Sunday, October 26, 2008
I should have said this at the beginning. Mel was only 45 years of age and I was 43 when this illness hit him. Our oldest daughter had one more semester of college to finish in another town. Our youngest had one more semester to finish high school in a high school other then the one nearest to our home. The oldest was driving her '65 mustang home on week-ends and the youngest was driving our old car as we had bought our first ever brand new car, a '73 ford LTD. Not the car I wanted but needed to have which I'll explain later. Our doctor told me he wanted to do a test, I can't remember what its called but like a truth serum to find out what was bothering Mel. I was shocked but we didn't question doctors back then as they were like Gods to us having never gone to doctors or dentists growing up. He didn't tell me when he was going to do the test so I was not there and he never told me what he found out. Evidently nothing. The man was sick and it wasn't because he wanted to be. He was a hard worker and never drank or smoked. Toward the end of the week the doctor started talking of releasing Mel from the hospital. That frightened me as I didn't know what I was going to do with him the condition he was in. I had already been talking to Mel that we needed to get a second opinion. He liked his doctor and believed he knew what he was doing. I was use to my husband being head of household so I wouldn't disreguard him. Finally he agreed to let a doctor see him whom his sister-in-law worked for. The new doctor was there on the double. I'm sure the sister-in-law had filled him in on all the details. As soon as he walked in the door he said I hope I'm wrong but I think you've had a stroke and its a bad one. It will take a long time for you to get over it. He told Mel he could go home for the week-end but he wanted him to check into the downtown hospital Monday morning. He ordered all the same test over again and maybe some more to confirm he had indeed had a stroke. Mel was in that hospital a week. I was not use to driving in traffic but I went to see him everyday. In fact I would stay most of the day with him as he was very nervous and upset. One day I walked into his room and he was talking on the phone to a man at a parts house. He was sweating profusely and crying uncontrollably. I might add this was not the man I knew and was married to. One day I was behind him when they were walking him. He looked like an old old man. I remember at that moment thinking our life was over. After a week in that hospital he was allowed to come home for the week-end and then was to enter another hospital for therapy. This hospital was where the large medical center is now in San Antonio. At that time it was in the boonies, it was one of the first hospitals out there. He was allowed to come home on week-ends, Saturday and Sunday but could not spend the night. Something about their insurance. Mel wanted to stay home as long as he could so that left me driving him back on the expressway at night. When I took him back after the day at home and I walked out to my car in the dark on that parking lot alone it was the loneliest time of my life. I could look back and see him sitting in a wheel chair watching me to my car but what could he have done except call for help. Better then nothing I guess. He was there for a week doing three kinds of therapy but we had to cancel the speech therapy when we found the insurance was not going to cover that part. At that point that was less important then the other two. He needed to get on his feet and be able to use his hands etc. To be continued.