Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturday March 20 – A No Cry Day

Quinn wakes up with Daddy! He is all smiles. Tara gets up and slips into the big bed. The four of us in the big bed cuddled up it was so nice. I didn’t want it to end. When the clocked ticked past 8am, Tara jumps up and asks if she can call her best friend. As she talks to Madeline, her speech gets faster and faster. She is so excited at the prospect of Madeline getting to see you when she visits later in the day.

After breakfast, you note, “No crying today by 10 am”. While you visit Donald at Cedarstone, I get groceries. You want to make it a routine of going to visit Donald once a week if possible. I think in many ways, the two of you have a lot in common with only 44 years separating you.

The children have their friends over to visit, It is almost like a regular Saturday afternoon full of domestic life. Cooking and planning meals, cleaning the house and settling disputes between children and tidying up after them … It felt great to be home.

Stairs weren’t a big deal really. They are nerve racking to do and they require 100% of our attention. No multitasking while doing the stairs. I won’t even let the children talk to us while you are on the stairs. One mis-step can lead very easily to a fall. A fall can seriously set you back in your recovery. It is difficult for me, a multitasking addict, to stay focused on one thing but it is important.

I have to be your voice of reason and safety. You are usually the cautious one and I’m the risk taker in the family. Being the cautious one is a new role for me and I find it easy to fall into “maybe we can do it” attitude. It’s dangerous thinking. I keep reminding myself what the PT said on Friday. Walk and stairs only when necessary not for recreational demos.

Together we explore your backpack. This is the backpack that you had in the car when you had your stroke. It had the cigarettes in it still. I had thrown in your GPS watch and your rings as well. I put the cigarettes in the garbage. You want to get more but I can’t let you slip now.

It’s a beautiful day and we decide to go outside for a walk about the neighborhood. We meander our way down the street and arrive at Marsha’s house. You give Marsha and her husband, Doug, a complete comedy routine of your experiences in the rehab. The lines were funny and the timing was good. You still have a comedian’s delivery. The stroke didn’t take that away from you.

Later in the day, Harold, our neighbor, visits. Being a fellow stroke survivor and ex-smoker, he can empathize with you. The two of you talk about smoking and the effort it takes to quit. Harold has been smoke free for a while now but he says that it’s really just a matter of taking it a day at a time.

Harold is very involved with the local Stroke club. It is for stroke survivors and helps them overcome their deficits and thrive despite them. He is going in the March of Dimes pledge – Walk and Roll A Thon that takes place April 10 at the Truro Mall. He brought some pledge sheets for you to get sponsors. You will be home that weekend and you want to be involved.

The two of you talk about how a stroke affects people. Harold has a seemingly ‘invisible disability” from the stroke. Anyone looking at him wouldn’t know he had a stroke but the he still has effects of the stroke, which have lingered. The recovery, for him, continues every day. He is an inspiration to you.

By 10 pm you still haven’t cried today.

Quinn happily sleeps with us again

Note to readers: The Walk Roll A Thon in at the Truro Mall from 9 to 11:30 am. Come and see stroke survivors make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. Chris will be there Walking and Rolling.

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