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Second time around


Strokewife

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The silence of the night surrounds me. While it should be peaceful everything with in it is screaming out in more of a painful cry. Even still I am somber. Tears do not seem to form or fall from my face. I sit and watch my husband take each breath. The room is dark with the exception of the neon glowing lights of the heart monitor. I watch him as his chest rises and falls. I hold his hand and caress it ever so gently. He is calm, peaceful and serene. Aside from the wires that are connected to him, the fluctuation of his blood pressure from high to low, and the hospital wearing apparel it mirrors a night like most others from the past year. Yet, this night my husband is in critical condition. He has survived a second stroke. A minor stroke to the left hemisphere brought on by a blood clot. His last stroke was to the right hemisphere and one they tagged major. Once again I call up my faith and hope to stand front and center. They echo in the chambers of my brain.

 

“Humble yourself in sight of the Lord” “Humble yourself in sight of the Lord” “And He, will lift you up…” Suddenly, an angelic choir is singing in my mind. I pray and ask for the healing hands overseeing my husband to help him. As for me, I simply ask the Lord to wrap himself around me, comfort me, and bring me peace. I then open my heart and state “I turn my woes over to you my Lord.”

 

There is something very interesting to me about when one is launched into a moment of stress or fear of the unknown that we find ourselves expressing an overflow of emotion. Yet, when that stress or fear is partnered with a “been here before” moment the emotion is less dramatic. Don’t get me wrong, I am certain sleep deprivation adds to the ever changing moods I am experiencing, I just feel I am thinking clearly even through there are bouts of complete brain numbness within myself. Perhaps it isn’t logical but it seems safe for me to say that I feel more assured with this second stroke simply because I have been through all of this before. My level of expectation hasn’t changed. With every medical person that walks into the room I have them sound off the medication they are giving, ask questions for clarity, and tell them about my husband. It might be an over abundance of concern on my part but I have watched to many documentaries where mistakes happen. As well, I don’t want my husband to just be a number.

 

So this time as I go through the same experience of talking with the “trained” staff about what to expect, how to prepare, and people to call I am a bit more detached. It is a detachment from the worry and fear. I just am not allowing myself to be afraid. This time I am confident that we will get through this. I am assured that this stroke is just a set back like a hiccup.

 

With that my dear readers I giggle at the irony. My husband has been set back but not stopped. He will go through therapy once again to regain range of motion in his limbs. His brain will relearn what he once knew. I will continue cheering him on. Together we will instill hope for our future. Simply, we will keep stepping forward. And, I will hold onto the knowledge I have gained as a stroke survivor’s wife.

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My late husband Ray had seven major strokes over a long period of time, usually about two years apart.  I too would say the impact does lessen but your vigilance has to stay at a high level because mistakes can be made at any time.  One stroke saw him in hospital but only for seven hours, discharged at 3am! as the young interns did not know how you recognize one in a series of strokes.  Luckily his neurologist ordered another MRI some weeks later and then ordered more physio etc or he would have been much more debilitated as a result of their ignorance.  So keep vigilant!

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Strokewife,

 

I read your blog and it reminds me of myself in my condition today as my wife had to work today and me trying to do things for myself with one hand..... My struggle is on going daily in trying to get some things done without help..... I think I know your feelings for your husband in his struggle with the stroke.....

 

I have in home care that doesn't amount to much help for one hour in what I really need help with which is walking, balance, and using my paralyzed side more in a helpful way..... When the body is limited in what it can do the ability to do more is lost it seems forever in my case which is why I continue to say "A stroke is no joke" and the ability to recover any is very limited over many years......

 

In my case I have fought for 12 years now and just made it to 75 last month so that doesn't make me any stronger but weaker with age..... In some ways I feel I'm waiting my turn to go be with the Father so do all I can now because tomorrow is not promised to any of us.....

 

Cheering him on is all you can do along with your love for him like my wife does me, that's life as we know it to be....

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Hi Strokewife :

 

I am so glad your husband has you a very loving wife in his corner, I am 100% confident together you both will be able to get through this hiccup. leaving your worries on God will allow you to focus on things you can do & control. I am firm believer in doing our karma or part & then not worrying about results  I know this for sure amazing survivor spouse who is still here for a reason

 

you both are in my prayers for better & fun days ahead.

 

Asha

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Hi, your story brought tears and cheers from me.....The strength you and other caregivers have is truly amazing!  Those of us who survive know the difficulty of the recovery journey, and have come to know somewhat (but not enough) of the difficulty the caregivers face.

 

My thoughts and prayers are with you, for as dear Asha said "better and fun days ahead".  Hugs, Lin

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Thank you for your blog. As with Sue, my late husband suffered multiple strokes - six between 2004 and 2011. I agree that there does come some sort of peace with the situation but the vigilance just never changes. Each of Bill's strokes seemed to be crises. He would be near death and within hours rallied. Toward the end the nurses remembered me, although they didn't remember Bill. Ironic, it was...the patient "forgettable", the caregiver not so much. I don't regret my persistence or questioning because I was responsible for him. He couldn't speak for himself, who else was there to speak? And that is your situation - if not you, who will advocate?

 

As you know, faith is the answer to the "how" of handling it all. I believe I was sustained so many times through prayer! And Bill was spared as well! 

 

Again, thank you for sharing  your story with us!

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I'm sorry to hear you are facing this again.   When my hubby had his massive stroke, he had it on both sides to start with.    His left side was the minor and cleared up pretty good, which is great because he is left handed!   The right side of his body took the major hit, along with vision loss and many other problems.  I am hoping and praying that your hubby's light stroke will fade away like my husbands did.

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I am ok...just havent found time to write...i actually do have a few pieces in the works just havent found time to clean up and post...My husband is back in therapy but hit a slump of burn out so I am adding another hat to my hatrack of caregiving...hey that would be a good story...to be continued.

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I am ok...just havent found time to write...i actually do have a few pieces in the works just havent found time to clean up and post...My husband is back in therapy but hit a slump of burn out so I am adding another hat to my hatrack of caregiving...hey that would be a good story...to be continued.

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