Monday, March 26, 2012

Grocery Therapy

Once a week, I prepare the grocery list. Here are some of the typical steps:

- Try to get the pad of paper that's on a magnetic hook on the refrigerator door. Forget I need both hands to grasp it. Drop the pad on the floor. Curse.

- Bend over to get the pad and hook. After few tries, I put the hook back with my affected hand. Tell myself: it's therapy.

- Open the fridge. Realize I didn't use my affected hand. Close the fridge. Open it with my right hand. Look in the fridge and see what we need.

- Go to the table, and haul myself up on a stool. Wish that the person who designed the kitchen used a leg brace. She would have known that counter-height tables are a bad idea.

- Start writing the list with my "good" (left) hand. Pause when I can't remember the first letter of "cheese." Tell myself: it's therapy.

- Finish part of the list. Stand up, after a quick check to see that my both feet are really on the floor. Go to the freezer, open it. Curse when bags of frozen vegetables fall to the floor, narrowly missing my left foot. Decide I need a break.

You get the picture. After writing the list, I type it, with both hands: it's therapy. Most weeks it takes me about two and a half or three hours for the whole process.

So a few weeks ago I was very proud of myself: for the first time, not only did I make the list, I did the shopping myself. Well, almost. After I put everything in the cart, I met our wonderful helper and asked her to wait in line. I went outside, sat on a bench, and basked in the sun. It was therapy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Magical Thinking

When I come downstairs on Saturday morning, my daughter greets me at the bottom of the stairs. She's a confection in pink today. She's dressed up in an outfit her aunt brought back from India, made from a pink, gauzy fabric, embroidered with flowers. She is also wearing her Disney tiara, and holding a sparkly wand.

"Mama, do you want a spell?" she asks.

Apparently, she's a good witch today.

"What kinds of spells do you have?" I ask.

"Well, since you had a stroke and a seizure, maybe something... to help you with that," she says. Her voice trails off. Before I can speak, she's off again to another part of the house, talking to her stuffed animals and her brother, waving her wand and casting more spells.