I’m over a year and a half out from my stroke and the lists of things I can and can’t do both continue to grow. While most of it feels normal now, I still have those moments that make me feel proud or totally pissed off.
I’ve always fancied myself an optimistic cynic; a fucked up Pollyanna, if you will. The other day I had an epiphany. It came to me while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Shut up. It happens. I had this revelation that there are things I will never ever do again, and I'm glad! Your hear me? GLAD. GLAD. GLAD!
I will never ever be obliged to dance the Limbo. Seriously, fuck the Limbo. I hated that stupid dance, game, whatever it is - frankly, I think it's a bit of a stretch to refer to it as a dance. As a disabled person, I am not physically able to do it. Before the stroke, I would have been an asshole for being a grouch and not wanting to play. But now, if you ask me to do it, you’re the asshole!
Surely, there must be other things I loathe that I can no longer be expected to do. I spent much of the afternoon with a maniacal smile on my face, thinking of more things that I can’t ever do again. Here are some highlights:
Charades. Whenever they show people playing Charades in sitcoms, it’s always some dorky suburban couple giggling with their boring couple friends on dreaded game night. Barf. Charades is really one small step away from being a Mime, only no one gives you money to do it and you have to perform in front of your friends. Thankfully, my limited use of the right side of my body makes me a terrible player. You guys go ahead. I’ll mind the bar.
Team-building exercises. If you have ever worked for a large office, you know what I’m talking about. You get stuck in a giant room with your fellow disgruntled co-workers and given a task – like build a massive house of cards without any of them overlapping – that can only be accomplished together. It is bad enough that there is pressure to participate and not look like a dick in front of your boss, but now you have a whole fucking team of people depending on you to not screw it up for everyone. There’s a pizza party on the line and damn it it’s gonna be your ass if you tip the cards! Don’t tip the cards! Lucky for me, I’m not touching the damned cards. Between my wonky hand and my vertigo, I’m likely to wind up lying on top of the house of cards. So no.
Sports. I’ve always hated playing sports, so this is a huge win. I can’t run anymore. It’s not like I just have to try and it will come back. No, I actually can’t. So picking me for your team would make you a dick. (Unless you want me to keep score. I’m OK with that. I like having that kind of power.)
Outdoorsy stuff. See Sports above. "Outdoors" usually involves sports in the sun for an extended period of time. Ugh. Just ugh. And really, if you try to get me on a zip-line or a river raft, I’ll have criminal charges filed against you for attempted murder.
Assemble furniture. I won’t ever have to hold two boards perpendicular to each other while trying to screw them together. I did try once, just to see. To no one’s surprise it ended with cursing and dropping boards on the ground. My right arm doesn’t extend very far and when it is holding something, those fingers are completely useless. This task is now solely my husband’s responsibility. I did give him moral support during the FOUR hours it took him to put together our son’s train table. I yelled out things like, “Wow, babe! It’s really coming along!” while I watched movies on the couch. Oh, think I’m insensitive? I’m disabled! Who’s insensitive now, biatch!
|I will never have to stay up until 3am assembling a bicycle or art desk or anything else. Ever. Neener. Neener.|
Aerobics class. I enjoy aerobics. It’s one of the few exercises I don’t mind – this goes for both before and after stroke. However, I have never thought the idea of sweating and shaking my uncoordinated ass in front of a group of strangers sounds like fun. Girls love to invite other girls to this sort of thing. “Hey! Wanna put on clothes that accentuate all your problem areas and then dance next to me and my amazing body, which make you look like the Hunchback by comparison?” Ick. Now instead of conveniently being sick that day, I just don’t get invited. I still get to look like the Hunchback when I exercise, but at least it’s in private. Go me!
Pollyanna was a righteous bitch. She played The Glad Game because she knew no matter how shitty life was, there was always something awesome to smile about and feel grateful for. And I’m grateful I won’t ever feel pressured to wear high heels again.