Friday, June 09, 2006

Welcome readers,
This has been some journey for me. I never proclaimed,
"I'm going to write a book someday." It just wasn't part
of my DNA. But in the aftermath of my stroke, dealing with
the medical community and insurance companies, and trying
to rehabilitate myself, I sensed I had a story to tell.

It seemed that my experience was a blueprint for how not
to let the system dictate the direction, pace, and objectives
of recovery. I've learned that what your heart, mind, and
intuition tell you can be as valuable as any medical opinion.
My ordeal has also taught me to listen to and rely on my inner
voice, my soul, because it is my link to God and the angels that
watch over me.

We all have a story to tell on this journey through life.
I invite you to share your story here; perhaps it will help
you and others along the way.

This has been some wild ride, but I rather like that wind-blown
look. Many blessings to you on your journey.
with love, julia

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julia spoke at the Boxford Friends of the Library luncheon to kick off her book tour. (That is despite having much better offers after Harper Collins picked up her book contract.) During her talk, she mentioned that there is a fine line between denial and determination. Boy is she right on that one. It just resonated with me. I had just returned from a series of doctor appointments regarding my Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a pain syndrome with all sorts of extra benefits. It is most easily described as arthritis of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Some of the benefits are constant pain, migraines, fatigue, lack of sleep, IBS, you name it. I have a Dr. Doom and a Dr. Saint Saad. Dr. Doom doesn't like it when I ask about any break throughs for a cure or what else I can do to improve and get back to work. She told me the other day that the people who do best are the ones who accept it. Accept it!!?? I sold my house, I gave up my career, I moved back into the room I grew up in ... I think I've accepted that I have Fibromyalgia and it has wrecked havot on my life. But I HAVE HOPE! I have a 7 year plan where I figure out how to get back to work somehow by finding a regimine that eases the pain, or the medical community will stumble on the cure while trying to cure male pattern baldness or something. I'm in year 5 of that plan and continue to have hope. My other doctor, Doctor Saint Saad believes in her patients and spends as much time with them as needed, leaving no stone unturned. She treats the whole person, not just the symptoms. The timing of Julia's phrase, "there's a fine line between denial and determination" could not have been better. I am determined and will continue to have hope that one day I will be able to work again and run and play golf and.....

6/15/2006 5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the book,you said so much for those who can't.
I'm a five year survivor,had mine at 43.I was in the hospital for three months after,still to this day they can't tell me exactally what caused my stroke.They say complicated migraine.Never knew I even had migrines before.I did suffer headaches on and off for years though.
I am happy to say 5 years later, I went from no movement on my left side to someone who goes to the gym actually can run on a treadmill and lift some weight,I must say as I layed in that bed in Loma Linda looking out the window at people walking and getting on with their lives I never dreamed I'd have so much life back again.I think once I accepted the fact I had to make a new me and try not to look for my old life back I became happy again.So for all you still trying to take that first step without that walker and still trying to move your thumb keep on keepin on it will happen then there will be no stopin you.Hang in it gets better. Laree martz Stroke survivor of 5 years

6/22/2006 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you were great on GMA-e SomFriends--Becky & Vinny are coming to your booksigning tomorrow-Please send me list of signings



6/23/2006 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you say Thank You to a friend you've never even met?

Julia, I feel you and your family are now as much a part of my family as any of my blood relatives. I will ask my siblings to read your book ASAP. So much of what you've experienced mirrors what my mother went through 15 months ago, and continues to go through. I will be honored to have you explain (via your book) to the rest of the family what it must be like to be Mom.

Thank you so much for your insight and wit. Thank Jim on hehalf of a stranger for being by your side during the journey.

And I'd LOVE to know how you got Mary Chung's recipe for Spicy Noodles!!! Prior to leaving Boston 2 years ago, I tried like crazy to get her to share that and her recipe for small steamer buns. Alas, on the subject of her recipes, Mary was always tight-lipped.

Peace and Kind Regards from your unknown friend in St. Louis,
(feel free to remove my email address from the posting - but putting it in on the off chance you'll send me a certain recipe.

6/25/2006 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your book. It sounded as though you were telling my story. I was reminded of how far I have come. The main differences are your age and mine, your experience with doctors and therapists,and family and friend support.Where yours was good mine was bad and vice versa. I would love to meet you and just sit and talk. 9/16 is my anniversary.

