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Normal... Again


SandyCaregiver

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I've been thinking about writing about this, and it has recently come up again. So, I almost thought not to write, as it might be redundant... but no, I need to blog it for my own record.

 

When Bob first stroked, I called my girlfriend, since 2nd grade. I told her what had happened, relaying my horror and loss of what our lives would have been. She matter of factly said, "eh, people don't realize being handicapped is not about living with loss, it's just living differently". If anyone else had said that, I'd have decked them... but since she had handicapped parents, I listened.

 

So... as you shakily crawl out of the abyss, looking for a shred of hope to hang on to, you begin to hear the buzz words.... new normal. So what is normal? Is it being perfect? Or is it a word that means what we are used to? I think it is the 2nd one. We are used to doing it this way, and that way, and now we can't do it like that. Are we abnormal, then? I don't think so, I think we are learners, seeking what we once sought, to establish how we do this, -just like we established it before, in the beginning of our lives.... our learning lives.

 

I used to think it meant, 'my new normal is taking Bob to therapy everyday and doing everything myself'. That wasn't it....not the new normal... it was just the path way to it. As most caregivers know who have profoundly handicapped strokers, you spend the first year on pins and needles, watching their critical state of health. Then it gets a weeeee bit easier for the next few years. And then one day, your husband tells you he knows things are better, because he heard you singing in the kitchen again. You begin to realize that it is better, and you don't HAVE to spend every minute now, doing all those millions of things like when it was all critical, but can now slow down and spend some time on yourself. While you always need to be on the look out for how to do things better in the maneuvering and transporting of your stroker, you've gotten a lot of that figured out now. You do certain home therapies, just like any one else exercises at home, to stay 'in shape'. One day I looked at Bob and I realized I didn't see the wheelchair, I just see Bob. I told him, I don't feel like we are a handicapped/caregiver couple anymore..... I just feel like we are 2 retired people sitting around and taking it easy. We stay up all night, laughing at our favorite shows, sleep late, take naps whenever we want.... then it just hit me about a week ago... this is IT! THIS is our new normal! This is the way we live without thinking about it and worrying about it! It is no longer 'how will we do this', but 'this is how we do this'! We have lived this life for enough time that we have established our normal.... no longer our new normal... just normal now.

 

Don't fear the words "new normal" - it's code for :"second chance"!!!

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Sandy, you know in my case years ago I never knew of anyone in the neighborhood ever suffering a stroke then all of a sudden I suffered a stroke at age 62 after 22 years in the Army and in what I thought was good physical shape...... In fact I had just passed my annual physical and the doc said see you next year!!!!

 

Here comes 2005 AND I find myself here on Stroke Net talking about suffering a big stroke...... I know Bob may have felt the same way too..... I have to say we are all blessed to be here able to speak about strokes in our lives.....

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I liked your post sandy.  you and bob have reached a place that has a certain peace that can really not be described but only experienced.  I do say also hello to bob.  I wish both of you well.

 

david

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Perfectly put Sandy.  Your normal mat not be the same as other peoples or the same as your normal before stroke but you've got to the comfortable place so enjoy it.  People also talk about acceptance as if it's a nasty word and means giving up.  Acceptance is like your normal.  It's not that I don't want more and or that I'm not working for more but my normal is what it is now and I can live with that so in that sense I've accepted my stroke and what it did to my life.

-Heather

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That is awesome love to render the wheelchair invisible. Isnt it wonderful moment when we realize we have managed to live through our biggest fears.

I hope you both enjoy the companionship of many more nights filled with laughter.

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Sandy :

 

love love this blog, you nailed it. we should not fear word new normal it is indeed our second chance to appreciate & enjoy life to fullest with our loved ones. I hope & pray you enjoy your this new retirement years to fullest.

 

 

 

Asha

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I have heard people spew out that word "new normal" and it has a different definition for every person.  I think in our case it is just the word "acceptance" as to how things have changed for us.  

 

You have a good care giving attitude and have helped Bob in many ways. 

 

 Best wishes to you both.

 

Julie

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