Jan 26, 2013 10:19pm
In my whole adult life till this stroke I had one or two near miss, embarrassing bathroom stories. Typically, they involved travel to far off places, exotic foods, plus faulty plumbing, and made for hilarious, white knuckle anecdotes to tell. The main point here is that they were close calls. Narrow squeaks. Rarities.
One week as a partially paralyzed patient in a major metropolitan hospital gave me more mortifying toilet stories than an entire lifetime. And now, at the several week point, I have so many tales of horror that embarrassing is commonplace. Ghastly is standard. I have to go back as far as my memories of early potty training to find any memories as fraught with toilet anxiety as this. My ego undergoes a kind of breakdown at this point, as I push out to the other side. I mean, how seriously can I take myself when I cannot wipe my own arse?
The only thing that makes it partially bearable is that the staff are so blasé about it all. I get my showers much like a hippo might be hosed down at the zoo, with the nursing staff leaning on their mops with about the same attitude whether they are soaping my back or sudsing my undercarriage. Sigh….
Anyway, in other news, two days ago, I was doing some exercises with the physical therapists. Suddenly, when lifting my leg into a deep stretch, I felt a searing pain shooting down my numb, paralyzed side. It had been explained to me that I might not ever get feeling back in my right side but now, My face was a simultaneous mirror of pain and joy caused by this beautiful, marvelous pain in my arse.
And today marks another milestone; the one month point since I had my stroke. It’s a natural time to take stock of the situation. I feel some motion coming back and some improvements in my speech but there is still a long way to go. Will a complete recovery take six months or a year? It is anybody’s guess. I just have to take it one day at a time. But it is worth pointing out that this time last month I couldn’t actually string two consecutive sentences together, so things are definitely looking up.