Season 6 of the Elaine’s Kitchen Table Podcast is here! But why was I off for 2 years?
F – Face – is it drooping?
A – Arms – can you raise both?
S – Speech – is it slurred or jumbled?
T – Time – to call 911 right away!
These are the symptoms I ignored / was ignorant of in April 2018 when I had a stroke.
I wasn’t a stroke candidate – not old enough, not overweight, no high blood pressure, etc. Lots of stress yes, but I just didn’t think it could happen to me.
Listen in as you hear my story, and you will know why my podcast was paused for 2 years! I am so blessed to be here today, with a large recovery, and I am thankful to speak on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Elaine Comeau: 0:00
How do you recognize a stroke if you are having one or someone close to you is? F.A.S.T. FAST. Sometimes you will see this acronym on the back of an ambulance or on your way into the hospital or at your doctor's office. So what is FAST? F is for face is a face starting to droop your face or your friend's face. Are you struggling with lifting your arm? And S is for speech? Are you starting to slur or stutter and T that means time to call 911 or get yourself to emergency. You're welcome to see my story as I was interviewed on Global News at our website at Elaineskitchentable.com/087. Now on with the podcast.
Welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table. This is where we share tips about business and parenting. Being a mom of three and CEO of the award winning company Easy Daysies, speaker and educator you're going to learn the tips and secrets of successful and incredible people. Elaine wants you to be inspired, challenged and motivated, and that person you want your kids to grow up to be. This is real talk for real life.
Elaine Comeau: 1:11
Hi, welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table. I'm so excited and so honored for you to join us. This is the first episode of season six. I am back. We are back. You are back. And I'm so excited. And sitting right beside me is this very handsome man. You can't see him, but I can. And I'll let him introduce himself.
Ron Comeau: 1:32
Hi, I'm Ron.
Elaine Comeau: 1:34
See, I did that on purpose because I usually say Ron Say hi. Or say hi, Ron. And he says,
Ron Comeau: 1:41
Elaine Comeau: 1:43
Yes. Oh dear. Anywho. Well, we are back. We are so excited. This time, this season is all about you. And all of us serving you and this podcast Elaine's Kitchen Table is about creating better how to create better, how to create better family, how to create better self, how to create better business, how to create better health. And there is no better way than to start by telling you why and where we have been and what we have learned during that time.
Ron Comeau: 2:19
So a question for you Elaine. And I'm sure many podcast listeners have the same question. Since it's been about two years since you released a podcast episode. Where have you been?
Elaine Comeau: 2:28
Well, hello. I have been right here. But yes, about two years ago, we just celebrated two years of my stroke anniversary. Yes, that's right. It doesn't matter how old you are. Like my I don't have high blood pressure. I don't have high cholesterol. But yes, I had a stroke. And I'm going to say that it was actually a blessing in disguise. Because if I didn't have that stroke, I wouldn't have learned it was not my first stroke. And I also wouldn't have learnt that I had something called a patent foramen ovale. And what that is, is a hole in the wall between the atrium of your heart. So that allows blood clots to go straight to your brain instead of being filtered in your lungs. And each one was larger than the next and I did have three, uh seven months of stroke rehab and a heart procedure that I'm just so grateful for. It was an absolute humbling time because I am left handed so I had to relearn how to use the left side of my body again, which meant holding a pen, holding a fork and bring food to my mouth and absolutely humbling.
Ron Comeau: 3:52
Okay, I think we can do a little better than that one minute description. Since you've been gone from the podcast, a couple you've been, you've been sharing your story on stages. I've listened to you say it many times. So I'm gonna walk you through it. I would like you to start, with the touching nose part and take us through the day of your stroke.
Unknown Speaker 4:11
Oh, you want me to go right back was that moment escape? Well, I think it's very instructional. Okay.
