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    Seeing myself as a victim not survivor
    deborah163 posted:
    Hi my name is Deborah and I had a stroke at age 31 in 2001 on Christmas eve. My children were 5 and 8 and I was a single parent and sole provider for my two angels. Due to my age, no one thought it was a stroke until 3 days later. I lost the ability to read, retain memories and write. I had a drop right foot and a droop in my face. Because of my age, they told me I would completely recover and did not offer me any rehabilitation services, support services or disability. I had no advocate and could not process anything, except to say I was ok. Thank god for my boss, who allowed me to return to work and, even though he was not patient, continued to work with me and taught me a lot of ways to cope with my disabilities. 6 months after the stoke I realized I was not ok and could only find support from other young stroke victims online. [br>[br>Originally, I took the job to finishing my degree in English to become a teacher. 2 years after the stroke I registered for online classes and realized I could not do it, I lost so much and saw had no future. I begged for cognitive therapy through the NJ Brain Injury association and received it for only 6 months, which no longer exists due to NJ budget cuts. They were not interested in making me, me again, just a productive member of society, which I was deemed capable of doing without their help. 3 years after the stroke I was put on anti anxiety/depression medication and 12 years after the stroke I started having seizures from the original incident. I still feel more like a victim then a survivor. I hope to one day associate myself completely to being a survivor.[br>[br>After reading Jill Bolte Taylors book "My stroke of Insight" I have a more positive out look on life and I recommend her TED talk for everyone located online at Please check this out. She had a stroke and has a very unique story to share and a positive outlook. It helps so much to hear a different perspective. [br>[br>I am back in school and completing my last class prior to receiving my my Bachelors degree with a focus on Accounting. I changed directions and found a future for me since the seizure setback. I am researching rehabilitation and recovery for stroke patients. I am so fascinated in this subject, probably due to the lack of assistance I received and how much it has changed on the last 15 years. I welcome your stories, experiences and thoughts on the subject regardless of where you are in process. [br>[br>I posted an anonymus survey at
    Please feel free take my short 10 question survey for my project or if you are willing to participate in an interview I would love you to share your story, again anonymously.

    Otherwise, I am here to to listen, an not use any your information toward my project, just because their are so many people that allowed me to vent and share process my frustration with them. It really helps to speak to others that truly understand, not just try to understand. Having a stroke is so much more complicated and no two strokes are the same. I had a stroke, I am still here and it has shaped who I have become, but it is not my entire identity. Learning that, allowed me to see a future and want everyone affected by a stroke to have the hope and not lose it like I did for a very long time.

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