Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I was sharing with my mom yesterday how unprepared I felt for this crisis. I guess that's the hallmark of a crisis though, it is something devastatingly unexpected and if you were fully prepared you wouldn't react to the crisis negatively, so in your eye the event wouldn't be a crisis!

I compared having a stroke to a single house fire. In a wide-spread crisis like a flood or an earthquake, everyone can understand what you are going through because they are dealing with the same types of issues.

A fire is just as unexpected (sometimes more so with today's weather prediction technology) and just as individually devastating, but very few truly know what your daily life is like in the days, week, months or even years to follow. There isn't a manual to tell you what to expect or what steps come next along your journey. And it is a unique process for anyone, all though their are some general commonalities with others who have lived the same trauma.

The good news here is that while others can't personally relate, they weren't traumatized at the same time you were, so they have the emotional and physical resources available to help you out, unlike fellow catastrophe victims would.

 I went to therapy again yesterday. Nearly an hour with the occupation therapist for my intake interview. Tthen my normal physical therapy stuff for another hour or so.  As for walking, G. says that they hardly ever see this kind of progress, especially this quickly, even from a single stroke, much less six with such deep brain involvement like I've seen. I know the only answer is God's grace, since my medical prognoses was so poor.

 I told him that I would still like to be walking by now and he agreed that ever other patient wanted to, "be better yesterday" as well, but he still seems quite amazed at my progress. I am still walking like i severely drunk, but I am walking a bit so there is progress. My new goal is to be fully walking on my own by my 40th birthday, the end of July. I don't know how realistic that goal is, but it is where I hope to be.

 I also do a seated stepping machine. A week ago my record was around 600-700 steps in 15 minutes. Last Wednesday I made over 1,060 and yesterday I got to 1,275 in the same amount of time. I like this kind of measurable progress with such exciting outcomes!

When we came in from therapy we smelled a little smoke in the air and heard a fire siren. Within the next half hour we watched in fascinated horror as a pillar of smoke rose over our neighborhood, first white and then thick and black. At least three more fire trucks came roaring past our house and we knew the lives of our neighbor were changing forever.

Just a few blocks from our house, two children were home alone (imagine their parents, leaving for work one ho-hum morning, then having no home to come back to at the end of the day) when the fire broke out. According to the news, there were no injuries, so I presume the kids got out safely. I do not know the family and do not know how we can help out, but the stroke analogy kept replaying in my mind as I watched the smoke rise, and I covered this hurting family in prayer.

We have been through or own crisis, but now we are in a position to be the blessers to others because this tragedy wasn't our own. God, please give us the wisdom to turn our kind intention in to healing and helpful actions, when I'm at such loss in how to respond.

Last night I enjoyed a couple of independent "firsts." I went to writer's group again, so this meant I rode somewhere in the car without an immediate family member AND it was my first time out for a meeting in the evening. I was quite sore and tired by the end, but I am thankful I was able to go! I was so blessed by the fellowship of the ladies and the feedback on my Fruit of the Spirit book. It was a stretch, and I was fearful to go without family and hand-holding, but I was embraced quickly back into the fold and was well taken care of.

I ask you to keep this nameless family who lost their home in yesterday's fire in your prayers. Also my friends R. and M. who remain so heavy on my heart as they continue grieving for their daughter.

1 comment:

SHARLENE said...

Wow, Jenni, thanks for sharing your experiences. I pray you WILL be walking (and not like a drunk person!) by your 40th birthday.

God is our faithful shepherd and healer. Keep your faith alive!

Love and Hugs...