Elaine Comeau: 4:18
Well, if you are driving, you don't need to do this. But if you are listening right now, I'm so grateful for you. I would like you to take that left pointing finger. That's right, that pointy finger on your left hand and simply touch your nose. Right. Okay. We all think yeah, that's simple. Well, you know what I had an entire month actually two Mays ago, the month of May. I tried every single day to do that. And it was frustrating. And it's so frustrating when you know that you can do something and you watch yourself not be able to do it. And I remember being utterly and completely grateful and overwhelmed with gratitude when I was finally able to do that touch my nose with my left pointing finger and you know I remember that morning I woke up is this about six o'clock in the morning and I got out of bed like I normally do. But I fell I fell down and I had no idea why I must I have never fallen out of bed so I thought, okay, that's weird. And then I tried to push myself up but my left arm give out and I didn't think anything of it. I thought this is still very weird. I somehow did make it to the bathroom. And I proceeded to brush my teeth because I must keep going. And I am left handed so I put the toothpaste on my toothbrush and and I went to brush my teeth and my toothbrush went flying across the room, the bathroom and I really didn't understand and I had to go get that toothbrush. And I tried again. And same thing happened I I couldn't hold the toothbrush. It just I couldn't. I didn't realize I couldn't raise my arm. And because I am who I am, I tried a third time. Yes, I did. And then I, I am I love brushing my teeth. So I just gave up and I use my right hand and it was very awkward. And I remember looking at myself in the mirror, trying to brush my teeth with my right hand. And I just watched my left arm swing. Without me doing it. It was just swinging. And as I'm sharing these with you, I know you're all thinking, what are you doing? Why are you not calling 911? Because you know what? I'm trying to share the lessons right here that I have learned and I'm going to get into that. There's three big ones that I want to share. But I want you to walk through my stupidity and my mistakes so that you can have some awareness Ladies and gentlemen,
Ron Comeau: 7:12
I wouldn't call it stupidity. Well, I woild call it your "supermommery" or something like that.
Elaine Comeau: 7:18
Okay. Well, sure. But I am going to say that and I'm probably I should say this faster, but I'm going to fast track here. I did have to work. And the the blessing was I wasn't going anywhere that day. I actually had an assistant coming to work at our home office with me on that day, and I still managed to make breakfast with one good arm and hand and I wasn't doing much talking yet but
Ron Comeau: 7:59
I got to backtrack one little bit because you fast forward a bit there. I was, I was still in bed asleep when you were getting out of bed and trying to brush your teeth and whatnot. Like you said you didn't call 911 you didn't go over and shake me awake or anything. I got up quickly got ready to go to work. I had a job to travel to that day. Yes. As I was walking out the door, the last thing I saw was you (laughter) doing your your seven minute morning workout. Yes. With your your DVD from Chalene Johnson that you've used for I don't know how many years?
Elaine Comeau: 8:32
I don't know how long we've been married. Yes. And
Ron Comeau: 8:34
so therefore, I didn't think anything unusual. So I didn't notice that you were only doing it with the right side of your body, but everything looked normal.
Elaine Comeau: 8:41
Yes. I probably did mention to you that I must have said something because it was weird that I can't. I couldn't brush my teeth. And and yes, are you hearing this? I actually did that I actually was going through my routine before the kids woke up and did my little, at that point it was not a seven minute workout. But I tried. It was hilarious. I guess. I mean, I did get my hand slapped. So don't worry if you're listening and you're wanting to slap my hand to go for it. Because yes, that is not what you should be doing. I did not think I was having a stroke I had, why would I think I was having a stroke. I didn't think that and so the kids did go to school, thank God, they all could walk to school. And when my assistant came, I excused myself because I knew something was wrong with me. And I went to call our family doctor to see if I could get an appointment that day. And they were full. And I remember the lovely receptionist asked me what I needed the appointment for, and I absolutely downplayed it. And I did tell her what my symptoms were and she said, Oh, okay, she was well, you probably should take yourself to emergency and I politely said OK, Thank you. And I hung up and I could not drive. My assistant did not have her driver's license because she didn't have a driver's license. And I had three children. I had three small businesses I, I figured I'll take care of this later.
