Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Social Media Savior

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“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
John Lennon.

While  social media is a curse and a blessing, I’ve found it to be a blessing in my particular situation. Getting back on Facebook after I had disappeared for a year allowed me to update and get back in  touch with the many friends I had missed. I received comments akin to “Oh thank God, when I saw you were back I was relieved!”  As much as some despise social media it does serve a purpose. For me, it meant letting people know that I was okay after a huge accident. Without these  interactions, I would have lost touch with quite a few people. This proved especially important since I was isolated in recovery and had seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth. This led me to contemplate what social media means to those   people that  find themselves isolated( as well,or home bound because of an illness. It  could very well be their only means to a social life. For many(myself included) it’s  a fishing line cast into an Ocean   that is the  world. The problem is, that it gives a false sense of connection without actually being “connected.”  For this reason our cyber life  needs to  be balanced  with real life interactions as well.  Otherwise, it could actually achieve the opposite effect and make a person feel lonely. More  recently I’ve hopped  on the bandwagon that is Snapchat. Have you heard of this?   Since I felt like the Glass Man in the film Amelie(watch the video below!)

click here—–>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y2bsfZzgPs

Snapchat became like the pleasant little video that  let me in on the lives of friends and the rest of the ”outside world.” Despite the merits of social media We mustn’t forget the person that’s behind the computer screen or on the  other end of the keyboard. It’s all too easy to have many “friends,” but in actuality be   alone.Therefore, pick up a phone,write a letter,hop  on(or in)  your transportation of choice and make a real connection. You might just find you enjoy  the world of  three dimension!

Cheers and paper over e-mail,

bleu

Invisible Children

invisible-manInvisible children grow up to be invisible adults.
During the recovery process for my injury(i.e. killer massive stroke) I found myself labeled under the handicapped category.
While I don’t consider myself handicapped,I often glared at the parking tag hanging in my parents car window with hate.
Sure it gave us a pass to front row parking(often taken by the elderly or people not needing it!) and I got to cut lines, which would be great if I lived in an amusement park. However, while being part of the group under this label I learned a thing or two. It not only was cumbersome to get around that way(in a wheelchair),but also I began to feel inherently aware that people were either somewhat oblivious to me or stared.I began to feel like a beautiful Princess that was unrecognizable as a homeless mess that people just walked by while I sat on the sidewalk.I wanted the world to know who I really was.What I did find was a common thread between the people that still could recognize a Princess in the mess that I was currently in.They were usually kind,helpful,and sweet.I began calling these strangers that went out of their way to help me, door angels(for opening the door). I found myself having to dig deep to hold on to who I was despite the circumstances.If I was not so talented at daydreaming and the uncanny ability to ignore the obvious I don’t think I would have survived the very early days of my recovery.I imagined how other people must have felt in my similar situation.Those confined to a wheelchair or even worse paraplegic or quadriplegic.It would be easy to feel like a second class citizen,especially being a woman.In a society focused on sex appeal,you are certainly not seen as sexy in a wheelchair.This unfortunately began to effect how I felt about myself, so I could only imagine how others felt!
I thought back on the times I probably ignored someone who was either handicapped or elderly and it made me feel awful.Because unbeknownst to most people these individuals are very brave.It takes bravery to go outside when you clearly don’t fit in at all.It takes bravery to try things that you aren’t that physically good at,no matter how you look to other people.We all realize(I hope)how judgmental and focused on outward appearances our society is.Having said that I quickly found that going out in public in a wheelchair or wearing any adaptive equipment turned you into somewhat of a spectacle.I had to ignore or push through any feelings of alienation I had.The world was clearly built for people with no physical issues.On television I became acutely aware of the enormous lack of people with disabilities.I had just went from a majority to a minority and let me tell you,for lack of better words “It really sucks.” Now all I want to do is go back and out of my way to help people.Regardless of any social implications, this has made me recognize my own strength and brought more confidence to the surface.I’m still not sure if this has been a blessing in disguise or not.Between recently turning the big3-0 and this I feel stronger and more like myself then I ever have.One thing I have been pleasantly surprised by are the “door angels,” and the general acceptance or respect for those that do have issues in our society.In nearly losing who I was,I found out who I am and I learned to truly love the girl in the mirror.My hopes for you are that you too will find that kind of love for yourself without any near death experiences,but instead recognize the wonderful life that you have right now and don’t waste it!

