The Sound of Stroke Recovery

Life is full of sounds and smells. Sounds stick with you often, while smells can bring up memories at least for me.

The first sounds of the stroke was the gobbly-gook sounds coming from my husband over speaker mode of my son’s phone.

Hospitals are full of sounds and smells. The beep beep when the IV it was time to change it, the SHUSH-CUSH sound of the ventilator. The soft shhhh sound of the bed changing to help prevent bed sores. The gurgling sound coming from Scott alerting that suction was needed. The soft quick steps of the nurses and others up and down the hall. Crying, hush talking, creaking of wheels as the carts are moved back and forth.

Trying to sleep at home after 14 days was impossible, it was so dark and quiet usually this is perfect for sleeping but I kept waiting to hear the beeping, gurgling and a million other noises.

Just like life the sounds change sometimes dramatically depending on where you go, live and work.

Fast forward to being home. Wheelchair noise a squeaking rubber sound on the floor, transition to the tennis ball sound of the walker scraping across the floors.

The quiet because my husband could not speak well and the tone of his voice has changed, because of the ventilator and trachea tube.

The thud was probably the worse sound because that was the sound of him hitting the floor. It happened fairly often and then no more. He always smiled when he fell like it was some secret joke.

The sounds of life now are that soft scuffing sound when he walks, the right leg doesn’t move normally there is still some paralysis it is a wonderful sound. There are many more, I listen in the morning and evening for the sound of the toothbrush…I think I have said close to 1,500 times “Honey turn it on” then next sound when he is done is the kind of ricocheting sound as the toothbrush lays in the sink still running…..another 1500 times saying “Honey turn it off”

Listening to breathing at night, placing my hand lightly on his chest to feel it moving up and down in rhythm to his snoring.

Laying in bed in the morning listening for the pantry door to be opened as he retrieves cat food for the morning feeding of our cat. Getting those couple extra minutes before I am up to go shave his face and help him in the shower.

Handing him something for the trash and then hearing the back door slam, sprinting after him to see where he is putting it! Sometimes the back of the car, the golf cart. It is ok I just remind him where the trash can is and how to open it.

Standing next to him in church as he sings the worship songs, listening to his prayers where most I cannot understand but God can!

His laughter, is different not as vibrant or loud, but now it is raspy and shallow. His words are mixed up but he sings to me and reads out loud. It is soothing.

The sound of his work outs on the other side of the wall from my office area. The thunk of the dumbbells, the heavy breathing during his pushups. The squeaking of the weight bench.

These are some of the sounds of our life and I am glad for it.

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