A year and a half! Honestly, I didn't think we would ever get this far! I still know that I almost moved to Heaven on this day, a year and a half ago. It was a Tuesday morning, "should" have been my last on earth. God had other plans. I still question the length and circumstances of my earthly destiny, but more and more I am coming to terms with the reality that I am still here by God's love, ordination, and for a purpose.
|I love this (and the author,Tricia Goyer too)!|
Mentally, I am becoming more aware of my deficits. I feel fairly intelligent in most areas, but know I am lacking in higher functions such as math, geography is having to be relearned (what a blessing that my kids and I have been focusing on the 7 continents, that I wouldn't have even been able to name at the start of the year, and key facts of world culture and geography all school years), English rules (thankfully I have always written more by "feel" than technicality), short term memories (one reason I love Pintrest so much is that something I loved enough to pin just last week, seems totally new again when I read it today) and even a few random and very specific longer term memories of various people, places or events.
As a friend (who I have absolutely no pre-stoke memories of even knowing, who has been brave enough to re-enter my world, perhaps or perhaps not, the only person totally erased from my recollections) who also had a mild stroke years ago, recalled her experience and put words to my own. She explained that it is like a hot needle has randomly poked through my brain, taking with it the most unrelated mix of facts and experiences. It's like popping balloons of information, what was there simply is no more. No amount of prompting or reminder will bring back even remote or fuzzy memories of what just is not there, of another's life or experiences. As C. described, it's not like you can talk enough about something that you eventually say, "Oh yeah, I think I might sort of remember something about that..."
My pre-stroke memories are crystal clear, sharp and detailed about most things other than the days immediately proceeding the first strokes. Even several of those memories, such the timeline of events leading up to my hospitalization, are really quite good. But like a restaurant that I have been told closed a good six months or so before I stroked, I was surprised to see it closed the first time we drove past after I came home, because I have NO recollection of them going out of business. A few events of this past year and a half, especially those from recent months (the first months following the strokes are rather a blur), are also quite clear, but the things I am missing are simply GONE.
|Click here - StrokeOfGrace.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-i-wear-combat-boots.html.|
I still have occasional dreams that include my old abilities, like recently dreaming of Signing (Sign Language) fluently with both hands. But it has been long enough now that such dreams usually don't shock me, grieve me, or cause me to be jolted back into my currently reality, like they did for so many months. The dream thing was an odd progression where my dreams were initially only able-bodied and caused such cutting anguish each time I awoke to such an altered reality, then there was the trauma of the first time my mind started including my waking limitations into my nightly terrors, then there was a long season where my subconscious had yet to fully grasp the transition and my nights were quite the mix of pre- and post-stroke realities (the per-stroke ones seeming the most cruel because they were so terribly unattainable). Now I am finally just typically the post-stroke "me" weather I'm waking or sleeping (with a few random pre-stroke dreams simply being a reminder of the life that was once mine, but typically not being so taunting of what will never be again).
In fact, I feel enough back to myself now that I am often surprised to hear the slow drawl of my own voice, feel/see the shakiness or lack of strength of my arm, by my own stagger or tendency to trip, by my wavering attempts to capture a note of song (but I am thankful my voice has any range now at all, compared to the simple monotone of earlier months), by lack of stamina or loss of capability in accomplishing once-simple tasks like general housework, by a stab of pain, by muffled hearing, or doubling vision. Whereas the first 18 months was marked by an acute and constant awareness of my many injuries, I seem to be slowly entering a phase where I "forget" that I have stroked until something brings me a vivid reminder.
|Found at unbrokenbygrace.tumblr.com. A year ago, even a few weeks ago, I absolutely couldn't have fathomed ever being able to sing (and mean) these words. But truly there are moments when God's glory eclipses affliction now and I am momentarily unaware of my losses and shortcomings!|
I went to the dentist for a routine check up and cleaning last week.
|May is stroke awareness month. Picture from Pintrest.|
I have been physically feeling really quite yucky this week. Needing to go to bed, pretty much without any warning, for 2-3 hours in the middle of the day, almost every day this week. I'm guessing that is because we did address the parathyroid issue for a week, then had to suddenly cut out treatment (due to allergic reactions). I think treatment made SUCH a difference, that coping again without treatment is pretty overwhelming. My pain levels are also so terribly high now that it is interfering with both my exercise routine and my time with my physical therapist. She was very relieved to hear I will be seeing my neurologist for a scheduled check-up on Friday. I will be following up with my endocrinologist on the parathyroid issues, to see about treatment alternatives, next week.
“Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved … My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:1-2, 5-6