Baby Step Expectations

I am having a fight in my mind. A fight with expectations. I have noticed in the past year that I have trouble with expectations. I expect people to treat me the way I would treat them. I expect life to go a certain way because I obeyed the rules. The problem is that is not how life works. And now I am having a fight with expectations for Mom’s health. In the simplest definition, I have been taught that when you are sick you go to the hospital. But you go there to get better. Once you are better you go home. That is an expectation I have of how a visit to the hospital is supposed to work.

This time though is different.  Mom was in the hospital. She did go there to get better.  But today I realized something. I think in some weird way I thought this hospital visit was going to cure her MS or make her greatly improve. Then that thought shifted. It became about the rehab facility. Mom will go to rehab for a few weeks and and she will be walking out of there greatly improved. The problem with these thoughts is that’s not how this is going to work.

I know Mom is going to improve. She is improving more and more everyday. But these are very little improvements. They are big improvements but little at the same time. She is walking around with her walker little by little. She is doing physical therapy and doing what she can do. From where I sat writing this a week ago, these are major improvements.

The problem though is in my mind. I think I almost feel disappointed. Then I feel awful admitting that I feel disappointed because I should feel thankful for how far we’ve come.  And I do feel thankful. But I still feel disappointed because I thought Mom would immediately just bounce back. Sure she’d still need her walker but she’d be moving much faster. She’d start physical therapy and her mobility would improve to where she was at the onset of the diease. She’d be “better.”

I am trying to remind myself that is not how this is going to work. This is not how MS works.  MS is not going to magically leave our lives. Mom is not going to be magically cured. Mom’s recovery is going to be a process filled with baby steps. Literally and figuratively. 

I feel a bit like I am on an emotional rollercoaster. Monday night driving back I was so happy and thankful that Mom was settled in a better place. But I think these were tricky thoughts to have. I think deep down I thought she’d be automatically recovering too. Today I am settling into the reality that this is not the case. It’s going to be a slow process. I am fighting my mind’s natural inclination to slip into a funk. I am consciously making myself remain hopful for the baby step improvements. I am telling myself if you take enough baby steps you will see a big step. This is yet another reminder that I need to be patient. Learn to take life one day at a time.

Do you have trouble taking life one day at at a time? Do you think it’s hard when you realize sometimes a visit to the hospital is not as simple as just being sick and getting better? Have you ever had trouble with expectations?

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