How are you doing?

You wouldn’t think this was a difficult question to answer, but lately it is.  Reciently my husband had a minor stoke.  this required him to be hospitalized for 21 days.  First as a patient in one hospital then as a patient in another for rehabilitation.

First there was the fear of the actual stoke.  Since my husband had previously had a stroke I recognized what was going on.  And just saying the word stroke evokes images of disability and possible death.  At the hospital we encountered a doctor who should not be practicing medicine.  He said that my husband was faking his  symptoms.  To say I was enraged would be an understatement.  Then this same doctor recommended a powerful and dangerous clot busting drug. Which added to my worry.  Once the medication was administered my husband’s condition improved almost instantly, but not completely.  I felt a bit of relief as I watched this drug work it’s wonders with only the slightest amount of bleeding from my husband’s nose.  This was quickly controlled.
My husband was then admitted to the intensive care unit and I was relived not to deal with doctor egomaniac jerk (not the words I’d like to use but they will have to do for now).  We were treated with wonderful care by the admitting nurse and others in ICU.  So the normal fear of even the term ICU was somewhat relieved.  Now leaving was a different issue. I’m not good at not being in control and I was completely out of control of the situation.  I knew my husband was receiving excellent care but my heart was breaking.  So I came home to try to comfort my eldest and we just had a  good cry.  Crying is very cathartic but sleep was less than restful sleep.  The next morning  I went over to see how my guy was doing.  After seeing continued improvement I allowed myself to relax some and fielded many calls from family and friends.  We settled into a less than comfortable  stay in intensive care.  Then moved into a regular room.  Then anger came back, and with a vengeance, the same doctor who had claimed my husband was faking once again showed his face in my husbands room.  He was downright abusive and had I been there it would have resulted in a full on assault  on someone who doesn’t deserve the title of doctor.  This anger was channeled to an underling who was made to understand in no uncertain terms that if this doctor was allowed into my husbands vicinity there would be formal consequences.  This was done firmly and confidently.   You see 17 years of special needs parenting does give one a grip on their rights and the way to get their child’s needs met.  A sense of accomplishment followed when a second  neurologist was called and confirmed the fact that we were right all along.
An odd sense of relief was next as my hubby was transferred to the  rehabilitation floor of another hospital.  It is actually a hospital in the same system as the first and is a short ambulance drive away.  My husband had been a patient on this floor before and we knew how professional and caring these folks are.  So life settled into our new routine.  One would think that I could relax and adapt to this new normal, but I never did.  So many emotions again hit.  There was of course relief that he was getting such intensive care, but pain as I watched him struggle to do simple things.  He was able to speak but it was difficult and not very clear.  That was frustrating for him and hard for me to watch.  Then there was joy at each step of improvement.  Short conversations with me and with others grew longer and clearer.  Halting difficult steps were replaced by stronger steps, and fine motor skills slowly came back.  Then there was a since of compassion for those who were also patients and a commendatory with other families.  There was also a genuine fondness that grew toward therapists, and genuine stress relieving laughter with one, who knew how to make you feel like you were her most important patient.  She truly was a warm ray of sunshine on cloudy days.  But there was also the deep pain of leaving my love there in the hospital everyday.  I believe marriage should be two hearts that beat as one, so connected that you feel the others hurts as well as their joys.   So every night I left part of my heart with him.
So now we are home.  There will be still more recovery, more therapy, I will continue to help my beloved get better.  So how am I now….better.  But will I ever be the same?  My heart bears scars and hurts.  It is also filled with gratitude and it too is healing.  As a person of faith I see how God has strengthened me and sustained me.  So my faith is stronger.   I am indeed blessed by the best family ever and the best church family ever.  Do not ever think a prayer, or a kind word is wasted.  They are truly soothing and strengthening for those they are given to.
So what now, why do I write?  To let you all know that feelings are real, powerful and sometimes almost disabling.  But they are valid and no one should ever be made to feel guilty for what they feel.  They also need to be expressed, and hopefully understood.   Too often people want to fix the problem not just be good listeners.  When we have the freedom to express our feelings they loose a lot of power over us.  So I challenge each of us, myself included to listen with our hearts, feel with the person.  Sometimes it takes walking the same road or something similar, sometimes it just takes focusing on the person.  It can be hard and it can be painful, but you will give a gift that is worth more than gold.   To those who have given this gift, those who wouldn’t let me get by with an “I’m fine” when they knew better, I say thank you, from the bottom of my heart.   It is my hope that you find kindred hearts when you walk a hard road.
So tell me “how are you?”


History why it is important

So I was thinking, have we gotten so busy racing to the future that we don’t consider the past?  This came to my mind when I was watching a show on PBS.  It was tribute by Prince Charles to his mother for her jubilee last year.  60 years of reign is quite amazing to me.  As an American I don’t truly understand the connection the British feel for the royal family or to the whole concept of monarchy in general.  As I watched this show and another on the landmarks of London, I came to understand that for the British people the Royal family as a source of stability and connection to their long history.  I wondered if as a society we lack that connection.  We seem ignorant of much of our history, despite studying in school.  I suppose most of us get the big picture of big events, but we don’t seem to care much, at least about anything before WWII.  We are a young country and perhaps that  is the problem.  Quite often young people don’t pay much attention to the stories of their elders.
So why is that a problem?  Well history has a lot to teach us.  Right now their is a raging debate about immigration.  I’m not here to take a stand on the issue or the current solution to the issue.   But I do wish people would remember that our history is one of  immigration, some of it legal some of it not, and some of it not regulated at all.  Unless you are Native American, you are a descendant of immigrants. My family is Irish and a few other nationalities.  My husband is 1/2 Irish 1/2 Puerto Rican.  The success and progress of this country is directly built on the hard work of these immigrants.   If we fail to remember these things we make decisions based only on the here and now and we don’t learn from those who have gone before.
History is also important to us as individuals.  I was talking with my daughter the other day and I was talking about my grandmother on my dad’s side.  The more I talked the more I realized how much of who I am is because of her.  She shaped my father into the man he would be, as my mother’s family did for her.   I learned a quiet strength from my grandmother, I have my father’s stubbornness and I hope his willingness to help others.  I learned how to love my kids from the mom my mom was.  She dis so much for us that I didn’t appreciate until I had kids.  Then there was this big ole extended family, aunts and uncles, cousins and so forth.  We have all scattered in the years that have passed but I smile when I think of gatherings filled with laughter, love, good food, bad jokes.  I think I learned loyalty from them.  In my extended family if someone needed something there was someone to give it.  I remember my aunt taking my sister to get her driver’s licence in her Mercedes.  I could probably fill pages with stories but I won’t.
So I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone, but maybe if we stop and look we can learn about who we were, who we are and who we can be, both as a nation and as individuals.

Hi, thanks for stopping by

As they say in the south, “Ya’ll come in and sit a spell” .  My name is Kim, I’m a happily married mom of 3 beautiful daughters, one is 19 and my twins are almost 17.   We life in the central valley of California.  My life isn’t typical, I’m not even sure that exists.  My wonderful creative husband of 23 years has Multiple Sclerosis or MS as well as chronic asthma and other heath issues.  My oldest daughter is 19, beautiful, creative, talented and a pretty typical young lady.  My twins are nearly 17.  they are identical and they have special needs.  They are learning disabled and function somewhere around 3-4th grade academically.  At the same time they are starting to notice boys, beginning to want to wear make up, all the typical teenage stuff.  They are loving, beautiful, clever in their own ways and creative in their own ways. One is a girly girl and one isn’t.  They are unfortunately non-verbal at school, at home they are different people little chatter boxes.  So that’s my little world.  So while this blog isn’t about all the oddnesses in my life specifically they will undoubtedly color what I write. I think there are things we miss in this hurry up world, like time to stop and observe and think about this world and the life we live in it.  So I thought I’d like to stop from time to time and share some random thoughts .   Maybe something I say will make you smile or think, and maybe you will share those with me and others that will share too.  I think we can learn from hearing each others stories and thoughts.  I don’t care if we are alike or different.  I’d like to hear what you have to say.

Two things I will not debate are politics and religion.  These are big things that build walls between people and I don’t like walls. This is not to say that I won’t write about my faith, as with other parts of my life my faith colors who I am; I hope profoundly.  But I’m not going to try to convert you or convince you that what I believe is right.  I hope you will not try to start debate either.  I would love to hear your beliefs but if we disagree lets just agree not to argue about it.

So,  thanks for stopping  by….lets talk.