I had a stroke 10 years ago that stripped me of my speech and language along with having some right sided weakness. I could not say simple things like “yes” and “no.” The therapy at that time helped me, but I was still frustrated because I could not talk well. So for the past 10 years I sat at home watching TV and quilting; I kept myself isolated because I could not talk well. I only went out to the store and to get gas along with going to church.
Then earlier this year I received a notice that Stroke Support Group meetings were going to be held at Tamarac, facilitated by Julie the speech therapy assistant I had after my stroke. This is when my journey as a stroke survivor, rather than a stroke victim began. At the first meeting, I voiced my concern about my speech and language, and the swelling in my right leg. Right away Julie got the ball rolling. I was able to receive several speech and physical therapy sessions. I had speech therapy with Jennifer. She has helped me talk better and has given me amazing confidence to talk with others. When I first talked to Rob, the physical therapist, about the swelling in my right leg, along with right arm weakness and loss of balance (I did not know that all of these were results of the stroke from 10 years ago), he assured me that he could fix me. At first, I thought Rob and Edmond were trying to kill me, therapy was so intense. Although with their continuous encouragement, I worked through it and survived. My leg no longer swells, I am strong and confident.
July of this year I decided to become a Citizen of Tamarac – so I met with Jackie and she told me all about Tamarac. Since joining, I cannot say enough about the staff, like Aaron, Chris, and Kristi and all that they have done for me. They sure know their stuff! I now go several times a week, and I even joined a Tai Chi class that has helped me with my posture and balance and to learn slow, controlled movements.
Since becoming involved in Tamarac and rehab I’ve gained tremendous confidence to socialize with people and have overcome my fears – it is great!! I’ve missed out for 10 years!! Since my journey as a survivor I socialize, can talk better, decreased my blood sugar levels by over 150 points (I can now give blood!), gained new strength emotionally, mentally and physically, and lifted 4,000,000 pounds with the FitLinxx system. I have also gained new friends and a wonderful meeting place. I now have a healthier, stronger, confident inner self and a stronger outer physical self. My journey continues to get better! Do not give up! Do not be a victim, be a survivor! Trust in God.