My New Normal




Change is Life’s only certainty. I can’t tell you how many times Reign and I have posted those words or said them to one of our Sisters who was going through a tough time or had difficult decisions to make. Nothing stays the same. Each moment we are remade, altered, our bodies are in a constant state of repairing themselves, from one moment to moment we are born anew. Change is happening all the time, no matter how things appear. And unless we go with the flow, we may be turned on our ears.

July 10, 2019

I wrote the top bit about change in April of this year. This is all part of my New Normal. It now includes terrible procrastination, and forgetfulness. Some of you may know that in November of 2018 I had a mild stroke – a brain hemorrhage. I don’t remember anything about the night or my stay in the hospital. The next thing I remember is being in rehab.Reign was not with me at the time. Just a bunch of strangers telling me what to do.

Fast forward. I spent about a month in rehab which I hated but I did gain strength in my body. I was really lucky with this particular kind of stroke. I never lost my mobility, or my ability to speak, although my language skills were a bit interrupted. And my sense of balance on my feet was poor. We believe that a fall I had caused the rupture in my brain.  Back before all this I was falling quite regularly and sometimes really hurt myself. Reign was very worried about me.

There has been nothing but change in my life since the stroke. Everything is different. Physically I am much improved. The first thing I did at Christmas and out of rehab, was to get a stationary bike to get and keep my legs strong. Balance is still off but better. I sometimes get stuck with my words and will say the wrong one and not be able to say the right one. Sometimes I kind of stutter. In the beginning, very strange things came out of my mouth. And, not being able to help myself it was so frustrating. But thank Goddess, I never lost the ability to speak or move my limbs. Everything worked.

Psychologically and emotionally, the changes have been interesting. I came out of rehab feeling very apathetic. Maybe it is depression. But no big surprise there, right? I knew in my heart changes were taking place-like it or  not.Reign is now my paid care giver. All very official.She works 18 hours a week, preparing meals, making  sure I don’t fall in the tub taking me for walks and out food shopping.  I had to give up my driver’s license and ownership of the car because everything had to be in her name. That was tough for me but it had to be done before she could start getting paid. I have to hold her hand when we walk any distance because of my poor balance. But like I said, it is improving every day.

My brain gets fatigued quickly and I can’t concentrate or think. I always think I can do everything as before, but I can’t and that frustrates both Reign and me. She hates when I get myself in a pickle, and I hate the idea that I have upset her. She was already doing a lot for me and our furry family, and now Reign has taken on a whole lot more responsibility. I don’t want to atrophy in any way, but a little cannot be helped. I don’t like it. I still have hopes of being able to drive again, after I see the eye doctor about my cataracts. I’d like to run 10 miles again too.

I don’t like my new normal very much. I feel like I am constantly bumping into walls.  But I also am wise enough to know that the walls are of my own making. Acceptance as you age becomes a critical and necessary exercise.  I am not good at acceptance all the time and my frustration level is quite high sometimes, which doesn’t do anyone any good.  And I worry about Reign and her level of stress with all she has to do. My New Normal sucks and often I live with it by doing nothing. That means I can’t get into any trouble. But it also means I don’t get anything done. I exist. It’s no way to live. Actually, it isn’t living at all.

Until I cease being in denial about what is and what happened to me all those months ago, and teach myself how to accept who I am NOW, I will continue to just exist. Or else, how can I live with my Self?

My New Normal has me upside-down. The problem is that only I can put my feet back on the ground. Please wish me luck.