....If I don't start write this down I'll forget about it and then someday wonder if any of it really happened or if I'm just making shit up because the children have grown and flown and I'm all alone making collages of kittens from old calendars....
The Sunday before Thanksgiving of this year was a normal one, it was to have been Matt's weekend with the children but he had planned to work extra so he could take the kids to see his parents in Provo so I took the kids. It was a hectic couple of days but as Sunday approached all was evening out, laundry was being done, grocery lists compiled. The usual, except for the fact that Matt wasn't bothering to return my calls, a fact I found mildly irritating at first but I chalked it up to him blowing me off and I thought I could get pissed about it later over a glass of red wine and a bubble bath. At about 3:30 in the afternoon he finally did call, as I answered I was prepared to be slightly aloof to him until I heard that it wasn't his voice on the other line but that of his best friend, Craig. "Heather. Matt's in the ER. He's had a stroke. It's bad. You need to come." As with another time when speaking with somebody from the ER my breath caught, my stomach dropped and silence plugged my ears with a screaming WHAT THE FUCK???
From the ER Matt was transported to a hospital about 90 miles away where he could be in a neural ICU to discover just why exactly a perfectly healthy 39 year-old male randomly has a stroke. The first couple of days Loren and I spent our waking hours in ICU before he had to return to school. Then Devon and Cassidy came to spend two days with their dad after he had been sent from ICU to neuro-acute care for further tests upon test. After a week the doctors were still flummoxed but zeroing on Matt's kidneys as the culprits. I had to leave at the end of the week to return to work and a few days later a friend brought Matt home. The diagnosis: fibromuscular displasia. Turns out Matt's left kidney only gets about 40% of the blood it needs because his arteries leading to the kidney are a train wreck -either thickened, strung out or dead ending. This pisses off his blood thirsty kidney, it then releases a hormone that spikes his blood pressure, not usually too much of an issue unless you have the same condition in your carotid arteries and the increased BP rips through the vertebral artery, causes a bleed and then invites a stroke over for dinner. Yup. All in all a good answer to how a healthy young male starts flopping around on the floor with a stroke.
And so now? Now life is is different than before in ways I haven't the energy to write about quite yet. I will, so at least I'll be able to remember it all one day when perhaps this is sorted out and understood. But right now there appointments, CT scans, MRI's, a soon to be transfer to a teaching hospital in Denver where maybe the other four patients in Colorado's population who have the same disease will be. Hopefully the doctors there won't just scratch their heads, shrug their shoulders and say: "Sorry, nothing more we can do for you here. Good luck keeping that blood pressure down because that vertebral artery of yours doesn't have much left in her!"