Since that time, my wife’s recovery has proceeded well, although she will always have fairly extensive stroke-related disabilities. Our lives have been irrevocably changed, but in many ways our relationship has improved. We take things in stride considerably better that we used to. Things are not as stressful or upsetting. We have more fun together. How all this happened is hard to describe. But it has. Even when she was hospitalized again for a perforated bowel that involved surgery, more complications, and six months with a colostomy bag, the feelings of dread and anguish never returned to the levels they were. By the way, just like my inability to handle vomit, I never was one for handling shit. I had to look away when changing diapers, for instance. But, I was able to handle daily colostomy bag changes like a pro. Actually, that procedure is astounding. It’s amazing what physicians can do.
So, there it is. This is the end (at least for now) of my multiple blogs covering our own personal horror story. How we made it through that first year is beyond me. Yet, making it through has taught me (and us) much. The most obvious outcomes have been an increased sense of inner calmness and patience. While we were in the midst of it all, I was never able to see the end. I felt swallowed into a black morass, and I was so afraid all of the time. Hence the horror. Maybe this deepened my fondness for horror stories. Who knows?