It has been a long, long journey to recover some of what was lost nine years ago that Thursday morning, January 15th, 2004. I realize now it's been nine years ago and I could have been gone then but I really think and believe God had other plans for my living longer. So here I am a month into another year of recovery which I surely still need and have no complaints with what I have gained back over those last few years. I may never get back to where I once was but then again I won't be the only one who hasn't got it all back yet.
A stroke has the overwhelming ability to take away what you had and give you nothing back. Only hard work on your part, therapy applied daily, and plenty exercise for the paralyzed side are the key factors a person needs to come back from where the stroke left us grieving. Other factors that makes us grieve are we lose our jobs, income, and the ability to get around on our own as we once did for many years. In some cases our spouses will also leave us holding the bag, losing the home, kids, car, and many other of our valuables we have held onto for years.
It feels in some ways like being burned out and barely alive to get by as best we can on our own or maybe even in a nursing home. In cases with no insurances, no income and lost of job that can be emotional to overcome and we get angry and in some cases combative toward our spouse. However we must quickly find new methods of thinking, living, and learning to live the way we are now. That alone is hard because we never had that to do until now. Many adjustments must be made by us to survive.
My first adjustment was to find a way to get around on my own since I left the hospital unable to walk even with a cane. I decided a scooter would do the job, then getting my drivers license back and finally learning to walk and care for myself as much as possible. That all came together in a few more months while my wife was still by my side. She quit her job to care for me long as I was down. I was determined to get better fast as I possibly could and I did that.
In fact two years post stroke I went to work at Walmart on my scooter for three years before I decided that was enough for me. We struggled with finances and still paying our bills to the point our church stepped in and paid our mortgage a few months so we could keep our home. My wife was able to return to her beloved job at the bank. God was good to us in what we were able to accomplish in those early years. It's not a cake walk and the early years are the tough years in every aspect of living and life after a stroke as a survivor.
As I look back over those years now that I have completed nine of them I feel so blessed to have made it at all. At some points I didn't know which way to go or look for help I know I needed. It's a long journey I know too well that without God in the picture I could not have made the trip. I want others to know God is the answer for all survivors and care givers alike, He will lead the way to a better life for you, Just trust in Him with all your heart He is the way.
The next chapter in the life of the survivor and care giver is trying to get back to where we were prior to the stroke or strokes in some cases and can see ahead of ourselves when we got some strength back and many early problems are now behind us where we can look ahead and continue to live our lives and not dwell on the rough times we had. That's when the whole love of life returns in the family and we know we were in a big battle for life and living. We must continue to be in prayer with God because the truth is we can still lose a survivor or a care giver at any time we know not the day.
It's a true blessing for me to see other members on this site that has been recovering for three times as many years as I have now and I say may God continue to bless all of you in His own way!!