Friday, March 17, 2006

Stillness

Friday March 17, 2006

Its 34 days since the evening Jan and I landed in the emergency room of a hospital. It could have been a decade. Both would feel the same. When I crossed the box for today in her calendar on the wall, Jan was looking intensely at what I was doing. She asked me: "what time is it?". It’s ten to eight in the evening, I replied. She said, "I know". Do you know how long you have been in this hospital? I asked trying to find out if she is aware of time and place. She answered: "why do you ask me stupid questions?" I thought to myself: as always, she’s right on. It is stupid to measure time when you have been fighting for your life. It is stupid to worry about time, when your brain is busy with more important tasks such as reconnecting movement to your arm, or re-opening the drawers of speech, or linking your lexicons with your understanding of language, or building the bridges between your mother tongue and other languages. It is stupid to keep time, when, for the first time in many years, you don’t have to rush to work or church or social events. It is stupid to check the time, when all you have to do is something that happens regardless of time: healing. “Nature is in no rush” a blogger wrote. But I live unnaturally, always running in this mad race from one thing to the next, against nature and common sense. The word I received a few weeks ago was: “be still and know…” but all I have done has been run, run, run…Jan, on the other hand, has been still and in her deepest self probably knows something I don’t.

Today, when we were looking at pictures, we found a Brazilian friend in one of them. Jan said a few words in Portuguese. This week, Jan found the drawers where she stores the languages she speaks: French, Spanish, Portuguese. A month ago, the surgeon said that it was possible that Jan had lost her first language, because of the location of the blood clot. In the dozens of hours of stillness Jan found not only other languages, but also her first one. She has been still and knows who God is.

Today, she put her R hand on her lap and contorting her face in concentration, tried to move the middle finger, She moved the others, but the middle is still lost in her brain. She said something like: “Oh man!, I need more work on it” When I touched her R arm, she cried in pain. Her arm is obviously very sensitive. Is it the same sensation one has when our limbs tingle because of lack of circulation?

Today she was very emotional also. When I arrived in the evening, she was crying, half asleep. She said she had a “bad day in her head” When I asked her if she had a bad dream, she replied “yes”. The nurse, a young mexican woman, came and gave her a back rub. Jan was more relaxed for a while. Then, she began talking about how she needed something badly and I didn't. I couldn't make out the meaning of what she wanted and she started to cry. I began pointing things in the room, until I got to the sink. Do you want water? "No". Do you want to wash your face? "No" Do you want to brush your teeth? "Yes! Why is it so difficult to say rigth[...]?" I wished I had a direct connection to her mind. I see her and think, she is Jan, but not the one I am used to...

Please pray for better communication with her and more patience.

-Fede

3 comments:

Julia_A said...

Dearest Jan,

It was so wonderful to spend the afternoon with you yesterday! I was so thrilled to hear how your speech is coming along! You are doing so well. I know its frustrating to find the words sometimes, but be patient with yourself. In time you will be restored.

Your glowing face and occassional chuckles were such a breath of fresh air!

I will be back again soon to visit. I love you Jan!

Julia

Anne from Lindsay said...

My Dearest Jan,
I truly enjoyed my visit with you yesterday we had a couple of hours of peace and quiet just you and I. It was just like old times enjoying each others company, telling stories laughing and giggling at silly things. You spoke clearly at times and struggled for the right words at other times and I told you it's okay, take your time to think it through. We hugged, touched and laughed some more. You showed me how you can move your fingers of your right hand, I saw deep concentration of your face to make it happen. Oh hun I love you so and I am praying for you and Fede to be together again soon.

I love you Jan - see you next week!!

Love Anne

ninapogossian said...

Dear Jan,
I am reading the post and getting amazed how fast you are recovering.
I know how much effort your lovely husband and your family both making to help you recover. Your progress is fantastic!
I know, with the love of God, support of your beautiful family and pray of your devoted friends you will "fly " like an EAGEL very soon again.

Sing Songs, play the piano to heel your brain! Music is the best medicine for your musical cells that need it for speedy recovery.
With the LOVE and HOPE to see you very soon,
Sincerely your Russian-Armenian Friend and Colleague from MUSIC WORLDLAND, Nina Pogossian