Saturday, March 29, 2008

Last day at the hospital

Yes, it is my last day at the hospital. Since yesterday I'm in a normal ward on the 3rd floor. I was able to accept visitors. Three of my friends came, I was feeling very lucky, and very much alive. A second chance to live! I am cherishing every moment -I still am -. So despite the hospital gown and everything I am very glad to welcome everybody. Kaan, my son is sitting on my bed, playing with every feature, up and down, TV off, TV on... Mom, my brother, three families all in the same room... I am very uplifted to join the crowd.

The same day a different speech therapist is on duty. I feel much more comfortable with this therapist. She is much more at ease. At the end she gives us some home work for over the weekend- because I'm going to be released home today.
The doctor comes and declares that my ......... counts are in line within normal limits. So I can go home. He gives instructions on using coumadin. Coumadin is going to be a key word within our household for the next six months. Then he signs my release papers. Then he does something else: he forbids me to drive. In other words, while singing the papers, he crosses off the line which says: She cannot drive. That is a major blow! Because it takes away my independence. Not that I would want to drive anytime soon, but having loss of speech is hard enough, having loss of mobility is something I didn't expect. Of course, I cannot be trusted with operating a killer machine like a car. What if I had a seizure while driving? A lot of stroke survivors do. What about my reflexes? All of the above are legitimate questions. With those thoughts we leave the hospital.

It seems a lifetime ago since I left home, although it was 7 days ago last Saturday morning. How very strange. Mehmet takes my arm to go up the stairs. Our condo is on the second floor. I want to take a shower. Then I'm ready for a deep and long sleep.
One thing about hospitals is that you cannot rest there, ever. Contrary to human nature, when you need your rest most to recover, you cannot sleep at all. Continuously there are disturbances: IV, tubes, constant beeping, nurses coming in and out, blood withdrawal at 5 am in the morning... You cannot get a wink of sleep.

Oh, how I'm ready to sleep, I feel safe, my bed is made....

1 comment:

The Bee Folks - Lori Titus said...

FYI - as a caregiver, I enforced the "no-driving" rule with my husband.

He was lucky in that he was physically (mostly) ok after his stroke. But, the brain damage from the stroke left him easily distracted, as well as the aphasia.

In Maryland, doctors do not notify MVA when a patient is unable to drive. However, if the patient drives and gets into an accident, insurance will refuse to pay on it, even if it is the other driver's fault.

For this reason, if for no other, I think it beneficial to go through the post-stroke driver's training. Just to prove, in case of an accident, that someone, somewhere, approved you for driving after your stroke.

I was really worried for a long time about driving when tired, or driving in heavy traffic where his attention has to be split among several cars. He was really overconfident about his ability to drive. By forcing him to wait, his cognitive abilities became much better. Six months post-stroke, he was driving again.