Elaine Comeau: 10:19
Big mistake. And it wasn't until the evening and when it was after dinner, I still made dinner to cook dinner. I did, I made dinner. And we were taking our youngest to her field hockey practice. And it was there that one of the coaches who is a good friend of mine, and a physiotherapist, and she she knows I... Well, she was jokes with me because she thinks I totally don't take care of my health. And she she noticed something a little different about me and I said to her
Ron Comeau: 10:54
Hold on, she noticed a little something different about you at the end of the practice because we drove our daughter to the practice. Then we walked around the lake together and it was after that walk that she noticed, yes. And so I walked all the way around the lake with you. And I think at the time you you had a complaint about your leg or something like that, but it was it was nothing new. And I think one of the reasons why you reacted the way you did when when you had your stroke in this day was because you had had symptoms, similar for about two years at that point. And we learned later why.
Elaine Comeau: 11:29
So then, my girlfriend was asked me if I was okay. And I actually said to her, I said, well, you would actually laugh at me this morning. And she said, Why? And I told her that I couldn't even brush my teeth. I tried to raise... and then she just grabbed me. She grabbed me and she almost like, picked me up off the bench and grabbed me and said, What and she's and then she went into health care professional mode. She's asked me to do all these things like raise my arm and this and that and I couldn't do it. And then and then I think that's when she grabbed me and she said, You need to go to emergency right now. And she said she's she looked at my husband and she started yelling at him too. She was if you don't take him or her, I will. And so we actually took the kids home we actually put them to bed and my husband drove me to emergency and it was there that we really had our wake up call and and the triage in an emergency.
Elaine Comeau: 12:38
The the nurse at the check in there asked me to touch my nose with my she was can you touch her nose with your left pointy finger? And in my brain? I'm like, of course I can right? That's such a weird question. I even looked at my husband like, Did she just say Can I touch my nose? So I did. I thought I was going to I attempted to and I failed, I failed miserably. And that's when it really hit me. And I went to my husband, I think it kind of surprised him that I couldn't do it either. And there even though the emergency was full, they rushed me right through. And literally then I was soon after I was transferred to a different hospital. And I want to start the lessons that I have learned right at this point, because you see, even though I physically changed, like my body was shutting down, and I was unable to do things I was born to do and I was able to do. My mindset had not changed yet. My mindset was thinking as I was at this hospital and now transferred to a different hospital, and I was there for, I don't know, seven, eight days, and I thought this stroke is completely inconvenient, because it's such a busy. I hate that word. But I'm going to say a busy time, in that I was shipping out a large test order to one of the largest mass retailers in the USA. I was launching a book, I had speaking engagements in San Diego in Toronto, with plane tickets booked. I had my daughter's nationals tournament coming up in Edmonton, and all of these things and this is not where I should be. And I thought this stroke is completely inconvenient. And, and I remember I just wanted to get get out of there, but I wasn't able to they I wasn't even allowed to walk. And I took me in a wheelchair for everything. And I remember talking to I always had the worst stutter which was so much fun. That was a side effect of the stroke. But, and then I also had the heart procedure later, which was a success, and I'm so grateful for that. But it was in that hospital that I remember talking to the cardiologist and the neurologist. But let's let's, let's go back. What is a stroke? stroke people think is a heart attack. It is not a heart attack. Ron, what is a stroke?
Ron Comeau: 15:24
Do people think a stroke is a heart attack? They do. Okay. Well, I think people people don't know what a stroke is. And I think it's a weird name. A stroke is basically a brain attack. Exactly right. And I think they should rename it to brain attack. Yeah, it's like a heart attack of the brain.
Elaine Comeau: 15:39
That's exactly right. So what a stroke is, is circulation being cut off by a blockage to your brain cells, which causes the oxygen to cut off to those brain cells causing those brain cells to die. So it is a medical emergency that needs to be treated right away or else it could result in fatality or permanent brain damage. So it is very urgent. And I am honored, so very honored now to be a spokesperson for Heart and Stroke Foundation and educating women, especially on what a stroke is. Because ladies stroke is the third leading cause of death in women, and it kills twice as many women as breast cancer. And yet we absolutely ignore it. One in five women in North America will experience a stroke in her lifetime. And we don't even know it. I had no idea that that was not my first stroke.
