Saturday, March 21, 2015

What I Have Learned About Death...

Almost 4 months ago, on Thanksgiving Night, I had a full-fledged stroke., which you may have read about in a previous post.  Since then, I have been on the hardest journey I have ever been on, to fully recover and feel like my old self again.  I am realizing, that becoming my old self again is still far away, although I am feeling good.

I am struggling with some cognitive issues with memory and math, and have been fighting some depression and fatigue that are very normal post-stroke symptoms.  It is all part of the recovery and if anything, they are extremely annoying to deal with!!  I am so blessed that I have recovered so well and overall am in great health.  Because I was in great health when I had my stroke, as well as the type of stroke I had, and where I had my stroke, my recovery has been better and miraculous in many ways. 

Becoming a new person of understanding, and growth, and depth, is the journey I have embarked on. Each day I reflect and wonder what God is trying to teach me through my trials, and some days they feel intense. 

One of the biggest changes in my thinking and understanding has been my view of death. When I was in the middle of my stroke, I went to another place of extreme peace on the right side of my brain. I was in a place of extreme comfort, happiness, joy, peace where I felt no pain whatsoever: emotional or physical.   I never left my body or had a near-death experience in any way, but I felt such a great peace. Along with that peace, I was also in a state of mind of "no-worries" whatsoever.

Like a lot of women (and people in general) our life is centered around worrying about things.  We have this brain chatter going on all the time inside  our heads,  worrying about situations or people or possible scenarios as we go through our day. We dream up possibilities of how we can fix things to make life better for ourselves or others.  This happens without us always consciously being aware we are doing it. It is automatic.

While having my stroke, it mimicked an out of body experience. Possibly the closest I could come to with out really having one.  I was not always "there" meaning I was unconscious, but then had moments of coming out of my unconscious.  When I did, although I was still unable to communicate with the outside world at all,   everything was foggy and out of focus, visually and far away.  I was aware of the pain others were in around me. I could see my husbands eyes were red from crying, and he was in a state of panic. The doctors and nurses were panicked and moving very quickly. I remember thinking, "wow! they are really worried about something"  I was instantly like a child who was unaware of what the adults were worried about. Everyone around me were in a sense of despair over what was happening and I had no control over it .  I could feel their great love for me, which made me feel good,  but I could do nothing to fix or comfort their fears.  I felt love for them, but no worries over what they were experiencing.  It was like I was an observer and nothing else.

Since this experience, I have a glimpse of what death feels like in the sense that you are immediately taken to a place of great peace, joy, gratitude, no-worries, and no pain-physical, or emotional.

When I hear about someone who has passed on, I immediately connect with them in the peace and no-worries they are experiencing. They move on quickly to a different state of mind than what they felt here on earth, and we can be very at peace knowing that they are. 

I know this does not comfort those left behind, and many tears and heart aches are for the loved ones who are left on earth, but there is great peace in knowing that death is a very loving part of our Father in Heaven's Plan for His children. 

Some more information:

Doors of Death-Elder Russell M. Nelson
How Can I Find Comfort When Someone I Care About Dies?
The Healing Power of Grief -President Thomas S. Monson

My Stoke of Insight-Jill Bolte Taylor

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I am going to give a good positive word for our extremely awesome mutual theme this year.  It is so great!  I am sure you are already all over it, and are aware of how inspired it is.  (as always) I am  inspired by it already!

The visual is a ship, which I feel is so applicable and has many themes that you could pull from.

"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." Doctrine and Covenants 4:2

To embark is to go on board a ship or aircraft, but it is also to begin a coarse of action that is especially important or demanding. Like missionary work, like maintaining a building a true testimony, like reading the scriptures daily, like prayer, like staying on the path, like keeping and  making temple covenants, like serving others, like being ready for  Christ's Second Coming, to just name a few .

I love that they put a different theme/picture on each sail of all the ways that we can embark on our own journeys to come unto Christ.  We know as we incorporate these principles into our lives, great things will happen, in our life and in those around us.

This can be personal. Very personal. You can come up with your own reasons for embarking this year. However, I have a feeling they will still be very connected to all the principles that are pictured on the ship's sails.

This can be a great focus not just for the youth, but our whole families, and each of us personally.

