Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oak Tree Trunk with Virginia Creeper Vine at the Lake
 Today is Thanksgiving in Canada and I have a lot to be thankful for. I would not being doing nearly as well as I am without the help and guidance of so many people. I have had so many experts, friends and family all support my efforts at getting my life back.  My life has been enriched by the many people I have encountered during this journey and I am glad to name as friends many of the stroke survivors and people struggling with other conditions that I have met along the way. What would life  be like without the  many kindly volunteers and compassionate caregivers and health-care professionals that give their time and kindness and prayers so selflessly?
There are still sad, depressed days but I am blessed to say that most days include joy and gratitude.

I have been so busy! --- I get myself so exhausted "doing" that I have no energy left to "write" about it. That, for me, is actually a good thing because it means I am out there leading my life.

We experienced several family crisis over the summer including one daughter with serious head and leg injuries after an 8 foot fall and another daughter tripped on a curb and we are now awaiting surgery to fix her still injured dominant hand. My youngest daughter had a pin from a previous injury removed from her ankle because of constant pain. It has not been an easy summer but I have been proud of my ability to be of some help during all these stressful events.

I have been taken part in some different counseling sessions, worked with a life coach, gone to exercise groups and worked on the idea of getting employed again. I volunteered for two weeks with The Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba and I worked hard to fix up a house that I rent out.  I went camping with Girl Guides this Fall and .. yes really.. I slept on the ground in my sleeping bag.

When you are in Physiotherapy or Occupational therapy they ask you what it is you want to be able to do, then they start on a few baby steps to try and take you in that direction. I have been slugging away at that list for a long time now, first with the therapists and then on my own, and I find my lists of wants for recovery keeps expanding. There are always higher mountains I want to climb!

Some of the items that I desperately wanted to do  are no longer of much interest to me once I achieve them. I originally was so sad about not shopping independently. Shopping is now doable for me but I find it is very stressful and tiring. The stores with all the people, and odd lighting and colors make me feel dizzy and ill. Driving home is harder than driving there and putting away groceries feels overwheming. Yes, I can now shop independently but it is no longer a pleasant experience for me. It is just exhausting so I try and farm the basic shopping off on the husband or my kids whenever possible now.

Driving on the other hard still seems like a miracle every time I get in the car. I tried for so long to get my license back and now I really treasure it and the freedom it brings.  I still have a few issues. It is not smart for me to drive after dark and I shouldn't try and drive anywhere when I am tired. I need to allow extra time and take a GPS device with me everywhere I go because I have a lot of issues with some kind of spatial memory. I have a few routes that are solid but if I get turned around by even a block  I am really lost. I am driving just fine along the street and with other traffic, but no idea how to get from point A to point B. Eventually I do get to where I want to be. The Trick, like so much in life, is to keep calm, reassess what your destination is and then just get moving again.

It is now time to go help my daughter get the turkey started.  Dinner tonight is for 10 people. We are taking it easy and making potatoes and stuffing from boxed kits because it doesn't have to be Grandmas Special Dressing anymore. That is not what matters. It is the people you share it with that count. It is recognizing the old memories and it is making brand new ones.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a joy filled week.


Rainglo said...

In the years we've been acquainted, Linda, I am always appreciating your PMA. . . . and also your honesty at your dark days. Thank you for lending support to me and for your wisdom. I am grateful that you are in my life. :-) Love, Gloria

Diane said...

Linda, glad to see you back! You haven't posted in so long I was beginning to worry about you.

Happy thanksgiving! And yes, so many things to be thankful for! Enjoy every moment.

Humpty Dumpty said...

My friend, I am thankful for all the things you are now able to do and especially the things we can do together. Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner with all your family. :)

Grace Carpenter said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I hope you and your family had a nice day--and some time to rest!

Glynis Jolly said...

This post was so amazing, Linda. It was inspirational and educational. You really should think about becoming a life coach yourself. You have the talent for it.

Linda said...

Gloria... hugggs I treasure our friendship. You were there for me in some very hard times! I was very blessed to find you and the rest of our little group.

Susan... You have been such a wonderful friend through so many good times and bad! Now we are on to new adventures!

Linda said...

Diane. I am glad you missed me! smile! I keep track of your blog and I cheer for you and Bob all the time.

Grace.. Thank-you -- we had a great day. I had lots of rest.. right until the grand-kids arrived!

Linda said...

Thank-you Glynis. What a nice thing to say! I really got a lot out of working with my life coach. I truly admire people like her and you that are so clear sighted and can give such great guidance.

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Rebecca Dutton said...

What really hit home for me was not sweating food prep because getting together with loved ones is the real gift. I hope you daughters get well soon.

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