Hello to 2019. A year that I hope will be one of progress, results and success for Nathan’s rehabilitation recovery and return to work. Not just for Nathan, but for all other stroke and brain injury survivors on their own road to recovery.

Since my last update, in December we’ve focused on the three R’s: rehab, respite and rest.

Nathan’s rehab is going well. He continues to attend physio, occupational therapy, speech pathology, Lokomat, gym and psychology sessions. His dedication to rehab has seen him progress to the point where he no longer needs his walking aid when out and about in the community. His lower limb is recovering faster than his upper limb. We’ve been told that the recovery of upper limbs does take longer (or in some cases may never fully recover). He confidence has grown in his speech and cognition, and he continues to attend work with the intention of increasing his hours this month. Nathan pushes himself in rehab everyday to hopefully achieve any sort of movement back. It’s tough to watch day in, day out. But every time we see some sort of new movement, we get spurred on and hold the belief that recovery can be achieved.

Since his injury, I haven’t left his side for more than a few hours. So when the chance to go away for a couple days to celebrate my friend’s 30th in Tasmania, I was both excited but anxious. Nathan’s brother flew over to act as carer while I was gone, however as I was used to his company and our routines at home it felt weird being away. I felt guilty for having fun and being away from him, as he was still stuck doing rehab. I did try to allow myself to enjoy the trip, especially as we were atop mountains and taking in stunning views. Looking back it was a well needed carer’s respite. To be able to care for someone you love in such trying circumstances, as a carer you need to be able to recharge and take some time out for yourself.

We did get a chance to have a restful break over the holidays. I drove 15hrs from Adelaide to Sydney so we could spend Christmas and New Years with family and friends. It was the first time I had ever undertaken such a drive as the longest drive I had done before was only 3hrs. Nathan was a confident driver and enjoyed driving long distance, so I would always let him drive longer routes. However, since his injury, he has been unable to drive. Flying to Sydney was an option, but I didn’t want to leave our cat alone over the holidays (yes, I am officially a cat lady). The drive was mostly uneventful (other then Neko pooping at the start of the drive) and we had a great time catching up with everyone back in Sydney.

The stroke has changed our lives in ways I could never have imagined. We have been forced to perform in areas we may or may not be comfortable in. We have been forced to confront the unknown in order to continue living. We have been forced into a unique situation and must continually grow and learn in order to adapt to our new lives.


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