The week from hell…but it could have been worse…a lot worse…

This post will explain why I haven’t posted a word on the blog for many days, why I have “disappeared” from Facebook and why I haven’t answered any blog reader queries since Sunday, April 27, which is when Stefano and I returned to Cape Cod from New York City.

By the way, we had a total BLAST in New York…an incredible amazing fabulous fun interesting time…and let me add that a very big part of our marvelous NYC experience was the time we spent with my blog reader John, his wife and their two super-adorable pugs…thankyouthankyouthankyou, you two (I will be sending you a package soon!)!!!!!

But I’m not going to talk about New York right now…I will write a separate post about it at some point…

No, today’s topic is the week from hell (mentioned in this post’s title) = the week after we got back from New York…

Where do I start? Well, my father taught me it’s always good to start at the beginning, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Let’s see. As I mentioned, Stefano and I got back to my parents’ house on Sunday, April 27, in the late afternoon. Everything was fine.

Then, on Monday night, my father mentioned he’d had a bit of weakness in his legs while he was going up the stairs to go to bed. We thought nothing of it. He’s very tall and has had a few “balance” problems for years. We just thought he was tired. After all, he’s 86 and a half years old…

The following day (April 29), right after lunch, I heard a strange banging noise coming from the half bathroom on the ground floor. I knew my father was inside, so I asked if he was okay. He answered that he had somehow slipped to the floor and couldn’t get up. I tried to open the door, but he was leaning against it. Now, this is a very small bathroom and, as I mentioned, my Dad is a big guy, so I called Stefano and finally, after getting my Dad to move slightly away from the door, the two of us managed to get inside. My Dad was exhausted and sweaty from the effort of sliding away from the bathroom door. And, since he couldn’t stand on his own, we essentially picked him up and took him into the dining room.

Mom called an ambulance, even though Dad tried to reassure us that he was fine and didn’t want to go to the hospital, and in fact he looked fine and was speaking normally. But we knew that what had happened in the bathroom wasn’t normal and wanted to have him checked out.

After getting to Cape Cod Hospital, Dad had a bunch of tests done, including a CT scan. We were told that nothing out of the ordinary had showed up but that he was being admitted to the hospital on “observation” status for the night.

The following morning (this would have been Wednesday), Dad had an MRI that showed he’d had a mild stroke (more than a TIA, but not a massive stroke). We were not informed about the stroke, however, until late afternoon, when Dad’s hospital doctor finally came to speak with us.

We were stunned. Absolutely stunned.

And this brings me to WHY I’ve given so many details about what happened. Until now, I had been under the impression that strokes are always accompanied by slurred speech and drooling and paralysis. Well, that is not the case. There are different types of strokes, and different levels of severity.

Dad’s stroke was caused by a blood vessel popping and bleeding in the right side of his brain, which controls the left side of his body..I believe this is called a hemorrhagic stroke. As far as I can tell, and from what we’ve been told, his main post-stroke symptom is a bit of weakness on the left side of his body (weakness, not paralysis, thank goodness), so he should be able to recuperate 100%…or thereabouts.

After a four-day hospital stay, Dad was transferred to a rehabilitation center, where he will remain for about two weeks. He’s doing amazingly well, I think. And I have to say that I’m really impressed with the level of care he’s been receiving, both at the hospital and now at the rehab center.

Well, I was supposed to go back home to Italy with Stefano on Saturday, May 3. But I couldn’t leave, of course. I’ll be staying here until my father comes home…and until I’m sure that my parents will be okay by themselves.

Needless to say, from now on we will be paying plenty of attention to any signs of weakness in our limbs…all possible signs of a stroke…

And that is the main reason why I’ve written this post…this information could possibly be of use to others, too.

Always pay attention…


  1. Sorry to hear about your week from hell. Glad your father is okay and hope he continues to improve. We missed you!

  2. Sending prayers for a speedy recovery for your dad. Timing is everything, if it had to happen, you were home with them and that is a blessing that should be counted.
    You don’t know me, but I feel as though I know you. Thank you for taking the time to post so much information.

  3. Hi Margaret:
    I am glad that your father is doing much better, and is receiving care at present.
    I too, have an older father, who also happens to be my best friend.

    While I can appreciate that he is still here, I know that in time, this might not be the
    case, and for those of us who still have parents alive, we need to appreciate them, and
    be grateful that they are still alive.

    However, for some of my friends who either lost parents recently, or have
    lost them in the past, it is important to remember that we cherish the memories, and
    try our best to continue our lives.
    Your father is lucky to have you Margaret, and I hope that he will make a speedy recovery.


  4. So sorry to hear about your dad, just glad you were there and able to spend time with your parents when it was most needed. Hope he has a quick recovery.

  5. Good Morning Margaret,
    I enjoy reading your blog when I find the time. Thank you for all your time and personal knowledge. I to have MM and am very active in my research and live style, I also am a Paramedic and RN and I work in a stroke hospital and I just want you to be aware the TIA or non dibilitating strokes are a precourser for more to come. Keep your father on a whole plant based diet and I’m sure that they have him on blood thinners. The daily walks/exercise are VERY important!!! Make sure you address any abnormal sign or symptom that seem “meaningless”. Stay strong and stay educated! My best wishes for all of you!
    Toni Ray

  6. Sending energy and goodwill, not prayers, via cyberspace. My Sunday was spent saying final goodbyes to the third of the four “Corken boys” to leave this world, my 83 year old uncle. Very nostalgic day in Nodaway County MO, at the Ohio Cemetery where both my parents and several generations of grandparents are buried, and in the small towns where they lived. Time together is most precious.

  7. Mamma mia! Spero che tuo padre si sia ripreso., fagli tanti auguri da parte nostra…..Non sapevo tu fossi negli USA, take care!

  8. Hope you Dad is recovering well.

    I have an inquiry about his “observation ” statis in the hospital. I had heard when admitted with that statis Medicare would not pay for it. Just wondering if that was true or not. Also wanted to tell you that I was so released that you Stefen got back from the airplane insolent. Wow. What times you’ve had lately. Here’s to a nice peaceful safe summe.

  9. Wow! Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your Dad. Hope your Mom is doing well under the circumstances. You’re a good daughter! Please keep us posted on how they are doing. We don’t know them personally, but we care about them because we care about you! Take care of you too!

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