Friday, August 27, 2010

End of Summer, 2010

The Miami students are back to classes and hopefully we have seen the last of this summer’s “fry an egg on the sidewalk” heat. I’ve come very far since March; I watched spring turn to summer paralyzed in a hospital bed and now I am walking around the house with a walker!

My most vivid memories of the summer are of Mercedes standing by my side, clapping her hands and chanting “Go! Grandpa go!” while I shifted my weight from the chair on and off a transfer board. Now I make my transfers by standing up and moving my feet, then sitting. I couldn’t pick her up when she arrived, but before she left, we could play airplane.

I also remember that God has also surrounded me with a loving support group and family who carried us through these hard months.

The doctors and therapists who have aiding my recovery have all been to notch.

A large chunk of my family, some of whom I haven’t seen in years, made the trip to Oxford to visit us. My brother Bob and his wife Mary Carol came to visit last week, their two oldest sons were here the week before. My Sister Neli and her husband Nate also visited. And of course my Brother Jim, who was able to stay with me for nearly a week this summer, was a tremendous blessing. Plus there have been nieces and nephews, and friends from so long ago who have dropped by, called or written.

Then there are my new friends. People like Niki and Jeannie J. who gave their time to help Adrienne and me, the friends who helped get the house ready and all the people who are carrying us in prayer.
Friends like Steve and Duane, who gave us such amazing gifts to us that we will treasure for years. I have no idea how to respond to such generosity. My brother was moved to tears when he heard about the generosity.

Last week while doing my circuit around the park a stranger who appeared to know me quite intimately stopped me to talk. He appeared to know me pretty intimately, but I couldn't place him. It was my doctor, I discovered the next week.

It turns out that I haven't really lost all the weight I thought I did. When I was at the hospital on Wednesday, my weight was 239 pounds, at 25 pound increase from two weeks ago.

I have felt pretty distracted and withdrawn for the last week. Most difficult has been day-to-day maintenance tasks such as scheduling my rides to the hospital or ordering medications. Talking on the phone or trying to make plans about the future has been exhausting. I haven’t been to an Ala-non meeting in over two weeks because I just don’t want to talk to people now. That is also why I’ve been staying off of Facebook, e-mail, or writing my blog.

I spent a lot of time in my room, watching old horror and science fiction movies on YouTube and Hulu. I just can’t get enough of movies with titles like Astro Zombies or Battle between the Planets. Many of these movies were staples of my Friday nights and Saturday afternoons in front of the television. I hope someday to write more about these movies in an informed and eloquent style like this blog, devoted entirely to films of the 1960s. The author also writes a blog for Turner Classic Movies, which I’m sure is wonderful but I haven't been able to follow it since I got sick.

I believe it is the new medications I’ve been taking to help with my steroid rage. My memory of taking anti depressants is that they made me feel disassociated. I will admit that they’re helping, but the problem has not gone away. This week I started taking a third anti depressants/mood disorder drug. Hopefully that will help before I lash out at someone who will punch me in the nose, wheelchair or not.

Other than my reticence about contact, things have gone very well. I am continuing to improve at a miraculous rate. God has been very good to me by speeding my recovery. Today I got up from a chair in the living room and walked out to the mailbox and back. Take that, CIDP!

God loves me as I am, imperfect and incomplete. I know he has a plan for me, Adrienne, and Natasha and Mercedes. It is hard not to worry about them because they are so far away.

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