Day Two was Saturday, he called me at home before I returned to the hospital and I could hear more slurring. Dread filled me slowly as I consciously completed each task of getting ready. The realization that my life, the life I just had on Wednesday, was gone and a new one would have to be created came seeping in like rising floodwaters.
Scared doesn’t even come close to the emotion I felt.
Every chance I could I did remote healing with him. Willing him to be better. Yet all day it seemed he slipped just a little further and further down the hill.
He was scheduled for an MRI and an echocardiogram so we spent the day waiting. As the time ticked past, his speech became more slurred and his gait was very unsteady. As the nurses and doctors did neuro checks I could clearly see how there was more lack of coordination on the left side than there had been the night before. The staff noted increased weakness on the left side as well.
In addition, we noticed that he started coughing while eating. Instinctively he was doing a chin tuck with each swallow of water. This was disturbing. The nurse did a preliminary swallow test and he passed, but we were self-instituting the chin tuck protocol anyway.
Eventually physical and occupational therapies came in to assess. He said he would do whatever they wanted him to, but that he needed to return to work on Monday. They smiled kindly and very purposely said, “That’s not going to happen.” I think that is the first time he really understood the severity of the event as I saw a little shadow cross over his face ever so faintly.
He had been so focused on returning to work that when that focus was gone he seemed empty for a moment, until the anger set in that is. This was the first sign I’d seen of any cognitive impairment. He heard everything as fatalistic. Not going to work on Monday he heard as not working ever again. His deficits he heard as permanent. No one was saying that and he was wretched until that was cleared up.
“No, no one is saying, ‘not ever’. We are just saying, ‘not yet’.” This he heard, thankfully.
His emptiness and subsequent anger got to me. This man is one of the happiest places on earth. Oh sure he has his moments like any of us, but in general he is one of the most level headed, see the solution, life is what you make it kind of guy. So, this was out of character and it broke my heart. Finally, I’d had enough.
“I think this is our stroke of luck.” I said to him. He looked puzzled.
“Look. Let’s face it. You did everything wrong that you could do wrong. You have ignored your high blood pressure for over a decade. You didn’t go to the ER immediately, so you didn’t get the magic medicine tPA (that dissolves clots). Then when you did come in, you signed yourself out. You drove your truck and trailer to the site. You CLEARLY have had more episodes, yet your impairment is minimal compared to anyone else on this floor or in the video.” (educational video they make you watch)
“We are lucky. You get a second chance to do better.”
Hence, how this became our stroke of luck, sometimes referred to as lucky stroke.
He continued to decline during the day and I was emotionally out of gas. In desperation, I set aside my pride and asked my online energy healing friends to include Chris in their healing circles.
I had to return home to let our dogs out and feed them. It gave me some time away so that I could completely lose it…and lose it I did.
In the car on the way home.
And again when my dog ran away.
And when I had to tell Chris’s sister-friend, while looking for the dog.
And when my friend and her daughter made a special trip to see me/him.
I prepared my friend and her daughter for the changes in him. We went back to the hospital together only to find him nothing like I described. I immediately noticed his speech was greatly improved and his son said it had improved even since he’d arrived.
This rollercoaster..the ups, followed by the downs, followed by ups, followed by downs, followed by ups had me nauseous with e-motion sickness. I no longer knew what was real or if anything was. Nothing was permanent…not the deficits but not the improvements either.
The ground under my feet kept moving.