Monday, January 31, 2011

Good News

I finally heard from the Neurologist regarding my MRI MRA results from my migraine episode last week.  My doc came back from maternity leave and delivered the news to me on the phone herself which was so much better than hearing from the dreaded doctor who was covering for her.

My brain is healing!  Gosh...that sounds so weird, doesn't it? But it's healing!  Dr. Cardiel said that she was "very pleased" with the way things were going and thinks...get this...that if my Hematologist agrees, I can be off Warfarin in two weeks!  I wanted to almost cry when she told me this.  We still don't know what caused the migraines but the important thing brain is healing, and my doctor is "very pleased".

To think that in two weeks, I can have sushi or green tea or and yay.  It seems like such a small thing to want to have but it pretty much feels like I'm about to have a feast at a five star restaurant.

Small victories :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's 3:00am, And I'm Awake!

Grinning from ear to ear after a great meeting/catch up session with friends.  Time truly flies when you are having fun.  I can't even explain it as nothing but joy and all it took was conversation and being out.  I'm so happy.  If I had permission to do a cartwheel, I so would!  And all it took was me, being myself and feeling like Eljon before the stroke.

It's 3:00am, and I'm awake.
I me
For the first time in awhile.
I am up past 12
and it's not because I'm achy
Or scared that I won't wake up,
It's because I laughed,
I smiled,
I hung out with friends,
And I let myself forget
Just for a minute,
For a moment,
A little second,
That something happened,
And I remembered
Who I am
And I smiled,
The way,

Why So Mean?

So, I know I have been singing the praises of docs and nurses and the way they have been so nice to me as a patient throughout this whole process. Well, I know now that NOT everyone has a good bedside manner. 

Since my Neurologist is on maternity leave, I have had to speak to a covering doctor who isn't helpful to say the least.  If I call the office and say I just recently had a stroke and have searing head pain, wouldn't you call back that same business day, kind of quickly? I called these people at 10:00am and didn't hear from the doc until 9:30pm that evening. I could have had multiple strokes in that time or some kind of attack or whatever.  The crazy thing is that this is the SAME doctor that was on call when I first had the stroke and was calling to see what I should do. He didn't call me at all that one time and look what happened.

Thinking about it now, I really don't know how some people can get their medical degrees. There should be at least 3 classes devoted to bedside manner and how to deal with patients.  This is someone's health you're messing with!  You can't press reset and get a do-over.  And it's down to the receptionists too!  Such attitude.  It's not my fault you're not happy at your job.  I know that sometimes you're having a bad day but don't act like I am the one who put salt in your corn flakes.

Boo to them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Alive...Barely

I know I haven't been the best at posting the past couple of days but with good reason.  I have had a migraine since Tuesday morning and it's still kicking my ass.  I haven't been able to work a full day today or yesterday due to the pain and I've been kind of scared that this is a sign of another stroke.

I can't take things like Excedrin or Motrin for pain because I'm on Warfarin, the evil blood thinner so my options are few and far between.  I've powered through the pain but it hasn't been easy.  In fact today, I threw up at work from it all and that was on Percoset! It is, next to Tylenol, the only thing I can take to ease aches.

Last night I was supposed to go to a get together I had organized for former coworkers who I haven't seen in about 3 years and I couldn't go because I was too sick.  It was probably one of the only times since this whole business has started where I was very depressed.  I was the one who organized the business and couldn't even go! Of course, looking back, it's a bit funny to me but still...stress makes the headaches worse so for one thing, no more checking the mail. I have noticed that seeing 5 bills a day in my mailbox is contributing to my stress levels and aches.  Mom decided for me that she's going to open everything from now on so no one send me dirty cards!

I had quite the flashback at work today.  I couldn't concentrate and felt off...just like right before I went to the ER in November.  Today, I went for an MRI at NYU again to try and figure out why I am in such searing pain.  I got my high fives from everyone who recognized me and told them that I was sorry to see them again since it's not on a good visit.  It's nice to be around people who have a good attitude, especially when you're sick. I was sent home with Prednizone and told to take a dose of that for 7 days.  It has some crazy weird side effects growth and...yellowing of skin.  Excessive hair growth? Unless it's going to be on my head, I think I'm all set.

Fingers crossed for good MRI news tomorrow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Whoa There Memory

I went to a Theophilus London concert last night at the Bowery Ballroom and was so happy to be out and about.  I didn't think I would be able to go to an actual concert now.  I have to admit that standing up for that long and avoiding peoples dancing too close to me were a bit of a concern because I haven't had to stand for more than 30 minutes since this whole mess started....but I did it.

