Monday, October 31, 2011

Stroke

There are moments and events that change the course of your life. Events that happen that cause your entire world to shift, to knock things so off kilter that you wonder if anything will ever be right again. Events that happen so quickly, you don't even recognize it as your life. But, somehow, it is. One such event happened to my family's life this weekend.

On Friday, my stepdad had a massive stroke that required him to be life flighted to Pittsburgh. There was an unsuccessful procedure to try to remove a blockage in his brain. Numerous CT scans, MRI's, and an emergency operation Sunday morning to remove part of his skull to alleviate brain swelling. There was severe damage done that may leave my stepdad paralyzed on the left side of his body.

Even typing those words they seem really foreign. I'm still having a hard time grasping and processing what happened to my stepdad, my mom, my family and comprehending that our lives changed so much in the span of a few hours. But it did. This did happen whether we asked for it or not, and now, we're left trying to go forward, navigating down a road we never imagined we would be walking down. Taking things day by day seems really daunting so I think most of us in my family are going hour by hour or minute by minute.

My family is really amazing and we've been blessed with an incredible support system in the way of family and friends who are like family who are going to help us get through this and hold us up when we're too weary to go on. We're reminding each other that sometimes battles are won simply by putting one foot in front of the other and that small victories need to be celebrated more than bigger ones.

These next few days, weeks, and months aren't going to be easy. There will be a lot more tears shed. Some days it will seem that there is no light at the end of this tunnel and we will think we simply can't go on or take one more step. But we will. Eventually there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and that one more step will be the one that gets closer to that light. We are survivors and fighters. We are a family. A unit that together  is so much stronger than this circumstance. 

While things may be incredibly upside down and off kilter now, this is our life and we're going to live it, to see it through until things are right side up again. We will survive this and I know, in time, we are all going to come out of this so much stronger than we were before.

Several of you have been sending up good thoughts and praying, please keep it up. My stepdad is still in intensive care and has had a bumpy road. To those of you who sent emails, tweets, text  messages and called -- thank you. They meant so much to me and made me feel like I wasn't alone. I am so incredibly  lucky to be a part this amazing community who provides support in ways I never thought possible.