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  • Writer's pictureJenn

Handmade Hiatus - Six Months In

Updated: Feb 14

The universe seems to want me to pivot, all the damn time. If you've followed my social media, you'll know I had a setback back in March, which we thought was a mini stroke. The outpouring of support and words of encouragement has meant a lot to me, and indeed helped put some wind beneath my wings. I have an update, and it is weird.

It's been six months, several tests and several scans, and so far we know...what it's not. It wasn't a MS, or a mini stroke, or a reaction to medication, or 'red tide' algae, or a jellyfish sting. For 6 hours, I had full body paralysis, which came after swimming in the Pacific ocean, and which dissipated quickly after the 6 hours. The whole time, I was completely aware of what was happening, but I was looking through a tunnel. Terrifying, yes. In the moment, my heart was pounding so hard, I thought I was having a heart attack. In Mexico! Jesus! My eyes stayed tethered to Rob's by an imaginary cord when we were in the ambulance, and it felt like I had to grip onto consciousness with my eyeballs. Grip I did, fearful that if I moved my eyes, I'd slip under, for the worst, and....Mama ain't got time for that. We laughed our way through the ordeal because the absurdity + fear were too much.

Outsmarting the afterlife for a second damn time

After it subsided, I was left with dizziness, headaches, brain fog, and buckling legs, which remained for months. The doctors and physiotherapists told me to be patient, put in the work, and eventually I 'should' be back to normal. Measuring progress week over week, month over month, I am finding way less dizziness, less dependence on a walker or cane, and less headaches. Honestly, it's a mind game right now, finding motivation for just about everything. I remind myself to allow rest, rest, rest. It's a brain injury, after all. I thought I had brain fog before this?! Hold my beer.

These two getting me through tough times with love and giggles. They ARE the best medicine.

I'll be real. It suuuucks having your goddess of a vessel put through the ringer again and again and again. But at the same time, I'm immediately grateful that after all this, I am still feeling the sun on my face, and laughing, and eating good food, and loving my family. I like to believe that it wasn't a coincidence that this was the night sky on our way home in March after that trip gone horribly wrong, but a little celestial 'welcome home, warrior.'

Aurora Borealis on Highway 11, March 23 2023

We are a damn resilient bunch who find a little magic wherever we go.

Rob and I squeezed in a paddle at the end of summer once my dizziness subsided

As for Canoes and Creativity, I'm still on indefinite hiatus from woodworking. However, you all must know my motto by now: living with chronic health issues can be incredibly difficult, but it's also possible to lead a productive and meaningful life. We've been renting on the lake, now in our third year, and I tell you, healing alongside water is a chef's kiss. Maybe it's a good thing to not have found our forever home just yet?

Over the winter and spring, I found something to keep me busy, which I'll share in my next blog post. Stick around, it's nifty!


Handmade Hiatus: Six Months In


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