Thursday, May 21, 2009

Strident and Affection

A couple of things came to pass yesterday.

Marty and I exercise her legs several times each week. It largely consists of her lifting her right leg and moving it around right to left, up and down, that sort of thing. Then I work the left leg as she can't move it at all. The other relevant detail is that I'm not a particularly patient fellow. I'm much better than I used to be, but I still think standing in line or waiting in traffic basically sucks. Yesterday, when Marty was raising her leg up, I'm saying to her, move it, move faster. I keep at her and she gives me "the look". You know the one, the one that says, "look ass.. bite me". I asked Marty if I was being a jerk and she said yes, that I was being too strident. Now keep in mind some days she doesn't remember her birthday and says she used to live in LaMarque (we still don't get that one) but she can sit there and tell me I'm being strident. I don't know where she gets the vocabulary, but she still zings me with it from time to time, and yes, I am too strident at times.

I don't know how we got to talking about it but we started talking about showing affection. Marty likes to have people close to her, not to handle, but to hold her hand and she really appreciates it when people show affection to her. She, like all of us, really likes to know she is loved. I told her I really liked that too. She then asked how can she do that and I remembered an event that occurred in July 2005 (is it scary I remember this stuff)....

When Marty had the anyerusm they opened her skull and removed the bone plate on the left front of her skull. Because of the swelling and bleeding they had to leave the bone plate out leaving Marty with a significant indention in her head. Thanks to a wonderful nurse in rehab who gave her a pink ball cap and Sue and Gail who gave us an "under construction" hat we kept the indent under wraps. In July Marty went back for surgery in Dallas to have a prosthetic piece placed in her skull. This is pretty big surgery, but based on where we had been, it figured to be a cake walk.

The surgery went according to plan and we came home very quickly. I remember talking with Marty right after we got home and I was completely dismayed by the cognitive ground we had lost. The general anesthetic and the shock of the surgery seemed to have knocked us back weeks on recovery. Marty was confused, very tired and couldn't really focus.

When we got home I was emotionally and intellectually exhausted and scared it would never end. I left Marty lying on our bed and sat on the edge of the tub in our bathroom and started crying. I just couldn't stop what was going on and on and on. Then my bride, with the bandage on her head came shuffling in and put her hand on my back and moved it back and forth, and all she said was, "It's going to be okay".

I related this story to her and she laughed at me. She then wanted to know how she can show her love now. (Everyone relax -- this is not X rated) I told her she did it everyday when she tells me she loves me, when she reaches out to take my hand, when she takes her medicine without complaint, when she puts up with all of the stuff we have to do to her without arguing, and when she pats me on the back when I hug her. This is our life.

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