Whew it has been a couple of weeks of every aspect of stroke recovery rearing it’s head. This too shall pass.
If you have kids you probably have had to do some tough love or have hard conversations. That was a walk in the park compared to having a couple of recent conversations with my husband. First one is he is unable to drive safely. This is a fact plain and simple. It has not come up much lately and the last time we discussed he told me I will let you know when I want to be tested. I found a place that does a medical and technical evaluation on driving. That was several months ago, since then the topic has not come up.
A few days ago we got up early and left the house to drop off paperwork at our son’s doctor for renewing my guardianship of him. We always have fun early driving, chatting talking about the day and what needs to be done.
We decided to stop and get our son Burger King french toast sticks one of his favorites. As we were driving into our neighborhood, my husband holding the fast food bag looked over at me and said I guess I have to get use to sitting on this side. There was no denying what he meant as I was driving and he was on the passenger side. Still the tears streamed down both of our faces. He will probably never know how I long to not be the only driver. The days when he ran errands, took our son to the doctor, took care of my best friends son who is autistic. Spent time with our kids out and about.
The other conversation I had this week was about his speech therapy. His intelligence is the same as it always was, his knowledge is still there unfortunately he has to go around the damage caused by the stroke to access it. He has the best therapist on the planet! She understands the expressive aphasia with deep knowledge, she has worked with Scotty so much she knows him very well. When it comes to speech he is very hard on himself. Recently it caused concern that he would not be able to be successful because of his emotions when getting frustrated.
The talk was I had to ask, do you realize that you are not going to communicate the way you did before the stroke. That does not mean I have lost faith or do not believe in miracles because the man is already a miracle and proof of God’s love. He looks at his physical body which he is in excellent shape and so strong. He equates his strength with everything, thinking strong body, he should be able to speak clearly. Then that leads to thinking he is dumb because he cannot talk like he did before the stroke. I had to ask him if he could control himself and let the therapist do her job. The most important thing was he says the words correctly not how many prompts or attempts it took to say it the right way.
I cannot know how it feels, I am a talker, I talk too much. I crave the conversation with him. I cried often when he had the vent in and could not speak at all and I just wanted to hear his voice. I wanted to have a conversation.
We do talk now, I have often told him we are talking, I remind him what it was like when he could not speak, or spoke in nonsense words, or numbers. How there were so many things we never understood what he was saying. Fast forward to today when we can talk, when the misunderstandings happen less and less.
He never stops that is why he is so successful, he just never stops everyday he does something to make himself more whole. He is so strong and courageous and he doesn’t know it.