Friday, September 26, 2008

Rehab progresss 8

I am trying to reconcile with the fact that I may not ever recover fully from this stroke.

It is a sobering reality to face.

So many things are closed to me now. I walk as in a dream world, one that has a terrible, nightmarish quality. I cannot do the normal things that so many others do routinely. I will have to be satisfied with whatever is left to me. That is what I am facing. It is not something I feel good cheer about.

While I was in the hospital, a few weeks ago, it came to me with rather sudden impact. The life I have pursued is over. It is done. I will need to find other things to occupy my time, because the opportunities are closed to me. It seems almost as if I have already died, but am forced to go on in this almost-dead body, trying in vain to learn old tricks that everyone else has mastered so long ago in their life.

Yesterday, I read an article in the news about the recruiting program for the Rocky Mountain Research Station. They are actively recruiting young college grads, especially among the Hispanic population. Of course, no mention was made of those in the older population. They have little use for people like me. Perhaps no one has. Maybe I can work up to wiping tables and sweeping floors at the burger joint. I am not quite up to it right now.

At my physical therapy session, I try to walk a row of cones set up in a sort of obstacle course. I have to lift each leg as I pass a cone. It is a ridiculously simple exercise, but I cannot navigate the course easily. Someone has to stand by me to catch me if I fall. I fail to improve much in my performance, time after time, though I am straining to the utmost to do better. Lack of progress is very discouraging.

I bow in defeat. The world was not made for people like me. We only survive thanks to the good grace and forbearance of others. I depend on their charity.

I will do what I can.


Thomas said...

Don't Give up. Just because you have lost a lot doesn't mean you should feel like you have reached the end.
Just look at Christopher Reeve. After suffering a Boken Neck, loosing 90% of his functioning, he went on to star in three more movies and a string of TV and Cable spots. At least you can still move, talk, and be a person by yourslf for a while.
And it isn't the worst thing in the world to ask for help sometimes. As adults, we often forget what it was like to be kids. Back when we were young, our parents did everything for us, from prepairing food to wiping our butts. We always took this in stride, as though this was the Norm (which it is, but kids don't know this).
Jim, you are a lucky man. Just imagine if you had a double stroke, effecting both sides equally. You are not bound to a wheelchair, and your abilities, though you may never fully recover them, are rebounding somewhat. Like the use of your right hand, bowel control may return. As for your leg, I would suggest you try an exersize bike. The pedeling action may stimulate the nerves and muscles to return to functionality.
As a man who has suffered my own batch of indignations, though not yet as severe, I know you and the many million others like you, can and will push on and pull through. My prayers and hope are with you. May God help us all as we help ourselves. You will survive.

Jim Cobabe said...


Thanks for your recommendations, and your prayers. Good will is much appreciated.

I can see, hypothetically, that things could be so much worse for me. I can envision all kinds of scenarios that would be worse. At least I am where continued effort returns something. I get an automatic reward for extra effort.

The man with both legs amputated at the hips will never be able to say that, no matter how hard he tries, or how much effort he invests. He will not grow new legs.

I do hold out some hope. It is day-to-day discouragement and temporary setbacks that are such a challenge.