out of respect for my father, whom I nearly just lost, will start this new one.
My “It could always be worse,” coping mantra is being tested to the max, this week.
My 70 year old father, who has rarely been sick a day in his life, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, last week.
Still employed full-time, he was doing construction on his old family homestead, after work. Friends and family continuously warning him that he was doing too much, and not to do so without their help. Well, he never listens. Alone, and late at night, he decided he was going to lift some building trusses. Well, he collapsed and fell into a hole in the flooring. He lay in there for 5 hours before my mother awoke and realized that he hadn’t come home (no fault of hers, he always came home very late, worrying her for years!) drove out there in the wee hours and found him.
Long story short, he is obviously just lucky to even still be alive!
Hundreds of miles away, I waited by the phone to hear the results of his CAT scan. Then, of his MRI. At first we all thought it was just a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). And, he was still able to walk a bit and talk, although speech very garbled. CAT scan was clear. But the MRI showed a ruptured vessel. High blood pressure, which had always checked out normal, previously; had apparently caused it. It’s on the right side of his brain, so his left side was effected. He was in ICU, but skipped Step-Down ICU, transferred to Neurology and is now in the Physical Rehab unit. Speech much better, standing a bit, able to feed himself…all in a week’s time. Yes, it could have been much worse!
And, it still can, if he doesn’t stop feeling so sorry for himself and puts hard work into following his doctors’ and therapists’ orders. Unlike us with MS, he has more of a chance for healing, if he acts now! And, oh, yes, I reminded him of this and will keep reminding him. Hoping this mantra will motivate and help him, as it helps me.
While such a mantra is context dependent, I’ve found few contexts to which it can’t be applied.
Oh, and yes, I did ask my mother to ask his neurologist whether or not there was anything on his MRI that showed anything resembling MS lesions. And, no, it did not. My father’s side of the family is from Northern Scotland. Ironically, I even found an address for an MS Society (or, clinic, maybe, can’t remember), there, that was on a road of his family’s name.
Damn this disease for even compelling me to ask the most "Why Me?" related question, of those I love, I've ever asked, yet! Just hope like hell I can help encourage my father to work on recovering as fully as is possible, for him.