Nevertheless, She Persisted

My surgery affected my left side. In the beginning both sides showed weakness, but over time the right has really pulled ahead to the point I believe the strength and control is pretty close to what it was pre-surgery.

The same cannot be said of my left side. It’s an area of continuous focus in my workouts, although to myself I’ve had the hard recognition that it may always be much weaker.

Something my trainers constantly work with me on is not hyperextending my left knee. Much, MUCH easier said than done. It’s very frustrating to think something but then not be able to have your body do it.

The thing about me is I’m VERY stubborn. Yesterday during one of my sessions my trainer Matt says “I can see how hard you’re trying to make your knee not hyperextend.” Then, in our last 10 minutes, I started stepping with a bend in my left leg. Not every step. But, as Matt said, “it’s starting.”

The point of sharing this story. Never quit. Never give up. It’s almost FOUR years since my surgery. Yet I persisted and FINALLY saw a glimmer of what I was resigned couldn’t happen.

I Love Puzzles!

Very early on in my recovery, Kevin bought me some puzzles. At the time the thought process was to go for 100-200 pieces because that’s what I could handle. Down the road when I progressed we could pass them on to his young nieces.

During 2020 when I was in day rehabilitation I placed a lot of weight on being able to multitask which included listening to a book while doing a puzzle. I was frustrated at myself that I could only listen to a podcast (I’d miss too much detail with a novel) and I would get discouraged when I’d want to work on a puzzle but only get a little bit done.

Thanks to Covid I’ve had a lot of down time. I pulled out those “simpler” puzzles and was pleasantly surprised; I was having so much fun!

I stopped viewing 100-200 pieces as solely for kids. I have major mobility issues and cannot shift to work from a different angle. I also have decreased dexterity; a larger puzzle meant spending most of the time sorting tiny pieces.

And two years later I got over my false thought that multitasking equaled a novel. I’ve assessed the amount of focus and revised my approach as to what I can listen to; a podcast, memoir or nonfiction are best.

Now that I’ve found my sweet spot I really find joy in working on a puzzle.

Exploring the Term Disabled

I just read “Demystifying Disability” by Emily Ladau. I wish this was required reading for everyone. I was on page 11 of my library copy when I ordered one to own (and loan!)!

I’m not super sensitive with the terms people use and such but I do recognize, as the book hints at, how people can be easily offended. My biggest takeaways? Just ask what people prefer and don’t walk on pins and needles you may offend someone. If you say something wrong? Just apologize and move on!

I understand and am ok with, in the eyes of society, I’m disabled. Some people act like “disabled” is a horrid word; me not so much. I need the accessible stall in the bathroom, have a car placard that lets us park in accessible parking spots, and I use a mobility device, to name a few things many people don’t have to deal with in their own life.

But in my mind I’m not defined by the term disabled…I’m Logan. Mostly because for the first 30 years of my life I was not disabled. I also see, especially after reading this book, how lucky I am. Some people have other, more difficult limitations that I do not.

When I was admitted, my surgeon really under prepared me for how this would impact me. Probably for a year after my surgery when doctors or therapists would explain the length expected I incorrectly thought ok it’s hard now but I’d more easily get back to exactly how I was pre-surgery.

I still daily have bouts of being like “this isn’t fair”. But as it says in the book; “disabled lives are worth living”. So true. I’m not going to NOT continue my life because I’m now disabled. C’mon.

Though I have one qualm. The author chastises the plot of book/move Me Before You for implying life isn’t worth living with a disability. Unlike the author, the main character Will, and me, lived a whole life before being disabled. So is life not worth living? no, of course not. But is it drastically different to the point of not feeling life is worth it? I can attest this is a very real thing to process. Hopefully, like I did, a person can move past that. But what Will grapples with is realistic.

That aside, this a quick must read. Honestly this could be the best thing I’ve read.

SkyRise Chicago-Support Request

The owner of where I work out for years has suggested doing this challenge. This is the first year I’m physically capable, and was feeling confident that I could do this as a part of a team. Yes I would need help but I trust my trainers to keep me safe.

Well…in a world where so often I cannot do something because of my recovery, I suffered from severe knee pain in the Spring that made participating a total no. The whole ordeal was awful; I had to deal with an asshole of a doctor. I’m so glad to be past that but it was a painful and stressful thing in my life. I ended up getting a Cortisone shot.

While the doctor tried to say he saw wear and tear which maybe indicated need for surgery which I disagree with; I have 33 years of use including being overly hard on them with dancing so no shit they have wear and tear, I do need to not overdo it with biking and stepping.

I was therefore thrilled that SkyRise Chicago was offering a virtual option to participate! You can read more on my page, but I’m challenging myself to do a 2+ mile walk twice before November 7th.

Apparently while I was still in the hospital my parents toured Shirley Ryan and my mom said “oh yeah, this is Logan worthy.” I spent 6 weeks there and, even though I was in a horrid state, it really is an outstanding facility. There’s a reason Shirley Ryan is one of the top rehabilitation places in the country.

