Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Striving for Perfection

Something has weighed heavily on my heart this week. It caused me to stop and rethink my attitude of where I am in my life. I honestly do this quite often as a reality check.

The gigantic WHY question.
No, not the why did the stroke happen to me? I know why. It was genetics and poor life choices I've made.

I still say the delay in my recovery in part is due to God teaching me patience. I still don't have that battle won, but I've come a long way in two years.

No, not the why haven't I recovered more of my body by now. I'm a victim of circumstance that overloaded my "golden" one to six months optimum recovery time with an injury.

These things I knew the answer to. My "why question" deals with something deeper.Which is why it made my heart heavy. Why do I want to recover what I've lost so bad?

Previous to my stroke I'd accomplished many things. In fact, I'd accomplished more than most people in my life both good and bad. So why couldn't I just be satisfied that this is the way my life should be now? Are we as human beings always so dissatisfied with our lives that we constantly have to strive to be better? Have more? Do more?  
I've got everything I need. Sure I have wants but my wants won't kill me. I can take care of my basic needs for me and others. That's saying a whole lot! I came to the realization that I needed to be content with my life. Admit, for probably the first time with acceptance, that there are just some things that won't happen today, or tomorrow, or even ever. Yeah sure I want a full recovery of everything I lost, but whether it happens or not, I have to live this life and it is a gift that I was given.

I was being my own worst enemy. I was playing a killer mind game on myself. So I decided to stop. I hate mind games. They only hurt me and those around me. The mind games I'm talking about are not the same as I did when I was writing. Those are benign what-if games, but I'm talking about the hurtful ones. Yes a certain amount are useful to achieve anything like walking that extra forty feet when you are exhausted, or tricking yourself into believing you might just succeed in some task.

Does this realization mean I won't be going to rehab next week? Nope, because I still have to try to regain what I can or at least slow down my spasticity from invading my body once the Botox wears off. Every little bit helps. Every little success is paramount. It is still worthy of patting myself on the back when I wash dishes or cook dinner. Sadly that is few and far between in part due to my energy levels and in part because it increases the difficulty in my husband's breathing efforts. Most nights it is still a TV dinner split between the two of us. 

This week I've had another bout with congestive heart failure which spurred my contemplation. (heavy heart, get it?)My cardiologist wanted me in the hospital for a few days, but my home life isn't conducive for that right now. So I stayed home off my feet, or as much as I could on 60 mg of Lasix. Extra potassium and low salt on top of a less than 1000mg of salt diet. I've been eating a lot of salad instead of TV dinners which are loaded with salt. 

At times like these, I really want a catheter instead of getting up to go to the toilet every ten minutes with a full bladder. I dropped ten pounds in just fluid the first 48 hours. The good news is that I'm coughing less and can breathe easier now. My heart has settled into its usual Abby Normal rhythm. After two days I went back down to my maintenance dose of Lasix. Whew! Thank God! I dumped a total amount of fifteen pounds of unnecessary fluids in four days and I'm back to my normal heavy weighted self again. So all in all, things are back to normal.

No, I still have a damaged heart. I'm still paralyzed. I'm not in congestive heart failure for right now. My husband is still dying in slow increments. He is still on hospice services. I'm still his primary caregiver. I'm still maintaining a household.

It's just is what it is. And for that, I am thankful. So I got my answer to this WHY too. I'm satisfied and not discontented with how my life should be.

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. Jo, I find it amazing that you keep on going without let-up. HAs I've said, you should NOT pray for patience? If God says yes to that prayer, you have to wait a REALLY long time for what you want.

    Plus, you already are patient, as defined by one's attitude while one waits - your grace proves your patience.

  2. {{{{hugs}}}} As always you humble me.


I love to hear from you! Agree, Disagree, matter. Even if it's to say you were here.