Next week starts a new chapter in my life. Well, not necessarily new, for you see, almost three years ago my wife had over the course of three days, five strokes. Rendering her mute, paralyzed and mentally damaged. It took weeks to get her back walking and talking. Given her speech was stammered and filled with silence as her brain tried to reroute its synapses so she could find the correct words to use. Her walking was slow and staggered. She developed a great fear for stairs. I had to help her in and out of the bath, up and down the stairs and in and out of bed.
However, from the moment she came home from rehabilitation to today, she has been getting better. Healing. Learning. Reading and reeducating herself in every aspect of her life. It has been quite a process to observe. A full grown adult approaching middle age suddenly stunted in growth having to rebuild all of her life. Fascinating yet painful to watch.
There have been times when I see her struggling to find words, trying to walk, trying to think, trying to do menial tasks and I want to jump in and help. But I didn’t, or wouldn’t until asked. This was by no means an easy task. No, mostly my heart would break just watching her. But I knew if I did for her, assisted without being asked, I would only hinder her healing process.
Now, she is pretty much back to where she was a few years ago. Sure, there are some differences to who she is now as to who she was then. But those differences are minor. Yes, it’s true; her personality has also changed a bit. That is okay too. I think these changes have made her more interesting and yes, I pretty much had to relearn who she is becoming without trying to compare it to who I knew she was prior to the strokes.
I’m proud of her. I’m amazed by her tenacity to relearn all she had lost. Also, and I say this with all love and respect, I wish it had been me who had suffered instead of her. Simply because there have been times where it has been heartbreaking to watch the struggles she was going through. However; this was not to be. This was not reality. Nope, she had to go through this process for herself. She had to trust and rely upon not just herself but to rely upon those closest to her to have her best interest at heart. To be tough when toughness was required and to be tender when tenderness was needed.
Yup, three years of recuperation for five strokes that have pretty much killed off part of a human brain and yet, she keeps motoring on. I’m impressed and fascinated by the fighting spirit of the human condition. I’m sure that a hundred years ago, her recovery would not have happened. That the medicines she is required to take had not been invented. Those medicines keep her circulatory system stable and strong. They keep her body healthy and stops it from turning on itself. Yes, a hundred years ago I most likely would have been a widower. Thank God and science for keeping her safe and healthy and alive.
Sue, I’m proud of you and good luck next week.
Have a great week everyone. (Especially you, Sue.)