Sunday, April 19, 2015

The wee hours of missing my husband

This morning, Mr. PNU woke and told me he’d had strange dreams. My own had been vivid, disturbing. Wasps all around, getting in through screens in the windows in a strange place I’d never been before, southern, swampy, hot. My children, L— and B— were with me, but otherwise I was alone. I told him some of the dreams were right out of Inception. My husband then peeled off Poe’s Dream within a Dream from memory:

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away 
Is it therefore the less gone? 
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

The recitation may have been a little slurred. I can't clearly recall, but once he'd concluded Mr. PNU told me that his left arm felt weak, the shoulder strange, possibly dislocated. I immediately suspected a stroke, but he protested otherwise. I got frustrated and got up to shower while he Googled other possible explanations. He told me later he even tried a few pushups. When I came out of the bathroom, he was on his knees in prayer. When he got up and told me he loved me his face drooped on the left side. I guided him to the bed and called 9-1-1. 

Ischemic strokes are clots lodged in the pathway of blood flow to the brain. My husband has experienced blockage to the right medial cerebral artery. The clot couldn't be removed for fear of sending smaller clots into the deeper regions of his brain. He is experiencing paralysis to the left side of his body, inability to swallow, trouble opening his eyes, distortions of peripheral vision, and headache. He is being administered blood-thinners and an IV for fluids. Tomorrow he may be intubated for feeding. I was with him until 10 p.m., when nurse Brad sent me home to sleep. It's almost 1 a.m. Our room is lonely. I moved his shoes to my side of the bed even though I hate when he leaves them there on his own. I buried my face in his pillow hoping to find the smell of him, but there was only stink from this morning's vomit. 

I need my husband.

We held each other's hand most of the day. He told me over and over that I am awesome. I told him over and over that I love him. His speech is intact, his mind still sharp, his wit sly and quick, filled with puns. When he asked for pain reliever for his headache, and we learned he could only take Tylenol via rectal suppository, I offered to administer. It was the least I could do to help him maintain his dignity. Then I kissed him and he kissed me back. He told me I am his life; his everything. He repeated this in German because we just saw Woman in Gold together two nights ago. Before I left, I reminded him that he is mine. 

I don't want him to sleep alone tonight. I don't want to sleep alone either.

B— cuddled up next to me two hours ago and I told him that his dad is sick. He cried. "It's one thing that my other dad's left because they were bad. I don't want to lose the very best dad because he dies."
Then, I cried too. 

It's 1 a.m. I know nurse Brad wants me to rest. I'm not certain I can.

1 comment:

  1. Hi friends of Bonnie and Mark - here is a link to a Giving Forward campaign, let's bring the community around the Olsen family to support their medical and health insurance needs, while they assess Mark's longer term needs. Please contact me directly if any questions or you can help get the word out,