A while ago, I visited a stroke survivor in the hospital. This was not my 1st trip back to a hospital (the 1st time, I was freaked out, cuz when I came home from the hospital after my stroke, it took years before I could watch shows on TV that showed hospitals), but I’ve been fine, so I thought nothing of it. But this was so familiar that going to the hospital brought a flood of memories of being locked-in. Both of us were pegged as being stubborn, & I realized that as a necessary characteristic of stroke survivors. While being stubborn can be a bad quality, it can also be good, if it is determination & persistence…in fact, it can be quite necessary for stroke survivors! Case in point:
Before leaving for the hospital, I finally did something that has required lots of trial & error, but I FINALLY did it: Around the time that I was becoming more independent, by being able to make many of my own breakfasts & lunches, I was introduced to this Superfood shake that is a powder…which I needed help mixing with a liquid. It killed me that I again needed help making my breakfast! It wasn’t like it only was something I wanted occasionally, but I wanted it EVERY DAY! So, I was taking a step back in my independence… To make matters worse, for some reason the girls hate making them for me, so it felt like a burden!
Well, I have a can of the powder mix on the kitchen counter, but for months, I wasn’t strong enough to open it…so I have a grip exerciser that I have been using as I watch TV. When I could open it, I thought that was it—but I was wrong…very wrong! The first time, powder went everywhere, & I was not so good at shaking it. The next time, was less of a mess, & I stirred it with a fork, which was better, but my daughter still had to vacuum up my mess. The next time, I thought I was so smart by using a funnel, but the neck of the funnel was too small, so the powder got stuck in the neck of the funnel, & I made a mess again. So, I got a new funnel with a wide neck. FINALLY, I could open the canister, not make a mess pouring the powder, & mix my own shake! It took me awhile; but I finally made it by myself, without making a huge mess! I still have not mastered it, but it’s a start!
So, to all of u who are struggling:
“I was giving up. I would have given up – if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart. The voice said “I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen everyday. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Thank you so much for writing this! You are so inspiring and amazing in so many ways! 💗