Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good things about being home #2

I went to my first Ala-non meeting in 2 weeks last Saturday. It was good to be with a group of people talking about spiritual recovery. However, getting to the meeting was a little scary.

The room was on the second floor; these were the first stairs I had climbed in weeks. When I made it to the top, the door was locked. I sat down on the step and called down for someone to come open the door. When the door was open, I found out I couldn't stand up! In a moment I experienced many emotions, fear, frustration, embarrassment. Some brought me a chair I could use to pull myself up. Everything was alright, there was a nice little group and the meeting was good.

Later that night I fell while letting out the dogs. It was the damnedest thing; I was going out to the back yard, stepping down from the garage to the patio and my leg turned into a rubber band. I wasn't hurt, but I couldn't get up. I was outside and alone. Adrienne was in the house asleep and there were no lights on at the neighbors. Fortunately there was a chair to help me get back on my feet.

Sunday I was sore, Especially my shoulders from pulling myself up. This reminded my that there is something new in my life right now-risk of falling. Once again, I experienced what I felt while on the floor of the Ala-non meeting: Anger, fear, embarrassment, plus plenty of self pity.

I brooded over my circumstances for most of the day, hoping to see myself through to the other side. But the harder I tried to change things, the more hopeless I felt. Then I remembered that feelings are only feelings and I very little power over them, they just are like stars in the sky or gravity. I feel ___________ and I will feel that way until I stop. What I can change is how much power I give them over me. When brooding over them didn't help, looking someplace seemed the only thing left.

So I decided to make a gratitude list.

  1. My wife, Adrienne-she has been with me since this started, coming to the hospital everyday while I was there, helping me through the difficult times I had there. She has also changed her schedule around so she can be with me during this recovery time. That includes putting off a very important trip she needs to make for her dissertation. Also, she is consistently cheerful and patient with me. Her compassion and reassurance are two huge gifts that she is giving to me every day, all day long. She also helps me keep my perspective. I could never repay her for all this care. I am blessed to have her. Plus she looks really cute today.
  2. Family, friends and neighbors that are always available to cheer me up and encourage me. Especially our next door neighbors, who have unselfishly helped out when ever we've asked for help. Thank you Mike and Emily. Also Alex, my son, who was a big help at home while I was in the hospital. And I can't forget Natasha and Mercedes, my daughter and grand daughter
  3. Friends from the program who have been checking in on me, giving me rides when I need them to meetings, bringing food so Adrienne doesn't have to worry about shopping or cooking. They also have been helping to keep me grounded and living in the moment. I am prone to falling into despair and self pity and with out them, I would be spending a lot more time in that black hole.
  4. A reliable Internet connection so I can keep in contact with people far away, including other people with Guillain Barre Syndrome who also share their stories. I also want to add Facebook, Skype, and the Google. They have all been useful in different ways.
  5. The doctors and nurses at Jewish Hospital, McCullough-Hyde Hospital, and Indian Creek Family Medicine. Thanks for curing me and aiding my physical recovery. Special thanks to Dr. Phlum for getting me diagnosed and into treatment.
  6. I am grateful to you for reading my blog. Contrary to what I may write here, I am not all yippy skippy, hurray. Writing this blog helps to keep me grounded and hearing from readers encourages me to keep writing. It is good therapy.

My goals for today:
Shower and shave
Get PT organized
Make a schedule
Call the folks at work


  1. My Dear Husband,
    I wish I could find the words to express to you how much it means to me to be able to help you. In my life you have always been my greatest support and this is my chance to repay you, if only in a small proportion, for all the love, care and support you have given me over the years. I am very proud of you. You have dealt with this situation with patience and dignity. Perhaps we should ask in the future WWMD (What would Michael do?)
    Love you

  2. Thanks so much, Michael, for sharing this! Your experience over the last couple of days is a real reminder that it is easy to go along in one's busy day and not ponder for a single instant the difficulties that other people are having even as we are...lucky to merely be a little bored, or luckier still to be feeling fulfilled. We take for granted the ability to walk up stairs and get up from the floor--it's these little things that put us in mind of the big things. Thank you for making me stop and cherish my own blessings. There are many, and on as many days I seem to only see a few. Hang in there. Everyone is rooting for you!!! --Liza

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  4. Michael,

    Thank you so much for including me on the list of folks you thought might be interested in supporting you. First off, I send you my very best. To you and to all of your family. Although I have not taken the time to respond to all the pics you send, it has been fun to see the joy an everyone's face as your family has grown. Secondly, I wanted to let you know that you were the inspiration to me quitting smoking cigarettes. It took some doing on my part, however, I am finally smoke free. All that being said, thank you again for including me here on the blog. The goal for all of us is to be connected and HELL, the internet is at least good for that:) I look forward to reading future posts and hearing about your courage and grace. Thank you for sharing.