Be thankful& walk in love,

bleu

Dear Santa

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Dear Santa,
I think you should know I don’t believe in you,but I do know a lot more about you then you think and I have a bone to pick!
I know that you ran off with Misses Claus soon after you were both married at the ripe age of 18 and joined the Navy.While you were enlisted you were also gone for a year when I was a baby.Misses Claus told me since I didn’t remember who you were at first when you came home, I would only communicate with you when you used your hand to talk to me like a naked sock puppet.Unfortunately the elves were not very savvy in building iphones and the like so you had to resort to cameras that recorded with 8mm film.When I see the pictures you did get,the North Pole looks a lot warmer then how it’s depicted in holiday folklore.Almost like Virginia Beach actually.While I could gripe about the many missed presents,I won’t because I got other things I asked for and some I didn’t!Luckily the elves are proficient at electronics these days,so watching home films on the wall is a thing of the past.However, why didn’t you hire that elf Steve Jobs sooner!? Because you didn’t, instead the Claus family had to use giant cameras and inconvenient memory storage methods.Even though you two dropped the ball on that one I forgive you,hindsight is 20/20.

Furthermore, you did catch the ball when it came to sending me to a good school,providing a roof over my head,not letting me eat too many cookies,(although you did yourself sometimes!)and fixing up numerous reindeer that I could fly around on as soon as it was legal.I must say for as busy as you were visiting all the houses in the world in 24 hours you always had time for Mrs Claus and I.When I eventually grew up and walked thru the Lincoln Tunnel to move to New York City, Mrs Claus and you even skipped out on the North Pole when I got hurt.Those songs are right, you DO know everything! It was worse then living with a psychologist or a psychic,if you believe in that sort of thing.Although you crazy kids moved away to the North Pole at a young age,it’s a lovely thing that you two discovered magic when you got there.That magic is still alive today every time my needs are met,I get driven to a place I want to go,have emotional support,the piles of paperwork that get done for me,and all the special requests met too.Since I have grown up with Christmas I know it means more then just presents,flying reindeer,and mass consumerism.Since I almost wasn’t around for anymore Christmas’s I think you and Mrs Claus know the magic that has worked and in many ways saved me, is love.Too many people forget that and instead focus on what the elves churn out.Speaking of mass consumerism,in the mall the other day,I heard the song ‘I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus’ that kid was majorly confused! I slightly felt bad for him because I knew who my “Mommy was kissing,” and it was my Dad.So,thanks Mr and Mrs Claus for doing a pretty good job.

bleu

True Story: I was a clerk in Hell

Working inHell was rather ordinary as it turned out.
Most days were spent serving customers various things from the creamatorium(ice-cream), sometimes serving the occasional gravedigger or ringing up various Hell souvinirs.
Once the Today Show actually did a Halloween special from Hell.
Everyone showed up with signs all dressed up, some driving hearses.
I ran the shop for the day dressed as an angry housewife(i.e a baby,in pajamas,holding a frying pan, and smoking a fake cigarette.) it was a last minute costume.In Hell it was usually mild temperatures, occasionally freezing over.During those times a news crew would show up to report that Hell froze over.Apparently this was funny news.
I met people from all over, even other countries. I often asked them why they were in Hell.
Because Hell was actually a pretty small place, and why come all the way from England to see it?
The regulars in Hell were usually bikers.
At some point tour buses would drive thru filled with the elderly.
The bikers were harmless as most just hung out around the bar or got kicks out of teasing me.Two times I was flashed in the middle of the store by their “motorcycle babes,” while they laughed finding it to be hilarious.Most of the time it was quiet with tourists or locals coming in and out.A group of kids from Oregon got my number one day.They would call me on holidays and such to ask what it was like in Hell taking note that I was a female.I didn’t know them personally but I’d say the silly phone calls happened for a few months.At the time my parents lived down the street from Hell and still do.

Me: “Oh, so this is where your moving?”

Parents: “Yes, we bought property and built a house.”

Me: “Sounds like a nice place.”

