After two strokes, I am spending most of my time in a wheelchair. I’m practically a bionic woman. I have to be fed through a tube that has been inserted into my stomach. I can look at my left arm, which is nice, but I can’t make it do anything. I cannot see well enough to read, which is a real bore. I can eat only bits of pudding and thickened drinks like tea and coffee. Whitley reads the papers to me in the morning while I have a cup of tea so thick it has to be eaten with a spoon–and then, only in tiny bits.

This is depressing, yes, but mostly boring. Very boring. It includes a return to childhood: I pee in my diapers and have to get changed every morning; I cannot walk and am trying to learn how to do that again; I cannot read; I cannot feed myself. In other words, I’m 68 and 1 at the same time! BUT I am working hard to recover what I can of who I was.

One thing remains the same: I still have my mind. Instead of editing Whitley’s books like I used to, he reads his manuscripts aloud and I comment.

I won’t try to put a good face on my situation. It’s hard. But there is one thing that has not changed: we still have our love and companionship.

(This has been dictated to my scribe Whitley.)

26 Comments

  1. My thoughts are with you,
    My thoughts are with you, Anne. Such struggle and travail. Sending energy your way. I anticipate your recovery with all speed:

    …Now, stand with me in desert’s dark sans city-light or shine. The air is cold and dry and stark… a moment froze in time. The star field is… immense… out there, a billion points of light… bedazzling us with brilliance born from “reds” and “blues” turned bright.
    .
    …And that is but a fraction, friend, enough to halt your breath… it is the bald antithesis of darkness… even death…
    .
    A million, million points of white all glitter in peruse. They symbolize an endless time… producing me and you! They are the pressure cooker of the matter that we mind, an endless chain of living things considers it in kind.
    .
    …Now pick one star, and any star. Pick one from all the millions! The ‘space’ that star must mask from view… is a trifling, tiny smidgen. Though, expand that tiny aperture; blow it up all huge: a photograph to stop your heart—a change for all your views!
    .
    See, it’s not mere stars you’re seeing as the picture fills your eyes. It’s billions of new galaxies as “stars” to fill that sky!
    .
    These are there to honor you, to salve an errant wound, to sooth your thoughts with wondrousness… to “soar and cleave” unbound!

    █_Æ£_█

    “I cleave the heavens, and soar to the infinite. What others see from
    afar, I leave far behind me.” – Giordano Bruno

  2. It might be a nice meditation
    It might be a nice meditation to focus on what hasn’t changed: the sense of aliveness…I-am-ness, perhaps. I would suggest that while that is not graspable as a thing, it remains something that is ever present, ever constant–what is that? Forms appear in it. They are somewhat different now than they used to be. Judgments arise. Emotions. But what is this ” ” that they appear in? What is this that has always been here? Always is here, regardless of what changes in the world of form? The world of form is like a dream because the forms are so fleeting. Ever changing. Perhaps awakening is when you re-cognize the silent stillness, the aliveness, that is always there, waiting to be rediscovered. Can you allow yourself to identify with that and not with the forms? I am…that. That’s what I am… Who knows, maybe deepening your awareness of ” ” that will help you on your journey. With love and best wishes to my spiritual sister.

  3. Best wishes Anne for a full
    Best wishes Anne for a full recovery. It takes time for new neural pathways to form, and the waiting and not knowing can be very frustrating. Yes it sucks, but there is hope. And your bravery is an inspiration to many.

    Keep on dictating! It’s good to see your journal reappear.

  4. Anne, I do not believe that I
    Anne, I do not believe that I have ever thanked you for your diary entries. They are always a bright spot – sometimes making me laugh, sometimes cry, but always making me think and feel. Your scribe Whitley is doing a fine job in capturing your voice.

    Best wishes for continued healing. Sending positive thoughts to you and Whitley!

  5. Anne, for those of us in this
    Anne, for those of us in this family at Unknowncountry.com, this breaks my heart but it will get better. In some way. You and Whitley have been like third parents to me (after my divorced parents’s marriages) over the years. I consider you and Whitley and everyone else there at Unknown Country and of course all subscribers, family. I love you all. Anne, it will get better.–Stephen James Valadez

  6. This is profoundly sad and
    This is profoundly sad and profoundly beautiful in one.

    I am so glad that you have Whitley, and wish you a speedy and full recovery.

  7. LOVE you, Anne! I wish I
    LOVE you, Anne! I wish I could be there to visit and read to you, or help with anything you and Whitley need. Sending you lots of Love…you one of the strongest women on Earth, and you continue to amaze me and all of those who love and support you and Whitley. ((((((((Visualizing)))))))))))) continued physical strength as you regain the muscle memory of before….If anyone can do it, YOU can! Love to you both, Melissa Kriger

  8. Anne,
    You are the bravest

    Anne,
    You are the bravest woman I know. My wife undergoes brain surgery tomorrow and I only hope that if it is unsuccessful, that she will have the courage to continue life as you have. Live is precious and even any spark of consciousness is worth maintaining if one has the courage to do so, as long as unbearable pain does not accompany it. Our wishes for a good outcome and speedy recovery are with you.

