It seems that there are so many things to count. I do not recall counting as much prior to my husband having his stroke. Now counting is not tedious or boring and sometimes I do not even realize I am doing it and other times it is very important as least in my mind.
I do remember sitting in the corner of the ICU room counting the number of times the machine went up and down that was breathing for my husband. The Swoosh sound it made when it was doing its magical thing. Of course, there was the number of beeps for each bag of medicine they emptied and signaled the nurse to come and change it.
The sound of the bed as the air changed to help keep him from getting bed sores. The sound of the blood pressure machine as it pumped up and released. The number of days sleeping in the room with him. The number of showers not taken (by me). The number of hours I stood in the corner of the room working where I could watch all the machines.
So many trips down the hall to the Heart Cath waiting room where I found a coffee machine that was on 24/7.
Moving on it was the number of days before he awakened the first time (12), the number of days in ICU (29) the number of days before I heard his voice again…56. There were so many more he went 40 days without a shower.
In rehab it was the number of steps he could take, how many sounds could he make during speech therapy, how many times he would pull his trachea tube out, how many times he fell out of bed. The number of times I played the same Bob Dylan song for him, filling out his menu selections daily for 14 days.
The number of prayers and times thanking god countless.
Right now, I am on day 38 of him forgetting what the eye glass holder next to his bed is for, every night I watch him pick it up, study stick his fingers in the opening. I know eventually he will ask me what it is for and I try and say the exact same thing because this is what will help him make the connection. He often asks why it is empty. I explain. One day he will remember, and I will count something else.
Some of the other numbers, are 1520 times I have shaved his face, 36, specialist’s appointments.
The most important thing is 1360 days since the stroke waking up next to him.