They have been numerous, they have been nonstop, they have been hard, all in different ways.

Some were forced, right then, right there…adapt, or don’t. Others were hard to make…but still hade to be made because the world was moving on.

When I woke up I was thrown way off by everything. I wanted to know

  1. Was Donald Trump still President? (When I decided to take a nap he was being impeached, and I knew the directors would ask who was the president, and I wanted to be right. - I was right about that…but then I said it was November - I thought I’d been gone almost a year)

  2. I wanted to know if Betty White was still alive. (?????)

I thought I had been out for awhile. And then I heard Tommy was working again, I didn’t understand. I kept telling Trey he was retired. He didn’t want to work. Send him home. I kept saying Trey and benton could handle it all. Bring me a computer and I can tell them what needs done. And make sure Brenda does not work. She will jump right in, but she really doesn’t want to. Make sure she stays retired…she doesn’t want to work.

Then I found out the office was moving. That made me really think I had been out for awhile. Tommy was already drawing out the new office. I was so lost. I couldn’t understand anything. Trey and I always talked about everything before he pulled the trigger. So the first adjustments I had to make was giving up control. For me, that was impossible. But, Trey said everything was fine-he just needed to make some adjustments. Don’t worry about it. All you need to worry about is getting to good.

I couldn’t forget about work. I would ask about everything all the time. I couldn’t forget about Treys care…I asked about that non stop. It drove Trey crazy. But I needed to know everything. He finally told me to shut up. Tommy & Brenda were staying at the house with him. Okay…I relaxed a bit. But, not really. He told me one day that he just couldn’t eat anything. He said it just didn’t smell good. I asked if someone went to get what he wanted. (Almost nightly benton or I would shoot across town to pick up whatever Trey was craving. I was obsessed with making him eat) I was also obsessed with how much water he would drink. I would randomly carry Trey a glass of water and a straw, and make him drink the entire thing before I’d move. He hated that. But, he had to drink. So giving up the control of his care was hard. But he kept reassuring me everything was okay.

Adjusting to not being able to swallow, or breathe was hard as mess. But, no choice. Had to adjust. I begged everyone for ice chips, or anything to do with water.

Adjusting to being paralyzed for a bit was a lot. But, then I was determined not to be helpless. I would squeeze & squeeze a balloon thing T&Bs neighbor made, and a red mini football that Brenda also brought. Once I started therapy I still used that football daily, along with all the excercises they gave me. I was either in the gym, rolling around the halls, or in my room exercising. That’s all I did. I wanted out as fast as I could. I would literally wait at the doors by the elevator for someone to come see me. Or be napping from being way over done, and be watched sleeping by Jennifer. Or I’d jump up and move surprising April, or Jason when that came to see me. I wanted everyone to know I was getting better.

I will never ever forget my Grandad calling my hospital room ‘TJ, this is your Grandad. GET UP AND GO WALKING’. As soon as he knew I was starting to walk he called almost daily to check on me, and make sure I was still going. I will never forget that. ‘TJ, this is your Grandad’

All of that was a HUGE adjustment. But, I was determined to get out of there. Trey just kept begging me to work harder, keep doing good, get to as good as I can. But hurry.

I did. They asked me to stay a week longer. I was upset, Trey was upset. I didn’t want to, and he didn’t really want me to either. But, I stayed, he wanted me to get as far along as I could. I just remember him crying and being so upset, so I kept telling him I would do it. I would do whatever, and get better. I thought he was so upset that I wasn’t doing well enough. He was upset because that meant another week at the hospital. One less week with him.

At the time I didn’t know, and kicked it into over drive to make sure I got home.

Coming home was the next major adjustment. And it all had to happen almost instantly. I hobbled around the house that weekend, and made it work.

Then life’s biggest adjustment.

Everything that I had adjusted too went out the window almost immediately. I went from focusing on me…to the reality that was slapping me in the face.

My celebration of coming home was over. I don’t even know how to explain what was going on in my mind. Everything in overdrive. I can barely remember those last two weeks. I know I was mad. Probably biting off everyone’s head. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. Any of it.

Massive Stroke, losing Trey, and ‘corona’ whatever that was were all at the same time.

I was adjusting to surviving a stroke, then to not only that, but back to Trey, and then adjusting to that - my recovery basically stopped in its tracks. I have no idea how I dealt with, or handled any of that. I just remember talking to missy, and telling her she HAD to come that last weekend. I just remember not caring about anything-she had to be here. I remember thinking I was overreacting. I remember telling myself to calm down. I was being to dramatic.

But I also know I had never seen Trey like this and I was scared. I kept hoping I was still hallucinating. Why would this not end? And it never did.

18months later and I’m still adjusting. Everyday. To my stroke, my life, life without Trey. It’s the littlest things now throw me off. Little details like today…we went to See Trey and take him new flowers for his birthday. I was standing there in my own world, in my head…and then I realized Benton was talking.

He was telling Trey all about his classes coming up. It hurts because I still can’t believe that I go to mepkin every weekend to see Trey now. It hurts because I talk to him too everyday, but seeing benton standing there just talking away to Trey just made it more real. My immediate reaction was ‘I already told him’. Almost like don’t bother him, I tell him everything. And almost immediately I heard Trey in my head ‘Thomas let him talk, he’s excited’

It’s just hard.