Control and When You Lose It
Before the stroke, I was a full-time working mom with six children. (Seven, with my husband! Sometimes they’re just like kids.) I did what I wanted, when I wanted. If I wanted to go shopping, I went shopping. I had my own money, and I spent the majority how I pleased. (I kept my family happy.) Although I was busy, I could go and do as I wished. I loved my checklists. They kept me on track. I could sleep, because all the details were on my list. There were always one or two projects on the horizon. (That’s how I preferred it.) I was the official party planner. I put together my daughter’s wedding almost single-handedly. I made great memes with photos for my father-in-laws birthday for 30 people just before. I was always asked to do people’s graphic design. I delighted in crafty things. Busy. (That’s an understatement!) I had all the control over my life.
Then I had the stroke. (What?) I lost all control. In the hospital, I had to have help moving my body. Every little thing, I needed assistance with. Time went very slow. (I learned to hate television!) I had a trach in, so I could not speak. People fed me, dressed me, showered me. I used sign language, that I had learned as a teenager (30 years ago!) to communicate, sadly not many were familiar with it. (24/7 charades) Day by day, I regained control of what was not paralyzed. (My dominant right side was affected.) I had to learn to use my left hand. If I wasn’t so independent before, this situation might have not have been so hard. (Well yes, it would be!) Three months in, my family got me an iPad to utilize my time. (It sits on an easel.) My first returning post on Facebook was met with shock and awe. I had about 300 comment and many more likes. It was difficult and time consuming to type at first. As the months went on, I improved on my left side and my alertness. I have happily had some improvement on my right side, got an electric wheelchair I drive myself, and had the trach removed all the while growing in patience and wisdom. I am still getting help with many things. I still live in a rehab home. I eat real food with my left hand. And I can stand, but not alone. My control in life is minimal. This sudden change in my life has been a huge adjustment. Sometimes I think I must be in a dream. I could be miserable constantly, but my family and I have a positive attitude. Hope and faith are high on our list of priorities. We will remodel our home this summer, so I can return home. The control has changed. But I know I can finish this grueling race. I have much confidence. My control is that I know for a fact that I will make it through successfully. (No doubt!)