Monday, December 7, 2015

The mind....

The mind is a powerful thing.  When ones brain has been affected in any way, it can be very frustrating.  It is frustrating for the person who has experienced the brain damage or brain stun because they can't communicate what they are thinking or feeling and they can't make their body do what they want it to.  They have to rely on others for pretty much everything.  The frustration of seeing your leg but not being able to use it is something that I have very limited understanding of.  I have had orthopedic surgeries that left me unable to use my leg for a little while but it still had feeling.  To see your arm and leg but not fully feel it or be able to use it is something that I can't begin to comprehend.  My dad is frustrated.  He hates that other people are having to help him.  He wants to go home.  He wants to walk.  He wants to be independent.  But at this time he isn't able.  But God is Able.  I have to keep believing that there is a purpose for this pain.  As frustrating as it is for the person suffering, its a different kind of frustrating to the people who stand beside those who have suffered some kind of brain injury. We don't know what he is thinking.  We don't know what he wants.  We don't know if he understands everything we are saying.  We don't know if he understands anything we are saying.  The simple every day tasks that we take for granted, now require intense concentration.  His brain is having to re route a lot of signals.  And yet every day there is new progress.  A toe that moves, a muscle that flexes, all proof that it is coming back, that he is coming back.  The frustration on both sides leaves us sitting in the middle with a heart that aches.  We want to know how he is feeling and what he is thinking but we have no way to hear it and we want him to know we aren't going anywhere and that it hurts when he ignores us and pushes us away, but he is afraid we will leave him.  I know he is only testing us to see if we will stick with him....but do you think maybe he could test us when he hasn't just had a stroke?  or maybe when our emotions aren't so sensitive?  or maybe when we have had a good day?  I mean we need to be mentally prepared for this kind of test!  Today he worked on brushing his teeth with occupational therapy.  While helping her she asked me what I did before being a stay at home mom and was convinced that I had worked in the therapy field.  I told her I was thinking about it and she told me I should definitely pursue it.  Maybe that will be something good that comes from this, I will have a purpose for my life.  After occupational therapy then physical therapy came in and again I was reminded how much we take for granted.  While sitting my dad was asked to move his body forward until his nose touched the therapists hands, all while keeping his balance in a sitting position.  Can you do that?  Just sit where you are, hold out your finger about a foot away from your nose and and move your head until it touches your hand.  That sounds easy, but to somebody who has suffered a stroke, re routing all those commands is difficult....but he did it!  
He gave us a little scare this afternoon when he tried to get up out of the chair on his own.  After somebody suggested asking about going outside, I figured it couldn't hurt and asked his nurse.  He was granted "sunshine privileges." I was hoping that getting some fresh air, getting out of the hospital room would help lift his spirits. I'm not sure what he thought about being outside.  I don't know if it was a lot for him to take in.  Was he confused?  Did he know where he was?  Was he happy to be out of the hospital room?  Was he scared?  Did he think he was going home?  We didn't get any kind of response with regards to his time out doors.  
Today was tough.  I won't give up on my dad.  As I got ready to leave I picked up his right arm - therapist said we need to use that right arm to send signals to the brain that it is still there - and I told him that he would get through this and that I would be back in the morning.  And then I turned to my mom and patted her on the back and told her that she would get through this and that I would see her in the morning.  Some days are hard.  Some days are sad.  Some days you see how much life has changed at the same time you are grateful just to be alive, even if you don't understand how or why.

I love my dad so much.  My dad is a fighter. I love my mom so much.  My mom is a fighter. We will all get through this together, it's who we are! 

1 comment:

Ed said...

This is why I love you so much, Rachel! Jenny and Vaughn are truly blessed to have you! We all are!