Monday, January 23, 2012

Milos on the mend: slow but sure

Chris, Sonia and I went to visit Milos on Saturday afternoon. He's currently in the St George branch of St Vincents out in Kew. Having heard little of his developing condition I had only the vaguest notion of what to expect but when we got to his room we found him awake and pleased to have company, sitting in a motorised wheelchair. It had been reclined for his comfort. He looked like a suburban dad in it.

He launched straight into the story of how he came to be there, the morning when he woke dizzy and wobbly which degenerated into the stroke that got him. Very luckily, his co-tenant Alexander realised something was wrong and he was hospitalised within an hour of the attack. With strokes the sooner they are treated the better chances of recovery.

He came to in hospital, disorientated and unfocused, confusingly not in control of his movements or will. The days that followed brought details back to him in the form of memories returning as well as visitors. He says he remembers the visit that Miriam and I made but my own memory includes experience of his tact.

If I had worried that we would be staring around the room in silence for an hour I needn't have. Milos told us of the attack, the days in hospital and being brought here to Kew where he will be for perhaps another two months in recovery. What this means is that you have that time to pay him your own visit, if you can. He will greatly appreciate it.

He jokingly asked me when my next screening was on and while I left that at a smile, one thought led to another  and Sonia suggested getting a portable dvd player. We went thirds in one just after the visit. I'd told him I had relabelled some of the old Shadows discs to make them more recognisable and put them in a satchel. I'll add a few more to the collection and we'll deliver the player and discs within the next week. (Could you part temporarily with a dvd or two while he's there?)

One thing that hasn't been affected by the stroke is the Milosian sense of daily comedy. He told us he'd been banned from operating the wheel chair as he kept hitting other patients while he was distracted by the pictures on the wall and the better looking nurses. So he's back to L plates.

Just after he had been relocated from St Vincents in Fitzroy to the Kew facility he waited in his room, examining the walls. A doctor came in to check his chart. She was Indian, and beautiful. An hour later a cleaner came in to set up the adjoining bathroom. She was Indian. Shortly after that a pair of nurses came to help him into bed. Both Indian and pleasing to the eye. Later in the afternoon a decidedly Anglo doctor came in and asked a question to test his sense of orientation: "Do you know where you are?" asked the doctor.

"India," said Milos flatly.

It was probably the first occasion when his temporary incapacity to smile fully served his humour faithfully.

A visit or series of them would help to exercise those facial muscles, methinks.


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