Slowly, But Surely, Returning to Normal

By: Mary Pat Baldauf 

returning to normalFour and a half months after having a brain aneurysm rupture, things are slowly but surely returning to normal.

  • This week, I go back to work. Slowly, four hours a day, three days a week for two weeks, and increasing two hours every two weeks. I’ll be full-time in mid-September.
  • I returned to the beach this week. It was just a quick overnight trip, but it refreshed my soul. I was worried the heat and walking would be difficult for me, but I did fine.
  • My hair is growing back out. In March, I’d finally grown out my Pixie cut. But during my recovery, I went short again; it was easier to take care of. It’s finally grown back over my ears.
  • Moving home. I’ve been staying at my mother’s house until I got my “out of the hospital and rehab legs.” I’m moving back in slowly, organizing my bedroom as I go. (I have lived in four places in the last four months, and stuff is everywhere!)
  • I’m cooking  at my house since I know my kitchen best. And I haven’t yet returned to cooking all day Sunday for the week ahead, but I’m not far from it.
  • After three months of not driving, I’m driving without restrictions. I’ve become a better driver, having gone through training during rehab and also doing rehab with victims of some pretty bad accidents.
  • My voice is still soft and a little raspy from the vocal fold surgery, but I’m seeing a speech therapist twice a week and doing exercises at home. No one besides me seems to be missing my loud voice. (Imagine that!)
  • I’m back at the gym. Right now, I’m working with a nutritionist to re-adjust my eating from hospital food and Atlanta hot spots. I’m also working with a trainer two days a week to build my strength and work on my balance, and I’m doing cardio three days a week on the SCIFit, a piece of equipment I used during rehab.

Hopefully, by my next blog post, I’ll have even more to report. If some things I worked on at outpatient rehab, such as time management and minimizing distractions, stick, I’d say I’ll be a better person post-aneurysm than I was before. Time will tell.

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