Stroke Connection - September/October 2009 - (Page 6)
R E A D E R S R O O M | Connecting You to Others My Garden of Independence to work in my gardens. I wear a large brace on my right leg and cannot sit on the ground and get up on my own easily. It was a danger for me to be working without someone around, in case I needed assistance getting up off the ground. Knowing my love of gardening, my husband Larry came up with the idea for a garden deck leading to a patio that would suit my needs and disability. He took his design to the contractor and explained his idea. It only took about 10 days for the deck to be built. Once it was finished, I found myself ready to take on the challenge of managing a garden on my own. It was very exciting, and I realized my husband knew me better than I thought. The garden was evidence that I was regaining independence. Not only that, but I believe it gave Larry a sense that he could help me. The garden consists of four separate triangular sections. One section is filled with all pink flowers, another section contains a small tree, and my favorite section is filled with a variety of grasses. I like this section the most because I have so many types of grasses and they have filled in very nicely. The last section, which I dedicated to my husband, has many different plants and colors. The reason this design meets my needs is because I can reach each section by either standing on the ground or sitting on the benches of the deck. It allows me to work with plants without assistance. The steps leading to the gardens are only two inches high so I can climb them without my cane. Each section has a bench that I can sit or lie on and allows me easy access to the garden area. All of these elements allow me to garden for hours at a time without any help. The deck design not only allows me to be independent when gardening, but this independence also carries over into all aspects of my life. I have more confidence when interacting with others. I can easily share the story of my gardens and I am more willing to jump back into social situations. I know that I am fully capable of making significant improvements in the recovery process. My gardens motivate me to keep moving forward in life. Marcia Rosenberg, Survivor Toledo, Ohio Marcia Rosenberg poses in her specially designed garden. fter my stroke in March 2005, I was in a medically induced coma in a neurointensive care unit, and my family didn’t know if I was going to live, let alone how much of me they would get back. When I was transferred to a rehabilitation facility, I resisted therapy. According to my family, the first two weeks there I refused to open my eyes because I did not want to participate in rehabilitation. I have regained my speech and now effectively communicate with both familiar and unfamiliar listeners. However, I was not able to be independent in my gardens. Gardening has always been a hobby of mine, but I didn’t have the energy to get up and down in orderSTROKECONNECTION September | October 2009
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