Elaine Comeau: 16:37
And I was very grateful to these physicians and health care providers and the neurologists was sharing that we needed to repair this quickly because as they showed us in our MRI, my MRIs and CT scans that, the blocks were getting bigger, which the hole was allowing larger blood clots, which means the next one would have been out much worse stroke. So we're very, very blessed. But it was in that hospital that I was pleading with one of the doctors I'm gonna guess it was a cardiologist because he was one who gave me a flight ban of three months, I was not allowed to get on the airplane for three months. And my daughter's nationals tournament was two weeks away, and I told him that I had to be there. I had to be there for her. She is my oldest daughter, and I did not want to miss her her tournament because during the time I was in the hospital, I already missed her provincials. And he kept saying, No, you can't go and I was saying, you know, it's only an hour and a half flight. It's really no big deal. And it's two weeks away, I'll be fine. And he kept saying no, but on I don't know maybe on the fifth day. I asked again and he turned and he looked at me, said Elaine He goes okay. He goes I'm gonna say you can either go to your daughter's tournament or you could go to her wedding. Is there a mic that we can drop? Because what right I mean, that was pretty mean. But so much truth so much truth there.
Elaine Comeau: 18:25
And it's funny because I, I do speak on stages often and my daughter was listening to one of the recordings of one of my talks and she heard me talk about that. And I heard her call out from the kitchen as she was listening to me watch a video of my talk. And she's like, Mom, choose the wedding choose the wedding. And I think I probably burst into tears at that point again, because that is what I do. And if you know me, I should have bought stocks in Kleenex a long time ago because I cry way too often. But yes, choose the wedding. So I'm gonna go right into some lessons I have learned.
Ron Comeau: 19:13
I'm gonna make sure you cover the whole story before you do that. Okay. First off, how long? How long should it be for when you have a stroke till you get treatment in hospital? As quick as possible as quick as possible? How long was it for you?
Elaine Comeau: 19:27
Oh, yes. Okay. Yes. So lesson here, ladies and gentlemen, you must go right away. Because the sooner you get treated, the shorter your recovery. My recovery was seven months of stroke rehab, and it should not have taken that long. But it was seven months and I'm so grateful. It's not that I don't have a stutter. I have learned to control it. (pause)
Ron Comeau: 20:06
While you're taking a moment to collect yourself, I'll just say that it was 14 hours from when you woke up that morning till we hit the emergency room. Yeah. And so I feel like we're very fortunate and blessed that the recovery was only seven months, it could have been a lot longer than that. And the fact that we learned that it was not your first stroke, maybe not even probably not even your second stroke was a real wake up call. And part of the reason why you had been experiencing symptoms for a couple years, so more symptoms on that day wasn't necessarily alarm bells for us. We knew that we found out that you'd had a small stroke in your occipital lobe at the back of the brain, which is where vision processing happens.
Elaine Comeau: 20:51
Yes, which often stroke patients become blind.
Ron Comeau: 20:55
And right around that time is when your vision correction changed, rapidly and drastically,
Elaine Comeau: 21:01
from perfect to crazy. And I will say honestly, that's still a huge frustration for me my vision.
Ron Comeau: 21:14
And yeah, so anyway, that was part of the reason why the alarm bells didn't go off. But part of how you're trying to educate people going forward how they can notice this the symptoms and take action. That's why whenever someone to me says stroke, I like to say you mean brain attack. And I'm hoping that that gets out. It makes sense to me now why there's a Heart and Stroke Foundation, because heart attacks and brain attacks are two sides of the same coin.
Elaine Comeau: 21:38
Oh absolutely, and it is related because your heart the way if your heart functions properly, it does help bring those traveling blood clots to your lungs to get filtered before they travel to your brain. And so yes, there's also that connection but it is not a heart attack. It's absolutely different.
