Twenty Below.

When I am able to sleep, and wake up normally, my morning starts off with my alarm going off at 5:30 am, Monday through Friday, and 6:30 am on Saturdays. I get to work an hour later and my day begins my lifting boxes of coin, counting cash, greeting customers, and working a typical 12 hour shift at a bank. I love my job and the day it brings. I love the hard work I am able to endure, and I love the challenges that I face, because everyday, when I have a moment to myself, when no one is at our branch and we have no customers, I take a moment to look out our massive twenty-foot bullet proof glass window onto traffic, and I reminisce onto the times when I couldn’t walk.

I look back and I think about when I wanted to sit in my favorite spot of the bed and lay down. I think back onto the times when the Doctors at Dallas told me I would have lost my life and my condition was extremely serious. I think back onto those times because I am thankful for the times I have right now. The hours I work and the aggressiveness I have within me to continue working and pursing my dreams to continue the climb. Success means a lot to me, and in my mind, it’s all just checkpoints in my life. The more checkpoints I reach in my life, the more emotional my reminiscing gets for me..  
The worsening of my Sensory Seizures, Todd’s Pareses, and Right Sided Weakness has made me seriously consider the surgical implantation of a Dorsal Column Simulator in spine, which is basically a Tens Unit but its under the skin, and I’m not sure if the risks will outweigh the benefits for someone of my age.

“Really Brittany? How are you putting in 35 hours of overtime and still walking around? Is this how you are losing all this weight??” My thoughts are then interrupted by a quick conversation.. I started thinking and It’s hard to not let yourself get overwhelmed with this sense of self pride and think, like, ‘Yes, I finally made it. I am climbing my mountains edge to reach its peak and so far.. I climbing it strong.’ A co worker and I got to talking and I let them know how I got started on a routine of seizure medicine after receiving the EEG testing, 25 pounds later, here I am, standing healthier, more energetic, at the gym regularly just as before, but honestly, the weight came off quicker with the seizure medicine in my system. Did I enjoy the side effects and the extreme tingling that woke me up in the middle of the night? No, it hurt. It takes adjusting and it still hurts and bothers me to this day, but hopefully one day it will adjust to my body and Ill be able to move forward to a place when I will be able to cope and deal and look past the pain.

It’s a daily struggle to cope emotionally. I look back and I am so grateful for the support system I had in place. I am thankful for how calm I was when I began to realize I was actually having a stroke and I can’t believe I coached a drunk person into driving a car through traffic to get me to the ER. I look at my life and the changes I have made and the progression of life and my accomplishments and I remind myself to smile and be proud.

I still ask myself why it hurts. There is a celebration and beauty behind so much struggle when you realize what a person has been through. No one would even know what someone has even gone through without print and that’s why I continue to share my story, and although I don’t share as often as I would like to, I will never quit. My moments, and my journey through my process is always an open book.  I write to share that there is a continuing light to follow on your path of healing, and you can read about mine here.  Although at times I find myself struggling to find the accomplishments I’ve made, I come back here to see how far I’ve come, and I come here to show myself my journey, and I remind myself that I made it through those days in rehab and those nights alone in the hospital as well, and I plan on sharing those great memories and lessons with my readers, just as I have done today.

Clocking in an average 130 hours every 2 weeks. I am a stroke survivor who can come home after a 12 hour work day and not collapse into a bed. I can get dressed and continue onto my day, head to the gym, get a good work out, and you can too. Continue on with your journey, whatever you may be going through, focus on the next checkpoint, one foot in front of the other, even if we need a cane in hand, Get there.

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