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Thursday, February 3, 2011

He's Come A Long Way, Baby

Sometimes, when progress seems so slow, I have to remind myself how far Bob's come since those early days after his stroke. I have to remind myself that three times I was told to prepare for "the worst" including the possibility of "having to pull the plug". I have to remember the horrible night I authorized a DNR (do not resuscitate) and all the days I sat by his bedside, reading aloud and talking to him, when he was unconscious and hooked to a breathing machine, and me there at his side, waiting (just waiting) for any sign from him. Originally, the CAT scan had shown that 2/3 of his brain was damaged, the damage had crossed the midline, the doctors told me that he would never breathe on his own, that he would be paralyzed from the neck down, he would not be able to think or speak and they did not know if all of his organs would function. I have to remember the day he pulled out his own breathing tube, it was my birthday, and he amazed all the doctors by breathing on his own. That later CAT scans showed the damage had shrunk, although still 80% of the left side of his brain, and the doctors said it was a miracle--I have to remind myself how much worse it could been and how blessed we are.

Right now, as I write this, he is with the Speech Therapist, who is showing him flash cards with pictures of everyday objects. It is frustrating to see him look at a picture of a toaster and call it "apples".  And to see him struggle swallowing just a little teaspoon of ice.

That's why I keep reminding myself. We are blessed.

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