Ron Comeau: 22:01
A brain attack yes, but they are closely connected because they can be related to high blood pressure. And all those same things that can cause a heart attack can cause a stroke as well.
Elaine Comeau: 22:11
Yes. So yes, you must listen to your bodies ladies and don't, don't put it to the backburner. Yes, you've all heard that saying, right when you're on an airplane and they say, make sure adults to put your mask on first so you can breathe so then you can turn and help the person beside you. So ladies, if we can't breathe, we're not going to be able to help our children breathe. And I have learned there is only one mom, for my kids, and so I have to be here.
Ron Comeau: 22:41
Before you get into lessons, would you like to share a couple stories from the seven months of stroke recovery?
Elaine Comeau: 22:48
Like how humbling it was, and how embarrassing it was? And it's like who cries when they're at H&M, signing the tax waiver for their child, so I think it's like the GST/PST thing. Well, I didn't think I was going to be that parent but I thought, Oh yeah, this is what I normally do. And I couldn't even hold the pen. I tried, I held it and then I drew. I literally felt like I was using my toes. And I just my arm slipped and I drew a line and, and I was so mortified. And I think I actually did cry. Yeah, which totally freaked out the poor teenager working on the other side (laughter).
Elaine Comeau: 23:35
And so, it was fun. Oh, don't worry, honey. I got Kleenex. It's right there under the stroke banana. But, yes, and then. Yeah, so much fun. And I remember we're playing a board game with friends. I think it was Ticket to Ride. And you have place these little tiny pieces these tiny little pieces on a line on the board game because you have to build a train. And my hand was shaking. I couldn't even put a piece of a game on a board. And I think I cried. But for my defense, I'm going to say that a stroke brain in recovery is highly emotional. So that didn't mean no favors because
Ron Comeau: 24:27
you weren't exactly stoic, pre-stroke. No. Yes, there were there were quite a few tears. A lot of tears of frustration shed in that time.
Elaine Comeau: 24:36
Yeah. And I had an awesome team at stroke rehab, like consisted of neurologists, cardiologists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists, a speech and language pathologist, a social worker. It was an incredible team and they were wonderful and they put up with me and I think I was absolutely in denial as, that's what they told me because I kept trying to cancel all the appointments because I thought someone else needs these more than I do. And they're like, no, no honey, you need these appointments.
Elaine Comeau: 25:15
And you know, it was so such a blessing because I met so many incredible people. I'm gonna go back to the gentleman I shared a hospital room with and I think he was like 87 years old. And I'm gonna call him Philip and Philip was awesome and wonderful. And I remember the stories I would hear from different stroke patients. And my favorite was also hearing the nurses whisper about me and during shift change and I would always hear them say, she's so young. So I had that going for me for like eight days. And so Philip, who was my roommate and in the hospital for a week or so he would tell me his stories and he, you know, we've all heard about the bucket list right? And you know, people's bucket list is to swim with dolphins or climb some Mount Everest or something. But I'm gonna call this the other bucket list. And you know, I hear stories in it. Philip would say, he wished that he could just dance with his wife one more time. Or that he wished he could have breakfast with his son who no longer talks to him. These are what life should be about. Those are the memories we want to hold on to and pass on to our children and our children's children. So now, can I go to my lessons? Okay.
Elaine Comeau: 26:48
And so, the main lesson is ladies and gentlemen, it was actually from a book that my husband gave to me while I was in stroke recovery, and I'm gonna say it was the first book that I read during stroke recovery. And it's called Essentialism. And in this book by Greg McKeowen. He talks about how we need to make choices, to do less, because less is better. less is better.
