Cya CVA!

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(Originally posted July 21, 2009)


I sincerely hope that none of you ever find yourself facing a situation like we've had over the last five months and change. But if you do, I'd like to let you in on a little secret.


In the first few days after J.J.'s stroke, I was too numb to feel much of anything. When I did notice an emotion, it was usually sadness or fear. I did enjoy J.J.'s successes and felt a sense of triumph when he accomplished something that we wondered if he'd ever do again. As time went on, anger crept into my emotional repertoire, as well as gratitude.


The emotion I didn't feel, though, was happiness. I've been accused of being an eternal optimist, and this is a title I've worn with pride. It doesn't take much to get me laughing; in fact, it's often the case that I get laughing and can't stop. But for weeks after J.J.'s stroke, I wondered if I'd ever feel anything approaching happiness again.


From where I am today, I can reassure you that, if you do find yourself in my shoes, the happiness comes back. It doesn't happen overnight, and it's so gradual that you might not notice it for a very long time. The first few times I laughed after J.J.'s stroke, I often ended up crying as well. Expect that your emotions will run close to the surface and will be all in a muddle for a long time. Also, don't be afraid to laugh at your situation. "Gallows humor" has pulled me through more than once.


Today, it has been 156 days since our lives changed forever. And I can tell you that we've never been happier, both together and separately.


It's worth the wait.


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