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And just like that, our world changed.

2004-11-02 - 11:08 p.m.

The phone rang and something about his stillness alerted me. I couldnít get him to look at me and suddenly I found myself pounding up the stairs to shed my pyjamas and jam my feet back into my jeans. I didnít even know what was wrong yet, but I had a feeling.

Jís mother had a stroke last night. It was just over 24 hours ago and it feels like a lifetime. In a way, it is. Our world has changed. We went from a whole, healthy family to one with a member gravely ill. None of us went to work today. Jís sister and her husband and baby daughter were rushing into emergency four and a half hours after the call went out to summon them. The drive from where they live is normally longer than that and this time that span included all the packing.

J and I beat the ambulance to the hospital. We were there until very, very late.

Weíve been told that the first 24 hours are the most critical. Those 24 hours have passed. Slowly. The worst now is the waiting, the not-knowing. Tests have told us frustratingly little so far and the doctors donít know yet what the ultimate outcome will be or when sheíll truly be out of the woods. The next couple of weeks will take forever and we may not know much more then than we do now.

The facts as we understand them right now are: this type of stroke involves rupturing of blood vessels in the brain, resulting in bleeding (as opposed to the kind that everyone knows about, where a blood vessel gets blocked in the brain); she is responsive to some degree, though itís being impaired by the drugs theyíve given her so itís not easy to gauge; there are signs of some paralysis on her left side Ė how much this can be overcome wonít be determined for some time yet.

Please send some good thoughts our way.

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