I laid out the four pictures on the table again, hoping this time he’d be able to identify the objects in the photographs: a wagon, a pencil, a dog, a paper clip.
“Show me the dog,” I said.
He pointed to the paper clip.
“That’s not a dog, that’s a paper clip!” I sighed with frustration, and then burst out laughing at the absurdity of what I just said. There is humor sometimes despite our circumstances. You see, I wasn’t teaching a child, I was helping my husband, Bob, learn how to communicate again. He has aphasia, the result of a traumatic brain injury.
This is our story:
The phone awakened me early on Saturday morning, October 12, 2013. My son, Jacob, was calling. I sat up in bed. “What’s wrong?”
“The dry cleaner just called. Dad fainted and fell. He’s not waking up. The paramedics have been called.”
Stumbling out of bed, my mind was racing. “What to do? Go, go now! First, check on mom.” Mom is in the other room; hospice nurses have been tending to her. They’ve been here for three weeks. Mom has lived with us for eight years. Dementia took her away years ago. I tell the nurse, “I must go.”
The dry cleaner is less than five minutes from our home. When I pull up, the paramedics are lifting Bob onto the stretcher. I call his name, “Bob, can you hear me? Wake up! Bob! Bob!” He’s lifeless. The paramedics drive away. I’m back in the car. I’m calling my children. “Dad’s been hurt. He’s not waking up.” I’m screaming. In that moment, I know my life will never be the same.
In the emergency room, Bob and I are in a small, curtained area. There are guttural sounds coming out of him that I’ve never heard. He’s alive. His piercing, blue eyes are wide open and fixed; he’s unresponsive to my pleading. I’m terrified . . . Continue reading for free on Kindle Unlimited.
Copyright 2019 S.A. Keith
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