overwhelmed so I hope it goes well. I may need to hire someone to help out — I am not as energized as that pink bunny anymore. 🙂

I’ve fallen so far behind that I have read a couple books and don’t seem to even have the energy to type out my feelings or comments about them. So here’s the short ‘story’: Recommended for a light, easy, and enjoyable enough summer read (no block buster but not a waste of time either) … “The Husband’s Secret”. And then there is “Tea Time for the Firefly” … well, meh. It’s a light read that I found to be more like reading someone’s journal. Both of these I’ve read for my book club (can’t seem to read fast enough yet to get more than one book read in a month — still working on that post-stroke issue).

We’ve been out to friends for dinner a bit lately. I’ve joined two different organizing committees for our local Newcomer’s club.  Haven’t been taking many photos (as you can see) except for a few on my phone. More photos to come – promise. 🙂

And now you. What is energizing you lately?

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dinahmow - May 23, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Well, you may be forced to deal with a lowered energy level and parts of your body that don’t want to say “how high?” when you say “jump!”
You, m’dear, do have a very good reason.Some of us are just slack!
I zipped across the Ditch last month to visit my brother and also catch up up with some friends. But since coming back? I seem to be starting myriad things and not finishing them!Slack, you see.
But I did manage a short blog post.

I love reading about your advances along Recovery Road.Go well!

Leanne@CottageTails - May 23, 2014 - 10:32 pm

Learning to live with a new normal can be hard at times for all members of the family. ((hugs to you))) and next time you reach for your camera I’d love to see your Saroyan scarf.

Gabriele - May 24, 2014 - 6:21 am

I hear you as you say the words “the new normal”. Disappointing but true. Thank-you for voicing the truth in your life.

Sheila - May 24, 2014 - 1:44 pm



To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
and a time to heal…

This is your time to heal. Cut yourself some slack, and feel peace knowing that you deserve to take it easy. Say “screw it”, to the dirty dishes and the dusty shelves. They are not more important than YOU.

You may not get back to how you were before, but I promise you, your new normal will be better than you may think. Just hang in there. Wake each morning with a grateful heart, and give thanks each night for making it through the day.

In 2008 I was diagnosed with Lupus, after a year of being in pain and not knowing why. That same year, I was downsized. I had earned two promotions in less than a year, and I was working 60 hours a week, all while feeling so weak and exhausted, all I could do at the end of the day was collapse in the nearest chair. Fool that I was, I thought the tired was just due to the hours I was putting in.

2 years later, when I had finally regained some strength, I had to have my gall bladder removed. What should have been a quick in and out, turned into a two week stay in the hospital, half of that in ICU. So I was back to square one, and had to heal and regain my strength.

My life will never be the same as before. I can’t be a workaholic. There are a lot of things I can’t do anymore. But there are a lot of things I can.

Give yourself time. Do what you can, when you can. And when you can’t. So be it.

Ask for help when you need it. Be kind to yourself.


lisa - May 24, 2014 - 5:45 pm

You have such a wonderful spirit, and positive outlook, Diane.
You are truly an inspiration.
Be easy on yourself, and I know that you will find so many ways to enjoy your new normal.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend. xo.