January 30, 2017 Monday
Chris was adamant about going to work. I was adamant about him not driving and not working a full day. So, like two of the seven dwarfs, it was off to work we go.
First stop was the current project. The one Chris had been at when he finally consented to go to the hospital and stay. The one he was worried about finishing. The one his associate and his son continued for him.
Walking up we are greeted by his associate and the project manager, Dan. His project manager has been wonderful. While worrying about getting a quality job done for his customer, he emphasized that the most important thing was Chris’ health.
Chris showed Dan the work and they discussed a few things before Dan left. Then Chris and his associate talked a bit, going over the job done and what yet remained to do. Chris became fatigued and our next appointment was approaching. I encouraged him to leave so that we could get lunch before our appointment.
It was good to take a break. To get him to sit down and breathe for a minute.
The next appointment was with a long time client. Chris had done lots of work in their old house and now they bought a new one and wanted him to do some upgrading. He had some anxiety about how he’d be perceived and how they’d receive the information that he had had a stroke less than two weeks ago.
Only I notice the tiny little lines in his face that indicate he’s a bit confused and having trouble, but she noticed when he lost his balance. Still he got the job, his greatest fear invalidated!
Driving him home, the exhaustion was evident on his face. It surprises him I think, being so tired after doing almost nothing in comparison to pre-stroke days. He went straight to bed and slept for a couple of hours before getting up to eat dinner.
Evenings are short-lived. Its really a matter of eating, relaxing for an hour or so and then bedtime. Deficits are more noticeable in the evening as he grows tired. The limp that was gone in the morning, reappears. There is a slight facial droop. The faraway look in his eyes also tends to make a reappearance the more tired he gets. He has more difficulty expressing himself, too.
Just go to bed, right?
That’s the thing I asked him. “Why don’t you just go to bed if you’re tired?”
“I don’t know when I’m tired. I don’t know what tired feels like anymore.”
Can you even imagine? He said hunger doesn’t feel like hunger either. I cannot fathom this! I cannot imagine not knowing what the message is that my body is giving me. How upsetting that would be, to have a sensation occur and not know how to answer it after spending decades doing just that.
A stroke is a betrayal.