Here are some good resources:
The entire New Era for January is worth reading and studying and pondering as a family or as a youth group at church.  Each article is another way of how we can "EMBARK" and stay in the ship taking us safely home.  Don't skip any pages. Every page is incredible.
 Elder M. Russell Ballard's talk from October 2014  "Stay in the Boat and Hold On!"
Let's all EMBARK this year! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Not Shrinking

I love this scripture of the Savior's Atonement:

 " For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink-
“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men "

I love the part about not shrinking.

Shrinking refers to shrinking spiritually and becoming less when we have an opportunity to become more, because of our trials. 

Elder Neil A. Maxwell ( truly one of the great men to have ever lived), spoke of not shrinking when he was plagued with cancer which eventually took his life.  He said the "not shrinking was better than surviving" 

So I am surmising that surviving a trial with all of spiritual faith in tact, is more important than surviving it physically, and losing our faith or becoming bitter because of our pain.

This whole not shrinking is better than surviving, gives me great faith.

Elder David A. Bednar (another great man) gave a great CES Devotional Talk called
"That We Might Not... Shrink"



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Marriage Decision over Mission Decision


"Aubrey"  Two-Color Photography
 taken the week before she was to go on her mission

Sometimes the unexpected happens.  When we are least looking for something, it pops in, and surprises us all. This happened with my daughter Aubrey.

Aubrey who is 20 years old, a twin, our 3rd oldest,  had her mission call and was rarin' to go to the Peru Trujillo Mission October 7th....and..... as of December 20th,  she  is now married!

  It is really been a whirlwind few months that has taken us in a direction we didn't think was coming quite yet. But like I said, sometimes the unexpected happens when you least expect it to. 

The only reason I am sharing this story is to hopefully strengthen other families who are facing a similar situation.  Her story has already strengthened many young women in their decision to serve a mission or not, and has given hope to many young men who are dating a girl who wants to go on a mission.

Should all  young women be expected to serve missions if they can?  Should we be pressuring our daughters to serve missions? Is a mission more important, or is marriage ?

Let me just add, as a returned sister missionary myself, as well as having 3 daughters who have chosen to serve missions; the decision to serve a mission or not should be entirely the young woman's decision. They should not feel pressure from church society,  parents,  friends,  or anyone really.  Just pressure from the Spirit if it is right for them.   Serving a full-time mission is a huge commitment and is way harder than young women realize it will be. They have to be  fully committed, and it has to come from the desires in their own heart.  Although a mission is so valuable for their future lives, it should not be viewed as a duty they have to perform after high school and before marriage.

With  that said, our daughter Aubrey decided to serve a mission in April of this year (2014).  Up until that point she did not feel she should serve a mission. Some things began falling apart in her life, and as she turned to God for answers, she felt she should serve a mission. 

It was a  miraculous experience where she felt serving a mission was exactly what the Lord wanted her to do. We began making the preparations, doctor and dentist visits, and within a speedy 3 weeks she had her mission call  to the Peru' Trujillo Mission. 

She was scheduled to leave for the Lima MTC (CCM)  October 7th, the Wednesday after General Conference.

Her twin sister Lindsey is currently serving in Chile, and with Aubrey leaving October 7th, they would have been EXACTLY 6 months apart in their service time the very day.  Another twin moment.  The two of them were very excited to both be serving  in South America.

During the time she was still waiting to leave on her mission, she began hanging out a lot with the sister missionaries who were called to serve in the Young Single Adults ward where Aubrey was attending. By hanging out I mean, she was going to several investigator lessons a week, missionary/investigator activities and everything missionary.  She was preparing to be one of the best sister missionaries ever, and I am not biased one bit.

 In her personal study time, she was reading the scriptures, studying conference talks, and getting to know Preach My Gospel.  In fact one time, I made a motherly suggestion to maybe get familiar with Preach My Gospel before she left on her mission. She replied with, "Mom.  I have already read the entire book. I am on my second time through!"  So as you can see,  she was already super self-motivated and was ready to be a missionary. 

Enter future eternal companion on to the scene.  Like I said, when you least expect it, the most unexpected happens.

As Aubrey was preparing for her mission and hanging out exclusively with the sister missionaries, she met Kyle, her now husband.  He was a returned missionary who had served in  our local mission here.  He hadn't ever served in our exact city, but after his mission he came back here to live.  When he came back  he let the sister missionaries  know that he was very interested in being apart of teaching lessons if they ever needed help. He had been their zone leader during his mission time. He and Aubrey met while on splits with the sisters.

