Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Losing a Motivator and Doubts

For most of you that do not read my blog regularly, you may not know that my husband was transferred to hospice care two weeks ago. This has been a long time coming. He's been terminal with a bad heart, bad lungs, and cancer for ten years. It is now time to say "See you later" but never "goodbye."

With hospice nurses, aides, social workers, and clergy in and out of my house three or four days a week, it's been a nonstop care-a-thon for my husband. So for those hours I'm basically free on other non essential essential tasks like cooking or cleaning. No more revolving door trips to the doctors and wasting hours. No more have-to-get-it-now trips to the pharmacy or pharmacies for his medicine. It all is delivered to my front door. Trips to the oxygen supplier are out too. They are now a phone call away. How many times have I prayed for this over the past six months? How many times did I wish this carnival ride I was on to stop?

Was it only August and September I did a series on grief counseling? It seems like a lifetime ago. How apropos in hindsight. Now, it is knocking on my door once again and I don't want to let it in. Honestly, who really does?

So what does all this have to do with stroke recovery?

During my initial recovery phase, I based my needs with him as a priority. Walking, forming words properly with my lips, drawing a syringe of pain medicine one handed etc. Now almost 18 months later, I'm wondering what I can base my recovery towards with my husband not in the picture anymore. What will be my focus point for my goals?

Myself? I hardly feel worthy of the dedication needed for the prolonged process of recovery. Not that I feel bad about myself, but doing things for others has always been my driving force. An external motivator to push me harder to reach it. If it's only for myself, it would be put on a back burner.

So now I'm stumped and am looking for another motivator. Doing it for me just doesn't cut it. Yes, I'm still determined to recover but I need that extra push to achieve. I've already proven that I can be a fun and creative grandmother as I am. I have proven that I can minister to those in need even if it's not from the pulpit. I have proven that although difficult, I can write again. I have proven that I can still be the counseling voice to guide my children. And life will still go on without any help from me, so I'm lost. I've accomplished so much in my recovery so far since my stroke. I don't want to stop recovering, but I know me. It would be so easy to give in to the dogma of plateau and it's the best it's gonna be.

It's not really an identity crisis, but then again it is. I know who I am and know my limitations. Doesn't everyone have limitations in one form or another? I know this and accept it. I need to be slaying dragons, but am lost on what weapon to use. I'm at my best climbing mountains and slaying dragons.

Any ideas out there?

8 comments:

Jeremy [Retro] said...

you are a very strong and caring woman... that i know and share back with you... you need paint those mountains and give color to those dragons... scream a little more.

i don't have good answers... other to remember you will always have us and your family. i wish/pray for all the good stuff to start rolling in. so head to the top of that mountain and throw out some good.

Zan Marie said...

{{{{hugs}}}} As a dedicated care giver I understand you're dilemma, Jo. All too well. When I had a horrible asthma episode, I had to learn to care for myself and, worst of all, learn to accept care from others. It was wrenching. All I can say is you'll find your footing. God will provide for this too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Since giving and doing for others is in your nature, you need to find new ways to do it. Your grandchildren still need you. You can also pass on what you have learned as a survivor to others who are going down that road, either on an individual basis or to a group. And if there isn't a group, start one.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I wish I had a suggestion for you. Can you base it on your grandchildren? I know you said you're doing well there, but if there's anyone that can help you aspire, it's a child. I hope you can embrace yourself and find yourself worthy for it, just as all of us know you are.

The Warrior Muse

Amy said...

The best thing that a mother can do for her children(and grandchildren) is be as healthy as possible. You may be a counseling voice for your children but even if they are adults they need and want much more than that.

Barb Polan said...

I agree with Amy about staying healthy; staying healthy is not about you, but about staying available to help your kids and grandkids.

How about recovering your hand as an inspiration to all of us survivors? Living proof that "plateau" is a myth. That's a tough challenge.

Rebecca Dutton said...

I also feel anxious about what comes next when a big project that gives me purpose ends. Two thougths -- I was 43 when my mother died. There are many times I've wanted to tell her about a challenge I faced. Children are never too old to need a mother. You have such a giving heart that your new direction will probably find you. I'm so glad you and your husband have the blessing of hospice care.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jo .. I'd missed the fact your husband is in hospice care - they are brilliant. However for you that space is a difficult one to fill .. I know your children are helping fill the space. My thoughts - and big hugs - Hilary