counting my blessings and living a ‘normal’ life

After receiving an okay from my neurologist a few days ago, I’ve started driving again.  It seems like a small thing, but I can’t tell you how much of a difference having this freedom makes to me.  One of the hardest parts of my recovery for me has been being so dependent on others for things I was used to being able to do for myself.  I’m taking it slow – not driving a bunch – but it’s very nice.

And just in time for Kris’ trip to Arizona too!  Before she left, Kris set things up so that the kids’ shuttling was mostly taken care of.  But then yesterday as things turned out, I needed to pick Kayla up from her carpool drop-off place.  It was a small thing, but it felt great to be out there picking up my daughter.

Today we got to visit with our friends Katie and Landy and their growing family.  Several weeks back, we got a call from their son giving us the news that he had a new baby sister.  Today we finally got to stop by and visit with them.  As always, the welcome was warm.  We spent a while catching up, which was great.

Their family has played a very instrumental role in my recovery.  While I was in the hospital, they spent a lot of time with me.  When I came home, they provided a nice comfortable chair for me to sit at the dinner table, and a large pillow so that I could sleep comfortably.  Most prominent are a bunch of signs all over our house reminding me how to stand and walk safely (dating from very soon after I got home from the hospital).  This is where Katie’s background as a physical therapist helped me (again).  Her thoughtfulness and knowledge has been a wonderful thing!

Landy and I talked for a while.  We marveled at their miracle baby, and talked about parenting.  We talked a bit about my recovery too.  Several months back, when I’d just had a discouraging visit with a doctor, Landy was the guy who impressed upon me that it’s my job to defy odds.  He correctly interpreted what the doctor said as being a statistical, not personal statement.  Just because something is difficult or challenging, that’s no reason to give up.  This is totally consistent with the way he is running and working out – challenging himself and staying positive with others.  The resultant shift in my attitude made a huge difference subsequently. 

As Rachel and I were driving home from our visit, two things came to mind.  First – as lucky as I am to have reasonably good health, there’s no way I could have done this without the support of friends like Katie and Landy.  And second, life’s become a bit more normal now that I’m able to drive a bit. 

The more normal things get, the happier I am.

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