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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Settling Into The New Normal

It's amazing how resilient a human being can be. Friday will be two months since I had my stroke, and now I'm settling in to what I call The New Normal.

The New Normal means it's going to take me twice as long and sometimes three times, to do anything. Cooking dinner? Twice as long to chop the vegetables, twice as long to get the packaging open on any kind of meat or side item, twice as long to pack the leftovers away to container, all because it all has to be done one-handed.

Going to the movies? Or the Mall? I'll need my cane - its a visual signal in a busy place that I'm going to be moving slowly, so give me some room, please. I wear my arm sling, too even without the cane because my awkward arm frequently unbalances me with the way it swings.

Need to go to the grocery store? That depends on what time of day it is. It may have to wait until my muscle relaxers wear off. and then I may have to circle the parking lot a few times to try and find the closest space I can to the door. Once inside, it's a slow lumbering walk, leaning on the grocery cart with the occasional stop just to rest. Not that I'm complaining - it's a lot better than being stuck in the motorized scooter. I mean, at least I am walking now. Then when I get home it's five to six trips out to the car to unload the groceries, because I can only carry a bag or two at a time.

Folding laundry? Don't make me laugh. Seriously, it looks like a toddler got into the laundry basket, but oh well. All you can do is all you can do.

Yawning? Oh, dear God, whatever you do don't go into a stretch! Yawn and stretch do not go together anymore, Because a full body stretch brings on muscle spasms in my arm and leg that are agonizing to say the least, and debilitating if I happen to be walking at the time.

Still having fun with the body temperature regulation, and the solution to that is I sleep with a fan pointed directly at my body and the bed, and under a thick comforter. I stay nice and warm that way, until I start roasting alive and then I can throw the comforter off. When the chills set in, the covers come back up. good thing I don't have a boyfriend because I don't know how the hell anyone else could sleep like this - I have a hard enough time doing it.

Also part of The New Normal - and a good part. I tell my children every single day that I love them. That was a most-of-the-time thing before, but now it is set in stone. Two months ago I told my children I love them and I faced the very real possibility that it might have been for the last time. I was given another chance. Another chance to take every single day that I can to tell them over and over just what they mean to me. Another chance to take a deep breath and say I've got a whole day when am I going to do with myself? Another day to write another page, another day to sit on my porch and drink a mug of tea. another day, period.

I am a lucky woman.

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