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It was quite odd to drive to school and pass a guy in a devil costume  telling runners which way to go in the early morning.It may be surprising but Hell actually puts on fundraisers and runs.On the day it turned 6-6-6 helicopters buzzed over my sunbathing head.The street was completely packed with cars,3,000 people were there to celebrate! They still have fundraisers, runs, hearse parades, and sometimes even music.I actually am aiming to work in Hell again, using the money for a new tattoo(a pheonix )to mark the journey I have been on and my goal of rising from the ashes.It would mean more to earn the money myself,as well as work again after all the struggles I have been through.Since I have worked in Hell before, I have been offered a position to return to.I probably will since it’s close and I am comfortable there.When I first came to my parents for recovery, I would often exclaim I was in Hell(literally&figuratively).
In life many of us take things for granted.
One thing I have learned is that my worries and gripes before were inconsequential.
In the big picture there is no comparison between your boyfriend dumping you and your hand being paralyzed.Unfortunately these days I find it hard to relate to my former self and sometimes even friends.
Nearly dying and the struggles that have come with that have changed my perspective.
I think everyone at one point will experience a perspective changer.I just certainly hope yours does not nearly kill you!

In truth the world seems to value the things that don’t truly matter to us as individuals.
While the world puts an emphasis on looks and appearance, what little girls and grown up girls actually need  is to develop their minds.While I perhaps griped about traffic,work,or relationships before,I was wrong.
What really matters is that I HAD a job,someone to gripe about,and my health was perfect.
Now that my world has in a way become smaller, my views and ideas  have actually gotten larger.
Now I see the things that really matter.
I want to reach out to other people and demonstrate love,and human kindness.
What really matters when all the material is taken away is the person.
We are beings full of life,light, and possibility.It’s time to strip down to the core of what matters.I urge you all to reach out to one other person.Imagine the world if we all did that?Be the change you want to see in the world.We have but one life,make it count,and leave an impact.Besides bright stars don’t burn out,they explode.

Love,

bleu

Everyday is Like Ebay.

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“There’s alot of nice people in the world, be one of them.” – unknown

Just as a fortune cookie is  unpredictable  so is the world of online  bidding.

In a more recent interaction I saw  the glaring differences in the interactions you can have.

Interaction A) via stateside…

A girl takes a screenshot of my auction and posts it on her Facebook because I unknowingly used her picture.

Many messages of harassment and nastiness ensue from her and her friends.

It ends in me contacting ebay over the harassment and eventually pulling the auction.

Interaction B) via our neighbors from across “the pond.”

A girl simply retracts her bid after I ask her  to because shipping is too costly as I guessed it would be.

It ends in a resolution for both parties  and myself feeling like just shipping her the item for free 

Did I? Unfortunately I couldn’t because there was another bidder, otherwise I would have loved to.

The  gap  between these two interactions is wide.

One exchange left me feeling like giving out hugs, the other slugs.

The  reason is simple, whether it be in person or online the way you treat someone reflects you  and determines the results you’ll receive.

This is obvious as it’s something most Mothers and Sunday schools tell you.

However, even so rarely do I see that difference  in interactions so close together.

They were nearly back to back!

One girl had me highly frustrated while the other made me just want to give her the$150.00 Spirithood( the auction at hand)

Although it should be obvious to treat people well, for some it isn’t.

I’m adverse to being identified as a hippie, but on this theology I can agree.

Because of the difference in attitudes of  these two ladies it caused me to see the differences and thus inspired me to write about it.

This micro event can easily reflect the bigger picture, which is: “you get what you give.”

  There is no reason to spread darkness, only light, even if your having a bad time.

Be kind to others as you don’t know the battle they’re fighting.”  -unknown

The reason this seemingly meaningless interaction meant so much was because  I was having a bad time, a very bad time making kindness all the more meaningful, even thru a computed message.

Cheers!

bleu

Standing on a soapbox.

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                                   “Dying is easy,it’s living thats hard.” -unknown

I find this statement to be quite true at times.

Not just for me but for everyone on this earth.

Anyone can get on a soapbox with a bullhorn.

Except few people can command attention with it,despite their cries of indignation.

Through circumstance I have been given that authority,

likewise ,“With great power comes great responsibility,” as said by Stan Lee.

Through unexpected,and unplanned circumstances I’ve found myself primed for a soapbox.However small the audience,each person matters.The question begging an answer is,now that I’m here, what do I have to say?

While driving along to a concert with my family a thought occurred to me;Attempting to describe any singular great experience is akin to trying to fit music and the entirety of feelings it encompasses into a box.

Besides such an act seeming impossible, at times so has my recovery.

However, I have some good news it’s not impossible.My hopes besides a full recovery are to demonstrate what’s been given to me to others similarly in need of their own recipe to bring them through their troubles.No one person can fulfill this because its something we have to find on our own however other people, like the Cheshire Cat(Alice in Wonderland),can certainly help point the way.

Which direction will you choose? Well, that depends on which cat you encounter.

The best kind are positive,follow through with what they say,and are able to properly demonstrate love.