Ron Comeau: 27:24
And he exactly says less but better. Yes, I'm sorry. It allows you to do better, but yes,
Elaine Comeau: 27:29
less but better. And why do we want to do this because we want to live a life - this is the line that's stuck with me as struck me is we want to live a life by design, and not by default. I'm gonna say that again - to live a life by design, and not by default. But how do we do that? Right? How do we do that? How do we cut out the overwhelmingness to multitask the overwhelming need that we think we have to do it all the overwhelming need that we think that we all have to do everything right now, right this very second that we have this need that we have to say yes, because we need to people please, that we need to do things because we have to be one of those people have to be not missing out right that FOMO but we don't need to do this.
Elaine Comeau: 28:27
And I know those are easier said than done words. But I'm going to share with you three strategies that I am working through and using in my life since the stroke to help me to live a life by design and not by default. And that number one, when you are making a decision that could just strip away all of your time to do something that you should not be doing because we do fall into the trap of people pleasing and FOMO And needing to be and do everything is number one is to put your time and energy where your heart is. Put your time and energy where your heart is. What I mean here is it's okay to say no, it is okay to not go to that next tournament so that you can go to the wedding. Right?
Elaine Comeau: 29:28
That if so I'm gonna bring it back to an example. So I, when I was first starting out Easy Daysies my dailyy visual schedule product for children. I was calling this one national retailer, a mass retailer and I actually I wasn't calling them Sorry, I was emailing them. And I emailed them for about six or seven weeks and I didn't hear back. So I was persistent because I knew that it takes sometimes seven touches to get that first sale, and so on. I did I got an email reply from the head buyer of this mass retailer. And he said, Okay, let's have this meeting. And we will do it over Skype. Because they were across the country where their head office was. And I'm so excited. I ran out to the calendar to write it down. And I saw, oh, no, it was my son's grade one final end of the year concert. And I knew that is exactly where I wanted to be. And the point of living a life by design, and not by default, is to live a life that you can say, I choose to, rather than I have to, and again, I'm quoting Greg McKeown, because I love his book. And I don't want to always say I have to, I want to be the person who lives a life of saying I choose to do this. Not that I have to do this.
Elaine Comeau: 30:56
And so I choose at that moment that I wanted to be at my son's grade one concert. So it killed me to have to go back and write his email. And I think this awesome buyer for this wonderful opportunity. However, I could not make this meeting work on this day because it was my son's concert. And you have to be honest, I think that people respect when you put family first. They will respect you. And if they don't, that's probably someone you don't want to work with. So I put it out there in the email and he wrote back right away saying no problem. Of course, you should be at your son's concert, call us right after the concert. And as exactly what I did in the car parking lot of that school I called. And his very first question, when I called this buyer was, how was your son's concert?
Elaine Comeau: 31:53
Wow. I knew that this was a person I wanted to work with. And I am so honored to say that Easy Daysies has been a best seller at Staples Canada for now since August 2013. And I am just so grateful. This was a person I wanted to work with. I will say that this is what you want to do you want to work with people who - Go ahead, Ron, you want to say something?
Ron Comeau: 32:22
I was gonna ask about the second part of that story.
Elaine Comeau: 32:24
Oh, yes. Well, you want to work with people with the same core values, right? And family is important and you want to work with people who respect that. And so back in the hospital, when I was stressing out about this other mass retailer, and because I was in the midst of getting out a test order to them. And I remember I couldn't communicate with them because I could not use a laptop. I did not have a laptop at the hospital. But I think by day four or five, I got my husband bring me a laptop and, and I was able to type to them. And I apologized that I was unable to respond sooner. And I downplayed that I was at the hospital recovering from a stroke. And their first and only question this mass retailer asked was, will you meet the deadline? Hmm
Elaine Comeau: 33:24
I did. I did meet the deadline. But it did give me a big I guess an eye opener on who I need to work with. Because ladies and gentlemen, you don't need to work with everybody. Not everybody is meant to be your business client or partner and that is okay. It really is.
Ron Comeau: 33:46
There's no amount of money that makes people sucking the life out of you worth it. And people who who have the opposite values as you, that's what's gonna happen. So number two - but before you say number two there's one more story from your rehab I wanted you to tell, well, maybe two about the rubber gloves in that one you can tell if you want but that other one was when, when you were talking about Philip. I started crying so I couldn't talk. But
Elaine Comeau: 34:19
I share my Kleenex with you my love.
