Birthday Reboot

My lovely mom and grandma on her birthday, circa 1978

My lovely mom and grandma on her birthday, circa 1978

Things don’t always go as planned around here. I thought maybe I could escape our black cloud, chase my cares away with a neurotic wives coffee session and a nice birthday dinner with friends at Plum Bistro. But the universe had a different kind of day lined up for us.

One of the common side effects of strokes that people rarely seem to talk about is seizures. Doug had his first seizures back in February, a full year after his stroke. Just when we thought we had made it through the hardest part, wham. He was hospitalized overnight while they got drugs on board to prevent more and these past four months we found equilibrium again with no further seizures. We even started discussing re-re-scheduling a test for him to begin the process to drive again (you’re not allowed to drive for 6 months after a seizure).

Then we met with his neurologist last week, finally getting in to see her to follow up on the seizures. She was very impressed with his progress, especially the amount of mobility in his arm considering the “size” of his stroke (BTW, how large Doug’s stroke was had never been mentioned to us until that moment). She also told us that even with meds, seizures can still happen, particularly if someone doesn’t get enough sleep or is getting sick. So this thought was put in both our heads like a hibernating animal waiting to emerge.

And the beast awoke on my birthday. Just like the first time, just getting the day underway, as we ate breakfast together. This time, there was some warning that may help Doug be more aware of what’s to come if it happens again (I’m hoping for a very long winter for it) – his weak hand started to move of its own accord, even fully opening, a movement he isn’t yet able to do voluntarily. He remarked upon this and started to raise his hand to show me. I knew this wasn’t right and that’s when he slumped over and started convulsing.

Luckily, I knew not to panic this time and just helped him breathe and not fall. He came around about 10 minutes later, and was able to recall what was happening right before the seizure, which was not the case with the other two, both of which are total blanks in his life memories, but are all too vivid for me. I was still incredibly shaken though, wondering if he’d have another one and didn’t want to leave him alone. He slept all morning to recover (I need to find out more about why seizures deplete the energy so much) and I worked since there wasn’t much else I could do.

Once we’d both recovered a bit, we were able to get out and sit in the sun, and even took a walk in the evening to look at the lake and the gaggle of baby geese snapping up green grass. Our friends brought over some yummy veggie fajitas and an assortment of ice cream so there was a bit of a celebration, and I did get my wish to spend the day with my courageous and loving hubby. Just not quite as planned. I know we have to keep making plans so we don’t let this black cloud blot out all joy, but I think we’ll hold off on rebooting the birthday until the brain reboot has receded from our memories a little bit.

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