I found this draft from November, 22, 2017, as I was doing some housekeeping on my blog. I don’t remember writing it, specifically, but it shows me I am not as happy-go-lucky as I often think.
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In the hospital I woke up one Saturday and was having breakfast in my corner window when I realized that tears were running down my face. I couldn’t have told you, (and still can’t, really) why. But everything just seemed overwhelming.
I was engaged in a daily struggle of being left-handed – something new. My food slipped out of the corner of my mouth. I would use my unaffected hand to put my right hand up on the table and it would flop back down onto the pillow that the nurses had placed it in my chair for its protection.
Outside my window people were going about their lives. I knew their lives weren’t perfect either, else why would they be at the hospital? And there was unbearable smoke from regional forest fires which didn’t touch me in my room.
But life was going on – without me.
It’s understandable to have bad days. Life looks much difference that I did pre-August 3. In my first month of recovery (that seemed endless), I had heard that bad days will pop up about once a month. And I’ve been offered advice for the next time. I’m told to set a timer and do what I need to do – scream, cry, whatever, for 10 minutes and then time is up.
No need restrict it to once a month. I can do it every day if I want to but so far I haven’t wanted to.
Still I haven’t managed to cook for myself. Although I can fix rudimentary things, I’m reticent to handle food hot from the oven or stove.
Even if I had the car modified, I am not sure of my reflexes, so I don’t drive.
Most things I can do for myself. It’s a luxury, though, to have someone zip of my coat, button my shirt, or any of the tasks that are difficult left-handed. When I’m really being dependent I like for someone to bring me my coffee or tea so that I don’t have to use my wheelchair with its tray.
I can’t volunteer anymore to pick up for the food bank or to sit with my hospice clients. I have found it impossible to attend my lifelong learning classes at a local university. I don’t have time or energy. And I don’t have transportation if I have the concentration power.
I was the entertainer so my friends and I miss the dinner parties I used to host.
Yes, life is different.
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That’s all I had written. I can tell that I was feeling bereft. So now I am grateful.
I can drive.
I can get on and off my tricycle alone.
I can go to my classes.
I can buy my own groceries.
I can fill my bag for the Food Bank.
I can cook for myself and my husband, if necessary. (There is a lot of healthy take-out to be had and he is always glad to pick up dinner.
I have even had my friends over – it has been potluck and they have to help me carry it to the backyard.
I still get down and I am more apt to admit it. But I cry less (stroke cry) and am more social. I’m pretty self-sufficient but readily ask for help. Life is good (except for an occasional bad day).