“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face.” Carole King from Beautiful
August 15, 2014 will mark 9 years since I had the AVM/stroke. While I don’t celebrate this day, I do acknowledge it as life-changing (and I drink champagne). Every year for the August post, I update people on where I am and the major events of the year. Some time ago we had several people over and somebody asked if we could choose any profession now, what would it be. Mine was to be a professional baseball player. Not just because I love baseball, but I see it as something where people contribute based on their skills and also they are part of a team. I like that a lot. I would say that’s been a big part of the year, how everything we do and are is a part of something.
We got a different car. I share this because it’s an important part of the journey. We had a Mercedes and I loved it. We got it before I had the stroke and it was more my car. Since I had the stroke, Matt has been doing all the driving. We had lots of miles on the car and it was time to get a different car. Matt got an Acura and he loves it! The biggest difference for me is this — the Mercedes had passenger controls and the Acura does not. Now when someone else is in the passenger side and makes changes, I have to make my own adjustments when I get in. Isn’t that like life? I had one of the first Acuras, so I have great memories. I am also aware of how much things have changed. Isn’t that like life also?
A lot of people want to know what is the status of my sense of taste. For the most part, I taste everything. I did not have one of those ah-ah moments where I could suddenly taste everything. It has been gradual. The sense of taste I have is not as strong as it was before the stroke. I also think it’s more memory than anything else. I can taste things I see. (Spices that I can’t see, I don’t taste.) I’ve said that I drink jasmine tea and I can smell the jasmine more than taste it. It invokes the sense of smell along with the taste. If I can’t see it or taste it, maybe I can smell it. That smell becomes a bonus! That’s an example of things I try to do these days. Matt has been getting me fresh flowers every week (and sometimes I smell them). What a treat to see them every day!
Matt and I had our 20th wedding anniversary. We went away for a few days. I have one of those traditional walkers which folds up compactly, so I can take it when we travel. I had a great birthday party with a magician in November. (As Matt says my life is kind of magical!) We had a food truck to provide meals for guests. What a great idea to minimize what we do. It’s a great idea for food for anyone with any kind of restriction. (Actually it’s a great idea generally!) We continue to be active at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. I did a post on imagination. A lot of activities are around this idea of imagination. It’s why I like all kinds of art, theatre and reading. It’s a great opportunity to use my mind and imagine what things are like. These things are also important to me as the concept of communicating in various ways is an important part of any process. This is an important part of the journey. It has us look at things in a whole new light. I think we value speech as the most important part of communication, but other things play an important part in all this. We have seen a few Shakespeare plays which have been performed in a bar. I see many people I know and I get to see a play performed. It’s a great experience and one of those things where I can enjoy multiple things at once. They are also heaps of fun and I think having fun is an important part of the whole process. Yes, it’s a lot of work, might as well have fun! I remember when I first had the stroke somebody said to me “you’ll just find new ways to do things.” So I have and included ways to have fun doing so. I have an issue with stamina so we got me a wheelchair so I can keep going. I use it occasionally but it’s a very different perspective seeing things from a wheelchair! We went to a TED conference this year. I thought it was a great experience to hear so many speakers who were concise and poignant.
As Carole King says “You’re gonna find, yes you will, that you’re beautiful as you feel!”