Had a wonderful surprise this weekend as my darling sister, Mary Beth called Thursday and said she was on her way. Her daughters and husband had to work this weekend. So since Melissa, the youngest, has baseball tournaments coming up, Mary took her free weekend for a bit to come to visit.
We had been talking the past couple of weeks about the current transition Bruce and I are undergoing. How frustrating and difficult it is, for me, to try and reconfigure how to manage this house and Bruce as well with no direction offered from him. He will go swimming with me or Jen, does well with Leo still, but seems content mostly to sit and watch TV and then when he gets bored looks to me to fix it. Partly my fault as that was how the whole first 1 1/2 years post stroke generally went.
Bruce does best in the mornings and all his home therapies were in the afternoon. After his two hours with Jen, I would take him for rides: picnics at State Parks, museums, car shows, art galleries, just sitting by the ocean or on a lake, with lunch. Then home, nap, therapy, 2 hours with Leo, dinner and bed. Then the Outpatient schedule for a year, with us paying from March 2010 to November 2010, when he quit everything except the pool and his two days a week at work. I filled in the one off day with the Volunteering.
I have explained to him that it is not acceptable to say to me lets go for a ride. I did that for one year. He was exposed to a whole bunch of things. It was frustrating and difficult for me: finding a new place, getting there, driving that truck. I read all the papers I could to find events. Read maps and tried to figure out how to get places. Even ended up out of state to find new places. I explained to him that he must set the game plan. I will take him anywhere he wants to go, but it is now up to him to decide the direction he wants to go in and what gives him pleasure, gets his errands done, what he feels would help recovery.
Our weekend was wonderful and as usual, we both hated seeing her go. Weather was not good but we had plenty to do here in the house and she did get to see our brothers, Brittany and Izzy on Friday. Her local library has a fund raiser every October and since I found another ten boxes of books in the attic: that Bruce assured me he had taken care of-lol. We had Bruce sort through those. He got through five boxes and then was just too exhausted to continue. She raked my entire front yard and the two of us cleaned out the gutters. I'll climb but need a spotter here and I think just the emotional support makes it easier. She took the lawn mower and the swimming pool. She knows I am trying to clean out. Contractor is coming end of July, so worked on his list. Pete came to do the gutters during that 30 inches of snow and ice this winter after Mary Beth had called him. Mary came because I was in a panic and worked with Pete and his crew shoveling paths and clearing down spouts. Pete was funny on the phone, asked to talk to Mary and said please don't get crazy on my list-lol. Strange bedfellows this stroke makes!
As usual she brought enough food for a month and then spent all day Saturday with stuff cooking. Nice part was, while she and I were outside, she put Bruce in charge of the kitchen and he did great, including cleaning up some of the dishes for us. She commented on how far in the house he has come. And how I did not jump when he moved. She also noticed that while he did not initiate much, was more than willing to do anything if asked. She asked me about it. This also ties in to the daily routine. Maybe it is just damage from the stroke, will do if given direction but can't find direction independently, altho tonight he set the table for dinner without any prompt. Just all so confusing.
So a new week starts and we begin again. But her visits are always so strengthening and do so much for my attitude and outlook. Bruce cried when she left and Kira has spent the afternoon in her room just meowing for her. She gives her light and strength to all of us. Good week all, Debbie