Facing Fear

Yesterday I received an email that it was finally possible to visit my friend who had a stroke a few weeks ago. I had every intention of going to see her yesterday afternoon but I chickened out. While she has stabilized, I knew that she was still in the ICU and that they’d done a tracheostomy to assist her breathing and  a PEG so that she’d get enough nutrition. I really did not want to see my friend like this.

At the same time, I knew that if I kept procrastinating, that it was likely I’d never go see her, that my fear would grow each day I delayed.

The last time I saw her (before today), we drove in my convertible to Starbucks. We could have walked, but we wanted to drive with the roof down. We chatted for hours over coffee.  She was so vibrant.

Today was different. They moved her yesterday to a long term care facility. It was nicer than I expected. It also did not smell nearly as bad as I’d feared. She was awake when I arrived. I have no idea whether she knows me anymore. I chatted with her husband for awhile. He was shocked by how many people had already come by. He said “I knew she was a good administrator, but I really had no idea…” I think we all love his wife.

Apparently she has some control over her left side. She seemed to understand some of what we were talking about. But apparently the long term prognosis is uncertain. Will she talk again? Walk again? Be able to leave the hospital? Let alone, use her magnificent brain to solve problems again? All unknowns.

I hate situations over which I have no control, that I can’t fix.  It made me so very sad to see her like that. I am crying still. Her husband is a very nice man. For that I am grateful. I dread going back but I know that I will. I really hope she pulls through.