August 4, 2020
I was confident that I would recover. I certainly did not picture myself in my current position. This month marks two years. I’m not sure if it’s the anniversary of the stroke or the frustration of living with the pandemic, or the fact that it’s just plain hot, but I find myself dealing with discouragement.
The photo above was taken five days after the stroke. I was able to walk, raise my hands, and engage in conversation without the muscles in my mouth becoming fatigued. I had no doubt that it would get better from there. I did not.
Literally, the day I came home from the hospital the first time, the initial complications came back in a fury. I could no longer use my left arm and hand, and I could not walk.
I recently went back and read my journal entries. Undeniably, that first year I was upbeat. I saw the humor in many of my daily experiences. I was aware of God working. I felt appreciated and cared for. There were daily gains, and my outlook was optimistic, as the months wore on, the shadow of being dishearted grew ever darker.
It is frustrating when I meet new people who will only know me as disabled. I told someone recently, if I just sat at a table and never got up, people would never guess. I have tried the FDR trick and would not take photos in the wheelchair or with the cane in view.
I worked hard to ditch the cane. The four-pronged one I came home with has not been in use for many months. It sits by my desk as a reminder of something I accomplished. I did the same thing with the traditional cane that I graduated to. I will walk out to my car without it. I would struggle each step when I was tired and not use it. I’m not sure what I was trying to prove. A few weeks back, I consented to the reality that I should always be using it to keep me safe.
Where is God in the midst of this? The Sunday School answer doesn’t feel adequate. I titled my blog Faith and Doubt. There is a constant back-and-forth between the two. Don’t worry, I’m not about to give up on my faith. Many of you have followed my story. I felt I needed to be honest with you about what’s going on inside my head.
It has been a very long two years, not only for me personally but for Judy as well. Her workload at home has doubled. We recently hired the guy who cuts our front lawn to begin getting the backyard too. I hated to see my wife having to do that job. I have been able to take back at least the main dish portion of cooking. Not a day goes by where I don’t drop something to the floor in the process. Judy came home recently to find four different items lying on our kitchen floor. I have gotten better and not stepping on the things I drop!
I am sorry the tone of this entry is not inspirational. I am not there right now. I have no doubt that something will occur that will make me smile and press on. I really don’t have an option! I will tell you that I feel much better than I did when I started this entry yesterday. I think I just needed to get it out. Now, if we could simply end the pandemic, the electoral cycle, and learn to live with one another, I would be a happy camper!