105 Ways to Give a Book

Personal Update

An update is in order, but it’s been hard to write it. Less because of my stress level, or even my general busyness, than because my head seems too full to manage writing. I hope to get better about that soon.

So, strokes are weird. My mother can make a pot of noodles for our dinner without asking one question along the way, but couldn’t figure out how to open her shampoo. We’ve had intelligent, thoughtful discussions about the stupid Arizona immigration law, but she can’t understand the concept of “next month.” She could identify her preferred food brands at the grocery store and discuss why she liked them, but couldn’t remember how to use the credit card scanner.

Overall, I’m impressed with her progress. Physically, she’s coordinated and competent. Her speech is understandable almost all of the time, and her memory is good. She works hard to stay upbeat and challenges herself to learn new things. Or rather, to relearn old things. At the same time, I can see how far she has to go in regaining competence for tasks that were once familiar and recognition for words that were once easy. It’s a bit daunting.

I’m not sure what’s next, exactly. I’m going home tomorrow and trying to figure out how and when I can get back. And we’re not done, either in this particular recovery or the one to come, when the doctors investigate the very likely possibility of brain surgery. The only way we can deal with that prospect is to not deal with it at all right now.

Anyway, I’m hoping to get back on blog next week, because I think that I need that distraction and routine. It’s also time to look at the 48 Hour Book Challenge and Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Oh, and normal life — whatever that is. I wrote down this quote from the speech therapist’s office, and am keeping it at the top of my calendar for May: “Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.”

Hello, Spring 2010? Watch my samba.

14 comments:

Jessica Kennedy said...

I hope all gets better soon. :) Hugs.

Kori said...

Pam, I'm glad you are going to get home tomorrow for some movie-making---even with the frenetic pace, I'm sure it will be a great escape.

My mom is halfway across the ocean right now on a cruise, but will be back mid-May, and if you would like to speak with someone who could help talk you through the what/how/who/where therapy stuff (she's a speech pathologist), I'm sure she'd be happy to help. Not only is she as calm as I am gregarious (so that's pretty calm), she is friendly, exceedingly knowledgeable, and to add another dimension, she herself had brain surgery (for trigeminal neuralgia) three years ago, and can speak to that recovery.

Okay, enough of all that shop talk, just let me know if you are interested. From me: MORE BIG HUGS. You are doing an amazing job.

Abby said...

*hugs* Pam, y'all are in my thoughts. I'm wishing your family the best and sending good vibes your way. Go Team Pam!

Carin said...

Good luck! I just read My Stroke of Genius, which you might find interesting. While the end wasn't my cup of tea, I did really like the first 2/3.

Susan T. said...

Pam, I hope your mom gets better soon. Has she had rehabilitative services? My mom had a stroke in January, and qualified for rehab in a hospital and then home visits (from a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech & language therapist, and nurse) for a while. All covered under Medicare. Also, a geriatric (even if your mom's not that elderly!) caseworker may be able to help your family, too.

EM said...

Sending good thoughts and good humor (and possibly Good Humor bars, if necessary) as you navigate this new world with your mom.

Saints and Spinners said...

I am thinking of you and your family, Pam. This life is something else.

Charlotte said...

Ah gee. Thinking of you in a hopeful way...

MotherReader said...

Thanks for the support and advice. My mom has a speech therapist, who is very good. She's definitely going to have some work to do.

The brain surgery is something I'm going to have to learn more about, starting with making sure that I get to the neurologist appt. so I'm not hearing things second-hand.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Oh Pam, it must all be so incredibly HARD, physically and emotionally. I am sending good, healing vibes your way. Please take care of yourself too...but I know it's hard when there's so much to do and so much that is still unknown. Big hugs.

Steph said...

That sounds difficult -- I hope her brain continues to heal. I'll be thinking about you.

Stella said...

Sending a lot of positive thoughts and prayers your way. With mucho love, Stella

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

best of luck, Pam. Strokes are so hard to understand. It must be daunting to try to figure out how to best support your mother, while still being a mother to your own family. Good luck, and take care of yourself. I love the image of dancing in the rain.

Anonymous said...

Pam,

I will tell you, only because I got a surprise after my mom's stroke and no one prepared me for them, but she started to have small TIA's (seizures). They weren't anything dramatic, just made my mom talk gobbelity gook (my own term) for 3-5 minutes. They never lasted for long, but the first one was shocking for both of us, to say the least. My mom's stroke affected her right side with hit-and-miss numbness. She had to give up driving and reading (which was cruel considering she loved to drive and she worked in a library).

You have been in my thoughts and I hope things to progress as well as they have been with your mom.

Pat in Ohio.