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January 26, 2007

Comments

erika

I discovered your blog in about March last year, when you were right in the midst of this experience. I didn't know what was going on and was convinced I'd missed an explanation somewhere. The references you often make to J's condition always kept me wondering. After reading this post, it's clear. Not only because you clearly described the incident, but the fact that you did explain makes it obvious that this is the first time you're publicly sharing the story. And I take that as a good sign, because it means you're getting some closure on it. As you said, there is an end to this. The end isn't fixed, and it may even slide by unnoticed for a while. But someday, he'll just realize that he's "ok", that's he's moved past it, that he feels "normal" again. It'll probably be an observation in retrospect, but it will come in time. There may also be false summits - times when it seems that it's the end, when it feels like all of the hurdles have been passed. Beware these - as his activity level increases, as his daily menu of "things I can do" gets longer, some new challenges may emerge. It's part of the getting better thing, but he'll make it. Just keep that knowingness that it's a surmountable goal. And thank you for sharing the experience.

Catherine

Erika - It's true, I never really said much about what happened to Mr. Food Musings. There were a few posts where I might have mentioned a head injury, but probably before March. Anyway, your supportive words make me think you have been through something similar, if not in origin, at least in its sheer toughness. Thank you for sharing your perspective; it is very, very good advice.

Sean

Holy cats. My dear friend Christine suffered a massive stroke 11 years ago just before Christmas. The sequence of events you describe in the first hours reminds me much of what we all went through, including the assumption (read: accusation) on the part of the EMTs that there were drugs or excessive drinking involved. I know it doesn't seem like it, but you are fortunate. Christine nearly died, was in a coma for weeks and to this day has severely compromised mobility and speech. She only last year regained her personal freedom and is living in Manhattan again, and is trying to rebuild a life and a career. She's a strong soul. And so are you for enduring all of this. Stay positive, count your blessings and make every day better than the last.

Catherine

Sean - My thoughts go out to your friend. What a thing to happen.

It's funny, this year I have vacillated between feeling horribly lucky and horribly unlucky. Not sure where I am today...but counting blessings is never a bad way to get through the day. I've also learned you have to admit it when things suck, too, or you get stuck with a smile on your face when what you really need is to scream.

cookiecrumb

Well, I'll tell you what, Catherine. You are a brave and loyal woman.
The only way things could be "normal" right now is if it never happened. But it did, and you two are dealing with it.
Congratulations on getting to the one-year mark (or another way of putting that would be "thank goodness that year's over"), and *yippee* for all the progress.

mom

You two have endured a trip to hell and about 3/4 of the way back. I have learned that staying in the moment is usually best. If you look too far ahead, you get into trouble. And about the screaming---hey, it really works! Hang tough!

Catherine

Cookiecrumb - yeah, trust me, at 11:59 on Dec. 31 I was feeling pretty damn good about saying ba-bye to 2006.

Mom - I like to think of it as 7/8 back, but hey, why bicker over fractions?!

Joy

I can't say it any better than your mom did. But I love you guys and I am so amazed at the grace and strength with which you have weathered this storm.

Tea

Oh, my dear. I had heard parts of this story, but the whole thing takes my breath away. We really never know what is in store for us, do we? You two have had quite a year, and I am so sorry for that. 2006 was a big bummer of a year

You know I've been dealing with my own health mess, and I recently realized that I don't always like it when people are uber positive and looking on the bright side (easy for you, it makes me want to say). Sometimes I just want someone to say, yeah, that sucks.

So yes, it sucks. And you guys have been amazing through this all. So here's to a much better year this year. You deserve it.

Thanks for sharing.

Amy Kennedy

How lucky he is to have you standing beside him all the way! And what a test of strength for your relationship - seems like you passed with flying colors. I'm impressed.

lmg

Ms. FM,
I found your blog about a year ago. I remember you writing "Mr.FM has had a fall" and something about not blogging regularly. I wondered what was going on but hey, I was here for the food. I want to thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. My partner has an as-yet-unidentified disease that we have been battling for the last five years. You story is inspiring and brought me to tears. You just never think you are going to grow up to be the person with the disability or the one who takes care of them. It is a lonely road. Your words are inspiring. Thank you.
lmg

Catherine

Joy - Thank you for all the laughs and support and everything through the last year. It's friends like you who helped us get through it.

