Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Aphasia Will Not Be Silent by Randy

Aphasia will not be silent. What the hell is aphasia?  Very good question, aphasia is a language disability.  My stroke happened 4 years ago and I have aphasia.

It is unbelievable how my life has changed.  Four years ago I could barely speak.  I also could not read or write.  My therapy was very helpful to me.  The thing that has helped me in my recovery is the Stroke Comeback Center.

Not only the SCC but my wife has made so many differences to me.  She has been with me through every step of my recovery.   She is the lady that has really made me to not give up.  I have not and will not give up.

From the beginning of my stroke and having aphasia sucks.  Having this disability could have easily caused me to do nothing.  Quitting was never a possibility.  I am a different person. 

God always has a reason and mine is having aphasia.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Aspen! by Pat

Who thought I would ever go to Aspen? I had never been to Colorado! So Patty and I decided to go. The last 2 years we went to Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation. It was so fun. Patty talked to some friends and she wanted me to go to Aspen, CO. I didn't know that much about it.

It turned out the VA has been doing this for 29 years. Everyone in the DAV and VA can go skiing. We did the papers and did a physical. Then on March 28th we flew to Aspen for a week. I had been drinking water for a week and the altitude was very high!

On Monday and Wednesday I went to go curling. I couldn't wait! I had watched curling on TV for 20 years. It was hard to do. Then you had to walk on the ice. And you push a stones that weigh 40 pounds. I loved it!! I got better by the last day. And I drank water!

The other sport I did was skiing. I got very lucky. There were two people to show me how to ski. I was scared, Dave and Lisa were not. Dave was 63 years old and retired from the Army. Lisa was 35 years old and finished college in NYC. She was there and she went back to Colorado. She wanted to ski all the time and enjoy herself. They were nice right away. Then they made me get into the chairlift!

I went up and up. Then I got off. Phew. I relaxed. The guides were talking. Then the decided to go up again! It was freaking me out. It turned out where I skied were good for me. It was not too fast. I skied 5 times. I was getting better. Then Lisa told me to let go of my left arm. The last ski I did that day was interesting. We were skiing and Dave said something to Lisa. I was focusing until we stopped. Lisa told me to look at Dave on the right. I looked at the right and Dave was gone. He was not holding on or saving my life. He was 10 feet behind me. He started to clap. Check out this video.

Then Thursday I did some more skiing. And it snowed on Wednesday night. I worked with Lisa and Dave again. (My skiing heroes!) Right away I felt I could do it. We went to the same place to ski. The snow was faster. But I said, "Let's try to be faster. But not too much faster." It felt great. I was getting better, faster and not so scared. The last run they told me that I needed to let go of the pole. They said they would be with me. So we started, I let go of the pole and they pushed the pole all the way down. I couldn't reach it!  I needed to ski. I got to the end and I was so excited. I never fell down. It made my smile.

One night there was a group meeting for people like me, with Traumatic Brain Injury. There was about 30 people there. The stories were interesting and they taught me that TBI is different. All people are different.

On Saturday we went home. Flying was scary in the beginning. The airplane just went straight. I went to sleep. I thought that Aspen was incredible!! We will see you there next year.