I guess bad news first. We are pretty overwhelmed. Since last summer (less than a year) our kids have given us a broken bone, head stitches / staples, a significant learning disability diagnosis, revisiting a possible genetic illness concern, and at least 3 major rounds of family-wide sickness. They tell me this would be overwhelming even if I weren't fighting my own health battle. (We also found out yesterday how terribly gullible I am now and that while, at times, I feel pretty smart, and other times I KNOW that I don't know something anymore, but the scary times are when I think I am being wise and knowledgeable and I'm not at all.)
All this on top of still trying to home-school the younger two (wouldn't be possible without amazing parents!!!) and learning the public school system for the first time mid-school-year, starting two months ago, for our oldest!
It is to the point where I feel the current devotional book I'm writing (includes themes on spiritual warfare, does talk of Job a little, but I'm wondering if that should be a bigger focus of the book) can't be finished up quickly enough! There are other major stresses in our lives right now too. Last night it all got to be too much. I just broke down and sobbed (and post-stroke crying isn't at all pretty with all the snot and ragged gasps for air and emotional instability to factor in).
I am so thankful for these amazing kids and so many other blessings in our lives. Just feeling pretty beat up right now!!! I asked Rick if he ever feels discouraged, feels like the more he prays, the worse things seem to get. He agreed that often thing do get worse before they get better, but also pointed out many blessing God has given this past year.
The good new is (and if you have been reading here long, you know we are talking MAJOR victory) that I hadn't broken down at all (even alone with Rick) in a couple weeks now!!!
Almost two weeks ago, my physical therapist got me walking on a treadmill (starting at .1 MPH, gradually up two nearly 2 MPH over 15 minutes) for the first time since the strokes. My Dad has since closely supervised me in this activity at the gym. I can actually feel much more of my need to "weight shift" more onto my left leg. I can remember hearing this instruction, over and over ever, since they first started working on helping me stand again in the hospital, but couldn't really grasp what they wanted because what felt "straight" to me was actually way over to my right. What they tell me is "straight" has felt like I have been significantly leaning over left. It is such an amazing difference to have straight actually feel somewhat more straight now!!! I know I still am not fully balanced yet, as my left foot still slides when I walk sock-footed on a smooth floor, so I've got to keep working on more evenly putting weight through my left leg, but there is notable progress on stepping more evenly with both legs.
On a related note, I sucessfully wore something other than tennis shoes to church yesterday morning (yes, we had to leave even before the service started, because our little guy started throwing up at church). I got to thinking about how I had previously tried full shoes (with a solid back, not just a strap), thinking this would make it possible for me to wear them. Since I easily kept walking out of them, I realized that shoes that are easy to get on are still way too easy to get out of as well.
So I found a pair of my old boot (dressy, not snow boots) and it took me over 15 minutes to wrestle them on (it used to take me this long to wrestle my way into tennis shoes, that now I can put on in a minute or two), but once I got them there, my feet did not slip out! They are really flat, but since there is a 1/4 inch big, flat, steady back heal, I still turned my left ankle several times trying to wear them because I am just not used to any heal at all. There was no question that I was dependent on the cane for walking again while wearing them. It just felt so nice to have another potential option beside tennis shoes, for when I want to dress up a bit!
Last Wednesday, I was scheduled to do a medical test. It required fasting and I lost my instructions so I did eat breakfast. :( I'll try again this Wednesday (if the tummy flu doesn't mess up those plans). For all the testing and procedures I am constantly going too, not a bad track record that I messed up just this one!
Also, if health permits, I'm going to give the Access transit system a second attempt tomorrow. I'm nervous, but it will good for me to find out I can do this. My mom will travel with me tomorrow. If all goes well, I will try on my own next week.
Sorry to the eight people who have already read this, but I have to add in something AMAZING that I can't believe I forgot to share!!! I accomplished one of my long-term goals last week! For well over a year I have been sad about, and for many months I have been working with both my counselor and my physical therapist over, my desire to hold a baby again, something I have been unable to do since the strokes and something I deeply grieved. On Thursday, a mom trusted me to hold her 4-month-old little girl! I was seated, held her with my strong side, she arched her back like she didn't feel very secure, and I held her for less than five minutes, but I got to do it at all! How like God that her name is Hana! <3