Poetry Writing – My Way to Recovery

Maple Ridge father of seven Barry Plamondon wrote a book of poems after he suffered his second major stroke in 2012.

Barry Plamondon needed an outlet after suffering his second stroke in five years.Barry Plamondon

The 57-year-old Maple Ridge resident found what he was searching for, through poetry.

In 2012, the father of seven suffered the second of two major strokes. This stroke, like the one he suffered in 2007, happened at his home. And it nearly killed him.

It was during his recovery that Plamondon wrote a collection of poems that became This ‘n’ That, Bric a Brac, a self-published book can be purchased online at http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore, or amazon.com.

The poems, he says, are about things that matter to him (family), and things that interest him, (gardening, cowboy life, and nature). “As well it is about my search for answers in my own life,” Plamondon added. “I feel as if I had been writing this book in one way or another for most of my adult life.”

Plamondon wrote the poems to not only help his own recovery, but “to show others in similar situations that it is possible, there is hope.” While the first stroke he suffered left him with a limp, the second one was life-altering. It was June 2012 and Plamondon was upstairs in his home.

“The first time [in 2007] I managed to crawl over to the phone and they had to kick the door down because I had my little girls downstairs, and the second time I just kind of collapsed…,” Plamondon said.

Plamondon suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, caused by uncontrolled bleeding in the brain.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, this bleeding interrupts the normal blood flow in the brain and kills brain cells either by flooding at the leakage site or by shortage of blood supply beyond the leakage.

After this stroke, Plamondon spent four months in Ridge Meadows, Royal Columbian, and Eagle Ridge hospitals, followed by eight months at CONNECT, a brain injury rehabilitation centre in Langley.

“I was lucky in the vocal department,” Plamondon said, about the after-effects of his second stroke, which all but paralyzed his left arm. “My face on the left may have sagged a bit and I might drool out of the corner of my mouth, but it was strictly left side – no vocal. I’m able to walk, just not as far and not as long.”

It was in the months that followed the 2012 stroke when Plamondon gave his brain a workout by writing prose, from one poem per day to as many as 11, depending on how he felt.

“I’d been home for three months and I just said, ‘okay, I figure I need to write some poems,’” Plamondon related. “Some were garbage and some were, I thought, acceptable. So when I had a bit pile of acceptable ones I looked into publishing.”

He won the The Maple Ridge Festival of Light Society’s adult (16-plus) poetry contest in February and just recently published his book of poetry.

Writing these poems have helped Plamondon on every level: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

“It was sort of a soul-searching thing, too,” he said. “I found out a lot about myself. I developed more of a belief system.”

Once he started writing the poems that would become This ‘n’ That, Bric a Brac, “they came out like a flood,” Plamondon said.

The words are in large print because Plamondon was nearly blind in his left eye for a few months, after his second stroke.

“I did have trouble reading and I wouldn’t have been able to write poems then,” Plamondon said.

Plamondon dedicated the book to his wife of 23 years, Sandi, and his children Danielle, Jarred, Dominique, Jakob, Desirée, Juliette, and Darian.

Plamondon continues to write poetry today. “Even if I’m having a bad day, I force myself to produce at least one [poem],” Plamondon said. Is there another book in the works? “That is up in the air,” Plamondon said. “I want to, badly, because I have a backlog of poems.”

Original article by  Troy Landreville – Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times


By | 2016-06-13T09:58:03+00:00 June 10th, 2016|Newsletter|0 Comments

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