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Carolyn K.



October 26, 2009 is a day I'll remember for a long time. After three meetings, I was in a swim class to prepare for a sprint-distance triathlon, swimming back stroke. I knew my left arm was slamming into the lane line, but that's not unusual doing that swim stroke. Fortunately the coach was aware, and hauled me out of the pool, called 911 and that began the five week hospital stay, where I started to relearn to walk, talk, and care for myself.  My caring husband, adult daughters, and friends were with me, encouraging me.

After discharge I had three weeks of home physical and occupational therapy, before beginning outpatient therapy for many months. I quickly learned to say "no" to all volunteer involvement and almost 15 months later, am only volunteering about two hours per week at the local hospital. My family moved back to this location of lower elevation, as it is better for my health. My husband is an amazing caregiver, and is letting me gradually take on more household responsibilities.

In recent weeks I've passed the CA behind-the-wheel driving test, and am regaining confidence to drive alone for short distances. I lost most of my self-confidence after the stroke, and am finally able to acknowledge that I have "come a long way" in recovery. I had no idea that it could be so slow. My first question to my PM & R doctor, will be how much longer before I have the energy and stamina I was accustomed to before this journey? Likely no one will ever know what caused the hemorrhagic bleeding that I experienced, but I am trying to change to even better food choices and get back to more exercise. 

My goal is to do the 10.6 mile Big Sur Walk and/or another sprint-distance triathlon, either in 2011 or 2012.


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