“He shall cover you with His feathers; and under His wings you shall take refuge.” Psalm 91:4
Late in November, my husband had an ischemic stroke. He spent a day in the hospital and we were rejoicing because he had no restrictions and no deficits. It was if it had never happened. The doctor was positive and gave him medication to mitigate any possible further strokes. Great…no problem…or so we thought.
Ten days later, the nightmare began. At 3:00 A.M., he had a hemorrhagic stroke caused by the medicine. He collapsed on the floor of the bathroom and could barely speak. He could not move and I ran to dial 911. I also called my son at that time. The moments crawled by as we waited for help. I brought him a pillow and held his hand. Finally, the paramedics came and took him to the hospital. My son had arrived by then and we followed behind.
He went to the first hospital and they took a CT Scan and we were told they did not treat this kind of stroke and we would need to go to the larger hospital downtown. My son brought me home to pack and we went there. In the meantime, I asked him to call my daughter-in-law ask her to put us on the prayer chain at church. Believe me, I was barely holding it together.
My son and I entered my husband’s room as nurses were putting in the IVs. The neurologist arrived soon after and told us that because my husband had two different types of strokes, it would be dicey treating him. Both strokes required different blood pressure levels and we were in SICU so that he could get the required medicine and be watched carefully. The neurologist took an MRI and told us that we would have to wait until the next day to see if the bleeding in his brain would stop. As he examined my husband, we saw that he could barely talk and he had no feeling on his right side. He could not hold his arm up or his leg for any length of time. It did not seem like the prognosis was great.
However, day by day, we saw improvement. The first day we got the good news that the bleeding had stopped in his brain. We saw from the monitors that they were able to keep his blood pressure in the target range to treat both strokes. After three days without food, a therapist came in to give him a swallow test. He was able to begin to eat food. After six days, he could stand by his bed holding onto a walker. They then transferred him out of SICU to a regular room.
Three days later, he was discharged to a therapy hospital. During that time, he received three hours of therapy; speech, occupational and physical. By the time he left there, he could walk with a walker, and they helped him with simple skills like bathing and dressing himself. Every day, he made a little more progress. Twelve days later, he was released to go home. We stayed at our son and daughter-in-law’s for a week then we returned to our own home. He continues with therapy two times a week and has gone from using a walker to being able to walk on his own. Every week we see improvement in his condition. Much of the feeling has returned to his right side.
As difficult as this journey has been, I would not have come through this without the kindness of our son and daughter-in-law, our friends, and the countless prayers of people, many of whom we did not know. There were so many nights when I could not pray. I just stared at the ceiling and felt my own emotional pain. And yet, the Lord sustained me (and my husband) each and every day. He met need after need with His grace as I felt His love and comfort. There is no One like Him and I know I could not have survived this without His sustaining power.