Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday Stroke Survival: Unwritten Rule Shattered

I don't know about y'all, but I've had this unwritten rules wherever I live. What is an unwritten rule?
A rule, usually concerning social behavior, which is known by all but spoken by none. This rule is neither official nor written down. It just is. - Urban Dictionary Online
I have very few of these. Actually just two and one no longer applies.

1) When my children were living at home, no adult figure would contradict another. Agreements were made before hand on discipline. None of that wait until your mother/father gets home. It also stopped children from playing parental figures against each other. This does not apply to my grandchildren though. I'll deal with their parent/my child later. I'm a firm believer of fairness. I also reserve the right to spoil and then send them home. I am, after all, grandmama.

2) The two adults in a household cannot be injured or sick at the same time. I can think of only two other occasions in over 45 years when this was broken. Once was when my husband and I caught the flu. But we had two teenagers that were capable of looking after their younger siblings (and us). The other time was when I had my stroke. By then, our children were grown and could step in to care for my terminally ill husband so it worked out.

But this week takes the cake. Mel and I shattered this unwritten rule. Last weekend until Tuesday morning, I was in horrendous pain with spasticity in my arm. As a by product, my arm was up to my chest and locked there. My shoulder muscle screamed at the constraint,  my trapezuis formed an even tighter bands which strained my neck muscles resulting in a tension headache that wouldn't quit. Occasionally tears would roll down my cheek after I had taken all my medication (even Tramadol) and was counting the hours and minutes to take more.

By Tuesday, the spasticity finally relented. But Mel awoke with her jaw swollen. Her teeth had abscessed.  I thought at least the unwritten rule was followed. I was better with my pain only being a 5 out of 10, I was able to care for her and our homestead. She'd just completed sewing a thick, snugly bath robe and she all bundled up in it with a throw blanket over her legs. She was 101 with chills. The whole right side of her face was swollen and blotchy, poor thing!

I finished preparing the goodies for my bi-monthly stroke support group meeting. It was drizzling outside as I loaded the 4-wheel drive truck. I'd already tangled with our uphill driveway and knew my van wouldn't make it, but that's another story. I made sure Mel was as comfortable as she could be with plenty of fluids before I left. The drive to the neighboring town was uneventful. The meeting was a good one about community resources.

It was pouring rain when I left the meeting. I have difficulty getting in and out of Mel's Chevy Slverado because I'm short, but I manage. I got home and pulled into her parking spot, got out (slid off the seat onto the ground), and landed in a muddy puddle. Oh, great! Now, I'll have to change my pants, socks, and shoes! I made my way around the front of the truck and slid in the clay mud. I stopped myself from falling by twisting and grabbing the hood of the truck. The fall was averted but I didn't come away unscathed. I wrenched my braced leg about the knee.

I didn't think much about it. I grabbed my containers from the passenger side of the truck and hobbled inside. Later while fixing dinner, my affected leg would barely hold my weight. You guessed it. I had sprained my knee. The next morning I was worse for wear. Still our animals needed to be cared for. Mel was still feverish.

I still managed to make my two appointments at Emory. By Friday, I was still hobbling along with difficulty. If it's not better by Monday I'll call my primary care physician for an x-ray or MRI. The good news is Mel is finally on the mend. So this week, I once again shattered my unwritten rule. I hope it doesn't happen again any time soon.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. That really sucked. You're right, two people can't be down in a household at the same time. Hope you don't need to go for an x-ray. I assume Mel made it to the dentist with her tooth, though.

  2. My knee is tender but fine. No dentist will touch her until the infection is gone.


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