Gratitude and Appreciation

my journey into being thankful for what i have

Open Windows in November =-)

Today the temperature is supposed to hit 70 degrees here, and I am SUPER excited that we can have the windows open for awhile.  After having a pretty awful cough go through our house, with three of the four of us being on meds for bronchitis, the idea of airing out the house and getting the germies to leave us alone REALLY appeals to me.  =-)  Hooray for having a day with nice weather so we can do that!  =-)

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What? She had a stroke??

Five years ago today, I had a stroke.   I had only been married for a year and a half, and had just turned 27 – I was way too young for something like that!  As I look back and reflect on the past five years, and all the blessings God has given me since then, there is a lot that I’m grateful for.  Here’s a shortened list (in no particular order) so you can see a few of the things that I appreciate in looking back…

1. My wonderful husband, who stuck by my side while I was in the hospital, while I couldn’t remember anything about who I was or who he was, and in the weeks and months (maybe years, ha ha!) after that when I had millions of questions about what happened during the two weeks that I still don’t remember.  He has truly been the biggest blessing to me, and I am so thankful for him!

2.  No lasting impact on my health.  Because the stroke was caused by birth control, I can’t use any hormonal birth control now – but that’s the only thing that’s changed.  I was on blood thinners for three months after being released from the hospital, and that was it.  I did have to meet with a hematologist when I was pregnant with our little guy, and after running umpteen bazillion tests, they couldn’t find any indication whatsoever of a clotting disorder, and said that I didn’t need to worry about being on blood thinners while pregnant.  That was a huge answer to prayer!

3.  My typing speed.  Those of you who know me very well, know that I can really type fast.  One of my biggest frustrations after the stroke was how slow I typed (I think I was typing in the 50-something wpm range).  It took me awhile to get back up to speed, but I’m back to my normal 90-something wpm now, and that’s so great!  =-)

4.  My speech.  I had to go through three sessions of speech therapy after I went home, and absolutely HATED that.  I knew exactly what I was talking about, and could explain it so everyone else knew what I meant, but had a very hard time coming up with the exact word I was looking for… so the doctors made me go to speech therapy.  I still maintain that no one uses llama in their normal, everyday conversations (at least not in this country), but it only took me three sessions to get back to “normal”.  Okay, maybe I still struggle to find the word(s) I want, but don’t we all?  I really had to give myself permission to not be perfect all the time – it’s okay if you don’t know the word you’re thinking of, people do that in normal life too.

5.  My memory.  Like I mentioned above, there are still two weeks that are completely gone from my memory.  I don’t know if I can say that they were erased, it’s more like my mind never held onto that time to begin with.  From what I’ve been told, it’s probably best that I don’t remember it – and as the years have passed, I care less and less about remembering.  They’re just my “missing weeks”.  That’s okay.

6.  Amazing doctors.  My stroke neurologist was fantastic, and so were many of the other doctors that I saw.  We live in one of the best places to be if something like this happens – praise the Lord for the care I received!

7.  Being stubborn.  I believe that this is one time in my life that my stubbornness served me well.  I was determined to walk (without a walker!), to be able to write (and eat!) with my right hand, to drive a car (that was actually a huge one for me), to have conversations, and to be “normal” again.  I’m pretty sure that if I wasn’t as stubborn as I am, recovery would have been a whole lot harder for me to go through.  My stubborn streak was definitely a blessing in this time!

8.  Family and friends.  So many people came around us, lifted us up in prayer, sent notes/cards/emails, loved on my family, and encouraged Ryan.  We were very blessed on multiple levels by all the people who cared so much – and I am still grateful for all that everyone did.

There are many, many more things that I am thankful for in the experience, but those are the big ones coming to mind right now.  I have been blessed – really and truly.  I don’t know why God brought me through after the stroke, but I do believe that He has a purpose for me and for my life.  Why else would I be here right now, if not to be able to point people to Him?

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Baby =-)

Oh, happy day!  =-)  It’s been a full four weeks since my last OB appointment, which never happened when I was preggers with our little guy (we had appointments every two weeks from the get go), so the past two weeks (weeks 3 and 4) have been somewhat rough.  While a large part of me was grateful to be able to wait four weeks between appointments, the other part has really struggled not to be worried that something could go wrong and it would be longer till I found out about it (once you have gone through an experience with a “missed miscarriage”, it’s impossible not to be worried it could happen again).  So – I was pretty excited this morning when we got to hear the heartbeat and it was nice and strong.  HOORAY!!  =-)

Also – we’ll get to find out if the baby is a girl or a boy in only two more weeks.  =-)  Well, provided it cooperates!  I know a lot of people are pretty anxious to hear the results, and we’re looking forward to finding out too!

All in all, a great start to the day.  I feel very blessed, and just pray that things will continue to go well.  I am grateful to everyone who has been praying with us, thank you!

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Good Doctor!!

I am grateful today for my primary care doctor – who has been my doctor since I got married (over six years ago!), through all sorts of health issues.  After seeing my OB two weeks ago (I’m currently ten weeks pregnant, yippee!), and finding out my thyroid numbers were off and he wouldn’t manage that for me (not so much of a yippee), I went to urgent care (who also does primary care), thinking they could help with it – nope.  So today, I went to my primary doctor and told him my woes and asked if he would be willing to oversee my thyroid management through the pregnancy.  It was my lucky day – not only will he handle it for me, he said he wouldn’t make me go in for as many appointments, he can do a lot of this over the phone.  What a great guy he is!!!  Today, I am grateful for him and for his care.  I am well aware that good doctors are hard to find!  =-)