Monday, March 30, 2009

My Friend Ken

My running has been getting pretty consistent lately...but the past week has been weak in the running department. I spent much of the weekend at the hospital with a friend of mine named Ken. One week ago tonight, Ken suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke. The good news is that he survived and has been awake in the ICU. He is still on a respirator - they are slowly working to wean him off. The not so good news is that he cannot move his right side. The MRI showed a rather large area of bleeding on the left side of his brain. We are talking to him and he is nodding his head and even smirking at some of our dumb he seems to be doing well - considering.

Ken has a long road ahead of him. He is single and 43 years old.

The doctors say it was high blood pressure that caused the stroke. Ken has had a lot of stress in his life and not a lot of time to exercise or eat right.

It gives me pause to consider the amount of activity in my life - and I am the kind of person who tries to do it ALL. Time to slow down a bit.

When I wake up in the morning, I realize how thankful I am that I can get up and move around normally. I am thankful that I have two beautiful, healthy children and a wonderful best friend and husband. I have a home, a job and the ability to run.

I am truly blessed.

Tonight I ran 4 miles in 43:25 - and when I got hot and out of breath, I thought of Ken.....and ran faster.

Peace to you, Ken. Looking forward to seeing you at the finish line at Disney again!


ShirleyPerly said...

So sorry to hear about your friend! But I'm glad you were able to be there with him over the weekend. My dad had a stroke and was also unable to move one side (can't remember which). I remember being told, though, that it's common to lose movement on one side. Very tough to have to go through this alone and sad to hear he's so young too. I hope he'll be OK.

Petraruns said...

So sorry to hear about your friend. We do somehow seem to need these wake-up calls to remind ourselves how lucky we are. Carpe diem and best of luck for your friend - I hope things improve for him!

Runner Leana said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I am sure that he is really appreciating your friendship and support right now.

Susan said...

I am so sorry to hear about Ken. It sounds like you are both an excellent friend and someone who appreciates all she has. Bravo!

Marathon Maritza said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend and send him good wishes for a speedy recovery. My grandmother had a stroke a few years back and I know that it is a lot of work to come back from. Ken is lucky to have your support as a friend and he will push forward, I'm sure of it.

These kinds of things always bring some good with it, in a catch-22 kind of way...makes us stop and evaluate our own lives and habits, appreciate what we have just a tiny bit more. Sometimes we forget to appreciate how lucky we are. :)

MarathonChris said...

Update on Ken: He is out of ICU, off the ventilator, and recovering well. Although he suffers some language aphasia - he has started to talk. He can speak but has to focus to get the right words out.

The right side of his body (arm, leg, etc) still doesn't have feeling or motion. We are hoping he can get into physical therapy on a regular basis soon to begin his long road to recover.