Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sunday Stroke Survival: Courage? Retrospect!?

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I was told I was very courageous a couple of days ago. My first thought was me! Courageous?? Funny, I don't think or feel that way. I'm down right miserable and terrified at times. I'm more like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.

I'm just getting by hopping troubles like a frog hops from water lily to water lily to keep from getting all wet. I actually had to stop and think what was I doing that could be considered courageous.

In the past few years I've had quite a few life altering events. My father's rapid onset dementia...what could be more challenging or heart breaking for a child? Granted I'm no little child on the outside, but deep inside, I still am. My stroke taking away half my body and my voice. Relearning how to do everything again or adapting ways to do 88% of what I used to do. My husband who was told by many doctors over the past thirteen years, "Any time now" finally reached the point of truly any time now. How I am still his caregiver.

Any one of these things could rock anybody's life off the tracks, but all at one time span of a year is insane. But yet I do realize that it can and does. And, it's happening to more than just me. I mean really, if I was the only one singled out to face all of this in the whole world... but statistically that would be like one person hitting the mega billion dollar just doesn't happen. So somewhere out there is a family who is suffering the same life altering events or worse.

Would I be selfish to say I take comfort in that fact? Although I really won't wish this on anyone else. That would just be hateful or possibly wishful thinking on my part. But then, I figure anyone else faced with the same set of circumstances would be doing the same thing. Why it seems courageous to others is the fact that they haven't been punched in the gut with them like I have.

What brought on all this retrospective analysis to a head was my physical therapist telling me to relax. I answered him back with a quick comeback of "what's that?" I said it in a joking manner.

Later as I was kicking back to take a nap, it dawned on me that I no longer knew how to totally relax. I mean even in sleep mode I'm always listening. A choking, gurgling sound, or a tinkle of the goat bell, bed/oxygen alarms, power failures, or even the sound of fart coming from the other room and I'm wide awake, donning my brace to go check. It's actually a scary thought. I'm like the Lion when Toto confronts him.

Even in therapy when they sandwich my arm in heat packs before needling, I feel tinges of guilt like I shouldn't be lying there doing nothing. I should be doing something. If I doze off during the early evening trying to read something a blogger has said because I'm so exhausted, I feel as if I didn't do enough. It's no use telling me there's nothing to feel guilty about. Enough about that.

You know my tagline of "nothing is impossible." This is where it stems from and I guess that's why others see me as courageous, strong, or even inspirational. I can't take the credit for any of it.

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So now you know.

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