Forever young… not…

“What?  He’s too young to have a stroke? What the FUCK?!?”

Ummm… just because i’ll always see him as that long-haired, deep-thinking hippie boy with the irresistible impish grin, doesn’t mean he’s too young for a stroke.  He’s 48.  And at the moment, he’s still in neuro-ICU, unable to speak, with complete right side paralysis. 

Although he and i hadn’t seen each other in decades, i stumbled upon his twin sister via facebook last January.  She’d been my best friend through 7th-8th grade (and NOT just because i had a crush on her brother), but we’d followed rather different paths and lost touch. 

After a few conversations with him, on a whim i hopped a plane out of town for a terrific weekend last summer.  One of those people in your life.  Our connection wasn’t based on the past — shit, we were 12 years old when we’d last had a conversation — but the connection was a good one.

Prognosis?  Who knows.  He’s overcome much worse during those 48 years, so my money is on him.  His twin is at his bedside.  He has an extensive network of close friends in town.  There’s nothing to be done…

As if we all need another reminder, don’t put it off.  Whatever it is.  Don’t fucking wait til next week, next month, next year. 

Get on it.

25 thoughts on “Forever young… not…

  1. wow… what a slap in the keister of life. he’s with friends and healers. hope.

    as to getting on with it? sounds like you already have a jump start with your “farting around” campaign, replete with spontaneity and action.

  2. such a reality check.

    “old” and “young” just continue to redefine themselves as the days go on.

    love and thoughts are with you all during this.

  3. Seeing as how I am a touch older than your friend, I’d like to think that he is indeed too young for a stroke.

    Sadly, I know better.

    I vividly recall taking my 11 yr old daughter to the funeral of the father of one of her friends. She insisted on going. As always I was (am) proud of her.

    I also recall mentioning to one of the local doctors that this fellow seemed pretty young to die. This man was 36 years old. Cause of death, heart attack.

    I told the doctor that shocked me that someone that age had a heart attack. The doctor told me he smoked 2 plus packs of cigarettes a day and drank at least a six pack of beer a day. Abuse your body like that and it isn’t so shocking at all.

    The bottom line is take care of your body, it’s the only one you’re gonna get.


  4. gnu – you never know what or when… assume it’ll be soon and live hard.

    savannah – thank you…

    lora – thanks. “old” really is a variable, isn’t it?

    TAG – yep. i don’t buy reincarnation, so as far as i am concerned? this is definitely it…

    ~m – he’s doing ok. sitting up last night (within 72 hours is considered good), still not talking, but laughing… which tells me prognosis is good!

    rob – clock ticks louder every year, doesn’t it?

    nursemyra – he’s a good human. strong. has overcome much, and i’m hoping this is just one more thing… that he’ll be laughing about soon.

    girl, unpinned – thank you. so far, so good…

  5. strokes suck.

    may I be so bold as to recommend a book?

    “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

    it’s a fascinating book in its’ own right, but my coworker and his wife found it invaluable after she had a series of tiny strokes.

    it’s a brain scientist’s account of her own massive stroke and recovery.

  6. Yep. We’re all walking around with time bombs inside of us. Brain injuries are the worst though (in my opinion). I mean, if you can’t think like you used to, but you can remember how you used to be able to think, life is one continuous frustration.

  7. hubby ordered an autopsy on a 32yr old very fight cop who dropped dead while out for his morning run last year. The wife mentioned something strange about mushrooms he found in the yard and ate..that was enough to send him off to the big coroner..not to mention his young age and excellent lvl of fitness. Cause: heart attack from an undiagnosed underlying heart problem. non-smoker, non-drinker.
    Hope your friend pulls through. (i remember your little run off last year for a weekend of catching up w/ and old friend)
    will be thinking and hoping for him..

  8. I am keeping your friend in my thoughts Miss DaisyFae …. right there with you.

    I know too well that 48 is not too young for a stroke.
    My oldest brother had his at the ripe old age of 44.
    I learned the hard way that life is too precious and too short. I lost my own mother when she was 36, my other brother when he was 40, and too many friends.
    Do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said, LIVE life.
    AS you said, GET ON IT!

  9. chris – seriously. people are gonna talk… just one thing. a little thing. not a bad plan, really. once a week.

    jenuine – thank you, and i will check out the book. when i was visiting, we watched a documentary on nuroscience and music, so my guess is he’s gonna love it! a good ‘get well’ gift – once he’s able to read again…

    writerdood – one never knows how he/she will process such a situation, but i suspect in my case, i’d be throwing things. a lot.

    hisqueen – tick, tick, tick… we’re all carrying around who-knows-what sorts of manufacturers defects. sad story about the cop… he’s doing better today. some fingers on the right hand moving, and he’s out of Neuro-ICU. good news, for certain.

    blazngscarlet – so sorry on the loss of your brother, and mother, at such early ages. easy to forget – for most of us – how fragile we all really are… i’m optimistic that my friend will recover. only not sure of the rate, and degree…

  10. 48 is way too young. I am still trying to figure out why I haven’t had one of those things yet. Or a heart attack like my father (he was 32). So I’m doing stuff like you suggest. And living while I am alive.

    Best wishes to your friend.

  11. It’s always shocking when somebody so young has something like this happen. I always though strokes and heart attacks were what old people had. Who knew? It’s best to enjoy each day I suppose. It’s easy to forget that. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. oh no, you just reminded me that there’s no time like the present to live! i know the kind of friend you are talking about daisyfae. that’s me and catgod frank, a friend (and brif blogger) from my old neighborhood. just some sort of a cosmic connection between us.

    i hope your friend fairs well in the coming months and years. i’ve seen people come a long way in spite of serious brain injuries. the brain is an incredible organ.

  13. Hope your friend recovers… are right ‘later’ is now ……..just do the things you want to do don’t put them off.

  14. archie – thank you. i sometimes have a sneaky feeling that i’m going to have a brain pop, and drop dead quite suddenly. one of the reasons i live my life the way i am living it at the moment… who knows what defects we carry?

    unbearable banishment – if you had a magic wand, you wouldnt be fucking around on the internet… but thank you for the offer… 🙂

    s.le – statistically, it’s gonna happen every now and then. hardest for me is that i still think of him as that gorgeous young boy, not a nearly 50-year old man… even getting quite used to seeing him as an adult over the past months. strange how that works.

    lynn – yep… sometimes there’s really solid wiring connecting two people. and it’s best not to question it, or try to figure it out. just enjoy the connection…

    seanfraser – yes…. ‘later’ is ‘now’, and can easily become ‘never’.

  15. sweetlife – the hardest part is balancing those pesky ‘obligations’ against that long list of ‘wants’…. good luck, and go get ’em!

    syncopated eyeball – yesterday was a bad day. hoping today is better. it’s going to be a long recovery….

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