Bob's one year stroke anniversary will be on Oct. 22nd. This impending date has had me, I'll admit, a bit freaked out because of all the talk about "the first year" post-stroke and recovery being difficult if not impossible after that. In some ways it doesn't seem like a year has already passed. In other ways, it seems much longer than that--a lifetime maybe. I don't think I was prepared, back then, for what a long process this recovery would be and still is.
I remember one of the first "predictions" about Bob's recovery came from one of the doctors in ICU who told me, in November, that Bob would be "home, walking and talking and eating, by Christmas."
I actually believed that guy and he was wrong, on all points.
Then, another doctor in December told me "don't get your hopes up" as "he will never walk again."
We are still proving that doctor wrong.
And the doctor in charge at the Acute Rehab Hospital, who told me that Bob would never come home and would have to, sadly, spend "the rest of his life" in a nursing home. Wrong, wrong, wrong again.
And countless therapists, who told me that Bob had had too many "set backs" and got started on rehab too late, because, you know, after that "window" which is the first "three months" or "six months" or "one year" (depending on who was talking at the time) the prognosis is very poor and recovery is unlikely....
Recently, I was browsing an aphasia/stroke website and I ran across a discussion board and was horrified to find that many people on that website were under the impression that if you haven't recovered from aphasia in 2-3 months, you will never recover or improve.... I am glad no told me that.
Because Bob has had, I believe, the greatest overall improvement in his speaking, just this last month. He has said so many complete sentences that, geez, I've lost count.
Also, this week, Bob hit a new record on the rail, 25 times: that's approximately 150 feet that he is walking almost everyday. At Outpatient Rehab he was lucky to do 50 feet, three times a week, on the parallel bars. So much for "hitting the wall"--eh?
Which makes me wonder, why do these doctors and therapists and experts always make predictions? Why are all these timelines handed out as though they are "set in stone"? Because it seems to me that it only discourages people.
So, today, I'm making a vow to myself to no longer get freaked out about timelines. So what if his stroke anniversary is coming up? We still have time and determination to improve.