‘Of all people who suffer from a stroke. About a third are likely to die within the first 10 days. About a third are likely to make a recovery within one month. About a third are likely to be left disabled and needing rehabilitation.’ The Stroke Association 2011.
It’s still admittedly early days, but to our and the stroke team staff’s collective incredulity, it’s looking increasingly likely that dad will predominately, if not entirely, inhabit that middle third category.
I’ve often had my doubts as to the complexity of my dad’s brain. But now, thanks to recent events, I think we’ve finally had it confirmed beyond any lingering doubt: it’s quite a simple one. I mean, to have made such extraordinary progress from where we were barely a week ago, clearly there’s not a lot in there to go wrong, eh?
So, today you get him in his own words, from the journal [below] I tactfully gave him for Xmas. My dad’s never been much of a writer. And he’s certainly never [to my knowledge] had a journal. So this is all new territory. All part of my subconscious feeling that was the catalyst for this documentary, all the psychological tooling up for what seemed like the challenge of his life.
You also get to subtly witness another aspect of my dad here. We’ve been through a great deal together in our time – notably after being cast adrift when my mother suddenly left home when I was 12-years-old [taking my then not-quite 2-year-old sister with her]. I’d find it difficult to adequately express how much his support through the baffling teenage years meant to me, but it’s also no great surprise, here, to witness his somewhat perfunctory prose. He’s a genuinely lovely man, but emotion and feeling would often require an electron microscope to locate. Maybe the journal will find them?
Update: [Day 11] I’ve just put the phone down to my step-mum, effusively telling me that in front of the disbelieving consultant/stroke team on rounds this morning; dad got out of bed, walked to the kitchen, made himself a cup of tea, drunk it, then walked back to bed. : )