Wednesday, May 28, 2014


First of all, I will tell all of you who guessed correctly on my last post, congrats. You admiration. It is The Secret Garden. For those who haven’t read the book, I have a very abridged version, as I am sure your library does. Or watch the movie. Not the one from the 70s. It just doesn’t follow the book.
I finally got my hair cut. Finally. Saturday, at the NOPW wrap party. I don’t do long hair. I also don’t like to complain, so let’s just say that’s the only donation I can ever make. In other news, there is new movement in my right hand. Yes, after 18 months. I also owe some answers to some people.
 “What is the most frustrating thing when having a conversation with others that you wish they didn’t do?” – Katherine Loffing
It is annoying when people who know how to communicate with me don’t. 
“If marrying a Wilson was the second best thing you’ve ever done, what was the first?” – Liv Schmidt and Anonymous The best decision I have made has been to trust that something good will come of this craziness.
“Have you looked into acupuncture? – Paula Schmitz
We are actually exploring the idea now.
“Do you remember all the fun shenanigans we had when we worked together? – Julie Miller
I remember everything.
“Do you make Kelsey give you foot rubs? What’s it like having my wife work for you?” – Derek Jamison
You and I both know, for entirely different reasons, how she detests feet. What do you think? Exactly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week Off

I am technically taking this week off because of NOPW. But since I love all of you so much, I couldn’t. Who can guess which novel inspired the d├ęcor in my bedroom? No, Aunt Sally, you can’t play. I just now told Chris, because he will help by taking photos. Stay tuned for the answer next week. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I can't identify with people like I used to. I just can't. I don't feel like I fit in with the non-injured as a whole, however hard they may try. I also cannot relate to people who are permanently disabled because I'm not. The closest I've come to a sense of belonging has been through NOPW. My dear friend Amy had a stroke at only 24. When she was able to eat again, she wanted an orange Popsicle®. And yes, the word Popsicle® is registered. And owned by Unilever. So we are NOPW, which stands for National Orange use your imagination Week. I'm the Nazi who kept saying no to the use of the word Popsicle®. By “saying no” I mean shaking my head vigorously while breaking out in hives. There will be a variety of events throughout the week of May 18–24 including the dying of the J.C. Nichols fountain orange, because no one has registered the fruit or the color...yet. Some joking aside, the main event will be Saturday, May 24. Want more details? Check NOPW's Facebook page and like it. Go to and buy a shirt or two, all while considering the fact that I had a little something to do with the design. Also while on the site, you should buy lots of raffle tickets. I'm serious. Make it rain tickets somewhere. This year, the funds we raise will go to the Falling Forward Foundation. And hi, Barb. Thanks for going to the party.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Answers - Part 2

*Note from Alison, via Chris: There are two more questions that she will get to as soon as she can.

What would you want us to know so we could help those with disabilities who cannot advocate for themselves? - Ed & Consi
I would say to treat us just like normal people all while making sure we have what we need. I shouldn't say “us” or “we” when referring to certain groups because I didn't ask anyone else. And yes, I know it is difficult.

What do you remember about the early days right after the stroke? When did you first understand that it was a stroke? What do you think others who suffer a stroke would want friends and family to say and do when visiting the stroke survivor? - Aunt Sally

I had a lot of extremely vivid dreams, so I can't begin to discern what was real and what wasn't. I kind of hope you can help. I sort of had a dream/memory in which my two maternal aunts visited me in St. Luke's with flowers from my house in Brookside. I also had a dream in which my attic was fixed up as another bedroom and I was physically ready to work within two weeks of the stroke. Speaking of which, I don't remember thinking it was anything else. And your response was pitch-perfect. Yes, pun intended. My sweet aunt has a doctorate in music education. Is it Aunt Dr. or Dr. Aunt?

What parts of your days bring you most joy now? How has your view of God/relationship with him changed (if at all)? - Allison Wollenhaupt

Anything that breaks up my days, like when a friend stops by or sends a letter/card/bouquet...or an email. As for God, He is so much bigger than I can comprehend, brain-damaged or not.

I have two questions: 1) what is the most surprising thing about stroke recovery (surprising good or surprising bad) and 2) would you ever consider writing a book? - Erica Short

I have been shocked by how much time has elapsed. Entire people have been made and in terms of development, surpassed me in some ways. And yes.

Since I am a foodie...did having the stroke change the way any of your favorite foods taste? - Dee Foreman
No, and it is both a blessing and a curse.

What surprising things have you learned about yourself since the stroke, good or bad? How has your stroke affected your relationship with God? How has your stroke affected your relationship with Chris? - Jenny

I have gotten to be a lot more patient with others and myself and with God. If anyone out there has access to mind-reading equipment, I'd like to borrow it. I can't do anything and have had to relinquish control. Chris says I am not a burden, but I'm not so sure.

How has the stroke affected your marriage and relationships with other relatives and friends? - Crystal Lewis

Why does it feel like I just answered this question? Just kidding. Completely. I can't cook or eat or eat out. This, in and of itself, has completely altered my social life. It's funny how others treat me. Some are comfortable with me, 100 percent. Others are half-and-half, while other people are uncomfortable as can be. What I have learned is it isn't about who loves me most. It's about who is simply at ease.