[present] the state of things: 5/25/2011

*i'm going to be jumping between past experiences and real-time updates, hence the bracketed [present] and [past] notations you will be seeing in the titles of my posts. make sense? k, good. let's begin... :]*

it has been quite a while since i shared my last update on how my recovery is going. the radio silence is mostly due to the fact that this stage of my recovery is pretty unexciting. when my mom was first updating facebook, things were changing every day and much was unknown. later, she recorded the progress i was making on a daily basis. since coming home from the hospital at the end of March, the steep slope of improvement has leveled off a bit. that's not to say i haven't made huge steps, but it has just been a bit more gradual.

if you've been following my progress, you know that my right side was completely flacid at first, and when i started getting movement back, my leg responded better than my arm. now, mr. arm has made a comeback, tortoise and the hare style! i just recently completed my 7th and final week of occupational therapy. my awesome therapist, Cherie, discharged me and said that time and practice will return my arm and hand back to normal. all my arm/hand/shoulder muscles work and i can control them rather well. now i just have to continue to strengthen them, refine my fine motor abilities (i.e. writing!) and work on breaking up the spasticity in my pec and shoulder by stretching and getting massages.
as for señor leg, he is being stubborn. while my hip on down to my knee is working fine, everything below is taking more time. what i can do is flex my ankle up. yay! because of the crazy spasticity in my tibial muscle and foot, my foot turns in still and inhibits any other range of motion. i am getting better at walking, even though i can't yet use my ankle properly. i ditched my cane a week ago (his name is Melvin...i'll introduce him later) and now walk with my AFO (ankle-foot orthotic brace) only. i nearly fall over sometimes, but it's getting better and feels more and more normal.

on the tumor side of things, i had an MRI today and will follow up with my surgeon next week to see if there has been any regrowth...which there
won't be, right? i had some bad experiences with MRIs in the hospital, but the one today went surprisingly well (minus the Nickleback song that came on around minute 15. gag.).

with my 24th birthday tomorrow, i am just so thankful to not only be alive, but to be improving at a solid pace. it has been only 3 months and four days since my stroke and less than 3 months since my surgery, and i have already regained so much of my movement. the rest will come, i know it. in the next year, i plan to:

- be able to move all the muscles in my body

- move back to the Phoenix area
- be back to (or at least close to being back to) playing softball
- walk and run on the beach
- take my dad up on his offer to take troy and me to any baseball game of our choice (!!!!!)
- keep tumors out of my brain
- not waste my time in finding and doing what brings me and others joy
- extend myself to serve others more and share my testimony of the healing power of Jesus Christ

i've got a lot to accomplish. but i'm excited. and i'm excited to be here and to improve myself through this refining process. bring on year 25.


  1. Oh twinzie, you are so fantastic. I am so glad I can now read about your progress and not have to get it through the grapevine of people :) :) I love you and am so inspired by your strength and testimony! It was SO good seeing you on Sunday

  2. That's awesome. You're awesome Ashley. Much <3's your way my dear. I'll continue my prayers for you!

  3. ashley i love this! will obsessively watch for updates!

  4. You're incredible and i love you! Thanks for writing Ash!

  5. You are such a wonderful example Ashley! I know that you will be able to accomplish all your goals! Thank you for sharing everything!

  6. I love the name of your blog...quite inventive and quite Ashee. I know you are my younger sis, but I have always looked up to you! I admire your faith and determination. Can't wait to read what you have to post. Love you! :)

  7. thank you, my wonderful friends and awesome sis! it helps knowing people want to read what i have to say. thanks to many of you for setting a good blogging example for me!