Michael entered my life and I learned to live even though my heart was broken and grieving. I was back into life again.
I was a motorcycle mama for the first time in my life. We rode everywhere and it was exciting. Car trips were on the list too as we traveled whenever we could.
My life before was nothing like it was with Michael. Travel? Me? You got to be kidding. That was just a dream of mine. Now it was a dream that I was actually living.
He treated me like a princess. His list was laundry (he had to twist my arm to do that! lol) he fixed everything or anything that needed fixed. I couldn't believe my soul-mate had actually come into my life at last. We loved each other. My parents thought he was the best thing since bread and butter.
Not that everything had to be about that wasn't it but being a survivor of domestic violence and life of wearing the big "L" for losers on my forehead Michael came into my life when I wasn't looking really and my confidence was slowly coming back around and I scrubbed the "L" off. It was gone.
It was a typical morning. We were up and checking our social life on the computers, I was making graphics and searching around. Every morning started with a cup of coffee and being on our computers.
Michael sneezed, belched and made a horrible noise. I said, "Geez are you gonna make it over there?" I got no response. Turning around in my chair I said, "Hey I am talking to you." Still no response. I turned his chair and I knew right away he was having a stroke.
Panic mode is an understatement. 911 was called which seemed like forever for them to arrive I called back and they were on the way. We live one block away from our local hospital. I made calls to his family, my parents and a friend. My friend was there before the medics.
Our local hospital gave him the shot to prevent the stroke from getting worse and he was life-flighted to the Ohio State Medical Center at Ohio State University.
My life was spinning again being sucked into that black hole that appeared when I lost my son, my only child. It seemed as though there was no air to breath, nothing to hold on too.
Being a farm girl and never really driving on freeways I knew I had to get my big girl panties on and get going to Columbus to OSU ER.
By the time I arrived he the neurologist was with him. Michael could talk and he was rambling on with no sense. I took his hand and told I was with him and I always would be by his side.
The news came that the stroke he had was an Ischemic stroke in the left side of his brain which controlled the right side of his body. Instantly he didn't recognize he had a right hand, right leg and he was in foreign territory himself and so scared.
Three days after his stroke he was admitted to Dodd Hall Inpatient Rehabilitation
So many doctors were stuffing my brain with information pertaining to strokes, therapy and medications. I kept a journal the entire journey and believe me that was healing in itself for me. Every moment was documented. Each step he learned to take, learning where the ceiling and floor was, each new spoken word and all the emotions that were piercing my soul watching him try to recover.
My attitude changed as I watched work so diligently to ascertain a normal life again. The effort was 100% and so inspiring.
Michael was in rehabilitation from February 15, 2011 until June 23, 2011 when finally he was able to come home.
My Daddy got sick also and was at Ohio State Medical Center at the same time Michael was there. Making sure to keep my eye on him and my Mom as she wouldn't leave Daddy's side. Daddy died July 11, 2011. Mom didn't want to live in the country by herself so we had her move in with us. Another life changing experience. I am still her little girl and that will never change. She is a fiesty and active 83 year old.
Most of my time was spent with him in rehab and getting the our home ready for him. A ramp was built, the bathroom was made handicap accessible and plans for continued therapy. Not to mention fighting for him to Disability Social Security, getting power of attorney both medical and financial. Everything was now in my hands. His life was now in my hands.
I fought getting aides to help because after all I was Super Woman. That thought lasted about a month. What a task. He now has an aide eight hours during the day and two hours in the evening.
Worry is something that I do almost constantly. The new goal in my life was Michael's recovery.
My days are spent at home almost 24/7 even though he has an aide and my Mom is here. I think it is guilt that I can just take off and go and he can't. Well he really can his has everything. He has a manual wheelchair and a power wheelchair so getting around is not difficult for him plus he does walk now with a quad cain and on his own some.
Lots of progress has been made. We all have learned it is a marathon not a sprint. He can say words now to let us know what he needs or wants. Somehow he has become spoiled rotten but not sure how that happened.
He now takes the garbage cans to the curb and brings them back. Since we have had some warm days he has trimmed a bush. Walking has become better and he is even taking some steps on his own with no cane. The right arm and hand has movement. In May he will be involved in a study for Occupational Therapy for his arm at Ohio State Medical Center. We are all excited about this new experience.
His meds are a nightmare and each week I fill a week's worth of medicine for him. The last count was 32 different meds.
Nurses visit once a week and monthly doctor visit and scattered are specialist to see. The calendar has become my list. Not sure what I would do without it.
We are blessed with the fact that he knows everything that is going on and still remembers all of his useless knowledge. He could answer most of the Jeopardy questions as I sat there lost!
There are days that I just want to sleep in. I want to take a gigantic big breath and feel relieved after doing so. He has to feel so trapped inside his own body. He still doesn't really recognize his right side. We are told that there is nothing wrong with his right side. The brain has to rewire paths to make it do what just came naturally before.
Lately I have been working in our poor neglected yard. He only watches a few minutes and gets depressed because he wants to do it himself. It is easy to think of all the changes I have had to make that I could forget what he has been through and how he must feel. My heart aches and at times I cry for the old Mike that will never be again.
I love him and as long as I can I will take care of him and give him lots of love and attention.
Life can change in an instant.