Ron Comeau: 34:24
For those of you who are new to the podcast, Elaine has a company called Easy Daysies and I'd like you to tell the story of when you're working with the I believe as an occupational therapist in your in your recovery.
Elaine Comeau: 34:35
Right. Okay. Yes so I will say that it was frustrating going for seven months back and forth to the hospital and when I say that, I mean like three times a week.
Ron Comeau: 34:47
You racked up a huge parking bill.
Elaine Comeau: 34:49
I did I had no clue that there was like monthly payments, paying like one offs. And at first actually, my awesome husband had to drive me because I wasn't allowed to drive for six weeks, I think right six weeks? About so yeah. And it was frustrating like my oldest daughter would come with me sometimes to my occupational therapy sessions or physio and at the hospital. And I remember one of the most frustrating moments was one of these exercises that they would get me to do and I had to sit on my right hand, and I had to pour out a cup of dimes, and then I had to use my left hand to pick up those dimes to put them back in a cup.
Elaine Comeau: 35:40
That was one of the worst moments ever for me, and in rehab because it was so frustrating. It was like wearing, it's still some, it's much, much better. But for the longest time, it felt like wearing a thick rubber glove on my hand that was invisible. But that's what it felt like. And this thick rubber glove went from my fingertips all the way up to my bicep is what it felt like. And can you imagine like wearing like half inch thick rubber gloves trying to pick up a dime. The most frustrating thing is when your brain knows that you can do something, because you've done it. You've done it before all your life. You've done it. And then to watch with your own eyes that your hand can't do it. That was so stressful.
Elaine Comeau: 36:34
I just wanted to scream. (pause) Yep. And I wasted so much coffee. There's so many times I dropped stinking hot Tim Hortons coffee on my lap because it fell right out of my hand. And then how mortified, wasting good coffee. But yeah, okay I'm doing way too much crying here. Not what I thought.
Elaine Comeau: 37:14
But back to the occupational therapist. So there was a session that I had where the occupational therapist said to me, okay Elaine, we need you to have a tool, we need something to remind you of when to take medication and just remembering the things in your day because my short term memory was affected and so she she wanted me to have a tool and she said, Elaine, have you heard of Easy Daysies?
Elaine Comeau: 37:48
She, she did not know that I was the creator of Easy Daysies and she she said you know, the have this adult version that helps with memory loss and you can actually has medication on there. And I actually let her talk because I wanted to hear what someone else had to say about Easy Daysies. But that was full circle for me. Hello, right. It's like I made it for kids to have easier days. And then we made an adult version because we had so many parents write to us saying that they were buying Easy Daysies our children's product, not just for children, but for adults with memory loss issues for early Alzheimer's or dementia, for early dementia. And so we thought, well, we can't just let them use a children's version. We should make an adult version. And we're still in the prototype stage. I'm gonna say of that product. And so that was crazy. Such a full circle.
Ron Comeau: 38:44
By the way. I've heard you tell the story many times but it wasn't in the room. Did you tell her that you created the product?
Elaine Comeau: 38:50
Yes. At the end. What did she say?
Elaine Comeau: 38:52
She laughed. She laughed so hard. And I think she actually looked it up on her phone. And I actually brought a bunch of them at my last session for her to give out to patients. Yeah. Because we all need something right. We all need to help we are stronger when we can help each other. And hey, that's what Easy Daysies was created for to help people have easier days. That's why it's called Easy Daysies. Yes, can I share point number two now?
Ron Comeau: 39:27
Yes, I think he's got all the stories covered.
