Saturday, January 9, 2016
So it's been 20 days since the first appearance of stroke and the rush to the local emergency room. Within 7 days of that first day there was another emergence of stroke in the same area of the brain. They said not an additional stroke, but an "evolving" stroke.
What that meant is that she went from being able to lift her left arm fully, use her hand, and stand strongly on both legs.
That is gone for now with the second episode.
Two weeks in the hospital, now one week in the rehab hospital.
She is getting physical, occupational, and speech therapy for 3+ hours a day. I only know what is happening from her telling me on the phone or if I visit and observe. There are so many "players" in this production and I often feel so in the dark.
At the hospital I could stay longer, watch TV with her at night, eat a meal in the room, even sleep over in the recliner chair to keep her company or dispel my deep sense of loneliness in being the only family, only caregiver, only one dealing with all of this.
I miss that setting. Now I have to do short visits, there is no place to sit, I cannot eat with her or hang out and watch TV with her to keep her company and fend off my constant sense of separation and trickling loss.
I come home to our 4 dogs and the emptiness of the apartment which constantly reminds me she is not here.
Our world has been turned upside down and will never, ever be the same.
Every day in rehab is a day of hope and struggle. She has made some progress in being able to sometimes move her left arm and being able to stand for 30 seconds at a time.
They are talking discharge to home in 2 weeks and I can't imagine. Can't imagine how we will manage here and can't imagine her going to a nursing home setting. Maybe for more rehab, but then if I can manage her here physically I know that the best option is for her to get home care rehab and be at home.
We will do this in this tiny apartment, somehow. I am looking at space and taking measurements and mustering up all my past nursing aid and home health social worker experience to focus on how to get Marty home and manage her care here.
There's days I can't imagine how we will do this, but then I can't imagine life without her either.
Just like I couldn't imagine how our life could totally change within a few moment's time like it did back in December.
But it did and it can for anyone. Take nothing for granted, spend precious time with your loved ones, realize that your life can change in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, like the hope for an early spring we hold hope for miracles. The simple movement of a hand, the surge of strength to stand and walk again.
Where there is love there is hope...