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Care Partner of the Month
page 2

Madline Brown
Houston, TX


The hospital admittance through emergency was handled by a young lady whom I had not seen since she was very little girl and did not recognize her. She remembered me and immediately said, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Brown, I’ll handle everything for you”. Those words will never leave me because I truly believe God spoke through her to let me know he was beside us and had not forsaken us. We would be alright. Tubes were connected to Larry and two doctors from the neurology department determined a stroke had occurred. Then began a series of CAT scans, chest X-rays, Doppler’s, electrocardiogram and blood work. He was stable but had lost the use of his left side. His memory was good.

At this point the reality of it all hit me and I realized our life would not be the same for a while, if ever. Fear set in because the unknown takes time to learn and I didn’t have time. Days, weeks and a month of therapy went by. I was in every session learning what to do when Larry came home. Juggling those hours with returning home to launder his therapy clothes, cooking for my mom (whom I had not had time to take back home) allowed no time to focus on a long term plan. Each day brought what seemed like new challenges with no real guidance on what steps to take next. I had always kept a medical file on each family member but the file on Larry with my constant note-taking on what was happening with him and what each doctor was saying began to be overwhelming. Yet my faith, hope and prayers kept me moving in the right direction.

My husband learned to make jokes about some of his limitations and that was truly encouraging. I came to realize that change was inevitable and the adjustment to the demands of being a care partner were here to stay. I learned to take the disappointments of not being able to bring our dream of opening our own antique shop after retirement to fruition. It would not happen, so “get over it” and move on. Decisions made together weren’t going to happen so I had to make them and pray they were the right ones. I wanted very much the old Larry who seemed to be able to make anything and everything happen with no effort. God had placed a comma in his life, not a period and once I “got” it, mountains became climbable.
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