10 Years of Stroke Recovery – Matt Hankey Stroke Recovery Update 2022

Today doesn’t feel different from any other day, but on this night 10 years ago, I underwent the first of three brain surgeries that would remove about a third of my skull to save my life from a spontaneous brain hemorrhage.

I don’t know if I should be overcome with grief or anger, but I’m not, so maybe that means I’m too numb, or it’s just a healthy sign of acceptance.

To say the lofty ideals I began this journey with have left me underwhelmed is an understatement.

I will always feel a profound sense of loss.(It’s shocking to see how young I was in these photos), but I’ve accepted that recovery will be a lifelong challenge of adaptation and discovery, but that’s kind of what I committed myself to at the start of this. Although with very different expectations.

Today, I will be practicing gratitude for gaining ten extra years, rather than mourning the loss of ten years.

I just did 120 situps and my arm exercises.

On Saturday there will be a BBQ at Bear Creek Skatepark to celebrate these additional ten years of life and recovery, I hope to see you all there, come say hi, skate and bring your friends!

2020 Progress Report

As 2020 draws to an end, I’ll take this opportunity to update those who follow me on here as to how my year has gone, and how I hope to move forward in 2020.

In January I moved into an apartment of my own, which was a huge way to kickoff the year! Unfortunately despite being located directly on the bus line to the gym, this has been my most inconsistent year in the gym/pool since 2016 due to restrictions.Despite that, I’ve worked out nearly everyday, including consistent use of my bike thanks to having my own space.Living on my own has been a huge step towards independence, as caregivers only stop by in the mornings and evenings, so I’ve been forced to pick up new skills in recovering my independence.I crossed the 8 year mark in my recovery, but I try not to pay much attention to arbitrary milestones.Besides kidney stone surgery, getting hit by a truck in a crosswalk, and being locked down, I’ve spent this year expanding my knowledge of philosophy through audiobooks while adding weight to my dumbbell.

I recently began mentally outlining my book, and have already written an opening poem to it.In my cultural curiosity, I’ve practiced learning Chinese for over 35 days now, and have been putting together the software knowledge to produce a video of my progress in learning it.My goals in 2021 are to write my book, start producing videos about my experiences and ways to cope with/overcome disability, acquire more digital marketing clients, and take myself more seriously as a music producer and content creator.I hope we can all step forward together and make next year better than this past one.Cheers, I’ll see you all in 2021.

2020 Update

Hello everyone. Long time, no blog, but I have some updates I meant to write about at the start of this year, 2019(it’s been a tough one). To start the year off, my mm and I were evicted in January. I left my house on the 31st and moved in as a roommate with a longtime friend.

I was extremely lucky to move in with my friends because I really had nowhere to go, it was also their first day moving in, and it was just so last minute. It’s been a hard year, as they tend to be. I’ve probably cried more this year than any other I can remember.

I cried the day after we got evicted, as soon as I got back from the gym after working out with my trainer Diahanne, as you may remember I have been doing over the past few years to further my stroke recovery. I cried that day out of humility and perhaps shame. I cried because I was receiving so much support from people with no biological relations to me, but also because I am even in a position to need so much help. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for the people in my life who have been so supportive recently and over the years, it feels like I have several maternal figures in my life who aren’t related to me. My support system is invaluable especially given that my mother moved back to our hometown on the other side of the continent, which was yet another source of angst for me this year.

So, this has been I guess my first year of homelessness, and now I’m looking for a new place to live with a housing voucher because our house is getting sold, and my roommates and I need to move. Leave a like and a comment if you’d like more updates to this blog, 2019 was a journey, and I may have stories I can share about my progress in stroke recovery and my extracurriculars over the past year.

Where Have I Been?[Matt Hankey Stroke Recovery Update 2018-19]

Hello all, excuse my prolonged absence, but in case anyone is interested, I believe my last recovery update was about how my friend, Ann Ning, successfully found a trainer locally willing to help me recover from the disability caused by my stroke and even raised over $8K to help finance it!(fundraising is ongoing to cover the expenses of my recovery at The Magic Wand at shreddedgrace.com. The content of this blog has often been morbid, but training thrice weekly and making progress has done some to lift my spirits, so I’m trying to blog more.

In training, we’ve shifted focus from getting in the pool to working out in the gym, which has allowed us to focus on more functional goals, like bed mobility and strength. This shift has been necessary and beneficial to my recovery. I’ve learned several new functional movements in the gym thanks to working in a gravity bound environment instead of in the pool. I’ve also started going to vocational rehab, which specializes in finding employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and they are supporting and helping me to start a business that aims to improve quality of life among the disabled and their caregivers through the development and supply of assistive technologies and rehab equipment that increase the ability of the disabled to live independently. Movement has been slow on my business so far, mostly due to finding an original name and product designer, but now that I’ve come up with a name, things are poised to move forward in 2019 with product development and launch, which is exciting.

