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2006. Good riddance.

It’s been a light blogging time for me for the past week or so. I wish I could say this was a consequence of taking some time off at the end of a busy year – actually, it’s been the consequence of a scary health situation my wife faced on Christmas day and immediately after.

Rachel had a small stroke which affected her vision. It took quite a while to figure out what was going on – it took an MRI before doctors understood that the problem was in her brain, not in her eyes. After two days at the (excellent, helpful, well-staffed and extraordinarily friendly) hospital, she was allowed to recouperate at home. And we had our traditional New Years’ party with dozens of friends arriving from around the world, though it was decidedly lower-key than in some years past.

Rachel and I are now working on getting back to life as usual, with some complications – she can’t drive, which is a major difficulty in our rural lifestyle, as the nearest business of any sort is three miles away. We hope she’lll be allowed behind the wheel again after an eye exam in a couple of weeks. And we still don’t know why she had these strokes (turns out there was an earlier one a few months back), though some very smart doctors are working on that question, and we should know a lot more later today, and even more after a few more tests come in.

I realize the standard operating practice after someone you love survives a traumatic experience is gratitude that she’s okay and thankfulness for all the goodness in your life. I’m having a little trouble reaching that stage right now. 2006 was a rough year for a whole lot of people in my life, and the main gratitude I’m feeling right now is that it’s over and we get to try again in 2007.

18 thoughts on “2006. Good riddance.”

  1. Sorry you had to go through all of this during the holiday, Ethan. Please do have a great 2007. God knows you deserve it! And although she doesn’t know me, all the best in recovery and good things in 2007 to Rachel.

  2. May Rachel recover fully. All the best to you and your family in 2007.

    As someone who also suffered two small stokes (of sorts, two acute attacks of hearing loss) within a few months, no matter what the consensus is amongst the doctors, maybe it is time you and Rachel jumped on the bandwagon of the Slow Living trend. Like Slow Food, it just means going back to the simple basics. It is a symptom of our times this hectic, strenuous, fighting-against-all-odds sort of lifestyle.

    Do you remember when you or those close to you last had “spare time” or just drifted along with a sense of timelessness?

    May you and your family fair well.

  3. I hope and pray that Rachel will get better.

    We had a close family member go through the same experience some years back and like “lilalia” above, he scaled back which seems to have worked very well.

    – Steve

  4. My best wishes for a fantastic 2007 to both of, and with it the heartfelt hope that Rachel’s health improves rapidly. For what it’s worth you should know that what you do is a constant inspiration to me.

  5. Like everyone else who has commented here, I wish a speedy and full recovery to your wife Rachel. Family and loved ones are important so you focus on your family my friend.

    We will take care of the blogosphere while you are away or better yet, the blogosphere will take care of itself.

  6. Ethan, I’ll be thinking of you and Rachel. I’ve experienced medical scares in my immediate family as well and they’re tough, no question. Rest assured, there’s no right way to act in situations like these. Just be yourself and that’ll be good enough.

    My best to you and Rachel,


  7. Oh, Ethan, that is so scary. Big hugs from here. If she needs company for an overnight or anything when you’re away, call me.

  8. I hadn’t heard – my thoughts go out to you both – 2006 was a tough one here as well, and 2005 for that matter.

    Best Wishes

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