Skip to main content

The stroke

Thursday was an interesting day.  Before 9 am, I received two emails that notified me that I had been laid off from two different part time jobs.  I could hardly believe my luck?  Losing two jobs in one day.

Also on Thursday, the vacuum broke, the washer broke in a messy way and as the day was wrapping up, I got a distressing call from Shelbie who was coming home from a photo shoot out in the country.  She was very upset and described a neurological event that almost left her in the ditch.

She felt a strong vibration in her head and nearly simultaneously, fell over the console of her car and then lost her vision.  When she was able to gather herself and her vision came back, she was weak, confused and disoriented.

At first, I thought, "Now what?"  I was at my night job and had a million things to do.  She was about 10 minutes away and wanted to try and drive home so I let her!  I know...bad idea.   Anyways, about 5 minutes later, I had the most overpowering feeling that I had to get her to the hospital.  I hurried home and took her up.

Long story short...We had our appointment for a vascular study anyways on Friday so we headed down to Utah first thing Friday.  Shelbie was still quite weak and tired.

Spencer also had his cardiology appointment at the exact same time as Shelbie's studies.  My Wasband met us here so he went with Spencer and I stayed with Shelbie.   Shelbie was done first so instead of slipping into Spencer's clinic, I sent Shelbie to meet them and I headed up to Huntsman through the tunnels and skybridge to let our Doctor know what had transpired.

I visited with the nurse and explained the whole event.  Then made the long walk back to the University Hospital.  Just as I got back to the cardiovascular clinic, Spencer was coming out.  He and Shelbie reported that his heart hasn't been in rhythm for 4 weeks!  It was a despairing moment and I couldn't help but get a little upset.  They are going to stop his heart medication and start a new one in hopes of getting things settled down.  I got a little more upset in the parking garage as we said goodbye to their dad and come home.

I couldn't understand how something so big could happen and they let us go?  I said a prayer that I would understand the purpose of the day.

Shelbie wanted to make one stop to pick up a book and then we headed home.  Just as we were getting on the highway, our Doctor called and said, "Are you still here?  I heard what happened last night to Shelbie.  I have reviewed her tests, MRI and echo cardiogram from last month and I feel strongly that you need to come back and she needs to be admitted.  We think there is a large clot near her heart that is breaking off in pieces and sending those pieces out into her body."

I felt sick and panicked but at the same time, new that God had inspired our doctor.

Shelbie was admitted last night.  I stayed to get her settled, then Spencer and I drove home so I could pack some clothes and things Shelbie would need.  This morning, I left early and drove back down.

I hardly slept last night.  I got home just before 1am and waited up for Sam.  I haven't connected with him since Tuesday and felt it was important to spend a little time with him.  It had been raining all day and when I went to the basement to get a suitcase, I saw that water was running down the basement wall, behind the sheetrock and puddling on the floor!  I just shook my head, looked toward Heaven and said, "Really?"

All the way back down here, I prayed for wisdom and understanding.  I just don't understand why there are no answers.  Why everything has to be so complicated and hard.  I prayed that the doctors here would be inspired and listen to the Spirit.  I prayed that I would listen to the Spirit and know what questions to ask, what information to share with them.

I have seen this prayer answered many times today.  One thought I had while I was driving was that the Neurologist needed to know about the lesions they found on Shelbie's brain last December.  When Shelbie had her testing yesterday, I felt like the girl had made some mistakes.  She was testing arterial pressures in her legs and said that if the pressure at her ankles was lower than her arms, then that meant a blockage.   When she did it, the right ankle was only 95.  Her right arm was 109 but her left arm was 131 and her left ankle was 121.  When she saw the 95, she said, "Oh, that can't be right, let's just do it again?"  What the heck...? she kept doing it till she got it up to 110.   That's been bothering me all night long!

I prayed to know what to do with this information.  As I walked in Shelbie's room this morning, right behind me was a Radiologist and the Neurologist!  I couldn't believe that I didn't miss him from early rounds!  I got to ask all my questions and tell him about the lesions.  And...the Radiologist said, "Unfortunately, the girl who did the testing yesterday didn't do the test correctly and we really want to redo it."  I felt relieved.

Today has been a busy day for Cardiology and Neurology and all sorts of tests.  They had a little Halloween party outside of Shelbie's room so we walked down there and listened to some older folks playing the oldies on a bass, guitar, two banjos and harpsichord.  It was a nice break.  I kept fighting the tears because it was so nice that they would dedicate a Saturday to sharing their talents with the people here in the hospital.  They had a banquet table of food and treats and lots of families enjoyed some fun time together.

All we know for sure is that Shelbie had a stroke.  The clot was likely from her leg and is why it has been so sore and swollen.  We know that this is actually Shelbie's second stroke and third blood clot in a year.  She has that pulmonary embolism that showed up on CT scans.   Today, they started blood thinners and they are hunting the bigger clot.

I have had a steady stream of inspiration and thoughts and I will get them here soon.  Once again, I am both scared but trusting and hoping that everything is going to be okay.



Popular posts from this blog

Obscure Sorrows

I sat on the bench like I usually do on Saturday mornings, the organ music was slow and quiet.  I think that's why I like playing there; its just slow and quiet.  I set the pace.  I mostly keep my eye on the music for fear of messing up but I did notice a couple walk in.  I had known them a few years ago, not well, but enough.  Enough to notice each other and say Hi.  I had heard recently that she had breast cancer.  She's likely a good 10 years younger than me.  Her red wig was striking, her eyebrows carefully in place and by all accounts, she made cancer look good.  
I had the strangest feeling I've never had before.  She has no idea, that somehow, I know all about her recent strife with cancer.  I have heard how it struck, how she deals; I know more than a distant acquaintance like me should know.   She is living this complicated, unfair, story that went off in a way she scarcely expected.  For a moment, I felt like I was an extra in her 3rd act; the struggle.  And, I wo…

A Witness

I was expecting just another run of the mill night at the gym last night.  The kind where the 'meat heads' stay at their end of the gym grunting and groaning to sound strong and I would claim a little corner in the room where the Yogi's hang out and Plank, and there I would Spin on a bike for a few miles, do some rowing, a little TRX and finish up with some free weights.

Last night though, I actually decided to do an easier workout and took an inclined walk on the treadmill.  There were no meat heads in far end of the gym.  No one really at the gym at all.  For the longest time, I kept pace with an old guy on a bike behind me.

But then, a man and his son came in.  I knew them.  I knew them well but they don't know just how well I know them.  They have a son who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis a little while ago, he would have been Spencer's age now.  They have a younger son who also has CF.  I knew his wife and mother in law back when my kids were being diagnosed.…


It has been an emotional weekend!  Holy Smokes.  I need a vacation from being sensitive.

It's been months since I have been able to find my homeless friend May.

Monday, I had this overwhelming feeling that she was in trouble and it dawned on me that I should call the apartment where she was last known to be.  They didn't answer.  They didn't answer my call all week!  Finally, yesterday (Friday) they called me back.  I was afraid that they wouldn't give me any information about May since I wasn't family so I lied!  I told them she was my great Aunt.  The manager hummed and hawed and finally gave the phone to a man who wondered what I wanted with her.  After some convincing, he told me that she had been arrested and taken to the State Mental Hospital.

I was so sad!  I immediately called the State Hospital and asked if I could speak to her but of course, they can't tell me if she is there or not...and, I couldn't remember her first, legal name.  She has sever…