Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Whole Different World

     Seems like it has been an eternity since I last blogged on this site - I did add something on my Patriot Granny blog 2-3 weeks ago, but that was then and this is now.  This will be totally non-stamping as my world has been turned upside down in many ways.
     My husband, Roy, and I met eight years ago this past December 1 via the computer and the parallels and paths crossed in our lives have astounded us.  He's four years older than me and so was out of high school by the time I entered, plus growing up 30 miles apart.  However, we are fairly certain we had seen each other in a town midway between our home towns where roller skating used to be held in a community hall.  His comment, at first, was, "What would any self-respecting 16-year-old want with a snot-nosed 12-year-old" - until I asked him who told him he was self-respecting!  He doesn't say that anymore!!
     On top of that, his younger brother married a girl I went to school with and, for a while, had run around with; then after Roy came back from the service, he went to work for a rancher whose father had homesteaded in the high country in an area known locally as "the Muddy".  By that time, my folks had built a cabin on 150 acres just southwest of the ranch where he was working and altho we never met, he was very familiar with the area, so that when we began conversing via the computer, the common element was very strong.  We neither one were looking for love, but did want someone to go fishing with, go to rodeos with, etc.  Little did we know that God had different plans for us and within a very short period of time, we knew that this was it.  We were married on his birthday that next spring.
     Roy's legs have been a problem for him for several years and we knew there would come a time that he would have to quit his part-time work as an RV repair specialist because of them.  What we neither one ever expected was for him to have a stroke.
     He had been having several minute dizzy spells, but 12/24 was different.  The first one, here at home, lasted about ten minutes, but after sleeping for a bit, he seemed to be okay and when Grandson called to say he was ready to go Christmas shopping for his dad, Roy was raring to go.  First, however, Roy was supposed to put a blower motor in an RV furnace, so they went out there and had barely done anything when Roy again had a severe dizzy spell and became nauseated.  He had Robbie call me, so I picked them both up and headed for the VA.  Once there, they got his dizziness under control, gave him some Zofran for the nausea and we were just waiting for the nurse to come remove the IV when he again got dizzy.  Robbie and I were able to get him back down on the bed and he complained about the back of his neck hurting, then a sudden, intense headache.  By that time, the nurse was back in the room when Roy said he couldn't swallow, then his speech completely disappeared.  As soon as his right eyelid drooped, I had a pretty good idea that he was stroking, which of course, the nurse had picked up on, so they were able to immediately give him the medication which minimizes the damage - it's my understanding there's only a 45-minute or so window in which this can be done, so we were so lucky.  God was certainly looking out for him.  A CT revealed nothing, but the VA no longer has a neurologist on staff, so they wanted him where one could see him, which meant sending him to St. Mary's, there in Grand Junction.  Ironically, the same crew who picked him up had just picked up my cousin who had fallen and broken his hip and had delivered him to a smaller hospital there in town!
     The clot hit the brain stem and broke into two pieces, one going into each side of his brain.  The clot on the left then broke into three more pieces and the one on the right broke into two more pieces, so technically, he stroked five times.  He totally confounded the neurologist, who said he had never seen anything like this!  There is also an artery in his brain that had been throwing some clots, but apparently they have managed to stop it.  By the time the ambulance got him to St. Mary's, he could talk, altho it was very slurred, but he couldn't walk.  He ate quite well both that nite and the next a.m., but before he could enjoy Christmas dinner, he had lost the ability to swallow. 
     He has been transferred to a nursing home/rehab about half as far away as where he was and will probably be there for at least three weeks.  His voice is a little better, but there's a good possibility one of the vocal chords is paralyzed, and while he has regained some of the swallowing, he's still having quite a bit of problems with it.  As far as walking is concerned, he can't walk more than about 15-20 feet without drifting to the right, and cannot stand with his feet together without falling over to the right.  All in all, this has not been the best Christmas ever, and yet, because of the fact that God was watching out for him and had us at the VA when he stroked, it has been the most blessed.