So that is a very unlikely place to meet a future husband or wife,  but the Lord works in the subtle places of our lives.  That was in April, and they didn't really start to hang-out until the end of the summer. 

His first question to Aubrey was to ask her where she had served her mission.(past tense)  She let him know, she was going to be leaving  for the Peru Trujillo Mission on October 7th. (future tense) That is when the tide began to change.

She gave her missionary farewell talk in our ward Sacrament Meeting 3 weeks before she was scheduled to leave. That is when things started progressing  from "I really like you, and you make me so think I want to marry you." 

Two days after her farewell,  they were in an 'official relationship.'  The question of going on a mission or staying home became the hot topic of conversation.

 He was flipping between supporting her in her decision and having lots of scripture studying dates, to begging her to please stay, to telling her he will wait for her. Aubrey was flipping between 'I am going on my mission!!' to"what if I stayed home?"

Aubrey had a lot of deciding to do, and she is not a fast decision maker.  You can't talk her into anything. She makes her own decisions, and after she contemplates them over for a long time. 

It was such a hard decision as she wanted desperately to be a missionary like her twin sister, and her two older sisters, and all of her best friends from high school. She liked the idea that she was joining the missionary force and doing what everyone else was doing. She was a spiritually very prepared missionary.

There was  serious mission pressure that was in her own heart, that was hard to break through.

My husband and I counseled her through all of this. What was our counsel?  YOU get on that mission and be a missionary like you said you would be!  You have to be a missionary!   NOT

Besides telling her to pray about it, follow the Spirit, which she was already doing, we reminded her that she did not have to serve a mission. We had to kind of pound this into her head, as she was so stuck on the idea that she had to be a missionary before she was married.  We reminded her of what we have been teaching our daughters since birth,  that her most important responsibility is that of being a wife and mother. 

Missions are wonderful!  They have been amazing for me, and for my other 3 daughters. But, we have to remember, young women  are not mandated to serve a  mission, and marriage is more important.  Thomas S. Monson has counseled

 " We have over 88,000 missionaries serving, sharing the gospel message the world over. We reaffirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty, and we encourage all worthy and able young men to serve. We are very grateful for the young women who also serve. They make a significant contribution, although they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men." President Thomas S. Monson

We also counseled her to find out if this young man is the right one for her.  Is he the one the Lord had placed in her life and pathway to be her future husband?  If he is, she should not make him wait.  That would not be right. He is of age. He has served an honorable mission. She is of age. If it is right, then she needs to stay home to get married.  (are we bold or what?)

Kyle finally asked Aubrey, "Why do you want to go on a mission?  And what percentage of you wants to go and what percentage of you wants to stay?"  At that moment, she felt 70% of her wanted to go on her mission, and 30% wanted to stay.  He gave her some great advice. He said, "Aubrey a mission is really hard, if you are not 100% committed, you shouldn't go."  That statement was a turning point in her making her decision. 

Over conference weekend, 48 hours before she was to be set apart and get on a plane for Lima, Peru, after hearing the words of the prophet sink into her soul that she not under the same mandate to serve a mission, and after praying with Kyle; she and he made the decision that she would stay home from her mission  and they would get married. 

And she has not turned back once.

WHEW!  Sometimes parenting can wear you out!!  She made the right decision for her life . It was hard not having her twin sister at her wedding, but it is the first step with them moving on with their own lives, and she knows she will be at HER wedding when she comes home.

They had the most beautiful wedding in the Salt Lake Temple

How important it is for us to follow our prophet, counsel with the Lord, and seek the Spirit in the most important decisions of our lives! 
Being married to  your best friend
 is one of the best feelings in the world.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Stroke Story


On Thanksgiving Night (2014) about 8:00 p.m. Completely unexpected, and definitely unplanned, I had a dense and rather severe Ishemic Stroke.
 I am here to tell you of the power of prayer.  We believe it was the faithful and heartfelt prayers of MANY that helped me to survive this stroke.  Miracles do exist.
I am 47 years old and in my opinion...way too young to be having a stroke!  Many  people agree with me.  I am way way too young.  How did it happen? 

The doctors are still trying to figure out that out. They told me I was a complex, complicated patient in that my symptoms did not match what they usually see. Because my recovery was so quick, they believed it was a migraine cluster headache, that can mimic a stroke many times.  I have never had a migraine head-ache in my life and don't suffer from a lot of bad headaches.  My original stroke symptoms were very severe, but it wasn't until the first MRI came back that they saw that I did indeed have a dense severe Ishemic stroke. 

