Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ If All Else Fails -Punt

I've heard from so many about my ability or ingenuity in dealing with my stroke and life. Personally, I take no credit for it.

I glean information from all sorts of sites on the web to form my new ideas or ways to do things. I know what I want to do and know that I'm not the only one facing these issues. Somebody somewhere has to be talking about it. That is the truth. I spend hours in research and following tangled strings to form and rough working something to substitute for what I can't do.

That's not to say I'm not creative, because I am. I was looking out side the box when my #2 daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis way back in the early eighties. Not to many people knew that kids got it and so young. My daughter was 2 years old. She was facing a lifetime, until she would be 16 and not be considered a juvenile anymore, of physical therapy exercises that hurt twice a day, blood work every four weeks to check medicine levels and kidney function, multiple scans and x-rays, special diets, immunoboosters, and splints and braces. That was on top of regular kid stuff like Chicken Pox and school.

If something is fun then most people don't mind if it's something they have to do. Have you ever met a child that liked taking medicine four times a day, even if it's the orange flavored Children's aspirin. At two, she took a whole bottle of 30 tablets each and every day.There's only so much a kid or an adult will tolerate under normal conditions before they will revolt. I wrote nursery rhymes that went along with her physical therapy exercises in an attempt to make them more fun for her. It was more fun but still painful and boring in a ten year time frame.

I'm a firm believer in..."When all else fails PUNT!" Life isn't fair. Life is not some trouble-free zone. Stuff happens.

For me as a child, I never once asked to be put in harm's way. Neither did my parents. But stuff happens.

As an younger adult, I didn't ask for half of the things I went through. All right, I'll admit to setting myself up for some of it. Everyone makes poor decisions at some point in their life that sets themselves up for a tumble or three.

My father always says a cold is trying to catch him because nobody in their right mind would want to catch a cold. The same goes for most bad things that happen to "good" people.

Didn't you see me as a working minister, author, and full-time caregiver jumping up and down two years ago when a stroke was looking at who to strike next. "Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me! I can't wait to have a stroke of my very own!"

Yeah, right! You must be crazy!

But the fact is that I did have a stroke. I remember thinking the next morning, if I did have a stroke, I did something right because it wasn't that bad. But then it got worse. I progressed from weakness to paralysis. Yep, I was the idiot who was jumping up and down saying, "Pick me!" and it did.

Punting Away a Stroke
As the weeks and months progressed, my stubbornness kicked in. But there's only so many times you can make applesauce, lemonade, and punt...but I'm still punting. I'm up to my eyeballs in applesauce and have constantly puckered lips from all the lemonade. Still I continue to fight.

After all, A failure is only a failure if you let it be. If I try, fail, and give up then I'm a failure.

Can you really accept failure in your life? Are you this sad sack, who simply let's their failures pile up around them and say, "Woe is me."

How long can you keep that up before you try to figure out another way? I know some people in the real world who can stay in that position for years. Nothing is their fault. Not even a smidgen.  Everything bad happens to them and only them. I'll bet you can think of a few too. Can you stand to be around them for very long? Me neither. That just ain't me.

  • Find a teeny tiny positive in your situation. Grab a hold to it and squeeze it for all you are worth. For me, it was being surrounded by caring people who could laugh and being able to laugh at myself.
  • Find a bigger positive and repeat. Before long you've squeezed that into nothingness, so you begin to actively search for positive things to cling to because it feels so good. For me, if I wasn't dead then there was the hope of recovery or adaptation. Even though at times this was more of a curse than a blessing. Perception isn't always reality.
  • Find a couple of positive things and keep searching. Before long you will be finding more than you can hold. For me, I was grabbing like a starving man at an all you can eat, free buffet.
  • Nothing is ever ALL bad or ALL good. There's always the flip side. You just have to look for it. No, I'm not going to say the silver lining because there is no silver lining surviving a stroke other than surviving. It just is what it is.
So that's how I did it and doing it. If you really want to do something...do it. God gave you a brain too. Although not as intelligent, or as beautiful as mine. (batting my eyelashes at you) Oh, smile! You know you want to.

Nothing is impossible with determination.



3 comments:

Zan Marie said...

What a good post, Jo! I needed it today. Thanks. {{{{hugs}}}}

Barb Polan said...

"Perception is not reality." I agree.

Rebecca Dutton said...

Being a therapist who worked with physically disabled people showed me bad things happen to lots of good people. This helped me let go of the "why me" question.