Saturday, May 26, 2012

Starting Fresh

I am entering a blogging contest with the theme, "Starting Fresh" and focusing on something I'm doing new or differently than before. I though of various things I could talk about, like how we will need to relearn family life when our kids come home, what it is like to be hearing a bit out of my left ear since surgery this week but how I'm struggling to try to figure where sounds actually come from, dropping and adding new medications over the past two weeks, or how I'm trying to learn to fend for myself in my exercise routine without formal physical therapy appointments now (thanks to insurance limitations rather than medical necessity).

Then I realized I don't need to focus on a single aspect of this journey because I am starting over each day, learning to live a "new normal" where just getting out of bed is another victory. All of life must be approached differently than it was 7 months ago. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and certainly physically, I am a different person now. I hope I am becoming a stronger, deeper person.

On a grand scale, we are starting fresh. After more than 19 years of marriage, my husband and I must relearn who our spouses are, how we each react and respond to daily life and a myriad of situations. We are coming up on our 20th anniversary, in a way, as newly weds.

It is strange to have a perspective of over 21 years of chronic illness only to plunge into acute injury and the process of recovery. This too is a kind of starting fresh. I am thankful for the "training ground" of the past decades and while it has been a journey I never would have willingly chosen, I can see how I am better able to cope with current losses because of what I had already been living through and learning.

I have been reliant on wheel chairs or walkers since October. I still mostly am, but something new I am trying more and more often is to leave these safety-nets behind and leave the house on my husband's arm or occasionally to even try a cane. What I can't get most people to understand is that I don't need a walker for much weight support but for mental feedback to counter massive balance issues from some specific areas of brain damage. Rick, sometimes my "human walker," knows this beyond a shadow of a doubt, as I stagger and push him into walls. Still, it feels so good to be walker-free when I take his arm. It has been a huge leap of faith to try, but it is a good challenge for me.

It is also a new (and very humbling) experience to be sharing almost all areas of my recovery publicly, as the experience unfolds, rather than retrospectively, as I have done with various issues in the past. My stroke blog, with about two dozen posts, is only a little more than a month old. I really appreciate all the support I receive both there and on the accompanying (even newer) Facebook page where more than 100 of you are kindly following this journey.

I am also thankful for my husband and his support and grace in this process. Hopefully, one day this will all lead to a new book so that others who find themselves thrust, involuntarily, into starting over, will be refreshed in finding they are not alone!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Monthly Stroke Progess Report

I just posted a progress report at Stroke of Grace for anyone looking. Today marks 7 months since the first strokes.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just a Sprain

After a trip to get x-rays (again), we are thankful for only crutches but no cast this time!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sick Kids

My 6-year-old just informed me, "I feel great, except I'm sick."

Daughter has been fighting something for several weeks, off and on. She is doing fine right now, other than a lingering cough.

Both boys are headed to the doctor this morning with nasty congestion (so bad it is leading the youngest to vomit), a horrid cough and fevers. Praying they feel better and praying I don't get it!