Tuesday, May 17, 2011


When someone compliments my daughter--how high she can jump, for instance, or how well she can do the monkey bars--she says, "Of course I can! You know, I am 5 1/2 years old."

Sometimes when I see someone who I haven't seen for several months, they comment about how much my speech has improved. I'm always grateful for the acknowledgement. But every so often I think, "You know, I am 47 years old."


  1. (nods) Yeah, I remember compliments being hard to manage.

    Sometimes I wanted to be praised to the skies just for, I don't know, for continuing to _exist_, for not just shriveling to dust or something.

    And sometimes I resented the very suggestion that I wasn't just as capable as I'd always been.

    And there was really no way for anyone who wasn't me to tell which was which. Heck, _I_ had trouble telling, sometimes. Sometimes I'd find myself yelling at someone for having said something entirely innocuous.

    Fortunately, folks more or less understood when I was unreasonably prickly. Friends are an indispensible recovery resource, in many ways.

    So, anyway, hi! You have no idea who I am, but I'm a friend (Dave) of a friend (Jenise) of your sister (Cindy, but I suppose you knew that part) whom they pointed towards your blog. I find your writing lovely, and Cindy assures me you won't mind a complete stranger presuming on such a tenuous thread of acquaintance, so I figured I'd introduce myself.

    Some relevant background: I had a stroke in July of '08, shortly after my 39th birthday. I'm pretty much recovered now. I wrote up a lot of my own experience here:

    Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself and let you know I was reading. Please don't feel obligated to respond if typing is difficult.

  2. Hi Dave, thanks for reading. Your account of your stroke is fascinating, and horrifying--as all strokes are. I especially the part about proprioceptive hallucinations (fortunately, I don't have to say that out loud).