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Bob's 2 Year Stroke Anniversary


SandyCaregiver

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I've been having major problems with staying online. When Bob's 2 year anniversary rolled around, I didn't really blog here about it, because this seems to be the place that I have the most problems posting something when my connection is acting up. Not to mention the house flood from stopped up main drain) We did have a low key day, just glad to sit and rest after the flood commotion, but very aware of our blessings. Here's my catch-up here for others to read how we are doing after 2 years of recovery:

 

Feb 29, 2012 - Bob had a massive stroke, which left him totally without function on his right side, some affect on his left side, 65% vision loss, eating/swallowing difficulties, severe aphasia, cognitive loss in sequencing (correct order of steps to accomplish any task), trouble following commands, and many other stroke related problems. Today is not a leap year, so it is Mar 1, that is his 2 year *SURVIVAL* anniversary! Stroke recovery is amazingly s-s-s-l-l-l-o-o-o-o-w-w-w. We thank God for every tiny step, that returned a seemingly small, but incredible wonder to his life. Today we celebrate his accomplishments! Left side recovered quickly. Eating much improved. He can walk a small distance, like from room to another room, with balance assistance. It doesn't sound like much, unless you can't do it! Then when you can, it is so much to have back! He has been thru massive physical and speech therapy, both out and at home with me. He has struggled and persevered and is beginning to be able to read, again. One doesn't realize the way the brain can actually get in the way when trying to read after a stroke. For one, it was nearly impossible for his eye to follow the same line across. The other problem was the brain would pick up on a word and want to insert that same word into every sentence. The last of the brain interference would be that it would read a few words and would want to hurry and complete the sentence with words that seemed like they would fit, but were not written there! The brain wants to help and rushes in to put in the likely next word! I attribute his latest gain to our house flood, which left us at odds with our usual habits, forcing him to do something else longer! (try to read on his own, not just his therapy)

 

It is a trial for sure, to have been a man who traveled around the world, teaching 6 sigma & lean manufacturing and creating Power Pt presentations in much detail - when he would fly to a country, people from other nearby countries would fly where he was, to hear HIM speak(!)... and then finds he can't use a computer, nor work the remote control we've had for 15 years, nor even express himself. I thank God for the PT therapists at Fairfield rehab who were so friendly and cheerful. They helped us to have a good attitude, rather than fall into despair, and that attitude is still with us and keeps us working.

 

There were 4 paths our lives could have taken that day, only one would leave him alive:

 

1. We had never moved to Oxford, so he would have been killed driving home from work on Old Oxford Rd, going 55 miles an hour.

 

2. I would have been ready to go when he pulled in the drive, to go work on the old house, and we'd both been in the accident driving there.

 

3. I would have already left to go to work on the old house, and so he would have been home alone when he stroked.

 

4. I wasn't ready. He drove home, and sat on the couch with the dog for 2 minutes, while I ran into the bathroom and pulled my hair back. When I ran back out, he had stroked.

 

So, it was number 4. The small 2 minute time slot between when he got out of the car from driving home, and before we left again, in which he was not driving, was when he had the stroke. We are both alive because number 4 was the path that we were on that day. I thank God for my husband and that he is with me. I can't imagine not having him here. He is the love of my life and I thank God for this 2 year anniversary of surviving the odds :)

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Two years is a big deal! This year was year 3 for us and I barely noticed. I too think of our incredible luck that I was getting ready to leave for my part time weekend winter job, and 15 minutes later would have been gone for five hours. For some reason, Ray got up early to see me off and had the stroke right in front of me. It was meant to be.

 

It's not a celebration like a birthday or an anniversary, but will be a day you recognize the rest of your life regardless. And really a happy day, to reflect on how far you both have traveled.

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Most non-stroke people don't get why a anniversary of a stroke is something you want to bother to think about. I think the 1st anniv we were just shaking in our shoes to have that first year over, with no more problems. For Bob and his massive stroke, he could so easily have been dead, I feel that he was snatched from the jaws of death and every day after that, is all gravy. Is that a world wide known term? It means more than you were supposed to get, extra helping of the good stuff.

 

I do think of it in a celebratory say, of thankfulness and joy that he is still here with me. This year we were just too wore out to squeak much about it, but still felt very thankful. It's odd the way our lives twist and turn. I always figured Bob for one of those men who would work and be healthy right up to the minute he, unexpectedly, fell dead, around 65 years. This never even occurred to me as a possibility. We thought we'd pay off our home in 5 years, and now I'm thinking about how if we'd taken mortgage insurance, they now have a disability coverage along with the death coverage, and we'd be mortgage free! ack!

 

I think 2 years is so big, because you have stopped thinking 'stroke, stroke, stroke, all the time, and have started creating your new life. Attitude is soooo important. He has a great one and is easily affected by however I act. So if I'm upbeat and positive, Bob has a really great day. I know that wouldn't be possible without his anti-depressant.... I honestly don't think he would have lived this long without it. He would have grieved himself to death over all he lost. But it clears his mind and he is able to just see today and enjoy it. Thank God for good meds!

 

Bob's reading improved so much since he was bored from no TV during the week the water dryout equipment was here, that I told him yesterday, "if you keep at it, in another year, I believe you'll be able to read anything you want to". So, we already have a new goal for next year!

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Sandy :

:congrats: I love to celebrate my stroke anniversary as our valentine's date, hubby usually take a day off & we do something special. I feel I realized & saw it first hand how much he loves me since he is man of few words & shows his love through actions which I failed to understand since my love language is different than his. Its sad that I had to suffer stroke to see this, but I still feel greatful for stroke to be able to see it, its better late than never to see it.

 

Asha

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Sandy,

 

Want to see what a big deal this two years really is? Read a few of your first entries. Notice how far BOTH of you have come. Bob has made remarkable strides and you have too! That's a reason to celebrate in my book!

 

Jamie

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You know I was home alone that morning on the computer then getting ready to go open my bowling pro shop at 12 noon. The stroke hit me hard I had no idea it was a stroke. My wife was on a dental appointment instead of at work so she got home to call 911 or I would not have survived!

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Sandy and Bob: congratulations on your two year anniversary. It is a celebration of life. Tipping my glass to a new and wonderful year. Debbie

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Sandy, it is a big deal! Bob made it, and both of you have become stronger unit. Congratulations and may you both have many more.

 

Yvonne

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took some sewage ( pardon my pun) and made ummm chocolate milk… just kidding…. that is so great… and 2 years and you both have survived …start to breathe now...

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