Left Neglected

We hope everyone had a relaxing Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada. Our latest post is a book review from Charlotte.  Enjoy!

Since I like to read a lot, I have another book to recommend to you all.  Left neglected is the story of Sarah Nickerson and her high power life which is suddenly turned upside down following a car accident.left neglected

The title of the story refers to “left neglect”, a condition that affects the right side of the brain, following a stroke, aneurysm, or brain injury.  It causes the person to essentially “neglect” everything on their left side.  They are unable to perceive anything on the left side of their body, from arms and legs to facial expressions.  The author, Lisa Genova, has a PhD in neuroscience which is really put to good use in explaining the intricacies of dealing with life after such a traumatic event.

Sarah Nickerson has the life she always wanted.  She climbed her way up the corporate ladder to become VP of human resources at her dream company.  She has her loving husband Bob and three young children, 7-year old Charlie, 5-year old Lucy, and 9-month old Linus.  They live in the ideal suburb of Boston in their dream home with a second home on a ski resort a few hours away – Sarah is living in what she thinks is her perfect world…until one rainy morning her life is put on hold.

While driving to work, Sarah thinks she can get a few calls out of the way and have time at work to do other things.  It was rainy on the highway and Sarah reaches into her purse to look for her cell phone and all of a sudden she’s off the road and her car is upside down.  She wakes up in the hospital and doesn’t remember a thing.  Sarah thinks that she’s fine and should be discharged right away, until she realizes she can’t feel her left arm or left leg.  She can’t see anything on the left side of her, it’s like the left side doesn’t exist in her world anymore.

Her estranged mother steps in to become her caregiver as well as her children’s.  Sarah has always had hard feelings towards her mother and hates the idea that she has to take care of her now.  Sarah doesn’t want her help, she just wants to get back to her life again.  Sarah’s stubbornness is eventually defeated by the fact that she can barely walk to the washroom by herself, let alone hold her baby or send 50 emails an hour while talking on the phone.

Her road to recovery is a slow one which frustrates Sarah to no end.  She does not want to accept that she may not be able to go back to her old job or her old lifestyle.  Through the recovery process Sarah begins to reconcile with her mother which helps her to accept that she may never be the same as she was before her accident.  As Sarah becomes more accepting to the fact that she may not fully recover, she realizes that she needs to change the way she was living her life.  Maybe she would make less money, but she would have more time for the important things in life, like her family and friends.

Although this story is fiction, the whole time I was reading it I felt like it was based on a true story.  The characters are all so well developed that I became attached to them by the end of the novel.  I highly recommend this book for all so get reading!


Aim2Walk Got TOUGH!

Pre-Tough Mudder: not yet sore, not yet tired, not yet electrocuted

Pre-Tough Mudder: not yet sore, not yet tired, not yet electrocuted

So JP completed the Tough Mudder on Saturday with me tagging along. It was a true team effort as we certainly couldn’t have done it without the help of our 12-person team or the dozens of participants that helped push/pull/drag many of us through some of the wicked obstacles.

We both came away bruised, battered and beer-thirsty…and better for it. It was a well run and extremely well attended event on the frigid, muddy slopes of Mount St. Louis Moonstone.

We also came away with a great idea: Next year, the entire Aim2Walk team will participate…all the therapists, all the admin staff and anyone else that wants to join in on the, um, fun.

I can’t think of a better team building activity than completing this brutal test of strength, endurance, and wits (meaning, if you’re really smart, you won’t put yourself through this), with the help of your colleagues and co-workers.

For myself, this was my most challenging physical achievement to date. And that’s saying a lot, considering I’m the 5th of 7 children and endured countless little brother beat-downs, and I’ve been in the room for all 3 of my kids’ births…both tremendous physical accomplishments 😉

Please comment below if you attended this weekend’s event and share your experiences.

Post Tough Mudder. This is after showering and getting dressed...forced smiles bc the camera person asked us to :-)

Post Tough Mudder. This is after showering and getting dressed…forced smiles bc the camera person asked us to 🙂

Aim2Walk is going to get TOUGH!

This Saturday, May 11, Aim2Walk will be represented at the Tough Mudder Toronto event being held at Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort. JP has decided to test his strength, will, determination, and laundry detergent.

What is the Tough Mudder?toughmudder

Right from toughmudder.com:

“Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile (16-19 km) obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, 700,000 inspiring participants worldwide to date, and more than $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world. But Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time, and discover a camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days.”

So, JP thought it was a good idea to join a team of non-military people to run a race made for the military. I want to say he’s crazy. I mean, running 19 km is a little nutso, but adding in 18 military style obstacles? Full on Mr. Peanut!Mr_peanut

Who would WANT to do this? Well…there will be thousands and thousands of other like-minded people doing the same race all weekend. And they don’t promote it as a “race”, as there is no official time kept and the idea of having teams encourages people to stay together and help each other through the obstacles.

I’m still worried about JP, though. I don’t want to lose an awesome therapist to an injury from jumping down 15 feet into cold muddy water, or running through electrically charged wires (10,000 volts of electric shock, anyone?), or any other number of ways he can injure himself in an event like this.

I could forbid him to participate, or fine him, or even relegate him to washroom cleaning for a month. But instead… I think I’ll join him. it looks like too much fun 🙂

Check out this promo video for this year’s spring race weekend (it was so popular, they added dates in the fall!).

We’ll be sure to post pictures of JP and myself if we make it into work on Monday!
What are you doing this weekend?