This site has seen my family through many good times and bad in the past. It’s time to dust it off and re-purpose it a bit.
This is that old comfortable pair of blue jeans you put on when you’ve got some work to do.
And we’ve got some work to do.
So, right now, I’m sitting on my couch, watching the exact same show I watched the first night when Peyton was diagnosed. I just needed to hear the theme song really. It’s kind of funny that the same episode is on….”Enterprise: The Expanse”. I really should be writing checks to bills that are piling up already and starting to organize my life and figuring out my wife’s “unique” filing system.
On Tuesday, Anissa suffered a massive stroke. Then had another one sometime after the first MRI.
I was speechless and in some form of shock (still am) when the ER doctor told me this. How could this be? I was chatting with her not an hour ago. We had both just agreed to give up our Christmas presents so we could stay in a nicer hotel over Thanksgiving while taking care of Anissa’s mom. We were hoping we could finally give the kids our full attention for the first time in forever. I was going to look up an old friend who has some pull at Riddle and see about getting a tour of the flight line for them. Nathaniel’s at that age, and the girls would think it’s cool too. We were going to grab a bite under the Port Orange bridge in the salty air, maybe even hit the Ocean Deck.
And now there she was with tubes in her mouth and unconscious?
What we know is that she called me around 1:20 pm and said, “Somethings wrong with me. I’m at a restaurant and just collapsed. They are calling an ambulance.” Then she hung up and didn’t respond to any calls. Those were the last words I heard her say.
Since then it’s been one head doctor after another, some picture taking, grim looks, and waiting. Lots and lots of waiting.
News of the second stroke was definitely not encouraging. The first ER doctor said something about 20% survival rate, and he pretty much expected her to go anytime soon. (Understand that’s what I heard/interpretted…in shock…may not be exactly what he said). The neurologist just kinda looked at it and mumbled some words that didn’t sound encouraging. She bled into the PONS area of the brain. Haven’t had the chance to google that, so I set some friends on it to filter for me…not good news…but playing Dr. Google rarely gives good news.
I really just keep feeling like I’m in a bad dream. Do these people not realize who they are dealing with? This is Anissa Mayhew. The strongest, most amazing woman I’ve ever met. She’s thirtyfreakinfive and can move mountains with her smile. She can beat this.
There was some hand squeezing the first evening. Baby step, but encouraging.
Then came the news of the second bleed.
That’s when I decided to bring the kids up. If she was going to go, I wanted them to have a chance to see her. I wanted them to give her a fighting chance and for her to hear and remember in some remote part of that brain exactly who and what she was fighting for.
So, the director of the hospital agreed to let the kids in. They donned masks and trudged up to her room. They knew mom was bad and that she hadn’t opened her eyes and had tubes keeping her alive. They talked a little bit, were afraid a little bit, and sad too. But God bless my kids. They are all too familiar with hospital trips. 2 of them have been visiting hospitals for more than half of their lives. They told her how much they loved her. They are strong. They get that from their mom.
About twenty minutes after they left, Anissa started fighting. A little at first. But, it’s always darkest before the light.
She started showing signs that she’s in there. There was more movement on her left side. Somewhat coordinated turning of the head and reaching with her arm to get the tube out of her mouth. She opened her eyes briefly. Thursday, she opened her eyes a fair amount. There’s no recognition in there yet. But I believe that will come. She’s turned her head to acknowledge a different voice. All of this wears her out quickly, but she’s fighting. That’s encouraging in itself.
Someone is with her around the clock. The cavalry came up when they first heard the news. I have gotten MANY questions of how can I help and what do I need. I hear you all, and appreciate every single offer. Please understand though, this is a marathon, not a sprint. IF she comes out of this, it will be a long road to recovery. Each of you will be able to help over the course of time. I’ll make sure of it. Right now, my kids need consistancy and people they know and trust. That’s addressed. Anissa and I need the experience of someone who’s been there and done that with regard to the brain. That’s also addressed. Lastly, she needs to hear familiar voices. Check. People are coming out of the woodwork to offer to help, and it is very much appreciated, but please understand that it may not be now that we need your help. We’re covered through this week and next I think. The Tampa Badge Bowl gang has graciously agreed to take care of Thanksgiving dinner. My job has been absolutely AMAZING on this. We definitely are surrounded by love. He’s made sure of that. I’m going to set up a controlled scheduling site so that people can sign up to help with things.
At this point, mostly what we need is prayer. To my knowledge, I know of prayer chains in Europe, Africa, and North America. Several small towns are praying. Friends old and new, and complete strangers are praying. That’s exactly what we need now. Pray for her to make it through one more night with no more bleeding. Pray for the blood in her head to recede. Pray for her to come out of this.
Please pray for our family. `
I’m going to need to lean on you all. I’m not as strong as she is.