Disabled Summer

I had to delete my Facebook…again.  I get so depressed during times of the year that make everyone else happy.  I see these photos of parents swimming with their kids in pools and oceans, people with their families and friends at BBQ’s and lakes and other such gatherings.  Pictures and posts of amusement parks, festivals and the worst…being young and healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not old…yet.  I’ll be 31 next month; YIKES! But I am not old.  I just feel old.  I’m pretty sure that even without the stroke I’d still feel pretty down this time of year.  I’m not sure if I would have finished college and got the type of job I would have been hunting for by now or what type of job Kasper would have now so I can’t say what we would or would not be able to do due to our financial situation/status, but I’m sure it would be more than this.  At least my anxiety was manageable before this stupid stroke.  At least I could always make more money.  Everyone is always willing to share their hours when you work the crap jobs I’ve always worked (unless I would have had a career by now without the stroke; I don’t know how people work in careers).
Now I feel stuck, poor, old and ugly.  I think of the crowds out there on the beach and my armpits get wet.  I live on the Texas coast, I am surrounded by beaches, sand and sun and I’m over here in jeans and a t-shirt sweating.  I want my kids to have the same types of memories I have from my childhood (the good ones, I mean).  We always went camping, to the lakes, ponds, oceans and rivers.  There is nothing here.  Kasper, he grew up sheltered with two elderly parents and his voice is tinged with misery and boredom when he speaks of his childhood.  I feel like that is what I am giving my kids and it is the opposite of everything I wanted to give them.  I hate this stroke and the disabilities that came with it.  I cannot overcome all of them while my boys are young.  It is taking so much time to overcome the littlest things.  It makes it worse that every time I am so close to defeating a challenge, there is some sort of setback.  The setbacks can be minor but they wreak so much havoc it feels impossible to get back up that mountain because it now appears twice as big as the last time I lifted my chin to view its top.

Le sigh
Le sigh

  I feel like by the time I am able to just say “Hey guys, let’s go to the beach!”  randomly and without barely an ounce of preparation my boys will be driving their own vehicles full of their friends to the beach.  Yay, independence; really.  But what about while they are young? No memories of mom in the sand? None of her with you in the water?  None of her yelling at you to get out the damn water and come eat your lunch where she will force you to wait afterward for like twenty minutes so you don’t hurl in the water? Those memories are awesomely horrible!  Mom in a bathing suit? Ew? And it’s a one-piece because her once beautiful body is now scarred by the love and sacrifice she chose unselfishly to provide from day one? Double ew.  I want my boys to have those memories! But how can I give them those moments to remember when I am frightened by the idea of falling in the sand in front of people I don’t know and will probably never know?
This all makes no sense, I’m acutely aware of this.  The thing with my case of hemiparesis is that I lack feeling and what sensations I can feel are mostly incorrect or inaccurate.  I don’t register heat on the left side of my body.  It’s a very delayed sensation/register.   What I am afraid of is stepping in the sand barefoot and not recognizing its heat until it’s too late.  I can’t wear flip-flops because my left toes don’t curl or grip or do anything to keep the things on my foot.  I’m supposed to wear this bulky brace but I walk ‘just fine’ barefoot…in my house.  How will I do in sand?  And what if *gasp* what if my right foot is burned by the sand but not my left?  I can’t hop on my left foot!  What if I scream and cry and everyone looks at me?  What if I embarrass my boys?  What if the über whiteness of my legs and body blinds everyone within a  2 mile radius?

All white girls have been this white girl at least once
All white girls have been this white girl at least once

  I’m not opposed to wearing my brace with shorts even though throughout my entire life I felt my feet were big and so avoided sneakers and shorts.   Can’t wear my brace without my sneakers; can’t leave the house without my brace unless I can walk barefoot.  I am alsonot looking forward to a brace tan on my legs if that is the way things end up going down.  So…I’m considering trying some sort of deck shoe, like Keds or something.  They are cheap, thin and lightweight.  So maybe, just maybe it will be like being barefoot.  I have drop foot.  My foot bones don’t curve…yet, but my ankle is too weak to lift and/or support my foot so my toes tend to drag BUT I have been busting my arse over the last…8 or so months and I can lift my left knee just high enough to keep my toes from dragging…when I’m barefoot.  Maybe with these Keds style shoe it will be similar enough to survive a trip to the beach?  I’m really hoping.  I know if I can just get out there I will most likely be okay. I did it at the circus, only had two anxiety attacks the whole time.  I just had to get out there.  It’s not easy, oh no, it is anything but easy.  How else will I get past this besides just…

getting out there?

  There has to be a way to do this without medication/pills….and crocs because that is what everyone in my support group suggested…crocs.  “They are different now.  They have more styles and colors now.”  Forgive me for my superficiality but I am willing to put Crocs on the list of “to tries” AFTER I have tried every other method!

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