Friday, June 11, 2010

some days are like that

It has been a few weeks since the occurrence but felt the blog was an appropriate place for an update.

In late April, my aunt (let's call her P), suffered a massive stroke. P lives in the Austin area and has spent the last 6-7 weeks in recuperation and rehabilitation in local hospitals and rehabilitation centers. While progress has been steady it has also been slow. Her speech and right side were greatly affected but physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy is ongoing on a daily basis. She has use of a few words such as YES or NO, but speech is challenging as is use of her right hand and walking. Her eating has also been affected, both from a swallowing perspective but even more so from a desire to eat (hence a feeding tube).

I was able to see her right after the stroke occurred, and visited with her for about a week. Buddy and I will be heading back again in a few days to check in with her, and see progress.

The good news is that P just relocated to a skilled nursing center in the Austin area a little over a week ago to continue her therapy and rehabilitation. The bad news is that she was re-admitted a couple of nights ago to the hospital with chest pains. Tests are in progress so we will see what the results show.

P is my mother's sister, and is one of 2 living relatives on my side. Having never married or had children herself, P and I have had a special bond that was more than just niece and aunt. Besides her health challenges, there are clearly some financial, legal, etc. issues to address...of which puts me squarely in the mix. This hits in an even harder way than in traditional family relationships between aunts/nieces. Being halfway around the world further complicates these challenges.

Thanks for those friends who knew something was going on with me, and the struggles I am facing. Truthfully said, I have felt a bit overwhelmed and lonely...away from the infrastructure of friends and my support network.

I know this is departure from the usual blog posts but since my blog is my journal of time living abroad, and this is a significant life event for me, felt it was important to note. Not sure what the future holds, except for lots of long distance calls and flights to Texas...for now, important enough simply to know I am a bit blue.

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