There has been so much going through my brain the last week or so. Hopefully I can get some of it into words.
Ricardo has been recovering so well, which makes me extremely happy. He is walking, talking, all these things I thought I was never going to have again. It’s a miracle! And most days I am just so grateful! Things really have just gotten better and better.
Sometimes it’s hard though. It’s like I’ve built up all these emotional walls just to survive what has been happening with Ricardo having a stroke and almost dying and all that has come with that, and now that they are slowly coming down, it has just started getting hard sometimes.
Ricardo doesn’t remember things like he used to. I have told him how to work this silly Nielson Ratings box on our TV over a hundred times now and he almost always still forgets how to do it. It’s not that complicated, but it is still really hard for him to remember.
And truthfully, he is having to relearn everything! So he is doing so much every single day…it’s just still a really hard adjustment.
I don’t have the partner I used to have. There’s no more telling him to please go fold the laundry and watch Andrew because I need a break. There’s no more watching long complicated movies, because he can’t remember the plot two hours later. No more leaving him alone. No more sharing and dividing responsibilities. I can’t talk to him about things like finances because a) he gets way too overwhelmed, b) he can’t fully understand complicated things the way he used to be able to, and c) he can’t do anything about it.
I mean, it’s okay. We have had the help we have needed, and that has saved us! But sometimes I just struggle with my current reality 😦 And this could all change in a month. I mean with how well he has been recovering, he could be better with all of this in two months, or not…there’s no way to really know except to just wait.
But it sucks, you know? To loose some of that partnership? I can only imagine how hard it must be for single mothers and fathers to have no partner, period.
The other day Ricardo and I went on a much needed date while my sister watched Andrew. It was amazing! But the next day Ricardo stuck his Cafe Rio meal in the microwave to warm up, metal pan and all (no fire thankfully)! It’s just frustrating to have to have him relearn almost everything.
Some things he remembers. Like he never forgets to turn lights off or lock the doors. And some things he just needs some practice and it seems to come right back. And other things…it’s been like starting over. I don’t know what exactly happens with a stroke, but it has been interesting to watch…and frustrating to experience at times. He has had to relearn so much–what an hour feels like, how to remember what day of the week it is, what the days of the week even are (he remembered a few of them)! It has just been a lot. And sometimes, even though I am with him all the time. I forget. I forget that I can’t just tell him to go entertain Andrew because that is excruciatingly difficult for him right now. First, he has trouble initiating tasks. Second, he can’t remember where Andrew’s toys are, or what he likes to play with, or how he used to play with Andrew (though sometimes he remembers some of those things). It’s just not really the same, you know.
At least at this point I am confident that Ricardo can live a happy life. And it has been so so wonderful having him home. I mean, honestly it has just been a really happy time compared to the last couple months. It has just been an adjustment and a reality check. And I know that it is so much harder for him than it even is for me…
It’s just been the last few weeks though, as the ice has started melting off my cold heart that I have started waking up and having things like wants and needs, lol. And realizing there’s not a whole lot I can do about any of those desires.
I would love to start getting outside and running (or at this point more like waddling…hello weight gain from stress eating). But then I realize that I would need to leave my semi-dependent husband and my 16 month old with someone and it starts feeling both overwhelming and selfish and honestly, just impossible. I mean, while Ricardo’s sister is here it is probably possible (thank you kind family who has helped, thank you!), but it’s just a little depressing to think about what the next year might look like…
Remember that blog post where I was like, “yeah, I’m going to get outside more, and sing, and do stuff I love, bla bla bla.” Well, EVERYTHING I have even thought about doing for myself has been put on the back burner to get through this. And any time I even start thinking about trying to find some magical way to live a little I just feel guilty.
My responsibilities have gotten a lot bigger. And my budget has been cut WAY down.
Survival is definitely doable at this point. Beyond that…It’s probably going to have to largely wait.
People tell me I need to take care of myself and look out for number one, but then I look at our finances and I look at all the help we have already needed and had to ask for and I just shake my head. I can’t ask people to come watch my family for free so I can go join a choir. I don’t even think I’ll make it to church much once Ricardo’s sister is gone, until Ricardo can be home alone (which, that will happen, maybe even sooner rather than later). And, now that things are starting to calm down a little bit, the utter lack of things in my life that I would like to do just seems a little disheartening.
Today I at least snuck out of the house while Ricardo was still sleeping and took Andrew and the dogs to the park. It felt good to get some sunshine. With Ricardo’s sister here I felt like that was doable. And, thanks again to the help, I was able to take a 3 hour nap, which was amazing! (I have been pretty sleep deprived…nothing to write home about, you know, just tired).
It’s just starting to get to me I guess. The stress. The trauma of what we just went through.The unknown. The changes. The other life stuff that I was still working through that is still buried there.
It’s just all exhausting!
Then on Sunday I had a really great time at church (while Ricardo’s sister held down the fort at home :)) and I just felt this peaceful feeling I remember so often from my childhood. And Ricardo and I had been talking a lot about the early days of our marriage and then we watched our wedding video (and Ricardo cried…so sweet). It just all made me miss my Mormon me life.
Sometimes I think I’m just a chameleon. I just blend in with whoever I’m around. But I think sometimes I short change myself, you know? I miss my Mormonism, but I don’t even know if it is possible to feel the same way about the church as I used to feel and still be married to my husband (Ricardo certainly DOES remember he doesn’t like Mormonism). And yet, my brain tells me that it should hypothetically be possible to feel differently about something than your spouse does. I mean, I’m exaggerating a bit, but I just sometimes feel like I change who I am depending on who I’m with, and it bothers me a little bit. I think mainly I just am good at understanding multiple perspectives, so how two people, on two different sides of any argument feel usually both make sense to me.
And I really should somehow be able to find time to do the things that I really, deep down love–like being outside, and going sight seeing, spending time with family, socializing, and music. But I don’t. I get on facebook, which helps, and I watch tons and tons of TV, which, for me, is like the sad, second-hand knock-off version of having fun.The good thing, of course, is that I do all this with Ricardo, which makes it pretty enjoyable. I just still have a bit of a void in my life, and now that the emergency is fading and life is settling down, that void is something I am actually starting to experience.
But, all this frustration and sadness are ultimately probably a good thing for me to go through a bit. I suppose it wouldn’t really be healthy to go through the trauma I’ve been through and not get a little upset about it. Overall I’m handling this about as well as anyone can be expected to handle it, I think. So I guess I’ll just take it one day at a time.
And at least most of those days, have been pretty darn happy lately 🙂 It really really is good to have Ricardo home. Man I love him! I’m so glad he’s getting better! And Ricardo has been extra sweet and affectionate since coming home, which has made up for so much of the hard stuff! He goes and finds me after being apart from me for 5 minutes because he misses me 🙂 I told him I was gross today because I hadn’t shower and he said I was “cute gross” lol. I have what really counts–Ricardo’s love. That was one of the hardest things was thinking I was going to lose that. But I didn’t! He loves me as much as he ever has. And I get to keep that!
So, honestly, my life is good, and things are getting better. 🙂 I just have to take it all in stride. Patience Alicia, patience.