Friday, November 02, 2012

THANKFUL!

It is so good to be able to reflect on scary times from the vantage point of the good times we're experiencing now!  And we are so thankful!
Five years ago in June David and I celebrated our 20th anniversary.  We had no idea as we played beach volleyball and took out sailboats and kayaked and swam and hiked around the Maya ruins at Chichen Itza that in a mere few months David would be felled by a stroke, lose all sensation on his left side and be unable to walk - needing to spend a month hospitalized, initially in ICU.
Here he is about 3 weeks after his stroke on a "field trip" from the rehabilitation hospital to watch our youngest son Caleb play soccer.  I remember it being pretty tricky navigating that wheelchair over the bumpy field.
He worked very hard a therapy - here working on larger muscles - back in his room working on picking up coins with the fingers of his left hand, re-learning to shuffle cards (very important to him!) - and so on.
Eventually he graduated from a wheel-chair to a walker and then to a cane and then  .  .  .

 .  .  .  finally to walking independently!
The next spring he had surgery to repair the hole in his heart that had thrown the clot and caused the stroke.
And this past summer we celebrated our 25th anniversary - back in the Yucatan Peninsula checking out more Maya ruins.  He's able to climb steep pyramids now as well as walk.  Here David is pictured most of the way up the main temple at Coba.
Here's another picture to illustrate how steep this pyramid is - this is me working hard to get back down!  There's a reason they've strung a rope all the way down the center!


As to recovery, he didn't get everything back.  Though he hides it well, he still can't really feel much of anything on his left side (try coming up behind him and tapping his left shoulder - he won't know you're there!).  Due to this loss of feeling he now has a very good excuse for not playing video games with the boys, because if he looks at the screen he can't tell if his fingers are even on the controller or not (so guess who gets to play Super Smash Brother's Brawl with the boys?!).  And you may as well give up on having your call answered if he's put his cell-phone in his left pocket!  Good thing he wasn't a keyboardist (piano or computer) before, because he wouldn't be anymore!  Also, each morning when he gets up he has to take a short time to re-teach his left leg how to walk, because it's always "dead" after sleeping.  The one real frustration that remains with him is that he cannot run as he used to and that the imbalance between the sides of his body causes him to injure his knees and have a set-back when he tries to do so (which he does keep trying to do because he has a passion for running!).
We could have lost our precious Hubby and Daddy, but he's still here with us!  PRAISE GOD!  He could have remained unable to walk, but he can walk!  He could have lost his sight or his hearing or his ability to think.  But he can walk and work and drive and play cards and do yard-work and go on vacation and think and see and hike and climb and ride a bicycle - and do just about all the good and joyful things of life.
WE ARE SO THANKFUL!  We're also SO THANKFUL for friends and family who surrounded us at that time with prayer and support - and for ongoing relationships with the awesome people in our lives who are there in good times and bad.  THANK YOU!

2 comments:

Amy Maris said...

Dearest Dave and Heidi,
Thanks so much for sharing. A lot of that struggle was totally unknown to me and the miracle of the story is Dave ebullient (trying out a new word for the first time) spirit through it all. We are so thankful for all of his recovery!

Heidi said...

Yes, I would say he has an ebullient spirit! Thanks, Amy! :-)