The Anatomy Of A Stroke [Xmas Days]

My friend Amy wrote the other day: Life matters. Dignity matters. Love matters. And if Xmas encapsulated anything, in all its strangeness this year, it was how they all came together with the spirit of hope.

Dad has continued the gentle upward curve over the Xmas period: his mind becoming increasingly clearer; his appetite slowly returning; once hoisted out of the bed he can now stand for short periods; and I’ve quite warmed to the steely determination he’s begun to adopt with the more stubborn left hand – attempting to crush mine in our newly adopted handshake. An auspicious thumbs up on the progress, so far, then.

Oh, and I won this year’s traditional, familial Xmas Day arm wrestling competition. Albeit the winning of the coin toss arguably proved important. Best of three, alternate arms, I won the toss so chose to start on the left for a 2-1 win. Result!  : )

As the rewiring continues, the daytime dreamlike hallucinations are apparently curiously entertaining. Birds flying in through the window and sitting on the bed opposite. Dogs casually wandering down the ward. Random faces appearing in the curtains. And the fixtures and fittings occasionally swirling around in elaborate dance formations. I’ve been there when this happens. He’s perfectly awake and lucid, describing the scene as if its inexplicable that I can’t see it, too. And yet, as soon as he closes his eyes, opening them again wipes the hallucination away like a real life Etch-a-Sketch. The strangeness and charm of stroke recovery.

“Reaching out for a hand that we
can’t see
Everybody’s got a hold on hope
It’s the last thing that’s holding me”

– Guided By Voices

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