As you can hopefully tell, I stay busy(did I mention, I include an hourly workout routine at home on my days off?), but I will try to blog regularly. I hope you’ll be reading. This photo is one of myself pushing up into a seated position from side lying in the gym, I remember working on this and being unable to do it in 2013, so it took awhile, but thanks to the help of my trainer, I’ve gained enough strength to surpass this long awaited milestone this year.

Who but I?[Poem]

Who but I?

 Filled with naive optimism and youthful arrogance.

Stagnated their progression and postponed opportunity?

Just to be disappointed and distressed?

Agonizing to shuffle a foot forward in tardy progress.

Who but I?

In absence of wisdom, ignored invaluable advice?

Filled with naive optimism and youthful arrogance.

My mistakes in hindsight.

Agonizing to shuffle a foot forward in tardy progress.

I find myself stuck, sand burping below, sediment crumbles in my hand as I claw myself out of the abyss.

Who but I?

Progress

Hi there, long time, no blog, i know, I should’ve been blogging my recent journeys in pursuit of recovery. For about the past year, I’ve been training consistently in pool therapy 3 times a week and making progress, thanks to my friend, Ann, launching ShreddedGrace.com and finding my trainer, Diahanne, I can now walk in the pool and transfer myself onto my bed, among other improvements. But, I’m coming up on six years since the onset of my massive brain death, and life is frustrating, I don’t know what I’m passionate about anymore, but I’m plugging along, gritting my teeth through the infinite maelstrom of self criticisms that whirl through my mind. I’m making progress.

REVEALED: The Appeal of Donald Trump

Ever since American billionaire oligarch, Donald Trump launched announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nominee he has been dismissed as an inviable candidate by all of the political pundits and much of the masses(myself included). But on the heels of several presidential primary wins, polls indicate that, if anything, it has become his race to lose, despite at least a dozen gaffs, one after the other was assumed to cause him to drop in the polls. But why is such an arguably bigoted and xenophobic candidate risen to the top of virtually all the polls in the Republican Presidential primary?

The answer lies in the things he says, the verbal diarrhea that seems to flow uncontrollably from his ever pouting lips and his perception as the uncorruptible candidate, uninfluenced by special interests and big money.
First, despite speaking at a fourth grade level, Trump is a genius at rhetoric, Raw Story reports, according to rhetoric professors, Donald Trump speaks in enthymemes, this means that he abruptly ends sentences and substitutes vague words in place of detailed policy descriptions. Psychologically, this forces the listener to convince themselves of what he believes. On top of that, what normally wouldn’t benefit a politician, is that he is wildly contradictory, he just says everything. For example, Donald Trump says we need to bomb the families of ISIS, but then says, let Putin fight ISIS in Syria, or the fact that he’s running as a Republican but says things liberals have been saying for years, like we never should’ve went into Iraq and spent the money on infrastructure instead. Contradictions don’t hurt with the average Republican base voter who isn’t into policy detail though. so because he just says everything, your average voter can project onto him whatever they want him to believe. It’s a recipe for disaster and it’s scary seeing an authoritarian like this possibly rising to power with control over the world’s largest military.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            t

The Curse of Cognition

As time goes on, I realize things I once thought to be blessings are actually curses. Chief among them is the exceptional cognition I’ve been “blessed”(cursed) with maintaining after my injury. My mom has told me about a nurse she hated who used to tell her while I was in a coma, that I was brain dead, that if I woke up, I’d have no memory and not be able to function mentally. When I first heard this(back when I still thought I’d get enough therapy to mount a full recovery) I thought I was so lucky that my disability was physical and not cognitive, that I could still remember everything, and that, though unable to speak at the time, I could still communicate with my friends and family through a laptop. Now, I’ve regained my ability to speak, but I’ve realized my “blessing” of cognition is really just a curse, all the memories of my life pre injury are the greatest source of torment. I remember happiness, activity, fulfillment. It draws a stark contrast to the current emptiness of my “life”(lack thereof). I hate it, I don’t want these memories, I don’t want to remember how good I had it and how far I’ve fallen, I don’t want to remember what relationships are like, I don’t want to remember joy I can no longer feel, I don’t want to remember how much I loved school at the time of my injury, and how I never got to go back. Most of all I don’t want to mourn, but it’s impossible with this curse of cognition. This curse hasn’t enabled me to free myself from this hell of disability, it only allows me to recognize how far I’ve fallen and how honesly pathetic I now am. This is what a fate worse than death feels like.

I Hate This weather. I Need To Go Inside.

Partly cloudy. Just under 60. Balmy with a light breeze. 
It feels good.

It’s terrible. I hate it.
This is the perfect weather to skate in, therefore I hate it. It brings memories, and with memories always comes mourning. Drop in the bowl just as the clouds eclipse the sun to doge the glare it would leave at the lip of the bowl. 

It’s all gone now.

This is what a fate worse than death feels like.