I’m so happy to FINALLY be in a position to give back to somewhere that really helped me out. It’s truly an honor to participate, and I please ask that you support me!

Explaining My Blogging Break

Hello! I know, I haven’t posted in two weeks. Yup. I needed to temporarily drop something/needed a digital break. I had two big things cause this need to not blog.

First of all I took a long weekend trip with Kevin and Glen to celebrate 5 (!) years together. Kevin was sweet as always, Glen was hilarious (at first he was acting like “where the hell did you bring me?”) but it was very anxiety inducing for me. Unlike my trip this summer, the house wasn’t as user-friendly. I explained here but anything outside my routine is stressful.

I discussed my unease early on with Kevin; he was very understanding and said “you’re just not there yet and that’s ok.”

Unfortunately, being away for a weekend left me feeling like I was scrambling to catch up. It took me a week and a half to feel not stressed and to get things done, even not important things like listening to podcasts. I like to be busy and I do this by spreading things out over the week, so anything different I get temporarily very stressed.

The second thing where I knew I shouldn’t force write posts was my mood; I honestly felt a lot of rage and feeling sorry for myself and I didn’t want that tone to come through in my writing.

I’m not totally better but those negative feelings are a lot more balanced with optimism and drive again.

I hope you enjoy my resumed posting!

Last Week

Last week was A WEEK. I can’t remember the last time I was so stressed. I have two immediate reactions to stress: I’m extra emotional aka anything small can bring on tears and my appetite goes away.

In times of high stress it’s very important to still keep up taking care of yourself. The #1 thing is sleep; if you don’t sleep well overnight plan a nap into your day. Eat well even if, like me, you’re not hungry. If you know a stressful time is upcoming, make and freeze healthy meals you can eat when you don’t or can’t make time to cook. Finally, keep moving. Do not reason “oh I’m busy. It’s ok I can’t workout.” NOPE. Sure you don’t have time for a full blown workout, but you can take a walk or take 10 minutes to stretch.

I’m not writing this as a way to brag but more-so to show “i’m super busy” can still equal being productive. This week I:

-Worked 11.5 hours which included 4 hours of live meetings

-2 1 hour sessions with my personal trainer

-A 1 hour session with my therapist

-A Pilates session

-Going into Hallmark

-A bike workout

-My annual gynecologist appointment

-My weekly 4 hours at my friend’s house

-Starting a blogging self study course

-Watching my 7 (yes 7) weekly shows


-Writing my blog posts for this week

What really helped me, especially with work is taking the approach of what must get done now and what can wait. I also started the week by writing a note on my phone of goals for the week that I could delete things as I accomplished them.

Any tips that help you manage a busy schedule?

Current Mood

My momma surprised me with flowers-I love flowers!

My grandma used to say “some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you.”

I’m a new Color Street nail fanatic and these have been my favorite by far.

I was very busy last week. I love being social and having plans but I came off those busy days feeling overwhelmed and run ragged.

PSL: I had to, it’s a fall staple!

So I’m saving my longer post ideas and instead putting up some lighter ones this week.

Always makin’ me laugh.

My Voice

If you follow me on Instagram you know I recently posted some videos of me pre-surgery talking. I had someone ask me if I’ve been told I’ll get my old voice back.

Here’s the thing with brain injuries. Unlike say breaking a bone, every case is different. Some people have a tumor and are in many ways how they were before; walking and talking. Some cases are like me; much more devastating and more evident after effects. Because of this no one will (or should) give me a definitive timetable. They do say, and this is consist, past progress is a good indication of future progress.

I have aphasia, a clinical term that means I comprehend totally as I did before but I communicate differently. I have worked with many speech therapists to know strategies so that my intelligibility is there, My research shows that aphasia continues to improve over years if not decades.

So yes it’s heartbreaking to not have my old voice. But the progress is pretty remarkable;I mean in January 2019 when my parents brought me to their house I was pointing to spell out words on a letter board. It’s hard to talk to people with such a slower, weird voice.

This is in no way confirmed by any sort of professional; I’m just assessing the situation logically. I thought for a while I had permanent damage to my vocal cords. After my surgery I was talking in my old voice. However, at one point I had to have a feeding tube…which I pulled out three times before they put cloth restraints on my hands.

People are like “didn’t you understand this was wrong?” No. When you’re in a state like I was, the simplest animalistic behaviors transcend any logic. I absolutely did not want to be in the hospital. So because of that I did “stupid” things, including potentially causing permanent damage.

But: when I got discharged I was on a thickened liquid diet, and had to pass a swallow test from a voice doctor to get off that. This entailed having a camera put down my throat (man the pure shit I’ve had to endure from this). The doctor said everything looked great and I passed. I would think he would have mentioned seeing any damage.

So I don’t know. I probably need to have a voice specialist do a more comprehensive look. I’m cautiously optimistic time is the true key to getting something back I’m happier with.