Elaine Comeau: 39:30
Alright, so this is so much faster. So number two. So when you were struggling with that decision, whether you should do something or should not do something, whether you should partner with somebody or not partner with them, whether you should be selling to this retailer or partnering with a distributor, or should you be making those cupcakes for that party? Ask number two, okay. So number one was put your time and energy where your heart is, if your heart's not there, don't do it. Number two, does it create more joy, does it does it create more joy? Does it create more joy for you? Does it excite you to do that? Right? Because if you were people pleasing that does not create more joy for you. No, no, no, no, you're doing it out of mom guilt or any type of guilt. That is not creating joy. So it's okay say no, to say no.
Elaine Comeau: 40:23
And number three, is to master the art of "singletasking". What do I mean here? Well, what I mean is in our high tech world right now, you see a lot of multitasking being glorified, right? I'm sure you've seen those memes with a woman juggling a laptop and a diaper bag, and the baby and everything. And, you know, it's okay to not multitask. It's okay to singletask and what I mean here is, you know, our children, our spouse, they're not going to remember the moments where we multitask with them, but what they are going to remember those moments were we singletasked with them right? Doing a puzzle with them or just listening to them tell us about their day without any devices in your hands. And just looking at them, right going for a date with your spouse, no screens, just looking at each other, talking to each other, playing a board game with your family.
Elaine Comeau: 41:23
And in the realm of business, when you singletask, your your customers your clients, they are going to notice as well. Because single tasking, I'm not saying you have to do it all the time. I'm saying single time singletask in the and the tasks that matter the most. If I start stuttering, it's because I'm tired. And I'm told that's what would happen. Or if you get drunk, but I don't do that. So, yes.
Elaine Comeau: 41:53
Okay, so when we single task, so many great things happen and I'm talking about mastering the art of singletasking here. When you do that, your coworkers will notice, your staff will notice, your spouse and your family, your friends will notice, your customers will notice. And what is happening here is when you do just focus on that one person that one customer, you are actually going to increase the quality of that relationship. You are also going to increase the growth in that relationship and you are going to increase the commitments that you are showing in that relationship. Which most of all you are showing that increase in the impact that you leave. And that is what you want to do, right? This is what you one day when you're sitting in that coffee shop. My husband has talked about this with me before and to strang- two people walk in that didn't know you were there and one person knows about your business or about you and the other person doesn't and it comes up it is what that person who knows you or your business is going to say that is your brand, right? And that is the impact that you have left. So, that is what is important about singletasking.
Elaine Comeau: 43:17
So those are my three things - beautifully put - for how to make the right choices so that you are living a life by design and not by default, living a life where you are saying I choose to rather than I have to.
Ron Comeau: 43:34
You know what would be cool, if we could interview the author of that book Essentialism.
Elaine Comeau: 43:38
Okay, that would be crazy. Amazing. Right, right.
Ron Comeau: 43:43
We should get on it.
Ron Comeau: 43:44
A couple follow ups. When you said nationals and provincials, your tournaments. You're talking about your daughter's volleyball tournament. Yes. And if you go to the show notes, which hopefully you can just click through on if on whatever app you're listening on, or you just go to elaineskitchentable.com/087 I'll put up a picture there, of our daughter in the hospital with my wife. I ended up taking my wife's plane ticket and going to Edmonton to watch her tournament and she got a silver medal and you'll see them in hospital together with the silver medal, which, obviously, we're planning on going to her wedding and that's the right choice that was made.
Elaine Comeau: 44:21
Yes. Okay. I am going to do this shameless. Ask because we are coming back and I am so excited and so honored and grateful for you. And I would also be so grateful and honored if you went over to our website. And I'm actually giving a little freebies there whether they were - elaineskitchentable.com
Elaine Comeau: 44:41
Yes, elaineskitchentable.com and it is called Elaine's Kitchen Table because this is where Easy Daysies my product and company was born off our kitchen table. And so we thought it was just a natural fit. I would be so honored if you went there and I have freebies to giveaway from like checklists to a chapter of my book for free and also, I'd be so grateful and so honored if you would like to take a moment and give a rating I know that iTunes gives ratings for podcasts. So I'm gonna say thank you in advance. And thank with all my heart. Thank you for joining us and we will talk to you soon. Have a great day. Bye bye. Bye!
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