I've been fairly quiet about this, but since my hubby is flying home right now, I can now tell you that Rick and our 14-year-old (pictured above) have spent much of June over in Turkey (yes, the country)! And guess what, I've managed quite well, if I do say so myself! I am so very ready to have my guys home, because I simply MISS them, but as for personal survival, household management, keeping up as a single parent of an 11- and 8-year-olds, things have actually gone even better than I could have dreamed. I still can't master laundry totally on my own, but am learning how to cook more meals and more successfully guide my children in keeping up well with our home over their summer vacation. Wow, what a change, all the way around, from when Rick went on a trip (even when our 14-year-old was still here to help me) and it was so incredibly trying still, to be on my own, just last summer. A couple different friend have now commented along the lines of how huge this is and what strides I've accomplished just this month. Here are my amazing guys from their last day there together:
Even more amazing than just being on my own, there was a day and a half in there where I was really on-my-own, as Rick was gone out of country already, my in-laws were also out-of-country, my parents were still out-of-state, and the vast majority of my standard driving and support team of local friends were all away on vacation at the exact same time, too! Still I handled things without panicking. Thank you for checking in on me once-a-week, Kathy!
There were no major medical crises while Rick's been gone, home repair issues were kind enough to wait to need addressing until my parents were back in town and Dad could come rescue us (thank you for your loving care even when my house so obviously hates you, Daddy!), and Katie even manage to get me kids to and from VBS all week this week, while my parents and I attended to 13 different medical appointments (a few required our daughter to stay home from one day of VBS, but were very productive for her) this past week! Three more doctor appointments on Monday, then we will have most current medical needs addressed before our insurance year starts over on July 1. Whew!
My left ankle is starting to grow somewhat less painful from the sprain earlier in the spring. My right (greater weight bearing foot) decided to wait until this past week (after we were already totally booked with appointments) to start becoming really painful in the cyst I was to have surgically removed last fall (that was canceled due to kidney stone surgery), so I guess we will have to figure out how to address this in the new insurance year if it continues to cause such issues. My burn blisters are all gone. Both my blood thinner and antidepressants have been dropped in half this week (though I had already been taking this lower antidepressant dose for a very long time already and can't actually drop lower without poor reactions yet). My hips have bursitis now (presumably from carrying my weight so unevenly when I walk) and my right shoulder and neck are both strained from doing too much in order to compensate for the left arm not being able to do enough, but overall, it was a pretty good week for medical news!
My neuro-ophthalmologist explained this week why it is still so scary to me to try walking along a narrow pathway (like sidewalk) without a rail, bushes, or some other visible barrier to the side. I have learned to adapt so well to being so dizzy all the time, that I really rely on visual assurance of my surroundings and when there is nothing there to assure my brain, my body still rebels! He watched me walk and comment, "I'm not easily impressed [very true from all I've seen], but I'm IMPRESSED!"
In response to my concern that I still don't like turning at all, especially to my left side, I expected all kinds of therapy tricks to help me fight this quirk and instead he replied, "Lead with your right. Always turn that direction when you can." His advice both surprised and encouraged me. I can't remember one other time since the strokes, that someone in the medical community has addressed a concern of mine by basically giving me permission and reassurance that it is OK to just work with what I already have, rather than fighting and clawing for improvement." Maybe a simple sounding statement, but indescribably freeing to me. My regular neurologist was so pleased with my stability at this appointment that we probably didn't even spend a full five minutes together before he said, "See you in six months."
"I begged the Lord three times to liberate me from its anguish; and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong."
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (Voice)