The confusion for the doctors and for us is that  I have zero risk factors that we know of yet.  I have very low blood pressure, low cholesterol, I am not diabetic, do not smoke, and exercise fairly regularly.

 Not quite a full week later, I am doing good for the most part. I can tell my brain is still healing and not 100% back to normal, but hoping I will make a full recovery.

*Disclaimer:  Please excuse any weird typos you might bump into while reading this.  In some cases you might have to read between the lines.

 It is very therapeutic for my to write what happened to me, and many people including family members are still asking questions of what my stroke was like.  Since Thanksgiving, I have been reading other stroke stories, and I haven't found any stroke stories that were just like mine.

 My Story

 It still seems very surreal to me, as if I am writing this about someone else.  Since having the stroke, I am just now beginning  to realize it actually happened to me. Yet, I am still not in full acceptance.  It still feels like a weird dream I had.

 I am going into full detail as I tell this as you will see all the moments that my stroke could have hit, but didn't.  Skim past the details if it is too long for you. 
Thanksgiving Day (2014)  was as normal as Thanksgiving Days can be.  I started the morning running a 5K with my daughter Aubrey(20)  and sister-in-law Amber for a dear friend who is recovering from breast cancer.  I am definitely not an avid runner, but I do run once or twice a week on the treadmill, and run about 2 5Ks a year. I probably exerted myself a little more than I should have, but after the race was over, it felt great and my recovery was really easy. What I am trying to say is, I have had harder 5Ks.  We all kind of want to attribute the stroke to the 5K, but at this point that is not a cause for my stroke. The doctors said,  I would have had my stroke during the race, during the exertion period if that was the cause, not later that night. 
After the race we went home and prepared our portion of the Thanksgiving Dinner. About 1:00 pm, we went down to my in-laws house for the big feast.  I remember eating normal serving sizes and not over-eating like I can do at Thanksgiving.    After that we hung out, played games, and I was feeling a little weird from the run, just kind of exhausted. My lungs felt kind of stripped from the cold air we ran in and  I had this deep urge, to just go sleep. I tried sleeping sitting up on the couch, but I was super uncomfortable, and in pain.  I remember telling my husband, I just need to sleep.  Which I did. I went and found a quiet room  the house and layed on the floor and had a great cat-nap.

About 4:00pm, I had this weird desire to just go back home and take out my contacts and put my glasses on.   I look at this as a little prep that was going on for what was about to happen later. 

About 6:00 pm that night we went Black Friday shopping with some family members.  I have been Black Friday shopping many times, and this was the one year I absolutely did not want to go. I just didn't care !   Out of tradition, kinda, we went.  This is one of those annoying sales when one sale starts at 6:00pm , and the other at 8:00pm.  At one point we were planning on staying for the 8:00pm sale, but the things we wanted were already taken by having to have special ticket which we didn't have. Like I said earlier, we just weren't into it, and decided to just go home.

We got home about 7:45 pm. As soon as I walk in the doors at my in-laws house, my two youngest girls 9 and 11 years old wanted me to drive them home to get their pajamas so they could sleep over at Grandmas.  Normally I would procrastinate since I just got home....but I thought...let's go now!  So I drove 3 little girls to our house and was back home at the in-laws in 10 minutes.

As soon as I walked in the door this time, Amber (23), my oldest daughter started telling me the shirts she just barely bought at Bealls did not fit good and she wanted to return them.  She planned on just going the next day, but I told her, no...go now! (I have no idea why I said that, in reality the next day would have been a much better idea. It turned out that her going shopping and returning at a crucial moment,  was a  great tender mercy)  So she took her sister Rebekah (14) to the store to return her shirts.

Everyone started eating left-overs and pie and we were getting ready for a improve skit game downstairs.  I ate a little bit, then decided I would go to the bathroom.  I took my tablet in there so I could read my emails.

Keep in mind that physically I feel completely fine.  I have a mild-medium headache, and I don't feel any different at all.

The Stroke Hits
 My stroke hit while I was in the bathroom.  I remember standing up to button my pants, and then the next thing I remember is being in a different far away place mentally, and not remembering HOW to zip up my pants.  I stood there frozen physically and mentally in a DAZE. I could not remember how to zip, and I was going in and out of sub-consciousness. 

