Today is the day you have been waiting for. I have mixed feeling about the marathon. I worry that it will drive you into a deeper depression. A reminder of what was and will never be again.
You don’t see it that way, You are very excited about the possibility of running again in the mobility impaired class.
Tara is the first one up and dressed. She is wearing her Boston Marathon T-shirt. You dig out your BM shirt and then Quinn finds his. Finally Tara uncovers mine in my closet and hands me it to wear. We are the Official Cashen Boston marathon team.
The home based OT came to meet with you this morning. She wants to trouble shoot before you are discharged from the hospital and make sure that the house is safe for you. I think that you will get along with her very well. She is very keen to make your recovery as complete as possible.
The home based PT will help us develop an exercise program for you so that you are able to have a physical outlet as well as improve your current skills.
The race started at ten. Two running friends, Laura and Sandy, come over to watch the race. Later John, Jennifer and Norris share the experience with you.
You loved the attention … and the 4X4 coffee … and four Boston donuts (your new addiction). You were having so much fun, we lost track of time and left too late to make it to the psychologist appointment. Oh well, you weren’t that keen on seeing him anyway.
We had a great talk in the car. You explained to me that if you started training next week, you might be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon as a mobility impaired runner by next spring.
I wanted to believe this but I thought the time line is a little off. “Take it slow and steady.” I said. “First you could try to walk to the school and then to the school and back then around the neighborhood then 5 km and 10 km walks. Then a slow hop-skip jog. After that anything is possible –you have to be patient and determined.
You got weepy at the thought of the reality that I painted for you.
We talked about SMART goal setting. Goals should be: S = Specific, M = Measureable, A = Attainable, R = Realistic and T = Timely. Making some smart goals now will help you see success sooner and the reward of success feeds more determination.
You are fixated on returning to Boston to race. “I’d give anything to close the finish line in Boston … I’d even die.” How could you think this? The stroke still has a strong hold on your rational brain.
I was blunt with my reply. “How could you sacrifice your family to cross an imaginary line in Boston.” I lecture. ”We need you. Tara really needs her Dad more then ever to help her through her puberty years. Quinn needs you to love and to mentor him in his developing sense of humour and athletics. I need you to love me and keep me sane with your amazing gift of humour.”
You came to the conclusion that there was a twisted irony to your position. Your addiction of gambling lead you to smoking, and running enabled you to smoke, so in a way smoking lead to running. Now, your stroke, which was caused by the unknown, has taken running away from you. “Now smoking won’t let go of me.” You said. “What is really bad it that I didn’t cuddle with you at all this weekend, How stupid am I. That’s because I was so busy thinking of ways to get mad at you so I would have a reason to go out and smoke.”
Just before my call to you at bedtime, you played the – ‘I want to smoke’ game with Janice over the phone. Logic and reason have no place in your decision to cave to your whims. Janice called me to let me know that you were on the verge of smoking.
I call you immediately. I skirt around the topic of smoking and talk about the children instead. “Yes … I’ve been thinking about Tara.” You said. “I think when I get home, I should just hang out with her and get to know her again … be a friend and let her share with me.” I smile at the thought of being a friend to Tara.
You are a great friend to your friends, I think Tara would love this attention. It’s probably just what she needs now. I know that Tara and I will have our conflicts to deal with. Having you in the middle, refereeing, will be a very good buffer.
I ask you how the day has been. “It’s been a good day ... Still no smoking.” As we say good night, you add, “When I get home, I want to be the man you and the kids need me to be.” Wow! I think my blast of rational thinking about putting the family’s needs first, has helped you see the big picture ... both sides of the picture … right and left.