Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday Stroke Survival: Living Post Stroke is NOT Easy

I received a disturbing email from my dearest, oldest friend recently. She's a stroke survivor too. Once again she was lamenting why hadn't her stroke killed her. Unlike many of us, she failed her competency test as part of the disability claim. Not badly, but enough that she lives with her daughter and her family. It also sped up her disability claim with positive results.

Now four years later, this couple has had a child and my friend has been given the role of nanny as well as grandmother. Such is the case in multi generational households. Although she loves the child dearly, my friend feels trapped and alone.

Now, I know this woman well. We've been friends for half a century. That's longer than all but one of my siblings. With me being the oldest of seven, that's saying something. My friend was seated firmly on the self pity pot. But she was reaching out to me. I could have answered her back coddling her to support my dear friend, or shake her up, and get her off the pot. Well, knowing me as you readers do, you know my choice. You can't love and support a longevity friend by not being honest. You don't help them that way.

So how do you loving pull someone else from the self pity pot? Treading on egg shells trying not to break them is one way. Or respond like a bull in a china shop and yank her off the pot. I'm guilty of this from time to time. My choice this time was the middle road., you use loving logic to pull them out of the gray and into the light. I start my response in a supportive way sprinkling in logic and self examples. Like when I was alone and fell and couldn't get up. How much better it is that I can holler and have someone else in the house. Just in case even though prestrokes, I never would have thought twice about living alone.

Yes, she is the full time nanny and grandmother to that precious little girl. But, she will mold this child into what she will become, instill her self value and worth. How wonderful and a huge trust and that honor is. She molding the next millennia.

But by the same token, she's not a slave either. It's not like she's destitute and living off their good graces. She bring in an income each month. Granted, she had some debt prior to her living with her daughter which has to be paid off. But, she's not a slave. She should have one day a week off from childcare duties to pursue her own interests and desires. She should be able to join a group of women that are around her same age or stroke survivors. Most of these are free. She lives in her state's capital so there should be ample choices.

She wasn't stuck at all. She just needed to be reminded of the opportunities still available to her. She needed to be reminded that even though she'd had a stroke, that she had value and her life wasn't totally over. Her job on this earth wasn't finished yet or her journey in it. The stroke was just a detour on the path she thought her life would take. The adventure and journey continues in spite of the detours.

Detours allow us to take stock on what we do have. They allow us a do over and start anew. While no one really likes detours, I say embrace the  detours. In detour you have a new set of eyes to notice what's around you. You're more attentive than just cruising through life where the common place is ignored. Enjoy the detours as part of your life because detours are inevitable.

I'm thankful in receiving  this email for more than helping a friend in need. It was a reminder to me of all the things I'd let slide without  noticing. I too had fallen into a stage where I was cruising through  my life with blinders on. I woke this morning with new eyes. See how the Lord works in my life through others? It was just as much a wake up call for me as her.

Nothing is impossible.

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