May 16, 2019
Hard to believe that it has been nearly nine months since my stroke. I have gone through devastation, optimism, frustration, and somewhere lived in between it all.
In some ways, I had acquiesced to the fact that I might never gain full functionality again. Judy suggested recently that I/we were not doing enough when it came to exercising my left hand. I remember glancing out the window blankly and having the feeling “why bother?” I was frustrated with myself for getting to that point. Everyone keeps telling me that I am progressing nicely, but I find myself continually frustrated that I am not anywhere near where expected to be this far into my recovery.
I was so frustrated that it drove me to action. We started acupuncture a few weeks back. I am using the electrical stimulation unit that we had put away. I had Botox (a Neurotoxin) injected into the muscles that are causing my left hand to clinch and therefore not allowing me to exercise my hand, and I have continued therapeutic massage even though at times it hurts like hell.
One of those things seems to be working. Yesterday I was able to give the thumbs up sign with my affected hand. Today I was able to move my index finger and my ring finger. These are small victories and a far cry from complete recovery, but it’s better than last week.
Tonight at dinner, a good friend (who happens to be a therapist,) asked me, “how are you really doing?” Since I am very familiar with that inquiry and have been known to ask it in a way that cannot be answered without being totally honest, I replied I have good days and bad days. In retrospect, there have been many more good days than bad ones in the past month. I am encouraged by that reality.
I am praying that I will have some semblance of wholeness buy my anniversary (both wedding and stroke) on August 25. If I don’t get there, I will be frustrated, but I am alive. Today I am clinging to the promise that Paul, a follower of Jesus. wrote two millennia ago: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28