Sunday, August 16, 2009

recovery notes

After nearly a month of thinking I could find no pearls along the path, I realize that there was a big pearl right under my chin, so close that I nearly missed it.

It's been a hard five weeks since my dad was discharged from the hospital. His stroke naturally meant that our lives would be different from then on. His doctors (including our dear uncle the general surgeon) made it quite clear to us that our dad would not have full use of his motor and verbal skills for at least a few months, and even after then he will need supervision for every aspect of his life. The way my uncle put it, Papa will be the child now and we will be the parents. We'd had to work our routines around his new ones - blood pressure checks, sugar counts, diet regulations, adjustments to the interior of the house, medicine intakes - it was a sudden adjustment that I neglected most of my own routines. He now needs at least one of us by his side 24/7. I felt as if I was being robbed of my own life.

I couldn't keep from thinking about the inconvenience of having a 63-year old baby about as gentle, submissive and as patient as Grond. Many times he would express his frustration at not being able to say what he wanted to, and at our not comprehending his message. Add to that the unnecessary pressure of meddling-but-not-very-helpful relatives who always seem to notice what we've done wrong and overlook what we've done right. And then the stress of getting in each other's hair every so often.

But wait - this is my happy thawts blog. No whining in here, right?

I needed to put all that first just to emphasize how welcome a seemingly tiny blessing is in the midst of all the unpleasantness.

And here's what it is:

A month or so into recovery, our dad is doing good. Even the doctors and therapists say that his quick recuperation is surprisingly ahead of schedule. His Grond-like qualities have been helpful to him in that he forces himself to cope and regain his strength. He is now able to walk quite briskly (whick is his normal pace, pre-stroke) with the help of a cane; we needed the wheelchair for only two weeks. The right side of his body which was still weak post-op has regained strength; he has close to full use of his limbs. His speech has not yet retured to normal, but with the help of speech therapy, he has been able to communicate better.

And speaking of that - we've been told that there are only five speech pathologists in the country, and that we are quite fortunate to have one attend to our dad.

Healing is good. It ain't all extremely superatural, but healing is still healing and it is welcome here.

I have no illusions that things will return to exactly the same as they were, but hey, we're in good Hands. Life ain't a piece of cake, but we've got enough sugar to last us.