Restaurant Leftovers and the Gas Pump

We found out something new today about Stroke brain. You would think after 1 1/2+ years you had pretty much run into every situation that our simple although busy lives experience. Jake and I found out today we have not experienced all the nuances and emotions that come with a stroke.

We decided to try a new restaurant today and Scotty was in some kind of out of sorts mood when we were trying on shoes he thought we were bringing him the wrong size, would not try anything on until he saw the size on the box. Then it seemed to disappear as we stopped to get some fruit and vegetables.

Onward to the restaurant where he chose a booth next to a really large noisy group. I did not want to argue but it made me a little prickly. We enjoyed the meal and then it came time to box the left overs. We all had ordered the same thing so I said 1 box maybe 2 for the untouched food. Jake held the box and told his Dad load it up. That is when the trouble started. Scott got angry and did not want to mix the food, he kept trying to grab the box. Finally getting no where Jake handed him the empty box. Then he stopped he told us he thought we were trying to take his food. He did not know he did or said anything wrong. He did not know he was mean, rude or ridiculous. My son and I just sat there looking at each other. We knew we handled it all wrong, we knew like a wall of bricks falling on us the stroke brain struck again when we least expected it.
In that instance we both wished we could be perfection, because the tears and stricken look on my husbands face told us how badly we handled the situation.

No longer are the moments when he is consciously angry , mean, rude are he in control. He is at the command of his stroke brain with very little control, over the waves and confusion that hits him in any given situation. We realize we can never stop evolving to make things better for all of us. We learn to anticipate and help soften the blows not make them harsher.

The second part of this blog is pumping gas which came after the meal. We have pumped alot of gas since the stroke and it is always the same we pre-pay usually $20 worth and Scott likes to work the pump although sometimes he does not remember to squeeze the handle so the gas comes out. Often he cannot get the pump into the tank opening. He does like to pump gas and that is what is important. He also likes to look and watch the money and the gallons tick of until we hit the $20.00 it is actually almost and obsession. Today his right hand was not working well and has he was squeezing the pump and trying to look at the tick tick of the gallons and cents, out came the pump shooting gas all over yours truly. The struggle began to try and unclench his hand and get the pump shoved back in the tank. Remember when you use to like the smell of gas?

Now there were tears and dismay. Scotty couldn’t understand what had just happened. He thought he hurt me, he was upset, ashamed, felt useless. These are the unfortunate outcomes of the stroke.

I look at him and I see only the man I love. The funny, witty guy who worked hard all his life. The marine who went to Vietnam and left the best part of his youth in the jungles of a foreign land. The body that was devastated by the stroke that he has fought and worked so hard everyday to be better than before and indeed it is. My son and I talked and on Jake’s mind is I want my Dad back, don’t I know it. He wants to be back that is for sure if he remembers we don’t know.

We can only be thankful and wipe the tears away and face a new day.

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