The rest of the day progressed with… medical things… scan, tests. Incoherent, repetitive speech and inability to recognise objects evolved, slowly and quietly but surely to a more balanced state. Not a lot really went on and as far as ward regimes go, it was very relaxed. I think that what I mean by that is the staff were not so paranoid/ risk averse that you couldn’t begin doing things for yourself- A that is, like walking to the toilet, I managed everything for myself already. By Tuesday lunchtime things were moving, A was on a new, additional anti epilepsy drug, no further seizures, so far so good. Rational conversation had returned and mobility was improving little by little.
There can be a doom laden feeling that it will be difficult to escape from the clutches of certain medical staff but thankfully that was not the case and following a visit and advice from a pharmacist… Escape! Home and recuperation can begin..
Work? Brilliant, 2 days ‘carers’ granted and then the rest of the week as the pace of recovery became apparent.
Progress… onwards and upwards 🙂
Wake around 3 am to A having twitchy right arm on & off, sometimes up into face. Not a stranger to twitches, though usually it’s leg, always right for neurological reasons mentioned elsewhere. Around 4 this starts getting more intense and actually develops into a full blown seizure… on the bed, me monitoring, all under (sort of!) control, nothing to be done… Coming out of it, wanting to wander across the landing to the toilet, me supporting as quite groggy but don’t make the toilet when another one takes hold. The dog in his place on a quilt on the landing cannot understand why I’m telling him, in a most impolite manner (!) to please make way for A to lie down. Another seizure, we have talked about this and the underlying fear is oxygen starvation. Reality dawns: This is entirely out of character, added to the arm thing indicates some neurological event happening. Time to make the emer call. Funny ol’ world when you have paramedics stamping around your landing tending to your OH who thankfully is entirely unaware of the indignities of being only draped with a quilt (spare one not the dogs! What do you think of me?!) Ambulance crew arrive next, let me introduce you to our stairs… attractive, 100+ year old, turning 180° as they do; bloody impractical to get a floppy body on a chair down and of course, they being the professionals did not want an amateur fiddling (phew, carry on!). Have I mentioned the chicken yet? Patience! Ambulance journey uneventful, this being something like 5.30 on a bank holiday Monday, paramedic talking with A who had come round a little … “You have a son, ‘I’ don’t you?” “Er, Yes…” “I was at school with him, I was LM then” A familiar name I remembered ‘LM’. Though not capturing the ‘why’ I should remember her name! It turns out that two of our first chickens, named by I, were named after girls in his class, hence GB and… LM! 😀
Surreal always creeps in to the most intense moments in life.
Life as it happens.
This is just a story of a holiday weekend.
Saturday was relaxed, breakfast and coffee at a favourite cafe, with Kindle (Jo Nesbo – Nemesis) and critiquing other people’s families thrown in for good measure.
The evening held the delight of the girls staying over. Cue much Sponge Bob viewing by B and revision work for E. Sunday morning and teen can sleep in as B & Me take A to church, dog for a walk and breakfast at home. Send littl’un to rout teen from bed and out to join A for coffee and a caramel wafer. Then parents call to say they’re near & join us for more coffee & chat.
J & family also now in the town and plans form to get supplies and migrate to our house for lunch and the afternoon. Happy days! Cue much fiddling in Wendy House, like a Spring clean but somehow… not. Recent rain has ensured the grass is nearly at eye level and this year’s nettle crop is abot full grown, either way it stopped favourite daughterinlaw disappearing into woods with family in the wheelbarrow… another time eh…
Sunday evening, when there’s a holiday Monday looming makes for an opportunity rather than dull anticipation so A & I went out to favourite Italian in the town, had a special meal (I can tell the difference between a buffalo and a bison- you have trouble washing your hands in a buffalo, but they provide exceedingly good steaks!) and rounded off the evening with an intimate tête à tête with proprietor, being offered any liqueur but sadly not up for any more alcohol
So closes Sunday with anticipation of a relaxed day in the garden, not fighting with the rest of the world going out for the day.
I identify as atheist. This has not always been the case. If you had asked the younger me, then I was a Christian. I did things then which make me feel ashamed now. Instead of faith in a ‘superior’ being I have found trust in humanity.
Honestly? I lament the loss of comfort which comes from prayer. It gives you a feeling that you are doing something, achieving something, influencing something which in reality is beyond your power.
I remember praying for relief from the awful headaches A used to experience. Sometimes they would pass, eventually they would pass.
Later the collapse in the street, A&E, me working, driving around Oxfordshire ‘multi-drop’ delivering, missing a message from one ‘drop’, getting back to the depot to be told “Your wife has been taken to hospital, she collapsed in the street, we know no more”. How would today’s generation even begin to understand no ‘mobiles’, hardly any internet and certainly pre ‘WAP’, mobile internet, chat Apps etc.
The diagnosis, the plan, the potential outcomes- loss of speech, limb control, blah blah. A thing grown to the size of a tennis ball pressing on the left side of your brain.
Hours, spent in the chapel, more tears than I thought could exist, no chance of conscious self control- why would I?!
I think that was the last time I really prayed. Perhaps I should believe they were answered, plenty of other people joined in.
The church experience had grown hollow. My girl had always embraced it, my boy… not. I have never had a conversation with him about it, just accepted that it would not be right to make him go, beyond the immediate need to care for the child.
Surgery = successful. Speech returned rapidly, such a relief! Frankenstein would be proud of the shaved head, trapdoor flap look. Later tall people (D) would insist on feeling the indent.
footnote: Most of the above happened in March 1993
That means I have to recognise my limitations. There is nothing I can do for you. For now. My faith has to be in… reality I want to say. Is that still faith? Yes! I am not the one qualified medically, surgically, to provide personal care, (although I have learnt enough from you to understand some of what is involved). My faith is in what exists, in people, in science, in their will to make good, to make whole. They have never yet failed! Treatments have been successful every time. Faith rewarded.