It happened one Valentine’ s…

17 Feb

Her name is Lucy, and she seems like a normal, sweet lady.

Her messed up hair is struggling the sad battle between age and her blond “Garnier”  hair color type.  She looks around the room tired, sad, hungry; but she asks only for smile, a comforting pat on the shoulder, a little bit of compassion.

She has not slept in 24 hours, has been sitting at the ER for over fourteen, and her life stopped 7 years ago.

Her husband, which I will call him Paul, was a brilliant insurance broker. Seven years ago his life changed dramatically after collapsing during a meeting, then he began to loose his speech, his motor skills, movement, and mind.

The diagnose: PSP.

No, it is not a Québécois political party. Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare degenerative disease of the brain. The disease impairs movements and balance. Many people with PSP also experience changes in mood, behavior, and personality. A decline in cognitive mental processes, such as thinking, memory, attention, and speech, is not uncommon. When these mental changes are severe enough to interfere with everyday activities, they are called dementia.

Paul uncontrollably pulled out his feeding tube, hence their visit to the ER in such a romantic day. He feels for his wife, but he can’t cry anyomre. PSP patients can not even blink.

For the past seven years, Lucy has a few hours of her life devoted to “her”. She does groceries, pays bills, and maybe dreams of playing bridge with her friends over coffee and canolli.

After spending over a full day at the ER she is finally home. But the price to pay was high, $150CAN to be exact.  That is how much the driver from the transportation “courtesy service of the hospital” charged arguing her home in St Léonard is just “too far away from hospital grounds”.


However Lucy is a fighter and her tone of voice was sweet and forgiving when she was telling the story to my “beloved one” over the phone. It was a lovely chat between two old friends who actually had just met 24 hours ago waiting in a cold ER surrounded by wounded, sadness, hope, and a few heart shaped balloons that read “Be my Valentine”, stuck in a corner.

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