I did not have any pain, I didnt' fall over and collapse, nor was I was  aware I was  having a stroke. I remember feeling dizzy, confused, some double-vision, couldn't talk, and my face drooping.
My stroke hit the left side of my brain, and so my whole right side was effected. I think my brain was trying to send messages for my right side, but it couldn't  respond.  I still remember having this goofy grin on my face, which now I realize  was the right-side of my face completely drooped.
I made my way to the bathroom door,  and once again was completely stuck in my subconscious state. I was far, far, far, away. Everything was very foggy and not really there.   It was like being in a deep deep sleep and someone is trying to wake you, and you just can't wake up, although your eyes are still open.  I stood there trying to figure out to open the bathroom door.  I kept bumping the door knob but didnt' know how to turn it.  I was in this place for a while, going in and out of awareness and kept coming back to the door knob. 
My nephew (10 years old) came upstairs and was on the other side of the door as I was messing with the lock and the door knob. I don't know still, if I got myself out, or if I just loosened the lock enough and he was on the other side and pushed the door open.   Somehow he was in the right place at the right time and helped me get out. (Thanks Marshall!!)
I was deep into my loopy state and made my way to the couch, completely unaware of really anything at all.  No one knew I was there, and I just sat there, slumped over, going farther and farther into my stroke.

 My new problem was that my tablet was on my lap I was trying to figure out how to get it off my lap and into my bag. I tried to lift it a few times, but my brain couldn't figure out how to get it off my lap.  I tried lifting one end of my tablet, and I just couldn't do it.  I then, went into a far away foggy place where I could no longer connect with the outside world. I could sometimes hear, and see in a loopy foggy way, but I couldn't speak or move my body.
Sometime later....( maybe 5 minutes?)  my daughters Amber(23)  and Rebekah (14)  came home from shopping.  Amber saw me on the couch and in her bubbly personality says excitedly, "Hi MOM!!"  She wanted to show me what she just bought at the store. I was vaguely aware of her. I felt like I should acknowledge her and respond, but I couldn't connect at all.  I heard her say my name, and knew she was next to me, but I couldn't speak, move, or connect to her.   She told me later how she could tell I was trying to tell her something, and a few times I tried to stand up, but couldn't. She also told me how I kept  showing her my tablet, but she didn't know what I meant by that. 
She tried a few times to talk to me, and when she figured out something was wrong with me, she told Rebekah to go get Dad and tell him that Mom is not responding.  Beckah went downstairs,  and in that time Amber noticed my face was  drooping, and she knew I was not alright.
She then ran downstairs and said, " Dad! Mom is not OK!  Her face is drooping and we keep trying to talk to her and she is not responding." This was a private conversation that no one else heard in the room.  Than my husband, Richard, ran up the stairs and as soon as he saw me, he  knew I was having a stroke.  He kneelt down in front of me  and said. "Susan, Susan!" "You are having a stroke!"  "I am going to take care of you!!"  "We are taking you to the hospital!"  Then he instructed  Amber to go and get Kyle (future son-in-law).  So Amber runs back to the stairs and yelled for Kyle and no one listened. They responded with, why are you yelling?   Then Amber said, "My mom is not OK. I think she is having a stroke! "  Then Kyle first, then all the uncles sprint up the stairs to get me into the car. 

Richard  and Kyle carried my out to the car. I have a very vague recollection of this.  I was thinking how silly it was that they were fussing over me, I could vaguely sense the sheer panic of the moment.  I thought if I just stopped acting like this, they would know I was OK.  I felt no pain whatsoever, and was not afraid of anything.  The place of my sub-conscious I was in, was a peaceful, place of no worries.  Kyle sat behind my seat in our suburban, holding on to my shoulders as my husband whipped around corners and down the 3 streets to the hospital.  He told me during this, "Mom it is going to be OK. God knows that we still need you"

We get inside the hospital and they literally get me into a wheel chair and zoom me back into the ER room. I barely and  remember any of this. I was going in and out of consciousness. I have bits and pieces of seeing events, people, etc. I could sense the panic in everyone: my husband, son-in-law, mother-in-law, and all the doctors.  I was literally just losing it....peacefully, but very fast. 

 I lay on the ER table, the doctors and nurses began ripping my shirt off as fast as they could and connecting things to my chest.  They threw a hospital gown on me. Still had my pants on the whole time. After doing a few tests like, "grip my fingers, and talk to me, they got me on a table and ran me down to get a CT scan." My daughter Aubrey said they went right past her, and I didn't recognize her. She said I had a glazed look and just kept staring through everyone. 

