May 25, 2019
Today marks the beginning of the fourth quarter (yes, I used a sporting analogy!) It has now been nine months since my stroke. I find myself both encouraged and frustrated at my progress. I spent some time today looking back at my blog (www.faithanddoubt.life) and recalled certain aspects of my recovery. I now can move my toes with little effort. My hand has been slow to acclimate to its new condition, but I can now move my fingers both inward and outward, albeit very slowly. I remember the night that I was able to make my toes move. We were watching an episode of God Friended Me, and I just started moving my right toe in hopes that it would encourage my brain. Since that night, it is become much easier to move my toes. My fingers and hand are a different story. I have been able to move my thumb for months, but the strength in my fingers and grip overall are not anywhere near where I want them to be. It has improved by nearly 50% since beginning occupational therapy. I even carried a couple of pieces of paper from the main office to my own a few days ago.
It is encouraging to know I am improving. Honestly, I never thought it would take so long. For those of you who have been following my journey, you will remember when I was discharged from the hospital, I was able to raise my hands and to walk but soon reverted to not having any ability to do so. I was wheelchair-bound for at least four months. Now as long as I don’t have to carry anything, I try to walk. I know that I make people around me nervous. I heard my assistant tell my wife the other day that she keeps an eye out for me whenever I walk Through the lobby. I so look forward to the day where no one worries, or I don’t have to cognitively think about every single step.
Most of us put no thought into getting out of bed, getting dressed, using the restroom or walking in our own homes. I have to think about every step, and honestly, it’s getting old. I have always been very independent; I find myself getting frustrated when people try to help me. I believe my attitude is sinful. I need to learn, and I am learning that God’s grace is being shown to me by the care of those who are my friends and even strangers.
I am forever indebted to my wife, who puts up with my moodiness and my demands. I am grateful for our church and the care that has been extended throughout this process. I am thankful for friends that have expressed love by their presence and attention. I have always cried at the end of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life as George Bailey comes to an understanding that his life is essential and his friends invaluable. I found myself doing the same thing as I contemplated writing this entry.
I pray that I will not forget these lessons.