Last February I recorded this video sharing my story. Today I recorded much of the exact same script again (edited, updated and significantly shorted from 5 to 3 1/2 minutes) to submit it to the Neuro Film Festival and to be able to have an auditory and visual comparison of my progress over the past year.
This year's video.
Same basic script from one year ago, for comparison.
Playing around YouTube today I discovered Jenny's story. Yes, we have the same name. She spells Jenny with a Y and my name is spelled Jenni with an I. ;) Yes we are both young mom stroke survivors. No this is NOT my own story, but I share it tonight because it is such a good visual documentation of the stroke recovery journey. I watched it and "cried" my way through that (felt all of the emotions of crying, even though I usually CANNOT get the physical release of actual tears now), feeling for Jenny and her family and remembering my own journey. My initial thoughts were to thank the Lord that I was "never that bad," then to realize, actually, yes I was.
Our deficits may have been different, but my fragile life was just as precarious at one time. I couldn't hold my head up or sit up either. I had no trachea like Jenny (or Kendra!) because, against expectation, I was actually able to start breathing on my own with just verbal reminders, within that first week on a breathing tube. But I did have a significantly crossed and paralyzed eye. I never (other than briefly, for transport for the special needs shuttle from the main hospital to the rehabilitation hospital) needed a big wheel chair like that, in part because I could not even tolerate (nausea, severe vertigo, blood pressure drop, heart rate racing) being upright long enough to sit up in one - by the time I could handle being that upright long enough to use a chair, I had enough trunk and neck support for a standard chair. I had a feeding tube through my nose for the first several days, then we were able to go to an IV with no "belly button straw". I didn't use it long, but came home to a hospital bed too. I rode home from rehab in our car rather than an ambulance. I was hard to understand and didn't always make much sense (remember Mom "sitting on lions" last year!), but could talk later the very same day they removed my breathing tube. The intense similarities in our stories were learning to eat, swallow, control drool, physical therapy, cuddling kids from a hospital bed... This is going to be both HARD and amazing for you to watch too, Kendra!
Jenny with a Y (not me, but oh the memories!) - recovery photo documentation.
In considering the possible identity confusion of posting another Jennifer's story on my blog, I found this on Facebook:
I still can't get my camera phone to talk to my computer on a regular basis :( but if I can figure out a way around my technical glitches, I hope to start participating in #OneBeautifulThing each Friday. I know it is only a Tuesday, but here is a picture from last September (yes, that is a wild horse eating the lawn in our front yard - one beautiful thing about living in northern Nevada!), paired with a handwriting sample from earlier this month.