Why I've been 'absent' since Mid-October... LONG
Some of you may remember that I had a trip to Europe scheduled for mid-October. Four days in Barcelona, two days in Avignon, and four days in ParisÂfly home from Paris. I was traveling with my good friend, Paige, who has four kids, two with FriedereichÂs Ataxia.
The trip started off fineÂdespite a minor airport delay that had us worried we would miss our connection in Newark to Barcelona. We made our international flight, and arrived at about 10:00 AM Barcelona time. It was a beautiful dayÂwe took the train into the city, and then switched to the metro and found our hotel. Checked in, and then went and did a little sight-seeing. Managed to keep ourselves awake until 10:00 PM local time, and then went to bed. The next day started off promisingÂwe were having a wonderful timeÂuntil lunch when I pulled out my cellphone to check the time. That was when we got "The Message." DH had texted my phoneÂ"Paige needs to call home." Well, that didnÂt sound good. Paige called homeÂno answer. Paige tried her husband at workÂno answer. Paige tried her husbandÂs cell phoneÂno answer. We called MY husbandÂand he told us that PaigeÂs 21 year-old son was in the hospital. HeÂd had a stroke. That was the end of our vacationÂand the beginning of our saga home. Luckily, because of the 6 hour time difference, our travel agency was able to get us on the first flight out of Barcelona the next morning. Paige finally got hold of her husbandÂ(his cell phone had died and he didn't know it--DH tracked him down at the hospital and had him call my cell phone) and let him know we were coming home as fast as we couldÂand that was that. We were home by 7:30 PM US time the next day.
Since then, IÂve been acting as a support system for Paige and her familyÂwhich is why IÂve not had time (or energy) to "visit."
Thomas has had to leave college and probably wonÂt be going back. His intellect is intact, but he has some aphasia, his speech is compromised, and his vision is compromised. We are hoping all will improve, but itÂs unlikely that heÂll be able to return to school. He was 1.5 semesters from graduatingÂthe whole thing is just heart-breaking. He's home from the hospital now--the family gets 35 hours of custodial care, but Thomas can't be left alone. His parents are taking it in shifts. Thomas is slowly regaining his speech--I hope he'll regain more muscle control and all of his eyesight. He was an art major in college...the visual loss has been devastating for him.
Why am I sharing all this? Well, for one, I didnÂt want you to think IÂd just abandoned yÂall. For another, I may need some "internet help." There are folks on this board with expertise IÂd like to tap intoÂto help this family make their home "work" now that they are in it ALL the time. Are yÂall up for it?