Monday, June 22, 2009

Commercial break

Having a parent who has suffered a massive stroke has its, well, non-negatives. Hey, I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl. For your amusement here is my list of...

Benefits to having a parent who has had a massive stroke

• People who you run into on a regular basis that routinely complain incessantly about their own problems will suddenly have absolutely nothing to say to you anymore. (Isn't that great??)

• If you've ever thought "I'll just DIE if anything like this ever happens to my parents!" you will discover that, NO, you will not instantly keel over and die. You may really *feel* like it sometimes, but, as a general rule, it is NOT something that happens automatically. Joy!

• If you've ever secretly harbored the desire to win the lottery but you don't play because you are simply too practical, you now have two perfect reasons to start.
1) We have found scratch cards to be a very popular activity with our subject, so it stands to reason that others in her situation may feel similarly.
2) The projected possible cost of care to your parent is a very motivating factor to win. As for the odds, you will find yourself having a much more positive attitude about the possibility of winning the lottery now than you ever had before. Karmically, there's no question. And, you could definitely *use* the win, of course. As for the scientific or numeric odds, think about it this way: your parent has had a massive stroke. (And lived!!) What are the odds of that?

• Everyone will tell you how impressed they are with you. While privately, you may be thinking, "Well, what the hell would you *expect*??", it is still a very nice ego boost, nonetheless. :)

• You've officially earned daily escapism time. You now have an excellent excuse to allow yourself to watch all those TV shows that you either limit, or simply refuse to watch at all, because you don't like to "cloud your mind with crap". Now is the time. Go cloud your mind with crap. (That is, when you are done taking care of your parental business, or spending quality time with your parent, of course. Priorities.)

• Lots of people might stop coming by your desk at work. Don't take it personally. Some people are just awkward, or simply don't know what to say. That's okay! This is a free pass to focus on your work distraction-free. Your co-workers will come back eventually. (Put out a dish of M&M's if you start getting lonely.)

• You will quickly find out what you, yourself, are made of... And you TOTALLY kick ass.


  1. I love your attitude! I come from a family of survivors. We survive things like job loss, death, and sickness. It feels good to know that life does go on, that you can survive and thrive. I just know it in my bones. It gives me strength and hope. You go girl!!!

    I've been wanting to share this woman's story with you. You may know about her already, but in case you don't…she is a brain scientist who had a stroke. She was on Oprah. Her story is amazing. Here she is on Youtube:

  2. Laura, Thanks so much for your post. We are all very familiar with Jill Bolte Taylor - she's amazing. Amazing amazing amazing. Thanks for chiming in though -- so many people have mentioned her to me and it is incredible how widely known her story is. I am glad people continue to mention her. She has made such a huge impact and deservedly so!!

  3. Kathy, much thanks for this glimpse into what this kind of situation can hold, valuable information indeed! My very best to you and your family,

  4. What a great post!!!! I laughed out loud. xoxoxoxoxox
    Oh, and ummm..."Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  5. As much as I love hearing about Dolly's progression (yay!!), I also love the way you are telling her story and yours. I find that when I'm busy and tired I tend to not filter my voice and instead just say exactly what's on my mind, and your voice in this post is so funny ("well what the hell would you expect?") I laughed out loud as well!

  6. This list totally rocks. I know many of these things myself, and appreciate how much you have learned by reading this list. The learning/blessings will continue. You all are in my prayers. You all are changed forever by this, and it sounds like you will not be sorry about that. Brava!