Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sunday Stroke Survival: Take Time to Enjoy Life's Blessings!

After over seven years of living post stroke, I've found the preciousness of the small stuff is a blessing to be enjoyed.

What blessings greeted me yesterday morning?
  • I woke up refreshed after a good night's rest. My pain level was about only a 5 out of 10. 
  • I was able to put my AFO correctly and get up from my bed by myself.
  • I was able to relieved myself without having having to change a soaked diaper.
  • I was able to make a pot of my favorite Earl Grey tea and carry a cup out to watch the sunrise over the ridge.
  • I had a meaningful chat with my Father and plan my day.
  • I was able to shower and bathe myself.
  • I was able to change my night clothes for day wear. 
  • I was able to scrub my face, run a comb through my hair, and brush my teeth.
Sound simplistic? Maybe. But a few short months ago, I couldn't do any of those things so they are blessings! In fact, I was quite literally dead. But, here I am drawing air into my lungs and my heart keeps beating such as it does. Honestly, a teeny, tiny piece of me wishes it was not so, but have breath-will live my time to the fullest as God intended. These are victories and blessings rolled into one!

Later in the day, my blessings were:
  • Made myself breakfast and cleaned the dishes afterwards.
  • I ground the sprouted and dried wheat berries into 5 lb of flour for the week's bread. Ours is not an electric grain mill, but a hand cranked one.
  • Fed and watered the animals both inside and out, and gave each the attention they deserve.
  • I gathered the eggs that the chickens had laid since the afternoon before.
  • I managed to blow out and comb one angora rabbit. That's up from only doing half a rabbit a day, but not as good as before my surgeries of three rabbits a day. Oops! I slipped in a comparison. Naughty, naughty!

I focus these blessings throughout the day as I plow. I'll be met with more blessings and failed attempts.It's the little things I know so many stroke survivor can't say that. This too is my blessing that I'll stick in my pocket for when frustration points hit.

You know frustration points are going to hit because you are relearning or learning to do whatever. Frustration causes you to doubt your recovery, but most of all doubt yourself. Before long. you are kicking yourself while you're down. Never a good thing. I take a moment and remember all my blessings so far in the day. I stay away from thoughts that will drag me farther into despair like comparing my life now and before my strokes. That life is over. I've started my life over in this new reality of the present.

Even on a "can't do anything" day where I can't even move to get out of bed by myself, I'll look out of my bedroom window. The sun will rise, the birds will call and sing to each other. Now with Autumn, the maples, oaks and poplars are ablaze with colorful leaves. I can be thankful for these little things too. Eventually my older arthritic joints will loosen and I'll be able to get up and start the other things most people take for granted.

I take nothing for granted. You can't do anything if you are dead and I was before the doctors managed to bring me back. Now, there's a comparison I'll gladly make and count it as a blessing too. I know you've heard, "Any day above ground is a good one." Your circumstances may not be your doing and you cannot change it right now. But, just as important is the quality of that day. That is entirely up to you. It is your choice.

Nothing is impossible.


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