October Skies

October 7, 2011

Family, Health, Mike

Did you ever notice that the early morning sky can have the tiniest bit of pink shading?  It’s October…and October has the bluest skies ever…so in the early morning light, the softness of the blue approaches the sky blue in my box of Crayolas…but not as full or rich yet because the sun is just beginning to rise…the pink, such soft pink, can only be described in terms of the recollection of the pink on the soles of a babies foot…or the inside of their ears, the blush of their cheek.  Ultimately, right now, my sky looks like a baby blanket…soft, plush, enveloping…it wraps my world as another gift from on high is opened.  It’s so peaceful to sit here at the deck door sipping coffee and reflecting.  It reminds me that I am not really isolated and alone after all…there is always somebody with me to hold me up, lift me up, sustain me.  It’s a good thing.   Mike commented yesterday on what a beautiful day it was.  Of course, the word beautiful was not retrievable so it became some other word that had no meaning in our language.  But when the blank was filled in, the word was beautiful.  When I remarked that since his illness I truly savor every day as a gift, regardless of the weather, since you never know how many of them you have left to enjoy he reacted visibly with acknowledgement.  He is keenly aware of his health situation and recognizes that it’s beyond his control and that truly, we all have a finite shelf life.  Seems that realization is only this blatant after you face something like Mike did.

Last night he told me he remembered his heart attack.  It was the first time he has said he recalls any of the events.  He told me “it wasn’t so bad really.”  I was stunned.  I pondered.  I realized that given the type of heart attack he had…first a-fib with a rapid response, then v-tach, then torsades, next v-fib and finally asystole….the speed with which he lost conciousness was probably incredibly fast, the time elapsed from onset to unconcious, very short.  I asked him if it was painful and he said yes, but not for long.  He told me he couldn’t breathe and could feel it in his throat and upper chest.  I think it must have been like, but worse than,  the inability I had to get enough breath to speak to try to summon people to the hospital when, as I tried to speak, my chest kept clenching down and I kept gasping for air until I handed the phone to a nurse telling her I simply couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe.  He told me he had chest pain and it was pretty bad.  He told me next he was becoming unconcious and he thinks it was pretty fast.  He couldn’t hear them talking in the room around him, he didn’t feel them working on him.  He has no other memories that he can recall of the hospital really.   As much as I wish his memory would return completely, it may be a “be careful what you wish for” thing.  With the good memories, along come the bad.  I guess that is what shapes us. Forms our personality, our being.  Conditions us to be who we are and act and respond to people and things as we do.  Maybe he remembers it…or maybe he is simply trying to ease my fears and my pain for him.  Sheltering me from the reality of my fears.  It would be so like him.  Either scenario tells me his cognition is improving.

Even his short term memory is returning in fits and spurts.  Yesterday he went to the barber with his sister Mel.  She got him all spiffed up.  Hours later when I asked what he and his sister had done he told me “not much, just went and got a trim.”  It’s not perfect though, by any means.  Right after the haircut I commented on how closely she had shaved him and wondered if she used a regular or electric razor.  He told me electric.  His beard is very coarse…electrics normally don’t do the job.  I was elated.  I HATE shaving him.  I called her to find out what electric she used so I could hustle out to buy one.     No electric.  Plain old Shick disposable.  Well I can tell you.  The Gillette disposables I’ve been using don’t cut it.  Either there’s something about shaving I don’t understand, or I need me some of those Shicks!  But I digress.

My prayers continue to be answered…God’s plan is still unraveling.  It’s like a ball of yarn that a little kid is unwinding.  We keep unwinding and seeing new evidence of His intentions, His will, His grace…and wonder at the mystery at the center of it all and what the ultimate outcome will be.    For now, the sun is up, my day is ready to start in earnest.  There is much to be done.  I think I’ll do it early.  We need to go out together today and do something fun under the incredible October Skies.

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