Wednesday, July 08, 2015

12 Years + Counting

Pamela Hsieh
Rehab Revolution
07 July 2015

Every year, my “strokiversary” rolls around as though it were a ninja -- swiftly, quietly. Behind the scenes.

The one exception to this is a couple of years ago when I anticipated the big one-oh and signed up for The Color Run: I was happy to hear that the event was open to walkers as well as runners, and I rented a GoPro and strapped it onto Anthony’s forehead so I could document the experience.

The good news is I’ve recently succeeded in reaching a self-imposed consistency challenge goal: releasing weekly Style Tip Tuesday videos for my jewelry biz -- which means I’ve somewhat undergone a crash course in video editing. So I’m working on a video for you in honor of my strokiversary, and I would love to complete it within seven days (seven days within 7/7!).

I have a confession to make. In 2008, I started my memoir. When I began this blog two years later, I really wanted to offer a resource for survivor-thrivers where they could look for ideas and therapies, and most importantly, find community to lift each other’s spirits up in a way only other survivors can.

But in order to do so, I had to make myself more visible. So that the Rehab Revolution movement could truly take off and reach the people who needed it most, I had to become seen. (I’m going to explore the concept of “being seen” in more detail within the next week.) I’m sure any stroke survivor reading my words right now can relate to the fears that often accompany physically being seen by the world -- as well as emotionally -- and it’s important not to forget that I’m right there beside you.

Some of you reading these words right now may have just had a stroke a month ago, or a year ago, or perhaps more time ago, or less. I simultaneously want you to know that a) you’re not alone in your experience, and b) now that it’s been 12 years, I’ve had a lot of time and opportunity to give me the “street cred” to guide you along the way. I’m living the reality of surviving from a debilitating stroke that ground my life to a screeching halt at the age of 19, and because I know I’m bigger than some brain injury, and because I’m blessed with an expressive voice, I’m willing to hold myself up to a new standard, and to help advocate for those who come after me.

This new standard means I’d like to step up in a greater way so I can serve you. I want to inspire those who experience the total upheaval and intensity of a stroke so that they know that life doesn’t end there. Those who came before me (like Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor) have given me the same gift, and I want to provide that for those who came beside me, and those of you who will come after me.

Here’s a surprise for you. I’ve hinted at this on my Facebook page -- so if you were anxious to find out what’s coming, here’s the Official Announcement:

[video here]

I’m not super techy, so I don’t know how long it will take me to transfer everything over to the new address, but I’m hiring some people who know what they’re doing.

The new website should be under construction for a little bit, but in the meantime, you can still contact me on the Facebook page (I’m changing the name on there, but the address will stay the same) or e-mail me at (That address will remain dedicated to my oldest, loyalest readers.) I’m not super certain whether my original content will remain at this URL, though. (I’ll make sure to get the right team of people to get the answers to any of your questions.)

I’m working diligently to come up with a plan for how I can better serve you in the near, near future -- there are a lot of ideas, and I’m bubbling over in excitement. You can expect a multimedia experience, from a stronger social media presence, to regular blog content, to videos, to podcasts, livestreams, and more!

Tomorrow I begin a six-week blog challenge, so you’ll definitely see much more of me very, very soon. Looks like year 12 is a pivotal one for me! I’m declaring this week #StrokiversaryWeek, so we can explore the mixed emotions, feelings, memories, and experiences that often come together on this date.

What do you usually do on your strokiversary? Leave it in a comment!

To our healing,

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