This morning I scanned the newspaper to look for ideas to make a list of three things to remember. The challenge to making a list of three things, is that they should be things that don’t provoke any ‘before stroke’ (BS) memories. You might be able to relate the item to something or an experience that you had BS but, I think for this exercise to help, that should be your only memory crutch.
I settled on the newspaper as a source of ideas. Most newsworthy items are ‘new’ to you and yet you could probably relate to the story in other ways. This allows you to access your memory banks that were left behind after the stroke and make a connection between the memory item and you past experience. I figured that if I could read to you a short article. The information that surrounds the memory item could help you recall the item. The story could be a reference point that allows you to recall a few details.
You weren’t fond of the idea. You would rather I read you emails and cards, but you humored me anyway. I read to you about the Bluenose refit and it’s associated costs and about the town’s proposed solution to various Wood street activities that a local politician commented on. The third item was at your request. Rod Carew’s birthday; October 1, 1945 and since it was easy for you I threw in the date that Rod Carew signed into the major league – June 25, 1964; the day you were born.
Yesterday’s memory challenge worked, you remembered both Haillee and Connor’s name. You did need a little memory prompt to get Connor’s name.
We cuddle in bed your bed. It’s a tight fit. You ramble on about good and comfortable things. I love hearing your voice. It comforts me and I feel safe. I could go to sleep easily. But I can’t sleep today, I’ve got to pick up Tara and get her to her choir practice.
It’s another busy day, with a tight schedule.
I can’t wait to be able to sleep beside each other.
You are worried about your friend with addiction issues. You had talked to his mother and want to help her through this terrible time. You cry. I express concern that this worry isn’t helping you. You say that you have to help her.
You ask me what I want for Christmas. You want to look at some sale flyers. You won’t find what I want in a sale flyer. Because I just want you to come home.
Megan comes to visit. Her mother is quite ill and in the hospital. She is very worried about her. Like you Megan wants to help everyone. That is how she came into our lives … so she could share her experience with spinal cord injury and paralysis and give us hope. She wants to help her mother and other people in her family. You mention that she must look after herself first before she can help others. You offer some sound advice. “Go to her and give her a hug.” You know that will help both Megan and her Mother.
Your tears come easily today. You want to escape into sleep. I do think that depression is creeping up on you. I must talk to Dr. Feltmate Monday about this. If it’s going to be six weeks until rehab, then you need psychological treatment now. To wait may really compromise your time spent in rehab.
Later in the day, while cuddling on the bed with Quinn, you suddenly become overwhelmed. When Quinn asked what was the matter. You said, “I feel like you do when you give the signal that you are sad but you don’t know why. (The ear lobe tug sign.) I want to tug on your ear lobe.” Quinn immediately understands and Quinn and I hug you and hold you.
Today was another day that went by far too fast. Places to be, deadline to meet and things to do. I almost longed for the long hours by you bed in the early days when I could just sit and reflect. There is no time in the day to reflect. I guess this journal has morphed again into a different aid for me. It forces me to take time to reflect on the day. I have always been a very visual thinker. Words on a page help me organize my thoughts. Most of the time if I hear something, I can think on my feet and act accordingly, but when I’m stressed or the subject is something close to my heart then I have to see the words to make sense.
Last night I had a wonderful chat with the mother of a classmate of Tara’s. Angele told of her Mother’s stroke, illness and eventual death. Although it was clearly very hard on her at the time, now a few years later, she realizes that the connections her mother made during her illness is still having an effect on her now.
The inter-connectiviness (this is probably not a real word – but it make sense to me) of people is possibly a defining human quality that doesn’t extend the same way to other species. I think, I might have sensed it’s presence but until now, I don’t think I’ve ever really felt it. It’s a rather scary thought that I haven’t felt a defining human feeling until now in my life. Perhaps that is part of the reason for this journey for us.