Two years ago, tonight, our world fell apart.
The two years since have been utterly brutal, exhausting, frustrating, enlightening, and, yes, sometimes absolutely amazing.
Yet, I have often wondered, these past two years, why Bob's recovery has been so slow. I have wondered why he is "behind the pack". Why nearly every other stroke survivor I meet is doing remarkably better than Bob. Why he has never "hit" one of those established stroke recovery timelines.
Why he still has no movement in that right arm or hand or shoulder.
Why he still cannot walk. Or even stand.
Why he still cannot control bowel or bladder.
Why he still cannot speak well.
Or read well.
Or so many other things.
I have wondered what we were doing wrong, if we weren't working hard enough, or if it was because he was so long hospitalized at first and "started late" on therapy. I wondered if we "missed the window" that all those therapists mentioned. I wondered if it was just that "every stroke is different" as the doctors always say. Or if we just had bad luck, bad therapists, bad doctors...
But I wonder no longer about these things...
Recently, I had an enlightening conversation with our new attorney, who had just finished perusing 1500 pages of medical records. It seems, that two years ago, tonight, a nurse entered Bob's ICU room at about 10 p.m. and recorded, in her notes, that this patient has "right side hemiplegia".*
And each subsequent nurse, who entered his room, made the same notation on the chart.
And this went on for 11 hours.
Yet no one thought to summon a doctor.
Until 9:00 a.m. when I arrived and said, "Something is wrong with my husband!"
And the nurse said, "Isn't he always like that?"
A statement which never made sense to me---- until now.
In fact, it all makes sense now. I mean, 11 hours? I never knew how long it had been that his brain was cut off from oxygen, but never thought, um, 11 hours. My god.
In fact, the true wonder is this: he somehow survived. My Bob is still with me. He is alive and home and I love him with all my heart.
Today I celebrate that fact.
*"hemiplegia" is the medical term for paralysis on one side of the body