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Navigating Life's New Canvas

As soon as I arrived home my tiredness seemed to dissipate. Its so strange how someone’s absence of energy can leave a place feeling cold. I stripped the bed and looked at the blood-soaked carpet and bedside cabinet and started to sob. WTAF!

I couldn’t process what was happening and even though exhausted I knew I needed to go sit with him, hold his hand and tell him again, how much I love him. We didn’t stay long but took advice from the Drs & nurses to go home and not return before 11am as we would need our strength in the coming days. They would call if there were any changes.

I was so grateful to arrive home to find that Tara had cleaned the carpet, cabinet & bed & made it all up. I thought to myself, how awful a job it would have been if he hadn’t survived and my heart filled with pain for all those families that have had to face that and those that will have to in the future. I hope there is a service that would be offered to people in that situation.

The following day we were asked so many questions about what had happened that night and the day before as the medical team tried to piece together what had happened. Had a convulsion caused the mini stroke or the mini stroke caused the convulsions or had falling out of bed and hitting his head caused them – we may never know.

A CT scan showed that the bleed on the brain wasn’t any worse, so they decided to try and bring him out of the coma. He was very slow to respond and over the next day they brought him in and out of consciousness. We were warned of what the consequences of the stroke may be, but the initial findings were positive.

It may have of only been 48hrs but in that time the conversations we had and the pain we were experiencing were all coming back to the same thing. Life is precious and changes needed to be made so that we could take back control of our lives and start living on our terms. Yes, we have our own businesses but in reality the businesses have our lives.

Sitting in Costa, I knew that whatever the outcome, we needed to press ahead with our life changes because tomorrow isn’t promised. In our 40 years Stewart has never really been ill and here he was fighting for his life and we weren’t ready to lose him.

The next morning I phoned up to get an update on his night and to get confirmation of his MRI. You can imagine my shock when they said, ‘Do you want to talk with him?’ Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. His first question, ‘What happened?’. I couldn’t get to the hospital quick enough.

It was several days until he was ‘with it’ understanding that he was very ill and in critical care. He was confined to bed and was told he had to use a bed pan. In typical Stewart style, he convinced a nurse whilst being taken for x-ray that he was allowed to use the toilet and she obliged. In that moment, I knew he was going to be ok.

The Drs & nurses were impressed with his progress but kept reiterating that his recovery will be long 6- 12 months with no drinking (because of medication) & no driving. Further tests showed that he has a DVT in his leg and a brain aneurysm. He was moved to a ward so they could decide what treatment he needs, as they need to be treated very differently.

Inevitably, conversation soon turned to business. My initial response don’t worry about it, we got it and we got you but we are making changes. It has been so hard not discussing every thought and idea with him, but the Drs said don’t put him under any unnecessary stress and so I kept referring back to the decisions we had made on holiday and the plans we had discussed the night before his incident.

Difficult decisions needed to be implemented and what if he had forgotten the decisions we had made and wanted to continue as things were, I wouldn’t be able to cope. Nothing else matters other than our future journey. We can’t change the past, but we can mould our future.

Next Week: Role Reversal: My big girls pants are definitely pulled up and my no bullshit policy fully engaged!

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