Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sunday Stroke Survival: Changing Responsibilities

Today's post is about changing responsibilities after a stroke. If you are like me, you had help to delegate your "chores" to children, in laws/outlaws, or just general family just after my first strokes.  I know many out there in reader land who do not have this luxury.

I was luckier and unlucky in that respect. I was able to gradually able to rapidly slide back into my new old life. I was only in hospital and a recovery unit for 30 days. It wasn't enough time.

  • Offers of help/assistance only apply on the other person's schedule not yours for the most part. I sometimes had  to call 3 or 4 people just to make one doctor or therapy appointment. But at least I had that option. Others without this resource have to depend on medical transport.
  • This is only temporary. At best 1-6 months worth. After that, you become a burden to avoid. If I sound cynical, it's because I know human nature.
  • After those willingness to help folks are gone or sporadic at best, you are on your own. 
  • During this time you relinquish all control and choice to others. 
  •  You'll know when you assert yourself as a back seat driver that you want your choices heard. This is taken as being ungratefully by the people who are trying to help you. They will distance themselves from you as a result.
Now for some other things...
  • Shopping- when you send others to do your shopping for you, they spend more and pick up the wrong items. To go with them has a few obstacles. For me, this included finding someone to care for my terminally ill husband while I was gone. Then, there was the issue of my chronic fatigue after my strokes. An hour at physical therapy or shopping had me napping for an hour afterwards.
  •  Cooking- You might be lucky and have a daughter who brought over a plate of food each day, or have a neighbor bring over a container of chicken & dumplings.This is a challenge on a daily basis even for a professionally.trained chef such as myself. Your brain is sluggish. Meal planning is almost an impossible feat. Stouffers and frozen meals to the rescue. Nuke and it. But soon the repeated meals wear you down. How many times can you eat lasagna or Welsh rabbit in a week? You want to cook, or at least I did, but I could barely stand.
  • Cleaning- This can be very challenging without a dishwasher. I found that using a smaller sink. Sweeping is doable by holding the broomstick with your chin. The broomstick is also a great cane. Dustpans with a handle is an essential. Dusting, you can leans against the desk or furniture you are dusting. Laundry- I opted for a laundry service. For $0.75 a lb, they washed, dried and folded or hung your clothes. They even put it your car for you.
That pretty much covered the basics besides the self care. That's another open can of worms. I make
it sound so easy and it's not. But with each task you try and fail, or try and accomplish proves to yourself that you can do. Some parts of your life have taken a detour and gone walk about (God only knows when they will return). But even a baby step forward leads to confidence to take another.

 I challenge myself each and every day. Some mornings, it's a challenge to get out of bed, but I do it. That is an accomplishment to feel good about. To keep that victorious feeling going, I accept, even look for it, another challenge. Today for me is making a pharmacy run and go to Walmart for some items. I hate shopping at Walmart! Too big, too many people and a necessary trip. This is a major accomplishment. But that's not all. Today, I'm stepping  out of my comfort zone and raw packing beef stew into canning jars. I've never done this before. I've only hot packed this. Wish me luck.

Nothing is impossible.

1 comment:

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