Diff'rent Strokes is your source for information about Todd Thelin and his stroke recovery. Please feel free to add comments about posts, add new information in the comments, e-mail new information for me to post, or ask questions that we can answer. Keep in mind that posts are moderated, so they will need to be approved before they show-up. This helps fight spam.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Survivalversary

One year ago I got a call that Todd was very sick, and had been taken by ambulance to Jordan Valley Hospital. Oh, you mean VERY sick. I had no idea how sick until I arrived, and learned that he was unable to communicate, open his eyes, etc. Todd's dad met me there, and someone came eventually and took Oliver, the first of many times that I can't remember where he was or who he was with. Thankfully I knew he was safe and loved and cared for, and at that time, that was all the thought I could spare.

One year ago I truly didn't know if Todd was going to live or die. And the hospital staff wasn't super helpful either. I remember asking one Dr. "He is going to wake up eventually, isn't he?" And her response was "I hope so." They didn't even know what was wrong with him, and we heard everything from pneumonia to meningitis to epilepsy. But not stroke, because "he didn't meet the typical picture of a stroke" in that he was young, couldn't communicate, but could squeeze with both hands.

One year ago I was faced with the definite possibility of my life changing very drastically and very tragically. One year ago I didn't have the faintest clue how I was going to get through the terrifyingly unknown future.

If you could have told me one year ago where our family would be today, I'm not sure I would have believed you. I don't think I would have dared hope. From the darkest time in our lives, we have come through to an increasingly bright future.

Todd lives. He is here for me to hold and love, and to raise Oliver and teach him. He can eat. He can swallow. He can talk and communicate. He can understand. He can bathe and dress and shave and brush his teeth. He can stand, he can walk, he can drive. He can take out the trash, mow the lawn, vacuum, make the bed, clean up after Oliver. He can get himself out of bed, and get himself up and moving. He can WORK!

He still struggles with fatigue, and with his vision, and therefore, sometimes, with his balance. He still has difficulty in communication, both expressive and receptive. There are still glitches in his brain. He still has trouble integrating his senses, and thus they can overwhelm him. It has been a long road back, with big leaps at first, then smaller and smaller steps. There have been many dark times, with regressions and plateaus, but he has continued to improve.

Things happen for a reason, and some changes have been for the better. Even he realizes that some of the changes in him could not have come about any other way. He has been tempered in every respect. He is slower, more careful, thoughtful, and deliberate. More considerate and kind. More prayerful. The important things remain intact, like his loyalty, his work ethic, his love of others. He was always a good husband, but now has become a great one.

Today my heart is filled with gratitude. For the many prayers and fasts and works that were performed in our behalf, which carried me when I couldn't cope on my own. For good neighbors, good friends, and great family. For the doctors, nurses, therapists and aids who work tirelessly in their professions. For my faith and testimony which got me through the hardest moments. For the many, many blessings which were in place long before we knew we'd need them. And most of all, for Todd. For not giving up when that would have been the easiest thing. For his hard work and endurance. For his love, his strength, his companionship, his courage. I'm so grateful that, for what ever reason, Heavenly Father didn't see fit to take him Home last year. I, too, have grown over the last year, and we have grown together.

I love you babe. Truly, madly, deeply, and forever.

3 comments:

Mary said...

I am continually impressed with how far he has come. You guys are awsome. I am so happy that Heavenly Father did not decide to take him home too. I love you and Todd and Oli.

Nicole said...

What a beautiful post. Your family has endured much and overcome many trials. I'm so glad that Todd has recovered so well and has had such enthusiastic support.

Barbara said...

We're so impressed with the way all of you have gotten through this year. It's been a terrific challenge for you and you've all done so well. We're very proud of you.