A blog because when you almost lose your life you want to share it.



Originally, www.katherinewolf.info was created to be a place for compiling all of the various information on the internet after the day of my stroke.  (It was created by a sweet guy back South, who I didn’t even know!)  After about 9 months of him gathering info from other places (facebook groups, my mom’s original blog, church newsletters, etc.), I began writing my own updates on my CaringBridge site, and it became a way to not only share new information with others but also a cathartic means of coping with my new reality.  I realized that I liked putting this “new normal” on display for the world to see.  I think other people can learn from my life just as I am learning.  It felt good to write then, and it still does now.  I like to think that much is being gained by all that I have lost.  This new website is just the original site in a 2.0 version.

 

I never, ever thought I would blog–“it’s just not me”, I thought.  Yet, on my previous websites, I had more hits each day than I could begin to understand.  There were/are people reading my writings in around 140 countries.  It’s nuts!  “Why do people care?”, I often wonder.  I am overwhelmed that people are still interested in me 3 Years Later. It is a deep blessing to share my life with anyone who still follows.  I hope that in some way, what I share here can speak to you, wherever you are in your life.  Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Why blog? Because a handicapped body does not equal a handicapped life. My injury was in 2008; now, it is 2011.  A lot has happened since then.  I’m still dealing with a crazy amount of deficits, but that occupies only about 60% my time.  I want to write about the other 40% as well.  My life looks very different than I thought it would at this age, but that does not mean it is not a beautiful life.  I am so much more than my injury and a website about me should reflect that.  I believe nothing in life is wasted, and I want to show the world that a wonderful life is possible even when you can’t do {BLANK} anymore.  I believe that faith, hope, prayer and attitude will carry you through just about anything in life, oh, and a really good medical team, oh, and also large amounts of dark chocolate, of course.

 

My message is two-fold:


~ We cannot control what happens to us in this life.  Control over anything is just an illusion.  What we do have control over is our RESPONSE to what happens to us.

 

~ Celebrate life anyway, EVEN if it isn’t how you thought it would be.  Expectations can destroy the potential for a wonderful, though different, future experience.  Enjoy life regardless.

 

So I share that message through this season because Hope is healing me…Every. Single. Day

There are four categories that my postings will fit into:

Hope While You Cope

This section is dedicated to my on-going recovery.  I still have severe double vision, and I cannot drive or see everything completely normally as a result.  The right side of my face is totally paralyzed, and I have already had several radical surgeries to work on this so that I will be able to smile and speak and eat more easily.  I walk with a cane now, but because my balance is completely impaired (due to the removal of over half my cerebellum–which controls balance and coordination), it is very slow and with great difficulty, but thankfully, I do not fall too often.  I can eat again–thank you Lord!–but it’s extremely slow and things often go down the wrong pipe.  I can speak again, much more intelligibly than even a year ago, but my voice gets tired easily and because of the facial paralysis and numbness, it is often very hard to articulate as well as I would like.  I have no fine motor coordination in my right hand (thankfully, I have two hands) and for instance right now, I’m typing this with my left hand only.  I’m in full-time therapy, and I have seen a doctor at almost every department in my hospital.  The updates under this category will be my prayer needs and the details of my continuing process of healing.

Too Blessed to be Bitter

This section is my points of gratitude on steroids!!!  It is so important for me to stay grateful and deeply thankful for all of the incredible blessings in my life; perspective is key.  If I was thankful when life was easy, how could I not also respond in gratitude when things are tough?  I will continue to be thankful in the midst of this dark storm for everything that has been graciously given to me and maybe more importantly for all the things that have not happened to me.  There is real power in gratitude, especially when you are not “out of the woods” yet.  I am deeply impaired AND still deeply blessed.  Today.

Heal in Your Home

This section is a desire I have to share so many facets of my recovery at home that others can learn from.  From home décor to diet, I’ve seen the power of your space and how you treat your body in the “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL’s as we say in therapy) to be crucial to recovery.  Studies are continuing to show that people who are happy in the logistics of their lives and homes heal better, which makes sense.  Studies also show that people who are surrounded by soothing colors and peaceful settings heal faster–wait ‘til you see pictures of our little house…quite soothing I must say.  (My husband is an attorney by day and new-found designer by night.  He even has an online shop where he sells his vintage finds (he has a great eye—http://www.etsy.com/shop/hopehealshome.)

Don’t Wait to Celebrate

This section is dedicated to how I celebrate everything in my life.  Not just the big, special events but also the everyday gatherings and impromptu fetes.  We eat good food, throw great parties, and listen to good music.  We host our friends anytime we can–we feed/host/enjoy having them over constantly!  Why not, especially considering all they have celebrated in our lives?  “Life is short, eat dessert first”!  (LOVE THAT!)  We are total foodies who love serving up good grub to our buddies.  My husband has become quite the chef, and I’m his trusty one-handed sous-chef.  It’s really fun.  I reject the notion that you need the perfect life to entertain.  Look at me!

Hope Heals?  Yes, I believe that having hope heals us all.  However, the truth is that people get terrible prognoses and suffer horrible indignities; they never get a day better after their tragedy, and then, they might die far too soon–EVEN if they have Hope.  What I mean by “Hope Heals” is that Hope will heal you because Hope makes you better in many more senses than just the physical sense, predominantly hope heals your soul.  Hope allows you to see that this is not the end of the story.  The perspective of Hope is a game changer.  It brings “healing” in whatever form it may come.  I don’t subscribe to that whole ideology of “putting positive energy out into the universe to receive positive energy back”.  Case in point, I was putting a lot of positive energy into the universe on April 21, 2008, and the universe bounced back at me with a brain stem stroke and 40 days on life support at 26 years old.  Hello!

 

Nonetheless, our attitudes, positive or negative, do affect our decisions and our relationships and how we view life, all of which make up who we are. Those negative/positive attitudes do NOT equal an automatic outcome (for instance, good attitude = good healing), but those attitudes certainly create a net effect on the very basic elements that form our lives.  My journey has been focused on clinging, with every ounce of strength, with every breath I take, to this Hope.  I have found physical healing over these past four years, though it has not been everything that I desired for it to be, but more importantly, I have found healing deep, deep in my soul, and I pray that you will find it too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *