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Friday, May 26, 2017

A Healing Stroke?

They say that God draws straight with crooked lines.

On the 10th of this month, a Wednesday, I felt lousy, suspected another stroke, and called 911.  The ambulance from the Campton-Thornton Fire Dept. came and took me to Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth.  There some tests were done, a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) was diagnosed, and I was sent home.  I have only the vaguest of memories of those events, and none of the ensuing two days, except that I was asleep in the living room, and did not eat, nor take my meds for at least 48 hours.

My first memory is of my wetting myself on the couch, Friday afternoon, May 12th.  I managed to stagger into the bathroom, changed into dry clothes, and ate one of our "meals-on-wheels."  Shirl tells me that I slept that night in our bed.  On Saturday morning, 13 May, Shirl again called 911, and had me taken back to Speare.  All I recall is their being skeptical, but deciding this time to do a CT scan of my head.  Thereafter, the attending physician in the E.R. told me, "You're right.  You've had a bleeder.  We're sending you directly to DHMC (Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center)."

My next four or five days were spent in the outstanding Neurology Department on 5W at DHMC in Lebanon.  I remember those days somewhat vaguely, but I clearly recall being thoroughly satisfied with the staff.  From doctors to cleaners, they displayed high morale, and a genuine concern for us patients.

By Tuesday the 16th, my condition had stabilized enough that the neurologists told me that they were going to prescribe one week in rehabilitation.  I immediately said, "HealthSouth!"  That rehab hospital in Concord, NH, is where I had spent four weeks last September, when I had my first stroke.

HealthSouth was able to take me on short notice, and I stayed there from  17 to 23 May.  I was discharged this past Tuesday, and picked up by Marcia Litchfield, a friend for decades, and the widow of PSU professor Craig Zamzow, our former Director of the Small Business Institute, and my golf partner for five years.  Marcia, you are a sweetheart, and both Shirl and I are most grateful for your help!


My memory seems spottier than it was after the September stroke, but my right hand is far less swollen, more flexible, and stronger.  I hope to find that this "bleeder" brought some unblocking of blood vessels in my brain that have been blocked since last summer.  Amen, Lord!