Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Blogs Oct 5-15

October 15

My loved Jan,

You decided not to go to "Sunday Night". Everyone missed you.

I am overwhelmed to hear that you are so present in so many hearts... but I am not surprised because you know how to be a friend. You take the risks in the name of friendship of opening up, following up, giving and sometimes not getting anything in return. That is the mystery of friendship, no one knows who will be your closes friend in the next five or ten years. It just happens. But for people like yourself, it seems easier. And as the saying goes: "a friend in need is a friend indeed", you have received so much love from your friends since the aneurysm, and the whole community keeps you in their prayers.

Your decision not to go was fatigue. All of us know that this will be one of the most lasting symptoms of your healing. The brain seem to use so much of the energy that your stamina just drops like a stone in the river. One minute you are engaged in lively discussion, the next you are without energy. Is it the medication? But then again, without it the risks seem greater. What a conundrum!


October 11

Dear Jan,

You've been having a rough start of the week. First, there was a big "kafuffle" with our passenger on the way to the Thanksgiving dinner in Barrie. Something said that you took as a criticism ignited a very emotional response from you. I am sorry that it took away some of the happiness from the dinner.

I am more intrigued with how your perception is affected when you are under stress. It is as if your brain decided what you hear regardless of what your interlocutor says. I was more concerned that when we discussed the issue the following day under a more friendly and relaxed atmosphere, you still denied the content of the conversation. Something in the comprehension of spoken speech is still under repair... I write this to remind you that we all love you anyways, regardless of the miscommunications and perceived impatience from our part that you experience... I am the first culprit on this one, but I also have more practice in not taking your reactions personally, but rather as a product of the current healing that its going on in your brain. Others are learning the "occupational risks" of providing support of getting close to you. I really admire and deeply thank those friends with whom you feel accepted and have wonderful conversations, in particular those who come on regular basis to keep you company. God bless them all.

On another topic, I imagine these thousands of microscopic "Fragglerock-like" creatures in their overalls, all wearing their safety helmets and steel-toe boots, moving up and down the ladders and scaffolding, reconnecting the broken neuropaths and replacing the damaged neurons... It is really a miracle what is happening inside your brain.

So, I pray that the love expressed in so many ways by all your friends can contribute also to the healing.


October 8

Dear Jan,

Yesterday we went for brunch with Steve and Sue. You had the Eggs Benedict that you liked (more evidence of your memory) from the last time we went with them about a month ago.You laugh a lot now with both sides of your mouth. Until recently, the right side of your body has been dormant. All the muscles are fine, but the brain is still working on connecting sensation and control. I cannot imagine what is it like to live with only half of my body! Health professionals call it right neglect. However, you are doing wonderfully! In the Spring, you were not able to walk more than 50 meters with the aid of a walker. Now you can take long walks from the house to the park and back (about 1 Km.)

I have to say that I liked your half smiles but I won't miss them, I can't even imitate them. I am thrilled with your full smiles and the laughter, which indicates that one of the functions damaged by the aneurysm -understanding of humour- has been rewired and now is operational.

Thank God! because one of the things that I fell in love with was your smiles.-Fede

October 6

Dear Jan

Every other Friday we have a very dear friend and mentor for dinner, we talk, we laugh and then we watch a movie. Amazing friendship, unforgetable conversation, and above all, the wonder and gratitude we experience when you discuss topics, introduce your point of view, tell me on my face that that is my version and that I am most likely wrong, and then hear you say that you cannot yet talk... Imagine!That short term memory is getting a boost.

I notice that at the end of the movies you can recall the scenes and most of the conversations. Sometimes I play by changing the plot, or by inventing alternative endings, but you keep me right on line with the movie.

One word describes my reaction to these months of remaking the functions of your brain: wonder. Between you and God that brain has rebuilt and rewired so much! You are truly a wonder.


October 4

Dear Jan

Even though the aneurysm happened in your brain, its effects have been wide and reached many people. Your brain injury had ripple effects through the communities that know you. You are a people person; you have so many friends that I have lost the count. I hope these lines tell you of how your friends showed their love for you.

I have seen many of them at the hospitals. On the second night after your operation, the Runnymede community came to the hospital to spend the whole night praying for you and supporting the family. Linda and Joy spent the whole first night in the ICU with us. One day during the second month, a large group of the Milton community came to the hospital see you, that day you were not in a good shape and the community just met in the chapel. I remember that Jim shared with us that day a message he had received for you: “that all that it’s Jan’s will be restored”. Friends from Oakville, Lindsay, Orillia, Toronto, and even those in other provinces and countries were touched by your aneurysm, many of them continued through the weeks that became months, their loyal support. Dad came from Mexico with Beto, my sisters from Spain and Florida, and there are those like D. Scott who has been faithfully driving you to the hospital once a week, months after. I know you don't remember most of it, but know that they were there by your side physically and in prayers.

It is like the aneurysm really was a collective event, shared by many in prayers, bringing lunches to the hospital, talking to you, promising to help you in practical ways in the long term. What a wonderful community of friends you have!

The effects for me have been of a life-changing nature. On days when I think I have seen them all, something happens that makes me realize that I haven’t seen the last ripple yet.

These days you are changing medication for the third time. The change has made you very irritable and sensitive. Well, you were sensitive before but this is just magnified. Then, combine that with my insensitivity and block-headedness and you have a highly volatile situation. In the past two weeks you have said that you will leave about two dozen times, you have ostracized me countless times, and even yesterday you had again a match with the surgeon because he was asking me questions instead of asking you. The laconic answer from the surgeon sums up well my options: “you’ll have to put up with it”.

Ripple effects, long reaching, fill my days and make me sing a song happy and blue, hopeful and puzzled, all at once. Ripple effects that send us up and down in this ocean of time and unearth the true nature of love and pain. Ripple effects that brought closer true friends and left other lost in the misty nature the past.


1 comment:

Ret said...

Hi Jan!
I'm looking forward to your party on November 4th. I'm happy to say Dave has been doing very well since he's been home although it will be quite some time yet until he's back at work.

I don't blame you for being ticked off at the surgeon. Way to go, you tell him! ;)

Wishing you and Fede a very happy Thanksgiving and hoping to visit next time I have a day off, provided I have enough notice in advance.