Stroke Me Day 183: Everything & Nothing Has Changed

Hello Darling Ones.

Today marks six months since I had a stroke.

Back on March 6, 2023 when I was weak and terrified, I thought six months was 100 years away. Everyone said and everything I read said stroke recovery took six months. I thought there was no way I could handle being disabled like this, a burden to everyone, unable to take care of myself in any meaningful way for that long.

Six months felt like forever.

Jodi from six months ago knew nothing.

Frankly, Jodi from two weeks ago didn’t know much either. That’s when I panicked at my physical therapist.

“I’m scared,” I told her while using an eight-pound bar to bat a pink balloon toward her like a ninja. “It’s almost six months and I’m not recovered yet. I’m not even close!”

She bopped the balloon back to me and shook her head, her mouth a grim line. “I wish they’d stop saying that,” she said. “Every body is different. Every brain is different. It can take years to fully recover.”

“So I shouldn’t worry yet?” I leaned far to the right, stretching and jerking the end of the bar up to hit the balloon.

“No,” she said. “You’re doing great.”

I took solace in her words.

This six-month mark is hitting me hard. It doesn’t help that we’re ten days out from the anniversary of my dad’s death. It’s been a rough twelve months.

It’s weird how everything and nothing has changed since March 6th. I’m not weak or a burden or unable to handle my disability. I am still terrified.

I’m also frustrated and grateful and overwhelmed and joyful and a few other things I can’t quite put words to.

While I’m confident I will eventually recover from all my physical ailments, I worry constantly about work and money.

Working is difficult. I can only type for short amounts of time before my Floppy Scoop poops out. But my vision is the real problem. I tried to replicate what my vision is like in the image above. Everything is both blurry and distorted. So fun!

Because of this, I can only work for about 45 minutes at a time before everything becomes illegible. Then I have to give my eyes a break for a few hours.

I only managed 10 hours of work in August.

By comparison I spent 19 hours at medical appointments. That doesn’t include travel or waiting in the lobby time.

If I could bill for all my time managing my condition and working to recover, I’d be alright. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

I’m not only afraid that I’ll not have enough money to live on and pay off my medical debt (only $6,404.93 to go), but I’m afraid I’ll lose my business. I’ve worked so hard over the past fourteen years to build a stable, reliable freelance business that allows me to support myself. My business was so strong I managed to payoff my student loans and the credit card debt I fell into when my refrigerator, oven, and water heater all died in the same six-month period. I even made enough to start a retirement account!

Now I feel it all slipping away. My current clients are solid, but I haven’t had a chance to find new ones to replace the four I’ve lost since the stroke.

Ugh. It’s so frustrating. Just like with my stroke recovery I want to power through this dicey time. It’s unfair that I can’t just work harder to make this all better. Working harder has always made things better in the past.

Time and patience, continues to be the key to getting my life back. Time and patience is also the worst.

So, here I am, once again asking the Internet for more money. If you have a few dollars to spare and would like to send them my way, I’d appreciate it. I’ve been told I send very excellent thank you cards, and I’d happily send one to you if you give me your address.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

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