December 17, 2020
After nearly a month in the hospital and rehabilitation I was able to finally come home. It felt great to be home, but I couldn’t even step over the threshold of the door. I was excited to gain my freedom, but frustrated that I could not do many of the things I had missed doing. I managed to leave scuff marks on the walls as I tried to maneuver my wheelchair around tight quarters. I just wasn’t expecting to feel the way I felt, but this was my new normal.
People were so encouraging. Friends made dinner for us and we didn’t have to cook for nearly a month. Guys from the church took on various projects around the house that I couldn’t have even thought about doing even before the stroke. Not only were we the beneficiaries of God’s perfect love, but also from our church family. The Helping Hands team from the church accomplished many other tasks that I have left unfinished or simply would not of been able to do with my less than handy self.
My first night home I had extreme difficulty getting into our bed. It is really high up and I just couldn’t maneuver it easily. The stroke seemed to have magnified my clumsiness and I wound up knocking everything off the bedroom nightstand waking Judy up and basically frustrating both of us. I am a very restless sleeper and found myself ultra-frustrated with the fact that I simply couldn’t roll over. I laid there with my eyes open for a long time wishing I could go to sleep. Something had to change.
It was decided that I would sleep in Josh’s old room. We had redone it as a guest room a few years earlier and the bed there is incredibly comfortable. The doctor prescribed Ambien for my sleep disorder and I slept like a baby. Anytime that Judy would refer to that room as “my room” I grew more and more frustrated. “It is not my room! It is the guest room!”; I still do not want it to be “my room” today, 2 1/2 years later, but I am going to own it now, it is my room. It meets my needs and we both sleep better with this arrangement.
When I was in the wheelchair, I adamantly said “this is not my wheelchair”. When I progressed to the cane, my sister-in-law decided that it would be called the WAD for walking assistance device. She was being funny and I’m quite sure she meant the double entendre. I, with a raised voice, said this is not my WAD, it is a cane, and it is not my cane! As you can see, I was a bit sensitive about the whole thing. I was snapping at people who love me and who were pointing out the truth. I hated it.
Here we are 28 months later. I no longer claim those things and have resigned myself to say this is my cane or this is my wheelchair. I have come to the realization that I probably will not get better. I worked really hard to be able to walk on my own without a cane but at some point I realized that was simply stupid. I since have adopted it to use whenever I leave the house. It was a difficult decision to accept where I currently am. It was not taken lightly.
The denomination in which I grew up has a doctrinal statement indicating that healing is part of the atonement. I no longer believe that. If that were true, everyone would be healed because the atonement is perfect. I believe in prayer, I believe in healing, I just do not believe that God is required to do something on my behalf because I want Him to. We live in a broken world where bodies breakdown. Mine just happened to do so early.
So today, I acknowledge that I have devices to help me walk. They are mine. I sleep in a separate bedroom. It is necessary at this time. I have not been completely healed and probably will not be. I am OK with that. I have not lost my faith; I have not lost my belief in prayer, I am not a dreamer, at least in the way of my physical situation, I believe that God does heal but just not as often as people claim. I can live with that.
God chose to spare my life and I am thankful for that. I will rest in the knowledge in my bed that is in my room. When I leave the office, I will use the cane to go there. God is good, all the time.
This is my cane.
This is my bedroom.
I own it.