Yesterday I had a lingering headache. I’m always stressed on Sundays because Kasper works which means I’m alone with two boys just now reaching ages that they feel are appropriate enough to start doling out random face punches and pointless yelling matches. Is it really that big of a deal that JJ blew your Minecraft house up with TNT, Skas?
I felt good enough yesterday to not only make dinner but make something from scratch. I made homemade meatballs for meatball grinders. I’d show a picture of the grinders but I’m terrible at taking photos and the one I took last night kind of makes the subs look like bleeding vaginas made out of bread topped with marinara and melted cheese; we’ll just settle for some balls, thanks.
It took me three hours to make those meatball grinders. Things like this make it easy to remember that my recovery continues to involve my left body. I’m incapable of doing almost anything quick. The meatballs look alright, they tasted damned delicious even without sauce, and I’m proud that I keep finding ways to do things like making meatballs with one hand but I forget the toll these tasks can take on me and then I remember that my recovery is also mental.
I go through stages where I hardly need more rest than those around me. This is when my physical deficits really bring me down because I always think:
If not for this one thing
As if that could sum up the residual effects of stroke in their entirety. It’s more than one thing but it can be hard to remember when everything seems to be on par with everyone else.
I spent most of last week recovering from some weird stomach thing. By yesterday afternoon I was feeling pretty recovered so making homemade meatballs, a homemade sauce and then layering it all into some rolls with cheese didn’t feel like such a bad idea. Plus, I was really craving meatball grinders so it felt like it would be worth it. It’s not unlike me to feel tired after cooking dinner and it’s not unlike me to power nap on the couch for twenty minutes before bed– I know it sounds weird but this is the only time Kasper and I get together without kids so I nap to stay awake for another hour or two with him. It is unlike me, however, to take that power nap and still have trouble keeping my head up.
I woke up fine this morning. Got Skas up, made his lunch then made the bed before rounding up the last of what Kasper needed for JJ. By the time I was dressed I felt completely off balance. I mean that literally and figuratively. I had trouble walking down the hall from my bedroom to the kitchen where I took a migraine pill because the eye pain started. I sat on the couch and my mind did not feel aligned with anything else. I was weirded out so I did the next logical thing and smoked a joint, bless my trusty piece of shit rolling thingie for working on the sixth paper. It helped just enough to take the sharp jolt of my migraine away and let me doze.
I then woke up at 10:30 in a state of panic. I had no idea what I was doing on the couch or why the house was quiet. I tried to recall where my kids were and I couldn’t remember the last time I saw them. I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t dark at 10:30 and why wasn’t I in bed? I was totally lost and confused and I felt like crying. I saw the pot tray out on the coffee table and that was the kick I needed. Kids were in school, Kasper work and it was still morning. I didn’t leave the couch all afternoon because I couldn’t trust my head.
Making stupid meatballs and delicious grinders that bring the imaginary Italian woman that is not a part of my bloodline out in me this close to getting over some weird sickness was not a smart idea. I’m now recovering from recovering. I seem to have accepted a lowered energy level as a result of my stroke. I no longer notice that I am routinely tired and it takes pushing my bounds just an inch too far to remind me that my mental abilities no longer meet my physical. I guess this is good in that it means physically, while still not where I want to be, I am continuing to progress in my recovery. I am doing more now than I thought I would be. I mean, I’m making meatball grinders with one hand and don’t get tired until after cleaning up after the meal. But on the other hand, it’s not so good because I will not progress in a healthy manner if I don’t allow rest for my brain to keep pace.
I don’t want to be babied, I am too stubborn for that, but I have to be mindful that I am not as recovered as I sometimes feel. Recovering from brain injury of any caliber is a mindful process. It’s not easy; especially when you want to rush to the recovered stage of it all. The thing is, I have no idea if I’ll ever get to that stage. Today made me feel like I won’t see that stage no matter how hard I try. Maybe another 5 years down the road I’ll have a different and better story to tell, eh?