wings and things

A brief moment of panic

Yesterday morning I received a phone-call from the nursing home manager to say that Anthony had had a ‘turn’, most probably a TIA (transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke). He has had these before but this time he was unresponsive for ten minutes.

As I rushed into town, I experienced a brief moment of panic even though I knew Ants had recovered from the TIA, because the more of these he has the more likely it is that he will have a serious stroke. On the other hand, he has been having TIAs from well before I knew what they were and twice, when he was still living at home, I had to call the ambulance. And, during his years in the nursing home I suspect he has had more of them than anyone realises because he sleeps a lot anyway.

Four years ago, at the huge 75th Ming and I held for him here, I remember being fairly certain it would be Anthony’s last birthday. His prostate cancer was well advanced and so was the parkinson’s. Daily tasks had become extremely difficult for him and I was exhausted. Perhaps it was this exhaustion that made me more accepting of the fact that he might die soon.

But now that all his care needs are fulfilled by the nursing home and I have the leisure to simply enjoy Anthony’s company, the thought that he might die soon is unbearable. Having outlived his prognoses by several years already, I have become used to the idea that he will continue to live for a long time.

So the thought that he might either die or become even more incapacitated by a stroke is horrifying. I can’t imagine my life without him but maybe I should prepare myself a bit. Who knows?

Anthony’s fortitude amazes me; he is so resilient! When I said to him yesterday, “You had one of those mini-strokes again, Ants”, he retorted, “No I didn’t – I just fainted.”

But for the rest of the day he kept hold of of my hands with both of his until I left to come home with the usual goodbye.

Anthony: Don’t be long, Jules.

Julie: I’ll be back soon, my beautiful man!




After Anthony’s hospital¬†adventure yesterday, the hospital doctor rang me and said that the CT scan didn’t show anything and that she surmises he is having TIAs (mini-strokes) and this makes a lot of sense to me because I have seen him have these strange ‘turns’ a lot over the last few years. When I did a bit of research, all descriptions of TIAs were an exact match so, even though a TIA can’t be picked up on a scan, this does seem to explain these episodes. The trouble is – like yesterday – he just looks as if he is asleep and it’s only when I try to rouse him that it becomes obvious that something is wrong.

The nursing lodge staff want to watch him carefully for a week and I’ve been advised not to take him out, so that’s fine. I mean, I haven’t been taking him out lately anyway, because it is so difficult to lift him and all that. I rang and spoke to him and he said, “Maybe I should just step in front of a truck!” and I reprimanded him but of course who can blame him for feeling like this.