Food For Thought

It may not be clear to everyone; however, after any tragic event (accident, diagnosis of malicious sickness or a stroke in my case) everything changes. Not just the obvious, but even details you never thought about before. The smallest element can change a whole scenario. The tiniest incident can cause a domino effect that can turn everything around.

My life is the same. However how I go about it is different from how a perfectly healthy person would go about their lives. What seems to be important to some are meaningless to me and vice versa.

We all have and live different lives in different ways. One does not need to be paralyzed to be living life in a different way. You can do whatever you like and the ones you like it can join you and the ones who do not like does not need to participate. Quite simple really, no problem at all.

One issue though is that perfectly healthy person that have much idea about how it feels like to be in particular circumstance take decisions about what is best for people in certain situations.

Most people have the best intentions. They study the situation well, and understand it very well. Nevertheless understanding it is not the same as living it.

When dynamics change, the variables change as well. The mind evolves in a different way and so does the spirit. New visions and ideas come to live. You develop a disabled intelligence.

Not only the ones with the predicament minds form like this, but also the ones near the less abled person.

First thing comes first, and number one on the list is communication. Understanding would be limited, and we would not get far if we are not able to communicate. In fact, lack of communication makes perfectly healthy humans more disabled than any person with a physical handicap that is still able to communicate.

I am a living proof that communication changes everything. The one thing that makes my life still worth living is the fact that I can still speak out my mind (even though it is not with my mouth) and share my emotions.

Food for thought; after the stroke I was completely paralyzed, not even able to speak, I wanted to die. Now twenty-one years later still unable to move. Nevertheless able to speak (with my eyes), I enjoy my life, and I want to live, live, live.

The one main difference was willingness and learning a new way to communicate. There are people who rather choose a life without communication. The story of my life would have developed in a completely different way if I were not able to connect, INTERACT, keep in touch or reach out.

Right after the stroke when all my muscles went numb and I was not able to speak anymore. The only way to communicate was and still is by blinking my eyes as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to questions. Imagine playing a guessing game all day long. How frustrating that gets. That is not interacting. It is more like a death fish that goes with the flow of someone else’s thoughts.

So, do you see? Even a paralyzed fish can swim against the current and find its way if he or she can communicate. I do not know Stephen Hawking personally. However, I am confident that he would agree with me on this. If a person can connect and interact no matter his or her circumstances, he or she can contribute to living in general.

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Kati van der Hoeven (Lepistö)
About Kati van der Hoeven (Lepistö) 8 Articles
Kati ”Young achiever of 2014” The Finnish author, blogger Kati van der Hoeven-Lepistö, is the award-winner ´The Finnish young achiever of the year 2014´. The prize was awarded by the junior division of the Chamber of Commerce International Finland. Kati van der Hoeven-Lepistö is a 40-year-old former supermodel, whose career was cut short after an afflicted brain stem infarction in 1995. Kati was 20-years-old at that time, Kati lost the power of movement and the power of speech completely. Only her eyes are working, and she communicates with a letter chart. The grand assemblage of instruments according to van der Hoeven is determination, faith and toughness, these enable her to live a full life. She has helped and encouraged others to cope with being paralyzed and moving forward. Kati is the author of her life experiences in the book ´Blink of an eye´ (only in Finnish), and she is an active blogger. According to the jury van der Hoeven-Lepistö fosters a positive attitude to life, and she has affected thousands of people’s life and attitude towards life by teaching acceptance of diversity and understanding (spiritual growth). The Young Achiever is the world’s most prestigious award, the junior division Chamber of Commerce International Finland to share their field and in his own right performing between 18 and 40 years of Finnish citizens. Competition is the national implementation of international ´The Outstanding Young Person Awards.