Tea - Amen! I do believe in general it is good to be optimistic and hopeful, but you can't pretend that you're fortunate to be sick when you're not. It does suck. You will get through your ordeal, too, and I hope it is sooner rather than later.

Amy - Trust me, it sounds way more graceful than it was. There were plenty of times when I got mad at him for not feeling better, or he got mad at me for being too protective. It wasn't a pretty year. But then, I guess that's the point - it WASN'T pretty, and we're still together and as happy as the days allow us to be. I know he appreciates my help, and I appreciate his. We both went through something very hard, and very different, together.

lmg - You said it - you never think it will be you, and it is a lonely road. I was always so hesitant to ask for help, or even accept it. You deserve a lot of credit for what you are doing; the not knowing is very scary, and so is the feeling of endlessness, or just not knowing where the end will be. Hang in there, and I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Mina

It was very brave of you to share your story with all of us. Thank you. My love to both you of you.

Malachy Walsh

Thanks for sharing this. I've been amazed by the courage and strength you've both shown and my heart goes out to you both...

J is a lucky lucky man in so many ways. Not the least of which is you.

Catherine

Mina - thank you, my dear.

Malachy - Malachy! You're here! Thanks for saying such nice things. I've been enjoying keeping up with the LA saga.

Malachy Walsh

It took me a while to find it, but I've found you both! And love you both!

Melissa

Oh Catherine, I'm so sorry. As you say, this well and truly sucks - what a curveball life has thrown at you both!

It certainly seems, though, that despite your own vacilation between feeling lucky and unlucky, your J. has proven how lucky he was to have you by his side throughout the whole mess.

Fatemeh

Cat... hell. i'm sitting here crying, as i think of how scared you must have been that night.

what a year. and what amazing human beings you both are.

Catherine

Malachy - dude, next time you come to SF you have to stop by.

Melissa - John Lennon famously said "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." Indeed.

Fatemeh - If I may avail myself of another quote, I think it was Nietzsche who said "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Or so I keep telling myself...

Cindy

I too stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago, and had to read all your archives. You two have been through so much; I'm glad J is on his way to recovery. God bless!

Catherine

Cindy - welcome, and thank you for your good wishes!

Teresa

I'm so sorry this happened to you and J. I admire your strength during such a challenging time.

alison

so sorry - i've got tears in my eyes from reading this - but am glad you are seeing progress - hope 2007 is a much better one!

Catherine

Teresa - thank you. It's true that this is when you find out what you're made of; still, I might rather not know ;)

Alison - I know you know how it goes. Thank you for the well wishes.

Stephanie

Oh, Cat. A year ago I didn't even know you. We hadn't even met but I wish I had been there to give you both support and food an all sorts of comfort things. I am amazed by how much you've both been through and how well you've survived.

Both of you are an amazingly gifted individuals and you deserve all the best from here on out. I'm happy to be able to call you my friend.

Catherine

Stephanie - you are so sweet. Thank you. (And ya know, if you wanted to bring over a casserole or a beef daube, just because, I mean, no one's going to stop you.)

Excelsior

In December they put a stent in my 39 year old husband's left anterior descending artery, which was 95% blocked.

My heart goes out to you dealing with J's scary symptoms, because when the heart stuff started with my sweetie, I really knew how totally precious he is to me.

Here is to a full recovery for J and for you, soonest.

Catherine

Thank you, Excelsior, and to you and your husband as well. Scary!

jen maiser

Cat, thanks for putting all this into words for us. I knew generally what had happened but it's just so profound and touching to read the story in its entirety. I am with Fatemeh in that I just cried through the entire post. You are a remarkable woman, my dear.

Catherine

I would say that he is a remarkable man. I just held his hand.

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