9/10/2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger donna said...

Thank you for a wonderful book. Very well written, you and your family have been through so much. Your book will give hope to a lot of people. I think you should be on Oprah and/or The View. The information at the back of the book was very helpful. God bless you and your family.
Donna Hartnett

12/20/2006 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Del says -
It behooves all of us to learn from, and practice Julia's determination. It is matched with a streak of humor that is dangerous to the sophistry of the medical profession. It is grounded in a sense of spiritual guidance second to none.

3/21/2007 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Julia, I found your name on the Oprah website. I was looking to see if she had ever had a show on strokes. I had an AVM rupture and cause a stroke in 1982 when I was 27. I am now 53 and I feel truly blessed to be alive and well. It was an uphill climb, but I made it. I only wish I had know of someone like you back then. I have not read your book, but I will go find it and read it tomorrow. I'm sure I can relate. I tell people that if I could go back and do it again, I think I would if I could have the same outcome. They think I'm crazy, but I know that that which does not kill you, makes you stronger. I am now an RN. I love my life and have only God to thank for it. Yours truly, Patty Pearson in Galveston, Texas

7/16/2007 8:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Julia Fox Garrison,

I discovered your story when my 14 year old daughter suffered quite suddenly and mysteriously an undetermined virus which triggered an auto-immune process in her brain causing her to lose her legs (they came back), her memory (it's still faulty), and finally her vision (bilateral optic neuropathy) which never got addressed or treated because a particularly incompetent pediatric neurologist denied her symptoms, describing her only as a "teenager acting out", never ordering her orthodontic braces taken off which were hiding the lesions growing in, and eating away her brain for 3 to 4 months. Finally she underwent a 6-hour an open craniotomy, was studied in the hospital for 2 months, landed with a description of a symptom, not a disease - CNS vasculitis - and today, at 16, is blind, suffers serious memory issues, and has been in 3 major neurological centers from Phoenix to Johns Hopkins, to Boston Childrens, but remains full of humor, love, and determination that her life will get better. She has dealt with this far better than me. I still can't accept what has happened. But I inhaled your book with an overwhelming sense of recognition and frustration, yet belief that we could overcome this mac truck destruction of our lives as they once were, even though my formerly voracious reading daughter will never again enjoy the pleasure of visually reading a book, see a sunset again, or be the extraordinary colorist and painter her art teachers marveled at, or edit a film which she was doing when she suddenly lost her ability to see even though her eyes were fine, she only wants to be a pediatric neurologist and help kids who suffer what she did. I still don't know how you get through this as a parent, but your humour, quick wit, fighting and determined spirit gave me hope. I would love some more advice, but in the meantime, thank you deeply for sharing your story. It helped enormously.
Mimi Edmunds, in Rockport, Maine and daughter Eliza, at Perkins in Boston.

2/16/2008 3:51 AM  
Anonymous Carla Herring said...

Dear Julia, I got your book yesterday 6-19-2010 from my Best Friend. she told me you need to read this book. I picked it up this am around 9:00 and didn't put it down til 7:00 tonight. I have Laughed & cryed all day long. You just don't know what a Blessing your book was to me!! I have worked hard all my life and sometimes 2 jobs at a time. but in 2005 while working at a Furniture Store here in Amarillo Tx. I started having numbness in my left leg, causing me to drop & fall. I went to the Doc. and was told I would have to have back surgery, but would be able to go back to work in 6 weeks, Guess what? That has never came to pass. I am in so much pain I can't stand it. Have been on so much meds that I didn't even know myself. I have a Wonderful husband to, who has stayed by my side. And to that I Thank God for. I have also had 2 stimulators placed in my back & side, which I hate. and I'm waiting for it to be removed. Anyway, I just wanted to Thank you for your story, & for making me laugh. And giving me a New way of looking at life! Not to keep waiting to get back to the way I was, but to live now.! I'm even embarrassed to think of how Lucky I've been to have all my body functions and not gave it my all. Thank you again, Your a Great Writer, & hope you come out with how your doing now. P.S. I'm a Hugger too.!! Love, Carla Herring

6/19/2010 6:23 PM  

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