On January 21, 2015, I emailed my editor at Kensington my final revisions on HELL ON HEELS, the first book in a smart and sexy Las Vegas set series called HOTEL RODEO (more about this series later). In my story the heroine’s life is turned upside down when her father suffers a debilitating stroke. Having worked in advanced diagnostic medical imaging for sixteen years (CT and MRI), I thought I understood a great deal about this subject. I knew all about the various diagnostic tests, and had a solid understanding of the stroke timetables and treatment options. I could also comprehend the clinical jargon and interpret most of the doctor-speak, but I had no personal experience with stroke. I had no idea how devastating this condition is for both the patient and family. In writing this story, I never could have imagined this same thing happening in my own life.
It was eight o’clock on a Friday night when my husband got a call that his Dad was in intensive care after suffering a severe stroke. Within thirty minutes of receiving the news, our entire family including the dog, was packed up and on the road south to Florida. It’s a sad irony that, like my heroine, I have not been home since.
Since that horrific phone call six weeks ago, and four more ‘neurolgical events’, I have learned that I knew absolutely nothing about the realities of stroke. During this time I have witnessed first hand, the devastation this condition has wrought on an otherwise healthy and completely independent man, and it’s been heartbreaking. It’s also been an emotionally draining roller coaster ride for all of us as his only family. I sincerely thank all who have offered your kind and encouraging words and prayers during this difficult time.
We are fortunate to have the benefit of top notch rehabilitation specialists, people who have not just the clinical knowledge but true compassion and sensitivity. We have a long way to go on the path to recovery, but I am amazed by both the human body’s incredible capability to heal itself as well as this man’s indomitable spirit as he endeavors to teach his body parts how to function again.
I pray that time and hard work will eventually bring healing and that soon he’ll be able to reclaim his life. In the meantime, we can only take each day as it comes and hope for the best.