Life's What Happens When You're Making Other Plans
The point being is with this post, I'm going to attempt to step outside the box and instead focus on the mundane for a bit. Why will become clearer soon enough.
I had a pretty good weekend. Friday night I rented the movie In Good Company and decided once and for all that I was going to marry Topher Grace. On Saturday, I went to see my friend Judy and she finally helped me settle upon my mp3 player of choice. We walked around a lot, played a game of disasturous mini-golf and tried to kill some time while I waited to meet up with another friend of mine who lived in the area. Only that plan never panned out and so I instead went home, a bit hungry but more eager than anything to break my new player in.
Around 10:30 I got a call from another friend of mine. I should have known that something was up when the phone rang at 10:30 on a Saturday night and there were no plans to go out looming on the horizon. The second giveaway should have been seeing this particular married friend's cell phone number. In fact, I'm sure a twinge of concern crossed my mind, but it was quickly glazed over by my assuming she was probably calling to ask me a bit a of movie trivia or something like that.
All of this planted firmly in the back of my mind, I answered the phone cheerily. I was not prepared for the news my friend was going to give me. She called to tell me her husband had a stroke early that morning.
He is only 28 or 29 years old.
She proceeded to walk me through their morning. It was a normal morning. He was planning on playing golf with a buddy. All of a sudden, he was on the first floor, she on the second and he called up to her. He said he felt dizzy and he wanted to lie down. So they went upstairs. But lying down wasn't enough, he was in pain and then thought he was going to be ill, so he got up and tried to walk to the bathroom, but he was walking into things as his vision was blurred.
What I find to be the most amazing is that he continued to communicate with her the entire time this happened. In a way, I don't know who had the scarier experience, my friend who was helpless in helping her husband or her husband who was fully aware of the shutting down of his body. He clearly communicated to her what he was feeling and seeing before finally telling her that he could feel his speech going away. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, my friend called 911. An ironic footnote to this story being she had just told me the other day about how they have trouble getting assistance (ie 911) on their block because apparently they border two different towns. Needless to say, it took 20 minutes for the ambulance to get there. By the time they did, the paramedic headed upstairs and asked my friend's husband his name, but all that came out was gibberish.
When my friend called me last night, it was hours later and she was at the hospital waiting for word on his condition. The doctor's, luckily, were able to go in and operate. Apparently his brain was quite enlarged and there was still some activity, bleeding etc going on. He was sedated when we spoke. They have no idea the extent of his damage or even if he will wake up.
I went back and forth about whether or not to write about this because this didn't happen to me. But then I thought about it and thought it could have been me. Or you. Or anyone. We all know there are things in life beyond or control. Car accidents. Fires. Even cancer. But a stroke is not typically an infliction of the young. He is in good shape and there were no warnings this was going to happen, it just did. Tthere was no way to prepare or stop it from occuring. Does this make the news any different than if I said my friend's 85 year old grandmother had a stroke? In a way, I think it does. We hear stroke, we expect the person to be over a certain age and in a certain "at risk" category. But sometimes, I guess, life breaks the rules.
Which brings me back to why I decided to write about the mundane. I'm human and just like most other people my age it takes something major happening for me to pause and be thankful for what I've got. Friday night I was angered by an argument I had with my father. Saturday night I was a bit peeved my friend stood me up. Only a few short hours after that, however, I felt embarrassed for feeling those emotions and overwhelming grateful for how blessed I really am.
I know this might sound corny to some, but I think being corny is ok every once and awhile...as long as it doesn't get out of hand. I don't normally do this sort of thing, but please send your well wishes and prayers for my friend this way, even if you don't know him. I promise they will be in good company alongside mine.