It is in love that I recommend blocking out the negative things of this world,

especially when faced with an important mission.

It is not enough to simply be alive, but to also actively live your life and share that lust for life with others.Because were all in this boat together.

Overall it has been these types of people that have built a human chain of sorts that has brought me through.

Humanity is like a chain link fence,were all together as one, if any link be weak,strengthen it.

How do you help the weak link? Just as you would a metal fence,build it back up.

Be it with words,inspiration,a hug,some physical help,or whatever the method it’s important to do it.

***When I was living in New York City I saw that negativity could spread throughout people almost like a cancer and physically exhaust you.

Now that I have been able to look back into it like a snow globe after returning from the brink of death,my hope is to be an inspiration,not only thru actions but in,interactions as well.

Each one of us is a walking,living story, in order to let other people read your book, you have to show them.

Nonetheless I am determined that where I’m headed is nowhere near where I came from.

 

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A new beginning.

What were you doing on October 12th 2012?
Well, I can tell you what I did because I had a massive stroke that day
while out of the city (NYC)for my job.

I was found unresponsive and very near death by a cleaning woman in my hotel bathroom.
I was then rushed to the very hospital I was working for.

                                                                 Below Photo: In Wilson Hospital  of New york in ICU

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Seven blood clots,many cat scans,a med flight, and a few surgeries later here I am in present day time. It has been a year and a half of recovery from my personal war in a hospital in upstate New York (Wilson Hospital).

A team of healthcare professionals worked tirelessly to save me while I was surrounded by my family and friends praying to God for my life to be spared.
Against the odds it was spared and I survived.

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I was flown to University of Michigan Hospital where I remained for 64 days
in in- patient rehab.      My Father and I during the medflight on Kalitta Air. (above)I  relearned how to walk again and built up  my strength  As well as re-learning things like reading,writing,reasoning,and conversation skills   with speech&language therapists.

It has been an unimaginable journey and it  still continues.

Now I have another “go-around.”

This time  I am not only smarter and more determined but also know how to go about things better,I’m thankful for that.

In conclusion, this has certainly highlighted the fragility and beauty of life for me.

At an all too young  age, I  have suffered what some do in very old age.

This has led me to appreciate different things.

As well as meet a slew of special people along the way.

Today I’m sitting at a beautiful  new desk  and typing on a new computer.

I still have physical problems and work to do.

However I know it will get better and continues to.

The world may think I’ve “lost.”

I beg to differ,I’ve gained more than most.

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The Road to Recovery…

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On October 12th of 2012 in upstate Newyork  at the age of 28 I had  a massive stroke out of nowhere,but now a little over a year of  recovery time,I am in therapy on a weekly basis,its been a hard road…We put a years worth of miles on our car in half the time…

There are several types of therapies to keep you moving…

 

  1. Physical Therapy
  2. Occupational Therapy
  3. Massage Therapy(which dealt with getting nerves to wake up again)this was considered to be an alternative therapy
  4. Suit Therapy-which is typically for children with Cerebral Palsy but helps to activate
  5. Speech underused muscles 6. Speech TherapySincemy discharge from Inpatient Rehab(all 64 days of it…) I have been on a weekly schedule of therapy and Doctor visits,which at first were arduous,but now have become routine as I make my way back into some normalcy in what as been a  very irregular and difficult time period in my life thus far,now all I can do is continue to work,persevere,and keep hope.Never has the saying “One day at a time been more relevant,as well as the term ‘Patience of a Saint’  While  recovering and  being less independent I have had to learn how to be patient and wait for nearly everything, which has probably been  one of the larger  changes,coming from being a fiercely independent woman….
  6. Barwis Method is ran by College    Football Strength&Conditioning Coach,legendary Mike Barwis out of Plymouth,Michigan, the training facility consists of an area for weights and modified workout machines(built by personal specifications according to Mike) as well as an indoor field,He physically challenges athletes and laymen alike and of all physical rehab I have done his is my favorite.These days Mike is a hard guy to catch as He builds a new  center and more recently has begun filming on American Muscle,soon to be on  the Discovery Channel.I have been lucky to meet this forward thinking trainer,not to mention a person that like most rather than being self focused chooses to take time to help others.

A poem upon parting……

One ship drives East,
and another drives West,
With the self-same winds that blow;
Tis the set of the sails, and not the gales,
Which tells us the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life;
Tis the set of the soul that decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

XO   **BLEU**

 

 

 

 

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