May 6th. My husband had a stroke. I lost him that day and don’t tell me any different.
Oh he survived all right. But speech, thought, focus, memory, and so many other things have changed. We are working with Speech Therapy on those issues.
He has changed in character. The man I married is still here in physical shape but his whole demeanor has changed.
When it was hot out a few weeks ago, I told him it was too hot for him to be mowing the yard and perhaps he should stay inside most of the day. His COPD has gotten much worse since the stroke. I think his PCP may address that today in our appointment.
Towards evening I asked if he’d light up the grill so I could cook supper outside. He nodded. I went out and did the chores, sweating and cursing the heat but glad that we had sold some stock. Well, sad also. I miss the jennet donkeys quite a bit.
I walked passed the back door and there he was standing inside. I motioned for him to start the grill and he nodded and waved. 20 minutes later I finished doing our farm chores and I came to the back door.
“What are you doing?” Me.
“Watching you.” Him.
“Can you light the grill?” Me.
“But you said I shouldn’t go outside.” Him. He smiled nicely and held up the lighter.
“You can go outside to light the grill.” Me.
“Oh. Okay.” Him.
This is our new world. He can add and subtract, but has trouble with the written word. He wants to drive and can be an excellent back seat driver, but can’t recall exactly where we are supposed to be going. He can give directions but can’t remember why he is doing that. If a doctor mentions a word during an exam, he gets stuck on that word.
Sunset last night and we are enjoying the clouds, the cool weather and the last colors of the day.
“What happened to me in my head?” Him.
“Your stroke?” Me.
“Yeah. I am crip..gumby longstand.” Him. He sighs.
“Well…” I take his hand and quietly explain what happened.
His eyes glaze over after a bit and he sighs. “Movie?”
He wants to watch an old Western. New movies confuse him. They go on too long.
I loved the old him. I love the new him.
But the He that Was. Is no Longer.