My name is Lucy Fenn. I had a massive MCA stroke which affected my entire left side on November 14th, 2017. I was so scared, to say the least! My family and close friends were all very supportive after the stroke. My two daughters began a Facebook page for me to allow my friends to update it, for people to come together, and to start prayer warriors praying for me to recover. It also was a wonderful journal of my progress. I was blind at first, so they would read to me some of my friends encouraging words for me which meant SO MUCH! I was so overwhelmed and so emotional, which was part of that particular side of my stroke. One of the early things for me that was so shocking, was when I woke up and had my arm lying on my stomach, I asked the nurse whose arm it was? Sounds so strange, BUT I could NOT feel my arm! It freaked me out! The other thing that was so incredibly hard was when all of a sudden I became paralyzed. I’m in an alarmed bed as a fall risk. One moment I’m very independent and able to get myself to the bathroom, and then all of a sudden, I have to push a button any time I needed anything!
My whole world changed in just a moment! It was so frustrating to have to go backward in learning all over again. I had to learn how to dress, I had to learn how to adjust doing many things, especially since I’m now single and no one to open cans or help me open jars. Helping me zip things, tie shoes, learn to brush my teeth, and use my feet. That dreadful day changed everything immediately. I was in acute rehab for the first 3 weeks to learn how to walk since my leg was the first to get feeling back.
I had always tried to live a healthy lifestyle before the stroke and was introduced to WAS at the end of the season in 2020 through my Occupational Therapist at Tosh hospital. When I heard about the Cycling Program, I was super excited because it made me feel “normal” and to be with other stroke survivors and brain injury survivors. It brought some commonality with others that can understand the “stroke or brain injury” language that only those who have experienced can understand how hard it is to “come back.” I was able to do my first cycling ride at Liberty Park and I had such a great time! I was able to get in on a second cycling activity and found that I did even better on my second attempt! By this time I was hooked, it made me feel so alive and back to doing things I’ve enjoyed before my stroke. I have always loved exercise and was active prior to my stroke so finding WAS just gave me HOPE that there were many things I can still DO!
During the winter, I was able to try standup skiing. I hadn’t skied for many years, so when I did stand up skiing this winter, it was really like starting from scratch and a lot harder with only one arm! I loved it and was doing really well until on my 3rd lesson as my instructor and I were on our way back to the lodge on a little adventure. I got going too fast and took a bad fall. It strained the inside of my right knee, so that was the end of my fun with stand up skiing! It was so much fun and I was pretty bummed that I had that unfortunate fall.
Through my rehab at Tosh, the adaptive yoga sessions started up for the first time! It was such a positive thing for a good group that they decided to keep it going. I loved it and I felt so good after it was done! I was so bummed with this darn Covid-19 showed up that our yoga had to be stopped. I was grateful for some great skills that have helped me to deal with the stress that’s currently going on around the globe!
I’m grateful for WAS and all of the friendly instructors and I look forward to the fun activities I can’t wait to get going! In my free time, I enjoy hiking, spending time with my grandkids, reading, and writing a book that I plan to publish. The title of my book: It’s Time to Soar!