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Approaching 15 Yr. Stroke Anniversary




June 1, 2004 Gary suffered his brain stem stroke at the local hospital, while awaiting tests to find out why he passed out at home that morning.   A nightmare of mistakes followed and he was transferred to a larger hospital in Denver where he spent the next three weeks in a drug induced coma to reduce swelling on the brain and further damage.  I was told he had very little chance of survival, and if he did survive he would never work again, let alone walk or talk.   It was recommended that he be placed in a nursing home, which would have surely ended his life and was not going to be an option for us after checking them out.   He spent 3 months in a rehab hospital in Boulder, CO and when insurance was slow in processing claims and I was complaining about the lack of proper care, they released him to go home.   A lot of ups, downs and in betweens over the past 15 years, but he's still here, hasn't spent a single night in a hospital since he came home the end of September 2004, and aside from still sleeping a lot, not being able to sit up by himself, transfer without assistance, feed, shower or dress himself, he has many good days.   


I'm trying to decide whether I should have a small party to celebrate his 15 years of survival.......any comments, or suggestions would be appreciated.






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I would. It is also a celebration for you for all you've done. Many people don't see celebrating their stroke anniversary but I do.. I wear a tiara on that day.  

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Sarah :


Gary & I are stroke survivor buddies in our stroke anniversary, I suffered stroke on Feb 8 2004 just few months before Gary suffered, We celebrate my stroke anniversary as our valentine date & always go out for Broadway show  or some other fun activity on that day, since we started celebrating my stroke anniversary as our valentine day I have stopped dreading it though now I look forward to it, fortunately even though my stroke was massive, which left me paralyzed on my left side, but still allowed me to raise our young son with help  of my husband & create my new normal. I bet Gary is able to live independently for so long is because of your support. Enjoy your party, I remember Jean riva whose husband was severely disabled had thrown party for her husband "thank god I am still here party".







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I'm in the celebrate it camp, too. 15 years is an achievement for both of you.  It might not be a happy memory or a good moment in your lives but it was a major change and you both got through it and it should be marked in some way. Why not have a party so long as it's not too much for either of you.  Can you ask a friend or family member to do the "work" of it?

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Sarah, you are a champion caregiver. Maybe a special brunch out at a casino? Whatever you feel is a way of marking this milestone. Ray and I did 13 years from the stroke that forced our retirement, me to look after him but his first stroke was in 1990 so 22 years prior to his passing. I have happy and sad memories of those years. But is is half of our married life so worthy of remembrance.

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Thanks for the comments.   It looks like we'll just be meeting up with our son at the casino next Mon. for lunch.  Not many around here to attend a party if I had the energy to do one anyhow, and not much interest among friends.   We plug along day by day - he sleeps a lot, I look forward to the pool water heating up so I can at least get out to swim instead of sitting inside waiting for him to wake up, so I can care for him until he's ready for his nap......it's a vicious cycle.




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I'm 32 mounts post hemorrhagic and this gives me even more hope as a surviver. We don't do this without caregivers like you.

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