One More Day

He had a STROKE. There. I said it.

At this time he is stable and in the ICU. He will be there again today. He is in good hands. He is tired, confused, and not sure why he is there. Yesterday, the turning point was when he was able to see our son and our grandchildren through FaceTime. That was the first time that he smiled, the first time he formed sentences, and the first time that he had perked up since his stroke at 6 pm on Friday night.

There were lots of good things about how and why the Lord allowed this to happen, but first and foremost, it happened in one of his favorite places, surrounded by many of his favorite people: his friends. They did everything we needed them to do. They rallied around he and I. They prayed, and they got us the medical help that we needed. I’m glad that we were not alone.

Alone is my biggest fear. I do not want to be alone. Ever.

The good news is that doctors were able to stop the stroke. The problem is that the medication given to him could cause bleeding in the brain. Actually, it could cause bleeding anywhere. So they positioned him yesterday like a precious fragile gem. My gem. He could not leave his “bubble”. He didn’t like it. He hates to be the center of attention. At 9 pm last night, they checked for bleeding with another CT Scan. So far so good, even though the right corner of his mouth hangs just a hint, his head aches, and his right side remains weak.

We are told that the next step is Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and a “Needs Assessment” which is sort of like a Pre- Goold Assessment. (This is used in the DHHS world to determine eligibility for Long-Term Care in Nursing Homes.) They basically want to know if he can take care of his basic needs on his own, like dress and toilet himself. We are also waiting for an MRI to see where the damage was done.

I don’t know the timetable, and everyone is hesitant to make guesses. A lot depends on what happens when they try to have him stand and walk today and how well his right side cooperates. I fear that he is going to be very frustrated and discouraged. He just wants to go home. He asks every family member to talk the doctors and nurses into letting him go home. However, best case scenario, we are told that he will be at the hospital until Tuesday. Hopefully he will be out of ICU today.

I have asked friends to hold back and allow immediate family members the opportunity to be with him and people have honored that, which makes me so grateful. The dementia makes it that much more frustrating for him and he needs to see familiar faces and he needs to see his siblings. It is important, and I am trying to give that to him and to them. Yesterday he saw two bothers, two sisters-in-law, my sister, the girls, a couple close friends, as well as a deacon in our church, who prayed with us. The night of the stroke, he saw Mom and Dad, and he needed that. We need to keep his world small because he is tired, and there is a lot of confusion in the hospital. We are trying to rotate out into the waiting area so that family can get the time that they need with him.

People keep asking me what I need. I woke up this morning thinking about that. According to Fitbit, I got 7 hours of good sleep last night and 3 the night before. I think that I need rest. I took a shower last night and slept well. Now I need to write. I need to organize my thoughts and this is the best way to do it.

My sister has been feeding me and the best part is the she “gets me”. She is feeding me nutritious food because she knows my stomach hurts. She also knows that I have been trying so hard to lose those last stubborn 15 pounds. I love my sister and I am so grateful that she chose to worry about food so that I don’t have to go anywhere or try to figure out how to pay for one more thing. She comes every meal and last night, she brought me a warm home cooked meal. (It also should be noted that my sister-in-law surprised me with Dunks iced coffee mid afternoon, which is comfort food for me.) I am so grateful.

I need my world’s to all be okay while I stay close to my husband. I need my animals to be tended to. Kindle is confused and is looking for her human. Louisa is mad and swatting at the wrong human that keeps coming to feed her. If I don’t get to her soon, she will pee on something of mine- usually it is my school bag or a piece of luggage. Therefore, she needs to be locked in the basement. My youngest is worrying about the animals. I have what I need from home, except for a few things like my laptop charger and a change of clothes. She will bring them them on the next trip. It will be nice to change my clothes.

I need to stay close to him. My stomach really hurts, like a tight ball, squeezed tightly between two very firm hands. The Riverside Inn is attached to the hospital, and this is where I want to be. Others have offered their nearby homes, but I want to be within running distance of my favorite man. I don’t want to get into my car, and be away for even a minute. The thought makes the knot tighten in my stomach. But it isn’t in the budget, and my paycheck just went to the mortgage, and payday isn’t for another 2 weeks, so I might have to go home. The thought makes me sick.

I need to know that my monsters at school are cared for. My lesson planning for the week was complete when I left, but not the photocopying. It haunts me. The pile of photocopying that I left on the overhead is driving me crazy. I never do that. This is exactly the reason why I never do that. Although it is always in case something happens to ME over the weekend, not HIM. I have a teacher friend who is going to worry about the copying, and the Team Leader will be sure that the sub knows what to do. I pray that my monsters aren’t too hard on the sub. They can be very challenging to even the most seasoned teachers.

So the next steps are: a Rehab Facility that hopefully understands Memory Care, Home Health coming to the house, and intensive daily Physical and Occupational Therapy. My heads spins with how in heaven’s name I am going to do THAT. Then it spins with what this is going to cost. I hate that I have to even think about that, but I do. If the care is Self Pay, I don’t know what I’ll do. We do have Medicare A and Anthem Insurance. Please pray that the insurance covers his needs and that I can get help to take him to the therapy that he needs when the time comes. This is the problem with living in a remote area.

Today I pray for his right side to improve so that he can walk again. I pray that I can take him home where he is happy. I pray that we will get the physical and financial help that we need, and that he feels loved and supported by friends and family. I pray that my monsters will be all right while I tend to my husband and that I am able to provide the emotional support that my children need. I pray that I can stay close to my soul mate until the Lord calls him home and that when it is time, it is quick, and pain free, and with dignity. I want to help my husband to finish the race well and I want to have no regrets. May God help me to make the right decisions when the time comes, whenever that may be, and that He places the right support people around me at just the right time to help me make the tough ones. May our days not be wasted ones, and that we enjoy each one as another gift from God. May I never look back and wish I had done anything any differently: loved harder, hugged longer, or kissed sweeter.

Today I am thankful that he still lives.



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