Post-stroke, Day 6. I fell over backward yesterday. I was just standing there. Did you know that your brain controls whether or not you can hold up your head? Sheesh. Who’d’a thunk.
So my totally Type A son, who should be taking his OWN blood pressure several times a day, did an awesome job of reminding me why I can’t sit around and cry like a little girl. He said:
The bad: 1. Goofy left hand. 2. Goofy left knee. 3. Months of dumb ol' physical therapy and a few more pills to pop. The good: 1. The universe used the only feasible tactic to force you into positive physical change (quitting smoking, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, more exercise.) Though, I'm sure you would have gotten around to most of that on your own. 2. Lots of family and friends to help you through it, like it or not... I saw one man in the stroke unit who had nobody in his room the entire two days I was around. 3. You've maintained your wonderful ability to write, to inspire, to think, to speak and to sing. 4. Semester off... maybe time for another poetry book or perhaps a novel about a Chechen warlord who sneaks into America to start a new life as a children's birthday clown? 5. Opportunity to pull off a cool cane with a concealed sword inside. 6. New appreciation for things previously taken for granted, and all that baloney. 7. You have a beautiful country acreage on which to recuperate. 8. More time to read, watch movies and maybe invest in Rosetta Stone French. 9. You taught your like-minded type A son to take stock and make similar positive changes before we both end up making goofy slack-jawed shadow puppets together. 10. You reminded your kids how lucky we are to have such a fantastic mom. We love you.
I’m toying with the Chechen birthday clown novel idea, and believe me, I know how lucky I am to have such amazing kids. I should add that I’m also terribly grateful that Ray has the legs to pull off a nurse’s uniform. Oh yeah, and that my 77-year-old mommy is bringing me food, that my younger brother drove up from Kansas and bought me a bag of 100 therapy balls (stupid floppy arm keeps chucking them under the furniture), and that my daughter brought me homemade lentil dahl and cookies. Heck, if all the function came back this minute, I’m not sure I would tell…
I named my stroke BS; according to many old traditions (Vedic, Islamic, Judaic, etc.), naming something gives you power over it. You can probably imagine what the initials BS stand for, and even if you’re wrong, you won’t be too far off. And yes, it’s both cliché and true that we need to focus on what we have, not what we miss or don’t have. This morning, for example, I came downstairs and made my own tea. Take that, BS.