Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 66 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families) with a third girl on the way. I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tests and Trials - Part 1

Hi, everyone. It has been over a year since I have written, though several things are in draft form. I had thought to write more, but life has a way of intruding. I got in touch with a group of people from the past last spring, and talked with them for a few months. That took all my energy and didn't turn out as I'd hoped. It was worth trying, however.

Then I went from the frying pan into the fire. On July 29, 2008, five days after my 57th birthday, I had a stroke. It was in the top left side of the brain, and because it was in a somewhat unusual place some of the things I'm having to recover from are unusual also.

At first I was emotionally numb, and then I got very angry at God. This wasn't supposed to happen. One of the fears I've had for some time was that since I was divorced in December 2004, I wondered what would happen to me if I was alone and something happened. I kept fighting the fear, but it still stayed. Well I was alone and something did happen, yet I survived. I was in the hospital for five days, then went to the home of some friends who used to go to the church I went to. I stayed with them for six weeks--long enough to get stabilized and to start dealing with the high blood pressure I'd been trying to deal with naturally for years and diabetes I also learned of in the hospital. (Diabetes is now being totally controlled by diet.) I was there also long enough to begin to deal with the stroke's effects

I didn't know it can take up to two years for a person to recover as much as possible from a stroke. It has been almost seven and a half months now. For all this time I have been working to go from not being able to speak to where my speech therapist says I have "voicing" with the proper pitch for my voice 65% of the time. At times I still speak in a whispery, hoarse voice. When I do speak, my words are usually very clear, however I speak. As far as singing goes, I never had a great voice, but it is much worse now.

Other areas I'm dealing with include typing and driving. My fingers on my right hand don't want to cooperate, and it takes me a long time to type. In my speech and typing the word being used is aphasia. Driving is also hard. My eyes are more sensitive to light (need sunglasses most of the time) and I have another challenge as well--being mindful of what's happening all around me. I'm working on that one also.

All of this means that though I score high enough on intelligence, I can't work right now. The lady who did my job before I did came back from August through mid-December. I couldn't remember in November how to do my job. The owner very kindly kept my job that long for me, but when I couldn't relearn it fast enough, someone else had to be hired.

This means I spend many quiet days at home. I read. For a time all I read was Christian fiction. I watch some movies. Some friends come over and take me out as they can. More often now I pray and try to listen to God. It gets easier as I get less angry. I just started reading books like Competent Christian Counseling by Tim Cllnton--a 700-some page book I've been wanting to read for a long time. Now I'm on Crisis and Trauma Counseling by Norman Wright.

In October, two of my children moved me into their apartment complex so it would be easier for them to help me with rides to the dr, the grocery, etc. This meant changing churches. It's a challenge getting to know people in church (or in the apartments) when it is hard to talk. But I like the worship here--it has been helping me get closer to God again.

There is more to share about the effects this is having on my life, but not today. Talk to you all later.

2 Great Ideas:

Anonymous william said...

Great to see you back Barb! Typing will be great therapy for that stubborn hand... and we get the benefits!


March 12, 2009 10:21 PM
Anonymous Abiding said...

Barb, I'm so sorry to hear of your stroke, but rejoice in your recovery and will pray for the Lord to continue to bless your health and restore it completely. I have been so blessed by your writing in the past, and it is wonderful to see you back! May the Lord bless you, Sister. You are a gift to the body of Christ.

With love and continued prayers,

March 13, 2009 8:17 AM

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