At 6’5”, Gene Sulkowski of Maryland is definitely the man of his house, but after a stroke nearly cost him his life, his 5’2” wife Margie had to take care of him. She had to fight the insurance company to keep him in the hospital because his medical situation was so dire. In addition to a bleeding stroke, Gene had blood poisoning and diabetes. Instead of putting him in a nursing home, Margie brought him home where she has instituted a regimen of tough love.
A Change of Plans
Caregiver Nancy Clarke writes about her husband’s stroke two weeks before their daughter’s wedding. She also talks movingly about their lives in the three years since. “Three years have passed since Clif’s stroke. With the help of physical, occupational and speech therapy, plus participation in an aphasia support group and a lively conversation group, he has continued to make small steps forward. He still struggles to speak, though. There are good days and bad days, but sometimes he amazes me. A while ago, as we sat side-by-side on the love seat in our living room, I confided the stress I felt handling our family finances – once his job. He turned to me, put his hand over mine and said in a voice as clear as a church bell, “I can help.” And he has in many ways.”
This content was last reviewed on 07/31/2013.