Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I was about to give up writing this blog last night. I felt like a blobbering fool last night, ranting about my perception of where is Jan in any given day; sometimes, focusing on my feelings, or on trivial events, considering hollow thoughts, skirting the real questions, because the reality was too hard to take: Jan, my wife, is in the hospital with aphasia and apraxia. While trying to clean the blood clot in her brain, the surgeons cut pieces of her brain out. In those cells were precious complex connections necessary for language and understanding, cells that carried the programs for fine movements of limbs. The program required for a right handed person to move the right hand and be able to do things like writing, or playing the guitar. Jan's brain is not the same. Jan is not the same. These are facts, and facts have a strange way of leaving out feelings or beliefs. They just are. Cold, concrete facts.

All the while I kept hearing the "real" questions formulated far from the hospital:"what is the real prognosis for Jan? Where will she be in a month, in six months? What is possible? Will she ever teach again? Will she be able to sing? Why Jan? Why was she hit right on her strengths, her voice, her speech, her analytical mind?" I know the questions, because I have formulated the same questions myself with no clear answers.

Day after day, for 54 days, I kept seeing the visitors, the get well messages, the middle of the road wishes, while Jan slowly continued her struggle to find in other places in her brain what is lost. I wonder if the questions evidence something else, like symptoms only point to the roots of a problem. I looked at my questioning and called it realism. It is as if the split between hard facts and solid faith some days was resolved in favour of the former, with the innevitable conclusion: accept what you got, that is as good as it is going to get.

I was about to give up the blogging, until I read a note from Anne tonight. She knows the same thing I found: that Jan is in better hands than mine, that Jan is being cared for and protected by the One who in the first place gave her life and faith. That this is not about results. That I miss the point by focusing on what Jan will get back or will not as the gage to define my own reaction to the One who brought Jan into my life. That Jan's life is already better because of the aneurysm, that she is soaring higher than before because of what she is going through, that even though her conceptual abilities are affected, her character is even stronger and clearer than before, that after being so close to death, life will take on a different hue... I was about to keep the process to myself and quit blogging. Let someone more objective write the history.

Tonight, Jan was more relaxed in her new room which she shares with two elderly ladies. Repeatedly she said:"It is OK" anticipating my anxiety. Tonight Jan and I talked about the future as a couple. Tonight she was moving more her right arm and her hand. She even told me to take it easy... She had phoned me in my office earlier to ask me in detail for clothing items she needed. Donna helped a bit with the "translation" but Jan's discourse was extraordinarily clear. She is more mobile, independent and talkative. tonight Jan said she would be allright soon and would go abck to work.

Both Jan and Anne taught me a lesson about faith tonight. Jan is OK and she is already blessed.


PS for concre information about the hospital, visit their website.


Cynthia said...

This entry moved me so. Going through this crisis will hold unexpected benefits as well as the countless difficulties and sadnesses. The days when you see the blessings are tremendous gifts. If you don't mind prayers from a Christian stranger, I'll include y'all in mine.

orestn said...

Fede, thank you for being so genuine, so open, and honest. None of us know when what happened to Jan could happen to one of our family members. You are being an example of how to be when dealing with such an event - how to be loving and caring towards the patient, how to share what is going on with friends and family, and how to express what you are feeling. Thank you for your gift.

Julia_A said...

Dear Fede,

I pray that both you and Jan will be strengthened by this experience. You are such a rock of support for her right now. I know that sometimes things seem like they are spiraling out of control but remember that God knew your entire life before you lived it. He will not present you with any situation that you can not handle. There are so many people who love you and Jan and we are here to continue to pray, love and support you. God is also with you at every moment and He loves you so deeply. Hang in there Fede! Your deep love for Jan and continued strength are already clutivating fruitful blessings in your life.

I love you both and though I have not been able to visit as much as I would like due to my personal circumstances, I read the blog daily and pray always for you and Jan.


Joy said...

Dearest Fede,
Thank you for you honesty and insight. I see God not only blessed Jan but He has blessed you with wisdom and enduring love.
Take care, my faithful friend, God's beloved son, with whom He is well pleased. When you have a moment, take some quiet time to feel God's love for you... I can imagine He might be saying something like... "Well done! My faithful servant! My beloved son!"
... Alegria

FC said...

Cynthia, Thank you much for your prayers. Of course I welcome them, because there really are no strangers under the sun...we'll all meet one day.