Prayers going UP

While all of this was happening, my family began calling and texting everyone they thought should know. Prayers began going up to heaven really fast.  At home, at my in-laws house, they all knelt down and had a family prayers when they whisked me off the to ER.  Richard called my parents, who in turn called my 6 brothers, who in turn called all of their children. Everyone stopped what they were doing and had a family prayers. Some of then who are in a different time zone had already gone to bed, woke up and joined the family prayers. One of my brothers was Skyping with children, and they stopped the Skpe and prayed. Amber texted her best friends at college and they stopped what they were doing and knelt and had prayer, and we are still hearing experiences like this of prayer from family, friends, acquaintances, and people who don't know me at all, but know members of my family.  Thank-you to ALL of you.  I believe it was the sincere heartfelt prayers that helped me to recover in a miraculous way.

 A lot of things happened in the ER that I am totally unaware of.  For an hour and a half I was in this peaceful place in my subconscious where every once in a while I would get a glimpse of what was happening around me, but I had no power whatsoever to connect or speak. And, everything was in a far far away foggy place and not real.  I think I moved my eyes from side to side, and maybe my head.

 I remember once, coming to, and seeing my husband kneeling down next to my hospital bed stroking my hand and telling me I had the most beautiful hands he had ever seen.  Another time I remember seeing him gripping his head and crying into his hands. 

The Miracle happened at precisely the right moment

At this point, Salt Lake had a their helicopter going and ready to come and life-flight me. The doctors had the paperwork drawn up for it, and were ready to send me to Salt Lake.

Then I turned to my husband and wanted to talk, and then I was able to speak and ask him what was happening. 

Richard shouted...."she talked!  she talked!!"  Then everyone rushed to my side of the bed. Although everything was very sluggish, I was talking and that made everyone extremely happy.  The first thing I noticed was an IV in my right arm. I have zero memory of that being inserted. It talked to the doctor, husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, Amber, Aubrey, and Kyle. All one at a time as only two people could be in the room.   I called my mom, called my daughters who were at home, and had this miraculous amazing turn around recovery.  Everyone was thrilled to hear my voice. 
I then was talking via satellite to a University of Utah Stroke specialist, or neurologist. She was asking me questions about what I had experienced and how I was feeling.  Twice they had me read first grade words on a paper, and identify simple pictures, and tell them what was happening in this picture.

Our neurologist came next and began talking with me as he was trying to understand how I had a stroke and what might have caused it.  During this conversation, I felt my right side of my face, mainly my mouth droop and I could not control it or stop it. This concerned everyone all over again, and I had another CT scan injecting different fluids in me to see other things.
I spent the rest of the night in the hospital in ICU and had an MRI scheduled the next morning.  Richard slept by me on a fold-down chair, holding my hand all night. Sleeping in the ICU is an experience that neither me or my husband have ever experienced. (not a lot of quality sleep) They have an important job to do there, and I am grateful for all the care I received.
The MRI test results came back and confirmed I did have a dense Ischemic stroke. I have learned that WHERE a stroke hits determines the damage and  disability.  If our brain and all the veins were like a tree with all of its branches, my stroke hit in the tips of the branches. That made my recovery so much better than most. If it hits in the trunk or father down the tree, than the results are not as kind. 

Thank-you all for your prayers and thoughts and concerns.  I just pray that the doctors will find out what caused it. I have wonderful doctors who are trying to figure out why a person with no stroke risk factors, still had a stroke.  I am recovering really well, and my only symptoms now are dizziness and some memory lapses.  I am positive I will have a complete recovery as my brain heals.

Just as much as I want to know the hows and whys of the stroke. I want to make sure that spiritually, we learn from this experience. Was there a message from the Lord in this?  I don't want this experience to have been in vain. I want to be better because of it. I want my family to be better because of it. 

We had a huge wake-up call   to not take each other for granted. To love each other more deeply, to stop worrying about the things that don't really matter, and to stay connected with the Savior everyday.  I am sure more lessons will come as time passes.

THANK-YOU ALL for your prayers!!!  Even if they were just silent prayers of worry or concern from your heart. They were heard and we have been blessed because of it!!!


THE WARNING Signs of Stroke-click this link


More info on Ischemic Stroke: click this link.

(it has pictures that illustrate my condition exactly but I was unable to add them to this post.)