Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Making the Effort—Carolyn R. Wilker




Monday began like any other day. My husband and I started out at slightly different times. I had a meeting to attend over the noon hour, and things to take care of in my office. My husband, a retiree, began the day more leisurely, and things he wanted to do.
 By the time I left, my husband had already begun preparing our lunch. After my meeting, instead of doing an errand, I decided to skip the errand and go home. We ate our late lunch together. Anxious to get back to work, we cleared the food away, and I headed for my office and my husband for a nap. Later, I had not only begun the quote, I had also put up a blog post.
Late afternoon, my office door was open when my husband came up the hall. I spoke but couldn’t understand his reply, so I asked again. He tried to talk, but I couldn’t understand a word. I helped him sit on the bed and sat looking at him, face to face. I realized very quickly that something was wrong. Stroke. Is this what it looked like? I called the doctor, figuring someone would give advice, but I was on hold. I wasn’t going to wait and took him to the nearest hospital. On retrospect, I could have just called 911, but I knew I needed to act.
In the emergency department, I reported my observations. A nurse whisked him away after only a few questions, leaving me to finish up the paperwork. Soon I was called; the doctor needed to talk with me. A nurse had already put a monitor on my husband. I watched, inwardly cringing at the high numbers. Much later that evening after a scan and another talk with the doctor, a patient transfer  team came and took him to the hospital that has the stroke unit. 
Our girls had come to be with us at various times, and the last one stayed until we had him settled in the ward. We went home late and very weary, knowing that we'd be back again.
Over those four days, I observed many professionals doing what they know best, taking patients for tests, talking with them about next steps, talking with patients, and encouraging them too. While my husband was soon able to get up and move around by himself, his speech remained a concern.
We couldn’t help but hear the fellow in the next bed reluctant to get up, even when the occupational therapists urged him to do so. Different issue than my husband, but alike in that effort would be needed to get better. That he would need to endure some pain and discomfort to get muscles strong again. They'd both need to make the effort.

 Art for Papa

 A little visitor now and then brings a smile










My effort will be in patience, to supply things my husband needs, and to encourage him to do the speech exercises given by the speech pathologist. I insisted, on our arrival home, on ‘no stairs’ for the next few days until I knew he was strong enough and steady on his feet.
Like his usual pattern, he sleeps late as I write this post. He may need some assistance with breakfast, but I will allow him to do all he can. This won’t be a typical day, but it’s good that he’s home.
Like us as Christians, it’s often difficult to do what we need to do—to practise patience  with our loved ones and show love to others, showing our light to the world in the best way we can.


7 comments:

Peter Black said...

Thank you for sharing openly this episode in your husband's and your life, Carolyn. I'm glad for his progress and willingness to "make the effort" - so important for recovery. Your faith and faithful spirit shine through in the telling.~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...


Thank you, Peter. It's an eye-opener when such things happen. You know people experience it, but it's a shock when it happens. Need to deal with things as they are now. As someone mentioned today, it's like a warning. Then as I wrote I found that there was a comparison for us as Christians in the effort department.
I always appreciate your kind comments.

Glynis said...

Carolyn. I know it has been a bit of a journey for both you and Len and the family. But I love observing families rally and turning love into a verb. So glad there is progress, albeit I am sure that you all would like things to move along a little quicker. Praying for comfort and peace and plenty of time for you to squeak in some teaching/writing/editing ... Thanks for sharing and for the little lesson on patience.

fudge4ever said...

So sorry to hear this Carolyn! I hope he is getting better, and doing those speech exercises! It's a good thing he has you!
Pam M.

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Thank you, Glynis. It is challenging, but our family comes through. Trying to balance things now, with new needs. It means doing the essentials and letting a few other things go for a bit. Not the teaching or writing and editing though. ;)

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Hello Pam,

Thank you for your kind comment. There's improvement in energy, but the exercises... alas, minimal effort. The speech issue frustrates him, and I think getting it back will take longer than we think. He talks well at some times of day, but then the muscles get tired.

Ed Hird+ said...

Thanks for the thoughtful article, Carolyn.

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