Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Feeling very blessed this Valentine's Day, because the one man I love more than life is still alive. He's a grumbly, grouchy bear, but he's my Bear and I almost lost him. It's still difficult to believe, I meant the year just started, and already 2016 is shaping up as a very scary time. The last few weeks have been such a blur, I can't even recall when it happened, but it was one of the last handful of days this recent January. I was happily munching on a cheeseburger and doing edits on one of my stories, when I heard a loud thump coming from the short hallway that connects the kitchen and living room.

I poked my head out of my room and looked down the hallway, only to see Bear on the floor, slumped to one side and unable to get up. It was the beginning of a nightmare, but at the time I thought he'd maybe slipped or tripped and fallen. So I went to him and tried to help him up.

After much convincing, I finally got him to go to the Immediate Care Center, where they determined his blood pressure was dangerously high and they said he needed to go to the E.R. We were both very shaken at the news and went to the hospital. Some ten hours later, after numerous tests, we had a diagnosis—Bear had a stroke.  He was admitted for observation and more tests.

I pretty much lived up at the hospital the entire week, going home only once for a change of clothes and to check snail mail, then drove right back. I kept watch, listened to the doctors and nurses, slept beside Bear (in one of the most uncomfortable chairs imaginable), and saw every painful movement he made as he tried to regain what was lost in a blink of an eye. It hurt to see my strong, proud man struggle to stand, to walk, to hold a cup, or sign his name.

When they finally released him, I got him home, put him to bed, and once I knew he was asleep, I went into my writing room and sat here feeling the rush of all that had happened hit me in the chest and I sobbed.

I've spent the last week and a half changing his diet, (super low sodium, few carbs, limiting fats, and no sugar added foods) and taking him to doctor appointments.

I know we are looking down a long road, he still has to have a heart cath (they found he had an enlarged heart with limited capacity during one of his tests), and there may be other problems to face, but we'll face them together.

So I don't need chocolates, a heart shaped card, or a fancy dinner out to celebrate today.

All I need and want for St. Valentine's Day is right here in front of me. My very own teddy bear of a man. Fates willing, I will get to keep him for a long, long time.

In love, eternally.

Hug your man tight and show him how special he is to you. Because we are not guaranteed anything in this life, and when the fates are kind, wipe your tears away and embrace love.

Happy Valentine's Day,

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