My husband, Larry, had a severe hemmorhagic stroke at age 47. He was a CPA with an MBA from Duke and until shortly before the stroke, he was the CFO of $80 million dollar company. He was successful, driven, and enthusiastic about life and work. He was my partner in parenting and marriage, and we had a wonderful marriage. While he had always had health issues, none of the problems had changed who he was, how he functioned, and how he related to others...especially to how he related to me and our children. That was, until this stroke. Then everything changed.
In what seemed like an instant, he went from vital and autonomous to being an individual who was recovering from brain surgery and a stroke. Suddenly all of the responsbility fell to me. The husband I adored and relied on was unreachable and I was faced with a herculean task. I had to make all of the decisions regarding his care, fight for his benefits, manage the family finances, and continue to care for our children. We were SO fortunate to have enormous support from our family, friends, and church. Even so, the road was rough...without them, it would have been impassable.
Larry received phenomenal medical care. But as his managing caregiver, I was stunned at how directionless the medical community left me. I felt like I was the first woman whose husband ever had a stroke! So much of what needed to be done I had to learn on my own. And yet there have been thousands of others who have taken this journey. Frankly, I was shocked at the experience. While things have never returned to what I once considered normal, once recovery had progressed to what was our new normal way, I determined to do everthing in my power to share what I had learned with others, so they need not feel they are reinventing the wheel. So I wrote the ebook that is featured so prominantly on this site, put the site together as a resource for others, and actively share my experiences and the roadmap it helped me create via speaking engagements.
I also try to pay forward the kindnesses we received. I will never forget the meals, rides and assistance of every imaginable sort we received during those tumultous times. People were generous with their time and resources beyond belief. If you are one of the army who helped us, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!