  9. dear anne,
    so glad to hear

    dear anne,
    so glad to hear you are back on the road to recovery. i am sending you healing, strength and love. you have covered the market on courage. my sister take what you can use. i have really missed your diary. so many good things inside. you and whitley are an inspiration to me. i admire you so much.

  10. Dear Anne, Life is learning
    Dear Anne, Life is learning to live with loss, is it not? You are now a teacher. Transcending life is so simple but declining with dignity and looking it straight in the eye takes all our strength because the assaults are many and strike at our core.

    Hearing death’s footsteps fall behind us and instead of denying, turning to face him, learn his name and framing him as friend instead of enemy is eloquence in the algorithm that is life.
    Thank you for these lessons, please do not stop teaching,
    Hugs

  11. God bless you. I love you!
    God bless you. I love you!

  12. It is so good to read your
    It is so good to read your thoughts again. Keep trying to get better, I want to read you for many years to come:-)

  13. I send you light and love.
    I send you light and love. Thank you both for all the years. I am a Coastie since ’94, and await Art’s return. I hope you both are his first guests. Too bad he can’t do for you what he did for Dannion. I urge you to try Cold Laser Rolfing to help in your healing. Blessings to you both.

  14. Just saw your post…. why
    Just saw your post…. why didn’t i see it sooner? I soooo… love to read your words, Anne. And also all the comments posted. This post brought sunshine into my heart. Thank you both and each and every one who commented.

    I have known some folks who had strokes. Each handled it with the wonderful help of family and friends. Every one of them was a presence bearing gifts unexpected both to themselves, and all who encountered them.

    Your presence is as powerful as your words.

    If i could, i would give you movement, independence, grasping, touching & holding all things around you, assurance of what lies ahead, full return of speech, memory, and other areas that may still have some room to grow. However, i cannot give these things….

    In this journey, there is much for you . . . please,

    take encouragement when you need it, from the many offers in words, action, and silence.

    take joy and humor to lighten each moment, just as you have always done

    take time, wrap it around you and dwell within it’s gift

    take beauty and bask in it’s light

    take peace and be filled

    take love and let it warm you inside out

    take every open hand offered when you need it

    ask Whitley to take you on a joyride in that wheelchair and just laugh with him

  15. Glad you’re back 🙂
    Glad you’re back 🙂

  16. If I could take away your
    If I could take away your pain I would. All I can do is offer you support and encouragement.

    In my own life I have found that meditation can help cope with pain so I am glad that you still have your mind.

    I have heard that COQ10 can help recovery from strokes. Life Extension Foundation published a long article by someone who used it to help her brother recover from a severe stroke. Here is the link.

    http://www.lef.org//Magazine/2012/12/Elena-Pezzo/Page-01

    Thank you for all you have given to each one of us.

  17. It’s so good to hear from
    It’s so good to hear from you! And, so good to hear how positive you are. My grandma went through the same thing. So, I can relate. I hope you recover fast, and can go home, with that wonderful husband you have, and live happily after ever.

  18. Sending you light and love
    Sending you light and love for a speedy recovery.

  19. I’m sorry to hear about the
    I’m sorry to hear about the state of your physical body at the moment, but I hope you can recover what you can, and know that whatever the case, you have helped all of us to be better people–those people who would listen and understand. I can’t thank you (and Whitley) enough. You both have almost single-handedly made it bearable for me to stand to live on this Earth in these times.

  20. I’m sorry Anne, I know how
    I’m sorry Anne, I know how tough a stroke like that is since my father had one when he was just a few years younger than you and was paralyzed in half his body.
    Yet with really hard work and rehab he ended up being able to walk,read and live his life. Remember that the brain is an amazing thing and it will slowly start rerouting functionality and functions will start to return. At his funeral 10 years later, the vast majority of people who had known him for a few years never even knew he had had a stroke !!

    God bless you and Whitley and know that my prayers and good wishes are with you both.

  21. Anne, it’s so good to see
    Anne, it’s so good to see this message from you. When Whitley first notified us of your stroke, I couldn’t help but think of my own wife and to be in Whitley’s situation. The pain and the terror of wondering if the love of your life will still be with you tomorrow.

    So fight, Anne. Fight for yourself to see more of this miraculous world and on the days when you’re too tired to fight for yourself, you fight for Whitley.

  22. Dear Anne,
    I saw a mum go

    Dear Anne,

    I saw a mum go through something like this. Everything was a marathon effort, in amongst the hardship i could her her laugh at the situation. My heart goes out to You and Whitley.

  23. What an example you are,
    What an example you are, Anne. May God bless you, and Whitley, in your journeys.

  24. I am so sorry to hear about
    I am so sorry to hear about this. My thoughts and prayers are with you. We all know about the power of prayer 🙂

  25. You are truly a wonder,
    You are truly a wonder, woman! I have always enjoyed and looked forward to your interviews and writing, amazing insights, unique and instructive perspective on things. Thank you~
    Blessed be, dear~

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