Making more steps towards recovery: Jeff Potts checks in.

Published 10, Nov, 2016
Author // Jeff Potts

"I'm just so excited to realize that that I'll be sharing Christmas dinner in my home with my family... I don't care how chewed up the turkey is!" says Jeff Potts

Making more steps towards recovery: Jeff Potts checks in.

Editors' note: for those who are not aware, our friend, HIV advocate and contributor Jeff Potts recently suffered a stroke which caused more damage than originally thought and has left him with what could be a long road to full recovery. Jeff is still in hospital but has been checking in on FaceBook to let us all know how he's doing. 

Hey there family and friends! I saw today's update posts from Connie Cole and Paul Kenney and thought I'd check in myself this evening. I worry that there has been a bit of information overload (TMI) since this journey started, but I am blown away and will be eternally grateful for the amazing outpouring of support.

Progress really is slow (much slower than my go-go-go self is happy with)... but progress is progress, and I am realizing much. This stroke, as I've noted already, came out of bloody nowhere... exactly four Tuesdays ago. Hard to believe that four weeks (and three hours) ago, the ambulance was leaving our driveway with me on a stretcher. I told them they were wasting time and resources because I was sure that I just had the flu or something. Yeah... it was "or something" alright... and I have been in hospital since, and still have just under four weeks to go before I'm home!!

My care team shared their discharge plan with me today, so I know exactly what we're working toward between now and December. I'm going to continue with my neck and throat therapy to recover more-and-more of my swallow reflex. It is a given now that I won't be back on a regular diet for a while - hopefully by next BBQ season. So, I'm already readying myself for my pre-chewed Christmas dinner (LMAO)... but I'm just so excited to realize that that I'll be sharing Christmas dinner in my home with my family... I don't care how chewed up the turkey is! With luck and hard work, I'll have enough swallow strength back that I'll be able to have the dressing too (my first "bread test" is tomorrow).

Paul was right... my walking goal this week is a full 20 steps. I'll need the walker and at least one person to help keep my core balanced... but it WILL happen this week! My goal on discharge day is to walk 50 metres... still with my walker, but without additional assistance. At home, that should mean I can get from the great room to the kitchen and back again... just my walker and me. YAY!!!!! Prepare to shield your eyes from the dust my fast feet will kick up by Christmas. LOL. I already know that I'll have weeks or months or continued therapy as an out-patient... I'll take that without complaint!

And, while I still get very frustrated by the brain fog, my short-term memory is getting better-and-better; and the cognitive deficits/lapses are further and further apart now (I think... I like to believe). I AM "WITH IT" ENOUGH NOW to be fully aware of the "GoFundMe" fundraising campaign that was started some weeks ago: a campaign that has generated more than $5000 in generous donations from many of you. I must admit that when I first learned that this effort was underway, I felt really strange about it... I was so worried about how it looked and how it would be received. But, I was asked to let it be what it is, and to worry about things that deserve worry and let the universe take care of the rest. I am freaking BLOWN AWAY!Connie Cole has shared with me just how generous so many of you have been... with hundreds of dollars, I'm told, even coming from people who have never met me personally. I just can't believe it... and I will never be able to fully or properly express how humbled or how grateful I am/we are. I'm told that there are specific plans in place that will put this generosity to its best uses, so again... Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Now... I need to will away this evening's disorienting brain fog so that I can focus on what is happening in the United States. Or... do I mean that I should wish for this evening's brain fog so that I can fall asleep completely shielded from it all? Hhmmmm...

Love y'all. Thanks again... for everything!!!!!!

About the Author

Jeff Potts

Jeff Potts

Jeff Potts was and remains motivated by his own HIV infection twenty-five years ago.  In his life and his career, Jeff is inspired by Helen Keller and shares this goal: "I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.  The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." 

Jeff was a national programs consultant at the Canadian AIDS Society from November 2014 until January 2016.  Before that, he was a long-time public servant. His last position was with the Public Health Agency of Canada as the (national) manager of the Hepatitis C Prevention, Support and Research Program.  Before that, he held health portfolio positions at Health Canada and at Correctional Service Canada; and before that (way back), he was one of the earliest representatives of CATIE. Over the years, Jeff has spoken about and/or represented public health policy and programs on countless occasions across Canada, and at international meetings in more than twelve countries around the world.  Jeff is a proud and active member of the Canadian Positive People Network (the CPPN) where he shares unyielding resolve to improve and protect the health, quality of life and social condition of people living with HIV and HIV co-infections in Canada - and everywhere!