My column title last week, When you hit a brick wall
in life, couldnt cover all the unfolding events and
emotions one experiences after a life-changing event no one could
The CT brain scans my wife, Kay, underwent at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital showed that before she suffered
a stroke April 14 in New Glarus, Wisconsin, other earlier stokes
had occurred, but small in comparison and often called transient
I had noticed some quirks in behavior, such as her freezing
up when playing the piano during chapel one recent Sunday at
Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center. Another time, she forgot
where she was, but chalked it up to the aging process.
Now, I realize one should seek a doctors advice if
these unusual episodes occur.
Last week, Kay was transferred from the Madison hospital
neuroscience stroke unit to Marianjoy Hospital in Wheaton, an
acute stroke care facility where she is undergoing evaluation
and intense therapy.
When I say intense, I mean six sessions a day working on
speech, memory, mobility, eating and swallowing, occupational,
psychological and physical therapy. Two doctors in and out, along
with many other staff members checking on her multiple times
a day. She now has a heart-monitoring device to signal any unusual
I am exhausted just following her from floor to floor in
Kay shown in the chapel at Maranjoy Hospital where
she and husband Barry spend some quiet time each day (Barry Schrader
Kay enjoying a plant in her hospital room at Marianjoy.