Continuing the story I told on my last post…
Monday morning I returned to my therapy schedule. The therapist gave me a couple of progress tests and these showed some improvement, i.e., a few seconds faster at doing a couple of simple movements like standing to my feet and sitting down again.
The assistant therapist watching me asked Melanie when I had my stroke. When Melanie told her it was seven months ago, the assistant was very surprised. She said it usually took more than a year to do what she saw me d0ing. This is interesting because at the hospital in the first 48 hours, one doctor told Melanie the stroke nearly killed me and my recovery was uncertain.
At the swallowing therapy session we told the lead therapist about the tater tot temptation from Sunday. She gave me permission to go ahead and try that but warned that I should stick to the soft parts of the potato underneath the crunchy exterior. Then, since it was long past the breakfast hour, she reminded us that Arby’s served a hash brown potato patty all day long. She pointed out the potato was mostly water and so should not be a problem. At the end of the session she also said she was pleased with the progress she saw since my first visit.
When we left the therapy building Melanie did a couple of errands and then drove straight to Arby’s and ordered lunch. She was careful to order the potato cakes instead of the fries we always used to get. Then we went home.
She set the potato cake in front of me. I took a deep breath. I took a tiny bite off one corner (yes, including the delicious, crunchy exterior). I chewed carefully. I swallowed my first bite of solid food in seven months.
I think I took five bites altogether. Melanie saved what was left (still most of it) to be reheated and served to me again later. A friend who had come to help with yard work was having lunch with us so we didn’t shout. But Melanie told him outside later the significance of what he had seen me do.
In the afternoon, a friend visited and smiled as we told the story. They promised to share with the Monday night centering prayer group that is praying for us.
I reflect on the day and what the Lord has given me. Total healing and recovery–no, not yet. But encouragement and small, visible steps of improvement–oh, yes.
I had started the day singing, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
I have and I do. Thank you, Lord.