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Not The Way To End A Year

Story ID:5549
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Manhattan Kansas USA
Person:Ken Kopp
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Not The Way To End A Year

This has been a pretty good year for our family other than our son being unemployed for five months. But that situation has been remedied, and he is delighted to be able to get out of bed each morning and head off to his new job. Ken and I had a terrific summer trip to Germany, visits with good friends and family and so much more.

All that changed yesterday, two days before the old year was to end. Ken has been a daily walker ever since going through Cardiac Rehab several years ago. We woke to a new cover of snow. It looked clean and sparkly, covering up the dirty snow left from last weeks Christmas blizzard. Around eleven, he bundled up, as it was very cold, and out he went. At the time, I wondered if walking on snowy streets was a smart thing to do, but I knew better than to voice that opinion to Mr. Stubborn German.

He arrived home about forty minutes later. I heard the front door and went out to the living room asking a question as I went. When I got there, he was looking at me like he had no idea who I was. Whats wrong? I asked.

I fell and hit my head, he told me.

He was white as a sheet and he acted strangely, pacing through the dining area and kitchen. I dont know what day it is, he said, voice shaking and looking as though he might cry.

This was not my strong husband, the man whom I depend on for so much. I tried to make light of it and asked him who the president was. He failed that test and also one about the year it was. So I suggested we go to the Emergency Room and have him checked out. He didnt hesitate, readily agreed, so I knew he was frightened. Surely no more than I! I dont believe Ive ever felt such fear over anything as when I saw his mental capabilities so impaired. Not when he had a heart attack. Not when he had prostate cancer. My knees felt like jello, and little fingers of fear rolled round and round my innards, but I tried to remain calm on the outside. Mothers learn to do that early on while raising little ones, and the practice comes in handy even years later.

After three hours in the ER, they determined he should spend the night for observation. The doctor was concerned he might have had a mild stroke which caused the fall. Then they took blood and had trouble getting any, so the lab tech determined he was dehydrated. Shocked me to no end, as this man drinks water and stores it like a camel. The CAT scan showed no bleeding but he was definitely a victim of concussion.

The snow outside had turned to rain and sleet, the temps were dropping and so I saw him settled in his room, ran home and got the few items hed need and kissed him good-night before heading home. Phone calls galore, a quick meal, and a few prayers later, I headed to bed only to spend a sleepless night.

At 7:30 this morning, our family doctor called. Hed been off the day before so had not seen Ken til this morning. The fingers of fear began to slow down their steady drumming in my stomach when he told me there was no indication of a stroke, no dehydration. All he had was a concussion. No small thing, but better than all the others added to it. The doctor said he might have some memory problems for days or weeks, all patients are different in that. He might have headaches or dizziness for days or weeks, or maybe not at all. But the best news was that he could come home and spend the day resting and then resume a normal activity level.

On this last day of the year, I counted my biggest blessing of the year as having the man Ive loved for so many years back home and feeling all right. Hes tracking well today, no more confusion. We had to cancel the New Years Eve party wed planned to have with three other couples tonight, but thats a small price to pay for a husband whos going to be A-OK for the new year.

In reflecting on the last year tonight, all else pales next to the fact that I have Mr. Stubborn German close to me once again. And Im looking forward to spending 2010 with him.