Fifty Plus (50+) - My friend - a change in an instant
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07-21-09, 11:25 AM
My friend, a lady now 72, and I and my wife and other friends used to do ride 25-30 miles together. Two years ago, at 70, she came in second in her age group at the Bolder Boulder marathon. She did triathlons. She is a fighter.
Last year her back began to give her problems, and she had a relatively minor surgery, and she planned on doing a sprint triathlon with me in September.
The surgery did not work, so last week, she had a 2nd surgery. Sunday, while in the hospital recovering, she had a minor stroke and then another one. She now has no balance, and is weak on one side, and can hardly swallow.
In just one moment . . . . !!
Surviving a wife beater and leaving him, then finding the perfect bicycle-riding mate, who died of cancer, my friend raised her kids, got herself financially stable as a nurse, and retired near me.
The docs say, "The surgery had nothing to do with the stroke." Sure - I will bet you a lot of money that if she had been home and not in the hospital, under that stress she would not have had a stroke. However, that really makes little difference.
My friend bought a tri-level house, with no bathroom on the main floor. This is going to cause some major problems when she returns home. Just something for all of us to think about. NOra and I specifically bought a one-level home when we moved here 8 years ago.
So, I am saying a prayer for my friend. SHe IS a fighter, and will do everything that she can to get back to where she was.
07-21-09, 11:46 AM
If she's a fighter, she has a good chance of making progress. Attitude is everything in that situation.
We'll root for her to get back on two wheels again!
07-21-09, 12:01 PM
I'm very sorry to read this. I hope she has a full recovery, and I'm glad she has a friend like you. All my best wishes
07-21-09, 12:09 PM
She is lucky to have you as a friend. My prayers are for you both. Keep strong for her.
07-21-09, 12:27 PM
Sorry to hear that. Not all surgery is good and I agree with yourthought that the stoke and surgery are related.
07-21-09, 12:27 PM
Sorry to hear about your friend. My thoughts are with her. I went through this in May of 2004...one minute I was playing the banjo, and the next minute my right hand had no idea what it was supposed to be doing (after playing 30 years I didn't have to think about it).
My entire right side was affected, along with double vision, and difficulty swallowing. It took a while, had to learn to walk, balance, tie my shoes, button buttons, etc. but I have made a full recovery, and much to my wife's dismay, can play the banjo better and louder than ever.
Just a warning...when she gets back on the bike, don't let her believe she knows how to ride. Don't ask how I know this... start from scratch.. I eventually had to buy a small, cheapo mtb and take off the pedals, lower the seat, and begin again....apparently the two brain cells needed to ride were among those lost...
I wish her the best and glad she has a friend like you.
cranky old dude
07-21-09, 03:22 PM
So many calamities occur in hospital environments that are suspicious to us. Though the staff may not be as willing to connect the original treatments to the eventual outcomes, we outsiders seldom have a doubt in or minds as to the real cause. I don't blame you for feeling that the surgury contributed to the strokes. You and I and many of us on this board have had enough experience with hospitals to understand that many of life's unpleasant experiences are often inter-related.
I hope your freind recovers and there's no doubt that with freinds such as your self and your wife that her chances of a significant recovery are greatly improved. Your freind is in our prayers.
07-21-09, 03:27 PM
I've known a number of people whose lives changed in an instant. It's something that I think about now & then, usually to motivate myself to do the things I really want to do in my life, at the first opportunity I have to do them.
I know a person who went out for a gallon of milk, stopped at a stop sign, got rear-ended by a teenager driving a pizza delivery car, and who has never walked the same since (over 15 years now). There are so many accidents every day that seriously injure people ... nearly all of them being "in an instant" moments.
Health can be a fragile thing.
I will add that my wife's 96 yo grandmother suffered a stroke last year that nearly killed her. For days she didn't know anyone and couldn't speak. She has since made about a 90-95% recovery. Remarkable.
07-21-09, 03:43 PM
Your friend is in our prayers and she will recover. Attitude is a major part and I suspect with the attitude you describe and friends like you and your wife - she will recover.
07-21-09, 03:48 PM
That is a lousy thing to happen. I found dawes56's comments inspiring. Both tales are good reminders never to take our health for granted.
I hope your friend makes a full recovery and is back kicking a** in her age group soon.
07-21-09, 05:42 PM
Tell her we're pulling for her. But see if you can make her stop the running - running will kill you if you do it long enough!
I am very sorry to hear about your biking friend. It is so sad that things like this can and do happen without warning. My thoughts and prayers will be with her and you.
I was visiting my mom about a week ago in the assisted living center she is in, Alzheimers, and there was a lady and husband sitting watching these birds they have in a huge cage on one of the floors. Well my brother said the lady was normal when she went to bed one night and the next morning she was like a infant and couldn't do anything and has been like that ever since. She was just sitting there sort of slumped over with her husband sitting there next to her comforting her. It was sad. I felt bad for him. Anyway a example of "a change in a instant" It can happen.
07-21-09, 06:25 PM
Life can throw some tough challenges at us sometimes. Here's hoping your friend can rise to it once again.
07-22-09, 06:34 AM
If it was a relatively minor stroke, with her attitude, she WILL be back. Sending thoughts and prayers for a fulll recovery. Given her history, she is an inspiration to me.
07-22-09, 07:10 AM
That's right, getting older is not for the wimps of the world.
I hope your friend has a full recovery. And you ARE a very good friend...
Make sure she is in a top-notch stroke care facility. (UCLA comes to mind for southern California, but you probably have something comparable somewhere in Colorado.) There are miraculous medical and surgical treatments for the first few hours after a stroke, plus remarkably effective therapies thereafter.
07-22-09, 09:18 PM
Thanks for sharing and best wishes to you and your friend.
In line with your comments: I have a friend who is now in a full care nursing home because his second wife decided and refused to move from a two story home with all critical things upstairs.
Perhaps she wanted to get rid of him as he got sick and it was just a convenient excuse?
I have another friend who had a gallbladder surgery and got two strokes at age 70. Same story as yours. He is now diminished.
Such is life.
07-22-09, 10:40 PM
This is sad news. I'll keep good thoughts for her full recovery and return to riding with you.
Best wishes for a full recovery for your friend.
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