Last Saturday I made plans to meet with a friend I've had since I was in middle school, part of my NC "family" of friends I've had for most of my life. And when he stood me up I didn't think too much about it because he's a busy guy working in the Oil and Gas industry here in Texas (in other words, Cha-Ching!!!). So by last Thursday, I started to get concerned because I still hadn't heard from him and because he had invited my daughter and I to visit his church today and wee needed to confirm a few details. But instead of picking out something to wear for church today last night, I was in his hospital room watching him rest in a drug-induced coma following a hemorrhagic stroke he suffered on the day we were to meet last weekend. Damn. Just damn.
My childhood friend had battled morbid obesity since his early 20's, but had lost over 150 pounds in the past 5 years through a combination of diet and exercise. But it wasn't enough to prevent him from having a stroke. But what REALLY pisses me off is that he hadn't been taking his blood pressure meds the way he was supposed to or getting enough rest (Black men and those meds!!!!). More importantly, his girlfriend had noticed stroke symptoms in him for over a year and never said a damn word to him about it (and you had to be there to see the MAJOR hairy eyeballs I was giving her last night). Yes, ok, I get it, she isn't in the medical profession and doesn't have a college degree, but how much education do you need to know that something is seriously wrong with a person when they complain of bad headaches or tell you that they feel like their face is drooping??? But I bet she could tell me EVERYTHING I needed to know about that thousand dollar weave she was wearing. URGH!!!!
Anyway, I'm not sure what the prognosis is because I haven't been around when the Docs were there. And what his mother and son have told me is pretty vague. But I also know that when it comes to major brain injuries things are vague though I'm concerned that 8 days after his stroke, his blood pressure still isn't very stable and he hasn't regained consciousness.
Of course the underlying theme in all this for me personally is that I have a little extra motivation to stay the course, though things are as difficult now as they have ever been. So when I think on why things are as difficult now as they have ever been, I'm reminded that I'm developing the"backbone" I'm going to need to make though a combined MD/PhD program. And when I think about my long time friend with the unknown future, I'm reminded that as long as I'm physically able to pursue the MD/PhD, I need to do EXACTLY that. TODAY!