Yesterday I was trying to hold my water glass with my affected arm at dinner time.
Maybe it was a slip of concentration. Maybe there was a bit of water on the outside of the glass, making it slippery. Maybe it just was one of those things that could have happened to anyone.
As my hand was inching up to my mouth, the glass slipped onto the table with a loud bang. There was also the noise of splashing water everywhere--the table, my plate, the floor.
"ARE YOU OK?" asked my husband loudly, with panic in his voice.
"I'm fine," I said, "I'm fine. It just slipped."
My husband has always had a strong startle reflex, but he reacted as if a bomb went off. He started rushing around--getting a dish cloth, barking orders to the kids, mopping up the spilled water as if his life depended on it. The kids were amused at the commotion.
We didn't talk to the kids about the reasons why their dad reacted so strongly to the glass slipping through my hand. We didn't even talk about it between two of us, this time, because we both knew what he had been thinking: that I was having a seizure, or worse.
My husband has been heroic through these years of the stroke, seizure, and recovery. But like most heroes, he has scars, and heightened reflexes.
3 days ago