Here, I interview author Erica Tucci about life after stroke and her healing journey. It is my delight to welcome Erica to www.HealingCFSME.com.
Erica's story can be found in her book, Radiant Survivor.
The book is not only about life after stroke, but includes stories of healing from 14 other people who have lived within and sometimes beyond
chronic illness, or other life challenges, including abuse.
I have read the book and recommend it. The book is uplifting and inspiring. The authors do not go through illness and trauma with a constant smile. They are honest about the difficulties they encounter along the way and inspiring in the way they meet those difficulties.
I (Katherine T Owen) am honoured to have contributed a section to the book Radiant Survivor on Finding Self Worth in a Time of Illness.
I asked Erica some questions on life after stroke. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Katherine T Owen:
Erica, you talk in your book about how in your life after stroke you have been interested in asking Why? You believe that identifying the stroke cause assists your alternative healing journey.
In looking for the cause of the stroke, did you ever fall into the trap of self blame?
No, I didn’t really blame myself, per se. But, I do believe in karma, so I do feel that having a stroke was something I may have created in my life.
To put things into perspective, my stroke was caused by a physical hole in my heart that allowed a blood clot to pass through and land in my brain. Two years before my stroke, I had a past-life regression that showed me as a showgirl dancing on stage (fascinating that I was a ballet dancer in my current life!).
As I watched myself performing, I noticed a gaping hole where the dancer’s heart was (a symbolic hole, so to speak). Maybe if I had paid more attention to that regression experience and to the frequent heart flutter I had in my current life, I would have had my heart checked and could have avoided the stroke. But as it is, I had the stroke and although it has been a difficult journey, I feel in my life after stroke I am a better person because of all that I have learned from it.
Katherine T Owen:
Have you found any gifts in suffering? Is life after stroke better for you in any way?
And, so as to give a grounded response for the readers, can you talk about any frustrations due to physical disability caused by the stroke?
First, I’ll talk about the frustrations caused by physical disabilities.
Yes, it has been frustrating to be limited to what I can do by my disability, to remember all that I used to do, especially taking salsa and zumba classes.
But I feel I will fully heal over time and believe that I will be able to resume my dance classes. In fact, I plan on returning to ballet lessons as part of my continued rehab because it will help retrain my muscles to work like they did before. I am fortunate to still have a lot of strength and flexibility from my years of ballet training (nothing that we do in our lives is for naught!).
Feel your feelings
The emotions, whatever they are should never be ignored. Instead, allow them to run their course and play themselves out. If you have to shed a few tears or even if you have a deluge, it’s OK. If you have fits of anger, it’s OK! Just be sure not to hurt anything or anyone, including yourself. Instead, how about grabbing a pillow and screaming into it? It works wonders!
Now, “how is life better for you?” Oh my gosh, it is better in so many ways.
I feel that my stroke was a gift from the heavens for what I have learned. It has taught me what is really important in life:
Note from Katherine T Owen, author of this healing website:
It's so hard to suddenly find yourself unable to look after yourself due to chronic pain or illness.
But one of the possible gifts of illness is that we can get better at asking for and receiving help from others.
You deserve to receive the care you need. Please accept it when it is offered.
Click through for more about skills we need in a time of illness.
Katherine T Owen:
'Never Giving Up' is a chapter heading in your book.
How important is this attitude in healing from a stroke? In your life after stroke, is perseverance a quality you continue to need? And if so, in what ways?
In hard times, there will always be those instances where you just want to “throw in the towel” and give up. But I feel that giving up is NOT an option.
Perseverance and fortitude can make you a stronger, better person than before your ordeal. It shows that you love yourself enough that you WANT to live your life to its fullest, in spite of any trauma you are faced with.
I have always been one to persevere in my life (which I learned from my parents), and have worked hard during my rehabilitation so I can fully heal.
HOWEVER, perseverance hasn’t been just
about working hard in physical therapy rehabilitation.
For me, the most difficult challenge has been to surrender and let go and let GOD. It’s been about having total faith that the Higher Power will help heal my body…that I DON’T have to do it alone.
My massage therapist has a wonderful
plaque above his massage table that says “The Power that Created the Body Can
Heal the Body.”
So very true!
And we must have faith in this belief. Having this kind of perseverance is what gets us through the worst of times.
The final stretch of my recovery has
been a rough journey because I was very controlling before my stroke…trying to
control every aspect of my life.
Having to relinquish that control, knowing that I don’t have total control, has been a daunting task. It has taken A LOT of faith and a lot of perseverance to do so.
But I am learning to surrender and thus, moving closer and closer to full recovery. Before you know it, I will be back in my dance classes and loving it!
Katherine T Owen:
Erica, thank you so much for being with us today.
I join you in seeing you healed and whole, knowing that HEALTH is our essence in truth, no matter our level of physical healing.
I know you join me in sharing this vision for myself and all those who visit this page.
Move from Life After Stroke to the home page of HealingCFSME.com