Episode notes: Today Ruth addresses the emotional challenges she faced after her stroke and the mental barriers that she had to overcome. The fear she faced daily after having fallen so far.
Ruth is a stroke survivor sharing tips and advice for rehab, recovery and healthy living including nutrition, exercises, personal care, healing and maintaining a grateful attitude. She can be found online at http://stroke.global were she offers help to stroke survivors and caregivers.
Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast... after we experience a stroke we find ourselves dealing with several real issues... fear. Fear of many things:
And that fear of the unknown is paralyzing... as if we didn’t have enough problems with that already! After my stroke the entire right side was effected, no feeling, no movement, and no control. That, combined with memory issues, vision disturbances, eating problems, cognitive problems, made it difficult to function on a daily basis.
When you go from being normal to being totally debilitated in a matter of minutes it is frightening. You find that your self esteem and confidence bottoms out! Something that you’ve built up over years... your self esteem and confidence are now gone. Shaken to the core. And why? Because so much of your physical self has been impacted. Even as I have talked with stroke survivors over the years who have suffered little physical impact, they are usually always demoralized and afraid. The fact that so much can be impacted without warning is devastating.
So knowing that self confidence and esteem are impacted how is that demonstrated and what can we do to get it back?
Lack of self esteem and confidence are demonstrated in:
The list is endless and the challenge and problems it creates are real, serious, and must be met head on. But therein lies the biggest challenge. Once we recognize a self confidence and/or self esteem issue how do we deal with it... how do we get it back?
This is where I will share a bit about myself... you know they say the bigger you are the harder you fall and regarding confidence and esteem it is also very true. I think it’s safe to say that prior to my stroke I was a strong willed wife, confident mother of three young children who managed a home, served on the local school board, worked independently as a professional trainer and speaker, and hosted exchange students in our home. But my stroke, when I was 42 was devastating!
I fought as hard as I could but often found myself scared and for no apparent reason. For the first time in my life, grit and determination were not helping. I found myself feeling as if I were beating my head against a brick wall and only getting a headache. I floundered for three years until at the suggestion of one of our exchange students... I went to China for treatment. As a former nurse, paramedic and then clinic manager in the Air Force... the idea of seeking treatment outside the US was beyond comprehension and then to seek traditional Chinese medical treatment... well all I can say is my physician friends thought I was crazy but at the same time they said they couldn’t help. As far as they were concerned I was as good as I was going to get.
To make a long story short, I got it all back, movement, feeling, vision, cognitive function and most of all my confidence and self esteem. It took about a year after my therapy for that confidence and self esteem but I learned a lot about myself and others in the process. You see that confidence and self esteem take time to be restored and they are integrally connected to our view of the stroke, our bodies, healing, attitude and emotional support. I’ve spent the better part of the last 20 years helping others and I derive the most joy from seeing that confidence and self esteem return. I have in that time developed my 7 steps to success and I’ve been thrilled to see it implemented and work. The best advice I can give is never say never!
Well it’s time to close for the day...Thanks so much for joining me and remember to visit the stroke.global ( “onlinerehabilitation.org” ) web site often and give us your feedback! I also hope you’ll join me tomorrow!
As always it’s an honor and a pleasure sharing today.... thank you! I pray that you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we are on iTunes, Spreaker, & Google Play and have links on our stroke.global page... please subscribe it boosts us in the ratings and helps us rise in the ranks so we can continue these stroke survivor podcasts.
As always we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us by making this podcast possible. Check them out online at tcmrestoration.net
And thank you again for listening... Please feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions, and follow us online at our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well...this is Rehab Ruthie...looking forward to learning more with you tomorrow... as we continue our adventure ...