27 December 2008

Healthy Holidays

We had a lovely Christmas with both sides of our families. There were many gifts, and so much laughter, and food, and game playing. But after both celebrations, things fell apart. We left my mom’s Christmas Day around 8pm, and the stomach flu struck her by 8:30. Emmy, the almost 6 month old, started it, the little germ-carrying bundle of cute. Anyway, at least Myra held off on the barfing until we were out of town. And she’s better now: it’s about a 12 hour thing, as far as we can tell. It seems to have been similar to V's stomach flu earlier this month.

Shaun’s side of the family took things even further. The day after our big holiday brouhaha, Shaun’s mom pulled me aside and mentioned that David (Shaun’s dad) had been feeling heavy on his right side. She mentioned the words “numb,” “swollen feeling,” and “do you think he should go in?” Um, yes. Right now. For those of you who are unaware, strokes are near and dear to Languishing’s heart, and I was more than a little stunned by the fact that he had felt that way most of the day before, but figured he’d feel better after he slept. Please, dear readers, if you or someone you know is feeling numbness or tingling on one side of the body (either side), even if there are no other symptoms, GO TO THE DOCTOR. Do not wait until tomorrow, or until your company leaves, or Tuesday because you were going to town then anyway. Please. Worst case scenario? You slept funny and need to stretch more, and the doctor sends you home with a pat on your head. Best case scenario? They catch a stroke before it scrambles your brain. (I guess best/ worst case scenario is sort of hard to apply here…but I think you’re following me).
Anyway, the doctors do think that David suffered a small stroke on Sunday, though he’s no longer numb and seems to have no lasting effects that they can see. I mean, aside from relentless teasing from his sons. He was also diagnosed with Type II diabetes, which is one of the top ten warning signals of a stroke, so this will cause some major changes in his (and Mary’s) life.

What’s the moral of this story? I don’t know. I guess that our parents are so thoughtful in their respective illnesses that they tried not to let them interrupt the holiday, or maybe it’s that we make people sick in a variety of ways. And certainly we are deeply thankful for David's ongoing health. I do hope, though, that you’ll heed my advice and go to the doctor at the first signs of numbness/ tingling/ heaviness on one side of the body. Please. And have a piece of divinity in my father-in-law’s honor, won’t you? Because he would if he could.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Oh Jennifer...I nearly started to cry reading this. Strokes are near and dear to my heart, as well. It was two years ago this Dec. 18th that my father had a pretty serious stroke that left him numb and basically limp on the left side of his body -- can't even balance the checkbook anymore.

The night it happened, he and my mom were watching tv and suddenly my dad turned to say something to my mom and she noticed his face was droopy on one side. He tried to get out of his chair and fell.

Our family has never been the same since. Personality and mind altering health crises tend to do that.

I wish your father-in-law all the best wishes in the world. Diabetes is such a bugger. Fortunately all of this was caught pretty early. May he live a long, happy, and VERY healthy life from here on in.