Thursday, September 13, 2018
Be careful what you wish for!
When we were at our family doctor on Monday, we said we hadn't had any referrals for speech or occupational therapy or a swallow test...and now the medical appointments are rolling in.
As the calendar fills up and I don't get my morning walks and the work gets pushed aside, I'm trying to remember that we are lucky to be where we are: together, at home, in the midst of the sunflowers. Dwayne's stroke could have been much worse so a lot of driving around - together - to establish a baseline and a timeline for recovery is not as big an inconvenience as travelling to a hospital every day for several months for in-patient rehab.
Perspective is so important.
So is acceptance. That's our biggest struggle, I think, when it comes to, well, everything: Fighting against reality, being in denial, not accepting what has happened and the changes that have occurred -- all of this causes more problems. It causes frustration for the caregiver and for the person needing the care. It can slow recovery, it can make you sick.
Acceptance has the power to free you. It is what it is. That sounds cliche, almost flippant but it's true.
We cause our own misery when we refuse to accept what has happened and what is happening. We cause our own misery when we refuse to "go with the flow". We cause our own misery when we try to ignore the reality of a situation -- even if it's a situation we don't want to be in. Illness and death are the big circumstances that change everything, and as hard -- as painful and gut-clenching and mind-boggling -- as they are to experience, acceptance is the only way to keep breathing, keep moving, keep living in the "new normal".
I'm not naive -- or in denial -- when I say acceptance is the most important part of living. I learned the power of acceptance when my father has Alzheimer's disease. I learned to accept him as he was each and every day, and I learned to accept the situation, even though none of us, including my mother, wanted to be in that situation. But refusing to accept the disease, and the changes they wrought in my father and in our daily living, merely made everything worse. Acceptance allows us to live with grace and dignity, and more importantly without fear.
Ah, fear. If we really look at what our denial is built on, we'll find fear is the cornerstone. But acceptance is the great fear-buster. Acceptance looks fear in the eyes and says, "I know what I'm doing. You're not needed."
It is what it is -- the appointments will come and go, the work will get done, the beans will get picked, everything will be "good enough", and it will all happen if we remember to go with the flow, whatever that flow is.