For the first several weeks after Meredith returned home from the hospital, she was extremely dependent on family, friends, and home care providers. At first, while in the hospital following the stroke, she didn’t even want to think about relying on strangers for any support, but she quickly realized how limited her mobility was and how much pressure it would place on her adult children, spouse, and others to support her.
She finally relented and agreed to hire home care aides.
She had a visiting nurse stopping by once a week for the first few weeks. She had a physical therapist working with her three days a week. She had a series of home care aides supplementing the care she received from her family.
During those first weeks, there was little to celebrate. It seemed as though nothing was going to improve. She honestly believed nothing was going to change and she was going to be bedridden the rest of her life. By week four, she started getting out of bed, or at least swinging her legs over the side and easing down, with minimal assistance.
By week six, she was able to get dressed on her own, without any physical assistance. She had somebody there with her in case she started to lose her balance or feel weak, but this was a major accomplishment.
It’s important to celebrate these little victories.
Most of the time people overlook small victories. They might seem to be no big deal. In the grand scheme of things, they might not be, and when compared to what other people accomplish every single day, they seem paltry. However, for a senior or other individual struggling through recovery, these little victories can mean everything.
Meredith was excited. She felt progress finally being made. All of the struggling, the exhausting physical therapy, the exercises, and the constant hard work was starting to show results.
At first, her family wasn’t going to make a big deal out of this, but when one of her children suggested to the others that this was a momentous occasion to celebrate, they came over, brought a healthy dinner, talked, played some games, and it felt wonderful.
This lifted Meredith’s spirits in a way she couldn’t have anticipated before they did that for her. It motivated her to continue pressing forward and even though there were no illusions that she would regain full mobility, she knew a wide breadth of possibilities had once again opened up for her.