Monday, December 20, 2010
Five years ago last month I had a massive, nasty stroke, my right half wouldn’t respond, I couldn’t think clearly and emotionally I was devastate. I spent almost a week in ICU and when I reached the general floor I thought what now. No one believed I’d be going anywhere but to a nursing care facility for the rest of my life, if I managed to survive the next few days. I on the other hand, not being privy to the general opinion, was living my life one day at a time, never thinking for a minute that I get anything but better. Each morning and evening I told myself today I’m better than I was yesterday, stronger and more connected. Every task I attempted, very call I made where I got the persons on the other end of the line to help me was another step towards my goal even if I couldn’t see where I really was.
I never let myself use the word can’t, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t use my right side and I couldn’t think clearly yet. But never did I utter the word can’t, it’s a self-fulfilling word, though. I never thought I’d never walk, never use my right hand, never be able to type or to tie my shoes. Never touch a women, or hold her near. Never again be able to take an image I’d love, never have to think well can I. I knew I couldn’t do thing’s as I used to for now, I knew that I had a long, long road to go before I could/would do those things again. Sure I got frustrated, down for what I’d have to learn to do again. When you use the word can’t, then you give in to what’s affecting you, then in a short a time you surely can’t.
I tried to channel all the people I knew and admired, those who through no fault of their own had fallen. I remembered a friend who had a really bad accident, lost her sense of self, who she was and what she did to make up that complicated self that was so uniquely her. How she had to wear a patch over her good eye so the one that was hurt would slowly get better. Learn how to ask for help without seeming needy or somehow lesser. How I hurt for her seeing the struggles she had, what she couldn’t do and her fear that she never would again. How grateful she was to be treated as normal as I could without trying to wrap her up in bubble wrap.
Or watching as my father began that long slide into a compassionate old man instead of the son of a bitch I knew as a child. I could see the writing on the wall and was preparing for that myself. Not that I learned the compassionate part, I love the son of a bitch in me who wasn’t ready to give up yet. But at fifty seven I heard those whispery wings of old age descending upon me. I was lucky enough to be getting ready, making those step to transition to a time when I could no longer keep the pace I did. And then bang..., in the morning went I awoke I was already there in my future, unprepared and truly having to start over from square one.
Posted by MichaelV. at 9:04 PM