Heading to iHop

Going to iHop upon coming back from my rehabilitation was one of the most overwhelming experiences I could ever possibly imagine.  I went with almost my entire family and believe me they were excited to see me home.  Upon coming home all my friends cleaned up my entire house to include my yard, inside my house and everything in between.  It was definitely an exciting time and after all of this rehab and being away from home for a few weeks I was just happy to be alive and happy to be home sleeping in my own bed.  If there is one thing that I do have is an amazing support system.

When I got home the first place we went as a family was iHop.  You talk about overwhelming.  The average person would never understand the amount of instructions that your brain processes in a single second.  Think about when you walk into an iHop on a Sunday.  Its most likely packed with tons of people stopping in with family after church or coming in to fix that hangover.  You have a full staff and tons of people moving around and your senses are picking up on all of this.  Sight, smell, peripheral vision, movements, you walking through the restaurant  and so on.  You’d never imagine how all of this works and to experience it and understand it is quite fascinating.  Your brain does all of this automatically and you as a person never really think about it.  We all take it for granted.  For some who have a brain injury it may truly scare them but for me I try and view these experiences for what they are.  Experiencing something new for the 2nd time.  Its almost like being a 2 year old and being brought into these situations for the first time.  At the end of the day it was extremely overwhelming and believe me I followed my wife ever so closely.  Once I experienced this situation for the “first time” again I definitely realized the point behind a lot of the physical therapy that I went through.  I often asked myself during physical therapy…..why am I doing this, why am I doing that.  It often seemed a little silly although I was usually motivated and stayed with the program.  But at this time in the middle of iHop it came full circle and I began to understand the “whys” and the “hows”.  My physical therapist would often put me in the most awkward positions and made me do what I considered odd things that often made me feel uncomfortable or leveraged multiple senses or abilities at the same time..  The reality was when I encountered these situations my physical therapy helped me to be prepared so I could handle these situations  appropriately. I always referred to my physical therapist as a Jedi Master and it turns out he actually was a Jedi Master.  He trained me well and due to that training I was able to adapt to scary situation quite well even though these situations felt overwhelming.

To this day I still encounter these situations often.  Whether its at work, at the store, on the street or in the woods I constantly have to adapt, be extra aware of my surroundings and look both ways 3 times when crossing the street just to be extra sure I don’t get hit by a car.  I often get a little dizzy but this is my new reality and I just need to keep on keepin on.  iHop continues to be a weird stop with all its moving parts but I continue to make it a part of life and not let it overwhelm me too much as I do with everything else.

I’ll continue to post these experiences so you as my readers have a little insight into what its like to be a stroke survivor and an AVM survivor.  Feel free to post some questions or comments.

About Adventures in the Burbs (72 Articles)
I'm now considered a survivor. A survivor of what you may ask? For my entire life I have been a walking time bomb due to a visitor embedded in my brain called an AVM, or an Arteriovenous Malformation. I never actually knew I had it. My story of survival is so improbably and spectacular that it is worthy of an entire book in itself. I may have a post in here somewhere on my blog that covers it. In the end I’ve survived a brain hemorrhage, brain surgery and I’ve been left with Epilepsy and Left Side Neglect. Believe it or not, Left Side Neglect has been nothing less than a fascinating experience although I don’t recommend it for the feeble or weak minded. In the end that time bomb exploded yet I’m still here to put my adventures up on this blog and I will never let my survivor experience hold me back from life. Although I’m now considered a “Survivor”, throughout life I have been many things and it seems I have assumed many different identities along the way. For me life has been a zigzagging adventure woven with change and that change has always been good. I’m truly blessed as my life has been nothing short of amazing and my cup has always been overflowing even in the worst of times. I’ve had a good family, good friends, excellent mentors along the way and an amazing wife. Wonder if she will actually ever read this?? I’ve been a musician, a dishwasher, a pizza maker, a break-dancer, a skateboarder, a long haired metal head, a United States Marine, a husband, a father to many, a technologist, a college student, an adventure racer, a businessman, a manager, a leader, a crisis manager, a Harley Davidson enthusiast, a wannabe bourbon connoisseur, an amateur RV’er, an amateur blogger, an amateur writer, an amateur photographer, a thinker, a doer, a traveler, a wannabe digital nomad, an adventurer, and a remote worker. So as you can see I’ve maintained just a few identities….but what’s in an identity anyway. I know my identity as a “survivor” will not sum up my existence nor define me as a person. My name is Will and I am all of those identities listed above and then some. Hopefully you will join me on my journey. Do take Care, Will

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