Blearily eyed, I turned on the light for my aspirin and metoprolol (Lopressor) and the ever-present water. On the night stand, I gulp it down.
Before the stroke, I was a supervisor for Chrysler Motors, Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in the '80's. I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. I loved the body shop. The plant is a swiss watch, something is always going on, somewhere. I worked the Sundance and Shadow line.
I lived in my car, Doritos strewn about; numerous Coke cans; just-in-case items of toothbrush, deodorant, change of clothes (Snowed in...Michigan winters) for the plant; caked eyeliner brushes from a distant memory; my stuff.
Fifteen years ago, 1999, I had a monumental stroke. I'm 68 and it's 2016; it's an ischemic stroke. I dreamt of a car, whizzing by, not a care in the world, gas pedal floored and eating a Taco Bell (extra-hot). The windshield wipers, the turn signals, the rear-view mirrors (although, it's all computer-ized...it's knows; the garbage cans, the bike, the little tot, programmed to stop the car), and the ever-present radio, all of a sudden are confusing. What about the other guy?
The reflexes are not good.
For instance, the aspirin, Lopressor and the water in the morning. The screw-on (it's tiny) water bottle, generic aspirin (it's pop-top) and metoprolol "to open push down and turn" are pretty easy. But is it? It's the lids. I get foggy about the lids. Just for a brief moment, a nanosecond, I'm concentrating. Which is which? I close the lids. Yes, my brain is fried. I'm little aphasic, too. Well, a lot.
I have Anita for everything; for shopping, dog walking, vacuuming and other things. Agency on Aging http://www.aging.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/department_of_aging_home/18206 with the conjunction of Twin Oaks in Hopwood, PA, one day a week. www.twinoakshomecare.com/ I depend on the provider. For example, lugging bird seed and an enormous bag of kibble for the dogs, Izzy and Percy. One-hand ain't good.
I shower and shave my legs and towel-dry...every time without fail (the caregivers knows this...it's a joke) "Can I shave my legs, please?"
"No...your arm pits", Anita, the caregiver, noted. "Pits, pits, pits!" She lathered and shaved and clean-shaved arm pits. In my mind, legs, not arm pits. The stroke wired me. Concentration: legs and arms. I'll get it right.
Turn right or left; I forgot peanuts for the birds, trudged back; the ceiling fan...which is it? The ceiling fan or the ceiling light switch? I devised a plan. The short ceiling fan and the long light switch. And the remote TV? The Exit button and the Mute button; get it wrong every time...time after time after time. I know the exit button and the mute button. The word indicates exit and mute. Duh.
The reflexes are a dollar short, needless to say.
So the car is out. The rear back up camera, power locks and mirrors and fog lamps is no more. I love my quasi-car, but what about the other guy; God-forbid the rug-rat kiddos.
Gonna do SOMETHING!
Percy and Izzy