Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunday March 7 – The Giant Crossword Puzzle.

This morning you announce that you want to tattoo the word ‘’Burden’ on your arm. How I have come to hate that word. I certainly don’t want that word to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I did’t want to hear that talk first thing in the morning. Last night I had promised you that I would get you some Tim’s coffee in the morning. I escape your ‘burden rant’ to fulfill my promise while Fran and the children hang out with you.

When I get back you are disappointed that I didn’t get you a 4X4 and doughnuts. We have a big conversation about impulses and control. I know you want comfort food. I do too. This is a hard time for you and comfort food looks good, but too much caffeine, cholesterol or calories and any nicotine are not doing you any favors. These were the crutches that you used to cope.

There is a fine line between being your warden and preventing you from getting these things, and being your partner and helping you heal.

Saying no to the nicotine, caffeine, cholesterol and calories means that you can say yes to you recovery. This is a hard choice but in my mind it is a no-brainer choice.

Fran gives you some emotional support while I stand my ground about the cream in the coffee. I know there so few things that you can control. I point out that you can either allow the impulses control you or you can control the impulses.

Both Fran and I can relate to your need to satisfy impulses. Food is a big comfort to us. You were my warden and Fran says her boys are hers. We all need a warden and a partner in our day to day struggles. It’s part of the human condition.

One of your presents to Tara was the video footage of you walking with a cane. I played the video for the children and Fran. The children are very impressed with the progress you have made. During March break – I hope that they can see you in action first hand.

You really wanted to practice walking, like you had been doing with your PT all week. You persuaded me to try … against my better judgement. You tried to walk with me holding your right arm. A small miscalculation in footing made you fall. Thankfully it was a soft landing and I was able to get you back into your chair easily and safely.

You were really shook up and I should have never allowed you to try something like this. I have learned the lesson. I won’t let this happen again.

The other present from you to Tara was a card with some wonderful parental positive affirmations on it. This is a card that I know that she will cherish for years.

Later in the day you have a little chat with Quinn about the gymnastics meet yesterday. You tell him how proud you were of him. You say, “You are a hard worker and you are not a quitter. When you get bigger and stronger … Look out!”

More positive affirmations for Quinn. When are you going to be able to give yourself some positive affirmations.

A young lady who you befriended at the NSRC gave you a poem. She had a stroke too. She has graduated from the inpatient to the outpatient list. The poem is entitled ‘Don’t Quit’. As you read it, I recognized it. It was the poem that someone had posted to the blog:

Our time together seems to go by far too fast and yet today,I am somewhat relieved at the end of the day that I can move onto other things. It’s as if I need a break. A break from countering your negative talk. A rest from always trying to find the bright side. At the end of the day … I still have energy but I need to redirect it.

This whole thing feels like a giant crossword puzzle. I can get ‘1 across’ easily but ‘2 across’ is harder and ‘3 across’ is just a wild guess. So to prove ‘3 across’, I have to look at the ‘down’ clues. That works of a while but then I get stuck on them.

I keep moving from the across approach to down approach. I find small solutions that seem to work or at least show me that I’m on the right track. I still don’t get to see the whole crossword puzzle solved but thank God there are different tacks that I can take at different times to help find solutions.

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