I remember Eli asking if I wanted to see friends. I describe myself as an introverted extrovert. I love alone time to rejuvenate, but love people even more! He went through a list of people (I don’t really remember who) but when he landed on Candice and Ron I knew I wanted to see them. I knew my sweet friend Candice would put a smile on my face! When they arrived we talked about different memories.
This wasn’t public knowledge at the time, but I had a stroke at some point in my coma.
We are not sure when because I was too sick to transfer for imagining and strokes can happen with both ECMO and AFE. Everyone was hoping reliving memories would improve my cognition and memories. We talked about our doubles date nights, bird training, and our time carpooling to work together. All of these brought a smile to my face. Candice then noticed, I kept winking at her. I believe I had an infection in my right eye (I just remember them continuing to put medicine in it) so she wasn’t sure if I was in pain or something else. When she got closer, she noticed I had hair in my eye. “Thank you!!!” I thought. “What a relief!”
I can’t remember which day this occurred, but I remember one of the nurses coming in talking about what a beautiful baby I had. I guess she then noticed, because of the ventilator, I couldn’t see the pictures that decorated the window to my left. She brought them closer for me to see. She was so adorable. Looking back she looked so peaceful and content with a sweet little smile on her face.
No visible signs of the trauma she just endured. Just miraculous!
She and Eli then decided to rearrange the pictures so I could see them better! They made me so happy but also confused.There was a picture of Eli, Claire, and I in front of Notre Dame. I remember looking at that picture so confused! I recognized all three of us, but could not remember the name of the building or where it was. “Think Cathy. You’ve obviously been there because that is you with your family. Think!” I would tell myself before I grew tired and needed to rest again. It would take several more weeks before I would remember.