If there is ever a movie quote that I've incorporated into my life it's this: "Get busy living or get busy dying." That is from "The Shawshank Redeption." Truer words have never been spoken.
Today was my day of grooming myself: manicure & pedicure specifically. My hair and eyebrows were done a few days ago.
Well let me back up a little further. It's been three years post stroke now and about one year ago I realized that some of my grooming routines would be a tad tricky. You see with one sided weakness sometimes my body betrays me, to my amazement. When I am doing my exercises and I tell my brain to tell my left toes to wiggle, a fascinating thing happens, my FINGERS will ball into a fist but my toes won't move at all. I must pry my fingers open with my right hand. It's a pain and a drag but that's my life right now. Since I do not yet have control over all of the muscles on the left side of my body, I compensate -overly so.
Anyway, I get regular pedicures, always have. But now post stroke I must wait at least one hour in the salon for my toes to thoroughly dry because when I walk in flip flops my left toes curl under in attempt to keep me balanced and from falling down. When my toes curl it ruins the paint job and that's wasted money. Learned that the hard way. So now I plan a few hours to have this done whereas before I'd run in, get painted and run errands after to allow them to dry throughout the day. Also post stroke, I find it fatiguing to run more than two or three errands in one day mostly because getting in and out of my car takes effort to balance and sit without hitting my face on the car door. It sounds worse than I'm articulating [I'm sure] but if you were ever to watch me enter and leave my vehicle, you'd understand. As much as I try I still have to physically lift my left leg into my car. Sometimes I have to lift it out as well, it depends on the day.
That being said, I was en route home today when my dear friend called me to ask me to make a stop for him. I didn't mind doing it but since I was already homeward bound, I was not wanting to make another lift leg in/out stop. I just wanted to go home and relax. Well he met me at my house to have lunch with me and noticed my attitude was off. Very unusual for me. After I sat for a minute I explained my 'TUDE'. For the slow crowd that's slang for attitude. I explained to him that when I wake up on any day having to run errands, I must plan my course [from farthest to closest] and from most annoying to most pleasant, mostly because doing too much fatigues my post stroke body alot more than my pre stroke body, so making one more stop was something I didn't want to do, but it was such a small thing I didn't mind doing it. I just needed to mentally prepare for one more stop before going home. Once I broke that down to him, he understood that he was not the source of my mood, I was. After all it was my choice to do it. I could have easily declined.
I used to get upset with my friends that no one has ever thought to use only one hand to do everything for at least an hour so they can get a glimpse of what it's like to live in my shoes for the past 36 months. After all if it were me supporting a friend who was stricken by a stroke I would probably rally others in solidarity to use one hand one hour per day for a week to do the most challenging things. And then I thought that I never made the request and that no one thinks the way that I think. I never made the request partially because of fear, and partially because I didn't want my lack of faith to be exposed. That just would not do!
So what I learned from all of this is that A) people can not read my mind and B) I must articulate what I'm feeling so that I'm not frustrated.