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Wow, I didn't realize that it's been so long since my last blog post! Things have really taken a turn these past few weeks. My husband has now gone from stroke survivor to heart surgery survivor.


Everything was taking its normal course (as normal as it could be) with regards to his stroke rehabilitation and healing up until a few weeks ago. Quite suddenly things took a turn for the worse. He wasn't eating at all, got more and more lethargic and increasingly difficult to get motivated. At first I was sure it was depression and possibly a combination with med side-effects. We visited the gp who prescribed an anti-depressant (Celexa). There seemed to be a slight improvement right after that but then a steady and quick downward turn which ended two weeks ago with me bringing him to the ER.


My husband has a bacterial infection which is apparantly quite aggressive. No one can determine where it came from but it's typically a bacteria that shows up in the digestive tract. Unfortunately for him it somehow found its way into the blood stream and attached itself to a heart valve. So, less than one week after admittance into the hospital he had open heart surgery to replace the valve which was totally destroyed due to infection. A week later (today as a matter of fact) he's back in ICU. He was released from ICU three days ago but once again took a downward turn. His blood count was low and he was having trouble breathing. They found internal bleeding from the surgery wound so there is a possibility of him going back into surgery.


Yesterday I started thinking that my life (as is probably true with most caregivers) is like the waves of an ocean. First you have the worst storm ever. At first sign of emergency your life is in total turmoil just like the waves pounding onto the rocks, churning and beating leaving no break at all in the constant pumelling. Then the waves start to subside. They're still coming up to the shore hard and fast but there's more of an acceptance. You're trying to calm down and "go with the flow" but you're still so agitated and confused. Finally the sun comes out. Things slow down and life seems to start getting back on track. The birds fly by and the waves are small, rolling hills and valleys that take more time to come and go. Doctor's visits, visits to the park, sometimes a little bump in the day. But there's always the next storm. Right now I'm at the peak of that new storm and trying to surf into shore hoping the sun will come out again.


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I so agree with you about the storm surges, yes, that is what an emergency feels like. I must say in the last few weeks with Ray's hospitalization I have felt that too.


I am sorry your husband has had so much trouble with the stroke and now the heart damage. It is all so hard to understand, why someone should go through all this.


I hope things start to change for the better and he recovers well.


(((hugs))) from Sue.

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Good morning - I was so impressed with your analogy to the storm surges, I had to read all of your other blog entries. We have so much in common; I too work full time and even with our spouses - down to the showering! My hubby walks, talks, drives, feeds the animals, but has no ambition towards any type of prescribed PT - he still has some left hand deficit and when he is tired his speech is more slurred. He infuriates me because he has such a defeatist attitude. "I'm never getting better - I hate myself - This is not how I wanted to retire".... it's so depressing I want to steal his meds for myself LOL


I am so sorry for your husband's recent setbacks - it seems that life is now a constant 2-step dance (except for the 1-step back LOL).


Hopefully, you will ride the crest of these waves and land softly on the shores!


Godspeed his recovery and your stamina.



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I was glad to see you were posting again, but sorry when I read of your husband's health problems. I agree with your story that we have waves of ups and downs. Mine was last August when I had to take Larry to the ER with a blood clot in his affected leg. He was doing so well in PT. So, we rode the wave of being admitted, put on blood thinners and taken off PT for a few weeks. Things improved and I hope we have no more surprises. I hope Michael recovers soon and is able to come home. My prayers are with you. :friends:



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Julie: I am so sorry to hear of Michael's recent set back. I was saying just this week, it is always something. You can never let your guard down. Please do take some time for yourself and hopefully he is on the road to recovery again. Nothing like a little riptide just as one can see the shore. Best and praying for both of you, Debbie

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How very eloquent is your wave analogy! I've thought of our new life as a roller coaster ride that never ends. I pray that your husbands health improves.


Hugs, MaryJo

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thanks for updating us, I like your analogu with waves. Its so very true, hang in there, sun always comes out.



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I love your wave metephore. It does truly explain life as a caregiver. Hang in there for the next calm sea.


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