Life After Stroke

Mother Nature is miraculous. She can wreak some havoc! But then she can also repair, regrow, and rebuild. Similar to the picture of this beautiful tree- standing strong despite being badly burned. Topped with flourishing foliage as it brushes the blue sky above.

I first heard of the term mycelium while watching the documentary on Netflix called, Fantastic Fungi. It’s a wonderful film that describes in detail how intelligent Mother Nature really is. (CLICK HERE to view the trailer). Mycelium is an underground communication that links all living things.

For example, let’s say a tree in a forest gets infested with insects. For the survival of the rest of the forest, mycelium will then “tell” all surrounding trees to cut off communication, water, and nutrients with that infected tree. Causing the infected tree to die without infecting the other trees.

Have you ever wondered how a forest can regrow after a devastating fire? This phenomenon is done through the power of mycelium.

Our brains are akin to this miraculous quality that Mother Nature holds. From the second a stroke hits, our brain starts fighting for survival. Just like the infected tree, our brains have the power to redirect communication, water, and nutrients to enable survival of the surrounding (undamaged) brain cells.

Trust me when I say, it’s a difficult road to continuously walk (metaphorically and literally) after stroke. I’ve spent nights crying myself to sleep out of frustration. I’ve over did it several times, causing my brain to regress in my progress. When I say “over did it,” I’m talking about mundane tasks like whisking eggs or checking the mail. I’m speaking from experience when I say, “Honor your brain!”

After stroke, your brain will get fatigued before your muscles do. I remember this being difficult for myself to wrap my head around. “But I’m not tired!” I said to my nurses at CPMC in San Francisco, California. On this particular day, I wasn’t ready for my therapy to end. However, my brain was telling my nurses that I was done.

Photo by Diva Plavalaguna on

How did the nurses know? You may be asking. Aside from their extensive training, there were outward physical changes going on with me. For example, I remember having to do this exercise where I had to put together a children’s puzzle. I was able to complete the same puzzle earlier in the day. However, I was unable to successfully complete it for a second time because my brain needed to rest. Because I ignored my brain, it took a day and a half for me to successfully put that puzzle together again.

Life after stroke is literally what you make of it. You will slip down the rabbit hole of depression -been there a thousand times. You will unknowingly “over do it” -Be patient with yourself. Most importantly friends, you’ve been given a second chance to live. Honor your life by being in the present moment.

In this space of my blog, I will be sharing my post-stroke adventures. Ranging from learning how to walk again, drive again, going on solo camping trips, to jumping out of an airplane! Thank you for taking this journey with me.

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