Friday was a strange day. I was working my first clinical rotation shift at a new hospital in a Neuro Telemetry Unit. We haven't really been exposed to Neuro patients yet; that's to come later in this last semester, so there was a lot that was unfamiliar to me. Unfamiliar meds, different assessment techniques, new terminology. This is a floor specialized for all kinds of neurological problems, but especially for stroke patients, who come from all over to receive life-saving treatment and rehabilitation here in this Stroke Certified hospital.
The thing about a stroke is that it happens all at once. A clot in a blood vessel to the brain, cutting off oxygen to tissues. Or, a blood vessel that bursts depriving the brain cells of oxygenated blood and at the same time bleeding out and putting pressure on the brain, which doesn't have much room to give. The symptoms are noted for their suddenness: one-sided numbness or tingling; an instant and intense headache; blurry or double vision; trouble walking. A victim of a stroke has a very limited window of time to recognize the symptoms for what they are and get to the hospital for medical treatment.
The other thing about a stroke is that even though it happens all at once, it has been insidiously developing over time, unnoticed. You can have a genetic predisposition to factors that increase the likelihood that you'll develop a stroke. And, you can make lifestyle choices that steer you right in a stroke's direction.
I knew that day that Adam had an interview. He had applied for a position as manager of an apartment complex just a few miles away from our house. He's been wanting his own place, needing his own space for quite some time, but financially it had been an impossibility. He received some inside information about this job which would give him a free apartment with utilities paid. I knew what it meant, but I encouraged him to apply. We had reached a stage where we no longer talk in ifs, but in whens. This seemed like the right move to make.
I texted him from the hospital that morning: "Good luck at your meeting, I guess. Kinda weird, but I know it's for the best. Let me know how it goes. Love you." Strange.
A few hours later, he texted back, "I'll be out by the end of the month."
So sudden. And not.
So I'm filled with all sorts of feelings. I'm in my last semester of the RN program. An ending and a beginning just out there on the horizon.
My husband is moving out. The beginning of an ending.
My 30s are coming to an end. But I have to have hope that there is a new beginning waiting for me that hopefully will challenge all of the negative, demeaning, false beliefs that I've come to accept about myself over the last two decades of my life. Yes, they've definitely got to go. I can think of all kinds of positive, strong, worthy beliefs that I want to be part of my soul. But there's got to be room for them to set up camp. Making room can be so painful.
2013 will be a year of endings. And bright beginnings.