Sunday, April 4, 2010

Our Climb to the Mountaintop

In 1995, two years before my husband's life changing brain injury, we were on a trip to Colorado to see his eldest daughter (we are a blended family).  While there, we bought a beautiful piece of land in a mountain community just north of Fort Collins, Colorado.  It had a breathtaking view of the valley below and the Rocky Mountains beyond.  We were going to build our dream "log cabin" on this property and spend our retirement days watching the deer run through the property and the beautiful valley below.

Our climb to the mountaintop was not to be on that wonderful piece of God's green earth.  Instead, it was going to be a climb that neither of us would have imagined.  We are still making that climb, one step at a time and we have come a long way, together.

At times, I think it is a true blessing that my husband is not aware of what has happened to our lives, and I find myself wondering "if only".  I have to put that aside most of the time because it takes me to a place I don't want to be, and takes my focus off of our "one day at a time" life.

At one time during the first days when he was in a coma and unresponsive, I was told that I should "put him" somewhere where he could be taken care of.  Since he was on a ventilator for quite some time, I was also told that we should "pull the plug".  I will always be so thankful that I did not have to make that decision, his brain was not dead, it was damaged.

The first step in our climb up our mountain was rehabilitation and learning to walk again.  One day, when I went to the hospital and went to his room, I saw that the bed was empty and his wheelchair was sitting outside the room.  I ran to the nurses station and asked "where is my husband".  I have to admit, I was so scared.  She pointed down the hall and there he was, holding onto his physical therapist and WALKING!!  I can't describe how relieved and elated I was to see that.  It was predicted that he would never walk again and that he would probably remain in the vegetative state he was in while in intensive care.  I refused to believe that.  He was just 61 years old and had just retired 6 months before.

This was just the first step up that tall, tall mountain.  There are many to go, but I know we will reach that mountaintop together someday.  That is what keeps me going every day.


Queen-Size funny bone said...

Our situations are so similiar yet so different. My husband was 55 with 14 and 19 year old girls. I am 10 years younger. He was in the same condition on a ventilator and had to learn to walk with a broken hip and shoulder. But you seem to have a loving bond with your husband. My husband has isolated me so that we share nothing. I find it very sad. I try to forge a bond but it does not seem to work. I push him up the mountain daily but I don't think he cares if I make it to the top with him or not.

Wendy said...

Judy - I am listening. I am going to go give my hubby a hug and a big kiss - just because.

And thanks for comments you left on my blog - Cheers, Wendy