443. Thanksgiving 2014 Update

343.  Strength & Honor

343. Strength & Honor

Can you believe 2014 is almost over??  The days when my parents would come home from the hospital and Dad would stay up late typing Updates are passed.  I only send updates like this once a year, but I blog  5x/week and I’d love it if you came along for the ride (fasten your seatbelt).  Here is a sampling of 2014‘s Greatest Hits. When we went to OR earlier this year a friend greeted me as my wheelchair and I arrived at church  that Sunday with, The unfiltered version of You is the funniest thing I’ve ever read.  She was a faithful visitor while I was an inpatient and keeps up with my adventures in RecoveryLand via my blog.  Apparently the contrast in my pre- and post-AVM demeanors is visible in my writing.  PS.  I’m more fun now.  Ask around.  

Last Thanksgiving I told you I was transitioning to Medicare.  I was discharged from Therapy/Rehabilitation in October but I’m still working hard in the gym under professional supervision.  One of the benefits of getting stronger is that my vocal health has improved and there is no longer any talk of surgical intervention 🙂  The Infrastructure building portion of my Long-Term/Self-Directed Recovery is complete, and the extraordinarily skilled professionals (“Team Tanimal“) I see daily are living proof of God’s care and provision for me.

When I grappled with the notion of returning to Oregon to dispose of my things I actually said out loud to God, “I can’t, and I won’t.”  Unsurprisingly, the Lord’s grace turned those statements into ICAN and I DID.  I had previously vowed never to return to any of my hospitals, but I visited all three and reconnected with many of the wonderful people who took such good care of me in the beginning.

I’m so glad I went and so grateful to the friends who made the trip as logistically easy as possible, but it still took a lot out of me.  I am physically improving but perhaps the biggest gain I’ve had this year is that I finally admitted that prior to my brain bleed when I wanted to become a missionary I asked God not for a career change, but for a life’s work.  Well, I got one.  It just turned out to be bigger than I had anticipated.  And for the first time I’ve verbalized it, e.g. to Team Tanimal.  It is such a blessing to be operating from the same information base and to be in agreement that I don’t just have a general wish to “get better” – I have specific lifestyle goals in mind.

It was part of God’s plan to keep me cognitively intact enough to communicate about this effectively and package it appropriately for public consumption.  God has made it very clear that I will not be getting what I thought I wanted but I’m confident I will be getting exactly what I was made for.  It is my privilege and joy to meet people all over the place and tell them How I Found Grace in the Valley.  In addition to  blogging I have also published 3 short books (Learning How…on Amazon) – as always, everything is completely non profit.

I write and maintain my online presence within the parameters of my physical limitations.  I am getting better and stronger, but I still feel the gnawing deficits, pain, and fatigue regularly.  I’ve had to take more time “off” from my blog etc. than I liked this year, but that’s the beauty of how this works – if my symptoms act up I can shut everything down as needed.

But I’d love to feel the weight of these limitations less and less as time progresses.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support throughout this process.  Please keep on praying – I need it more than ever!

Happy Thanksgiving.  Love, Ann|Ning


356.  I decided

356. I decided

Return to Oregon

  • Went back to OR for the first time in 3 years to empty out my storage garage.
  • Decided “I don’t need any of this” and my friends made things so easy by taking care of everything – thank you!!
  • Visited my 3 hospitals and thanked many kind medical professionals; saw my Intel friends – I was so glad to be with you again!
  • Saw Dr. Dogan, the surgeon who saved my life – he was pleased with my progress
  • Reunited with M, (“Molly” in my book) a patient at RIO (3rd Hospital) with me.  We conversed while lucid for the first time and apparently we’re cut from the same cloth.  God saw my need from afar off so he gave me a true friend in the unlikeliest of circumstances.
359.  Running With Myself

359. Running With Myself


  • ORFR = Operation Run, Forrest, Run
  • Before I went back to Oregon I tried to run like I was being chased.  Now I run simply because I can
  • After more than a year I’m running longer, steeper, faster, and stronger
  • Among the benefits:  Stamina, vocal improvement, better breathing and core usage, stronger digestion (I’m eating meat after a veggie-only year); Side note re. non-cardio Strength Training: building muscle protects my joints (which are not moving in the way they were intended to), and helps compensate for the neurological deficits and fatigue
  • When I say “run” I am still dependent on a machine to help me – (I use an AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, pictured).  It’s impossible to fall out.  Trust me – if it were I would’ve done it already.
Decision Day 2014

Decision Day 2014

Team Tanimal

  • Discharged from Rehab in October
  • Trainer D” – my Personal Trainer whose knowledge of brain/gait mechanics got me kicked out of rehab
  • Coach R” – Athletic Trainer to teams of pros and Olympians; he knows he’s supposed to be the grown up here and reins me in as needed
  • Gen” – my Massage Therapist; an Ortho Surgeon working pro bono; an extraordinary individual and the funniest person I’ve ever met.
  • CMD” – my Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor; wonderfully compassionate and frighteningly skilled, she’s the reason I was able to start exercising more
  • PS.  If you’re wondering what I’m wearing in this pic yes, I do shop for workout wear in the boy’s section now.


Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!

These are my 3 Books on Amazon:  eligible for Prime and Super Saver Shipping.  Everything is nonprofit!

  1. Learning How…vol 1 – an easy, non threatening way to introduce people to the Gospel of Christ, and a great way to encourage believers.  Ch. 10 is when I decide the Gospel is true.  
  2. Ed Goes to DC – introduces the ideas of illness, hospitalization, friendship, and cheerfulness to kids; plus it’s just a really sweet story.  (Here’s the YouTube version)
  3. Learning How to Hope – a collection of my favorite posts from my blog.  I published this specifically for my African friends.  All of my writing is nonprofit but sales from this book in particular go straight to Burundi. (Also in Kindle format)


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