Sunday, May 13, 2012

April Anniversaries

My two-year stroke anniversary was April 3, 2012. The date loomed large because of two comments I heard in early recovery: A relative in healthcare predicted my rehabilitation would take two years. And my GP told me to ignore people who gave timeframes for recovery, then proceeded to say I could experience improvements for up to two years.

Today I have minimal functionality in my left hand; a slow, uneven gait; central nervous pain and discomfort from spasticity. I'm continuing with rehab and remaining hopeful, while adapting to the idea of lifelong disability.   

My wedding anniversary is also in April. Two years ago on April 9, I moved from the stroke ward to the rehab unit and prevailed upon the nurses to let my husband sleep in the empty bed beside me to celebrate our 16th year of marriage.

My husband remembers this as a hopeful time. Being moved to rehab was "a sign of progress," he says. I remember him visiting me after a full day of work – bringing me freshly-laundered clothes, tucking me in. I imagine him going home afterward to eat a late dinner alone. He lived on Panda Express during that time, gave into a few tears. I have tried to discover the details of this story from his point of view. Because it is as much his story as mine. His life has changed as much as mine.

A therapist from the rehab unit expressed surprise that my husband has stayed with me. "Do you know of spouses who leave?" I asked with equal surprise.

"Yeah," she said. "They can't deal with it."

Thank you, Ian, for vowing to stand by my side and continuing to do so in sickness and in health.

Ian and Marcelle – April 9, 1994


  1. You will improve with the 3 p's. persistence, patience and perseverance.

  2. Congratulations on your anniversaries! I love the picture--- what a beautiful bride.
    Ian, you must be a great guy but also very lucky to have a woman like Marcelle in your life!

  3. I am still experiencing small but steady amounts of function return to my foot and hand after over a decade after my stroke - never give up! :)

  4. Anniversaries--any kind--have more meaning for me since the stroke.

    Congratulations to both of you, for so many reasons!

    Have you read My Year Off, by Robert McCrum? It was interesting to read the journal entries by each spouse.

  5. Anniveraries are more meaningful after a life threatening illness. Reading about Ian illustates how strokes happen to families, not just one person. I hope Ian and you did something fun for your wedding anniverary.

  6. How well I remember that fine day! 16 years huh- well I've got to know (love) and admire you (both!) in that time and this blog has helped a lot- you continue to inspire me Marce,
    lots of love joe

  7. My wife and I have learned that strokes are not age specific by any mens. I'm 63 and she is 30. I know,, strange but we couldn't help it.. She surely had thought of leaving me to protect herself and in my case I could understand it. I think you have a real real real man for a friend and husband. That's how it should be.
    I just want to enter another perspective on "stroke". I thank God for allowing me to have a stroke and learn so much about life and people. I have laughed at the stupid stuff my muscles do just to annoy me.(slso cried with frustration) but in all I've grown as a person. I don't want another stroke mind you but am glad I had this one. I WILL recover.I urge any and all to look into the benifits of Apple Cider Venegar (with the mother) for relief of some symptoms. Good luck to all of you on your journey back to normality.