So what is recovering from a stroke like? I can sum it up in one word – tiring.
I’m so tired. I wasn’t this tired after my pacemaker surgery, or after having LP and was getting no sleep. Tired in the way that I take a shower, get dressed and think “I’m ready for the day…time for a nap.” I’m trying to sleep when LP sleeps, which is great in theory, but she seems to be moving from two naps to one, so I never really know how long she’s going to sleep or when she’ll zonk out. They’ve told me this exhaustion will continue intensely for at least 2 weeks as the swelling in my brain subsides, and then I’ll still be “moderately exhausted” for up to three months while new pathways are formed in my brain to replace the ones damaged by the stroke. And honestly, moderately exhausted is sounding appealing after the past few days.
We haven’t found any part of my memory or day to day life that I cannot do, which is an enormous praise. However, it takes much more concentration to knit and type (you would not believe the number of typos I’m correcting as I go), and is sometimes more frustrating than walking. My reflexes are visibly slower – as playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer has revealed. My right hand and leg will shake, often near the end of the day, tired from trying to overcompensate for the weakness in my left side. I have to be very vigilant in gauging my energy levels – I walked to get the mail one afternoon (a two block walk) and that was it for the rest of the day – even getting up off the couch sounded impossible afterwards. I find it hard to focus while reading or following conversations.
There are upsides to this. Sleep has never been so refreshing. I was told by my doctors that while I’m asleep is the only time my brain can work on repairing itself, so I’m trying to get at least one hour long nap in a day, going to bed around 9 pm, and sleeping at least 10 hours at night. Husband has been fabulous at getting up when LP wakes, feeding her and entertaining her quietly so I can continue to sleep.
Another upside is that I’m getting a glimpse of what daily life is like for my husband, who suffers from MS. Down to the mental fatigue and the side aching. At least I don’t have to suffer from the shots.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support. We have felt overwhelmingly blessed throughout this entire journey by all of you, and thank you just doesn’t seem adequate. We are so grateful for all the prayers, the meals, the encouraging comments, and the support. If I could give each of you a hug, I would.