Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Illness in the family

My mother went into the hospital on Friday for shortness of breath from congestive heart failure. Saturday afternoon she had a major stroke. She's already beaten the odds and surprised everybody by recovering significant motor function in the affected arm and leg. She lost speech, but within a day was able to say a few things we can understand and is very expressive in letting us know that she can hear us, either in person or when the phone is held for her. She's certainly very aware of her circumstances, remarkable in itself for someone 96 years old.

It's certainly hard to see her struggle, but she's one of the toughest and most resilient people I know. She's gone through dental work and other procedures without wanting or taking pain medication, things that make most of us cringe at just the thought, using her powers of visualization to revisit old memories, imagining herself far away in beautiful places like Hawaii. She also taught singing for several decades so she knows how to use breathing effectively. She's taught me a lot about the power of the mind to control the body.

I may be away from my computer more than usual, but I'll get back to posting some pieces I've started when I'm able to get them done.

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