And one of my favourite sisters-in-law (I have three sisters-in-law, and they're all my favourite sisters-in-law) suffered a ruptured aneurysm in her left temporal lobe two weeks ago. She survived, against very long odds, and yesterday was moved out of the ICU into the general neurology ward, but she's still a long way from being out of danger. She appears to recognize her husband and children, but she's had two major surgical interventions, one to clip the aneurysm and drain the fluids from her brain, another two days later to relieve pressure in her skull when her brain started to swell, so she's still pretty much incommunicado, we can't really tell if she's recognizing anybody or just tracking movement with her eyes. Her prognosis is not very good. Only a tiny fraction of haemorrhagic stroke victims ever get back to being who they were, most suffer major physical or cognitive impairment. And the temporal lobes are where speech and cognition reside. She's a scholar and academic, lives a life of the mind, and only 55 years old. I expect she'll live, though it was a near thing for the first week, we're going to get somebody back, but there's very little chance it'll be the same razor sharp, well-stocked mind we used to know.
I got the news of both of those events on the same day, about an hour apart, from tearful relatives. I've always known that as we all got older, sooner or later some member of the family would turn up with a life-threatening condition, but I thought we had at least another decade or so until that started to happen, and I didn't expect it'd be the women. Family history suggests one of the men would turn up with cardiovascular disease first.
Mother Nature has a lot to answer for. The bitch.