March 27, 2005

I Am Michael Shiavo

Life is weird. This post will be emotional, short and will lack editing. I hope nobody is offended.

Saturday afternoon, my lovely bride of almost 22 years suffered a large stroke. She was fine all morning. At 1:00 we were preparing to leave to see our nephew play drums in the Blue Knights. She said "I don't think I better go, I am not feeling well. Her next sentence slurred and she fell over shortly after. She went to the new Lafayette hospital in an ambulance, and was taken by helicopter to a larger hospital in Boulder.

At 5:30, she had three hours of surgery to fix, as best as they can, a large hemorrhage inside the brain. Saturday, I held little hope for her to survive but Sunday all signs have been very hopeful. She recognized me, held my hand and has been stable all day.

We discuss politics all the time and agree most of the time. I had never seen her so interested in a news story or political issue as she was the Schiavo case. She read all the dispositions and followed all the commentary. She sided staunchly with Michael. I basically agreed but would offer that the other side has pure motives. This would engender one of those spousal-fire looks. She thought the husband should choose and she thought -- in spite of all the conflicts -- that he was making the right choice.

I had a very good talk with her neurosurgeon about her beliefs and I think he read me loud and clear.

Her performance today tells me that there is not a decision in my near future. She is "in there." I quizzed the nurse this morning, and although she is hooked up to every machine in the whole hospital, she is "driving the train," able to respirate and regulate her heartbeat without aid (again, even though she is hooked up).

But I know her wishes and I see her discomfort. One nurse thinks I watch too much TV and that this is not that case at all. And yes, I see the differences but it is hard to watch her endure discomfort after a week of very very clear wishes.

UPDATE: Family, friends, I will offer updates on her health (sans politics) on her blog, tat ergo sum, which I will hijack for her recovery. And holy cow, please accept a blanket thanks for all the kindness and compassion shown to me. It is truly overwhelming.

Posted by John Kranz at March 27, 2005 10:19 PM

My prayers for a speedy recovery. She sounds like a strong-minded woman, and that should really help her.

Posted by: Attila at March 28, 2005 6:03 AM

Thanks. She is doing pretty well Monday morning. She has some color back and some large motor skills on her right (bad) side.

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2005 11:21 AM


Your strength and perspective are inspirational. We are very heartened by the positive post-op indications.

We also appreciate your taking the time to keep us informed of developments here in blogland.

Best possible wishes to both of you from Jodi and I. We'll be in touch.

Posted by: johngalt at March 28, 2005 3:35 PM

Thanks for the kind words. A very good day today and a GIANT step away from Schiavo-land. She is doing well and settling in to the groove.

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2005 7:54 PM

We will pray for you and your family.

If there's one good thing to come out of the Schiavo case, it's frank family discussions of what do to do "if"...

Posted by: AlexC at March 28, 2005 8:19 PM

Thanks, Alex. Things are going pretty well.

Posted by: jk at March 29, 2005 11:02 AM | What do you think? [6]