Cautiousness melted away and I felt good...until my favorite song of the night played.  I was all ready to start belting out lyrics and sing along with everyone in the dancehall, but nothing came out. I forgot all the lyrics and that was needless to say...tough.  That was...quite the feeling.  I think I listened to the song six times today and played about 10 games of Simon to try and give my brain a workout so it can retain stuff.  Yes, Simon. I know I laugh myself heehee.  I really hope that doesn't happen again.  It was...jarring.

But again, look at the positive, I remembered the beat, and that's something, right?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Don't Like Getting The Mail Anymore

I don't like getting the mail anymore.  It seems that every time I go into my mailbox, I see bills.  Today I got more than 3 bills from the hospital.  While I realize I am very lucky having insurance, those pesky co-pays add up to...a crapload.

I put Mother Theresa stamps on all my bills today in the hopes that maybe NYU will take some pity on me and see that a Saint is gracing their mail and maybe, just maybe forget I owe them money. :)

My Pill Box Is Kind Of Amazing

Because if you're going to have to take pills, why not be stylish doing so?

I have had this thing for years.  It used to hold my vitamins (what I would give to be able to take a vitamin!) and now it holds my Warfarin.  I can't even remember where I bought this thing but it's just as well. I like to look at it as something divine.  No one knows where it came from ooooohhhh.  Haha.

A beautiful little box to hold something I don't particularly like taking.  Yes, life is a pill indeed.  If I don't take you, I could get another clot and you know how that goes.  Life is a pill-if I take you, I can live.

Everyone who has some kind of affliction where they have to take something everyday should have a stylish pill box.  It helps bring a smile when thinking about your current ish.  Same goes for medic alert bracelets.  If you have to wear one, bling it out! Go on with your sick bad self. Go...on... :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We're So BFF

Famous People Who Have Had Strokes
Betty Ford
Dick Clark
Elizabeth Taylor
Ingmar Bergman
JD Salinger
Rue McClanahan
Tammy Faye Messner

How Did That Get There?

If you're on Warfarin or Coumadin or any kind of blood thinner, you know just as well as anyone that you bruise easily. Today, as I was getting dressed, I noticed about 3 black and blues on my legs and one on the back of my arm.  All I have to say is thank goodness it's not bikini season because someone would seriously be questioning whether or not I have been beaten.

I got a paper cut two weeks ago and it pretty much fully healed this week. How sad is that?!  I'm all for cool battle scars but really, how creative can I be with a paper cut scar?  "You should see the other guy" doesn't really work with this kind of injury. 

I have to be thankful that I haven't slipped on ice in this inclement weather.  There's an attractive bruise, black and blues on my booty.  I think I would laugh everytime I would get dressed. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Animals Know...

I have a little mini pinscher chihuahua mix dog named Fiona.  I know I know, she has gargantuan ears...anywho, she plays a big part in my recovery.  As I'm sure you've read, pets are very therapeutic and often used in hospitals to cheer patients up.

My dog did just that.  When I slept, she slept.  She would curl up next to me and just be.  I could sleep for hours during the day and she wouldn't bring me a ball to throw or a toy to play with, she would just lay with me.  Pets know when you're sick.  I'm convinced they know.  While they can't speak, actions speak louder than words.  Sometimes she would just stare at me with her big bug eyes which kind of said to me "It's ok, talk to me.  I can't speak back, but I can listen" and so I did.  She is a fantastic listener.

Nowadays, I know she knows I'm getting better because she's bringing me toys that squeak and licks my face.  Even though I sometimes don't think my progress is going at a good rate, she does.  And really, who am I to disagree with that face? :)

Did I Just Say That?

So my short term memory is shot as I have established in recent posts and I get bummed about it sometimes.  I find myself constantly saying in my head "Did I just say that?".  This leads to me apologizing and pretty much feeling bad about myself.  I'll stay quiet during these patches of time because I don't want to repeat myself or simply ask, "What were we just talking about?".  It's not that I'm not interested in what you're saying, I just genuinely don't remember what we were discussing!

And now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I posted about this already.  Damn...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Simple Call Goes A Long Way

A few days after I got discharged from NYU Hospital, I got a call.  This wasn't a call from a friend or family member.  No, this was a call I didn't expect, from a nurse care manager regarding my aftercare. 

They didn't call to ask me for money or anything concerning my insurance, they simply called to see how I was doing and if I needed any help understanding what I should be doing now that I was home.  Apparently, this is a new program at NYU.  Patients receive a phone call within 72 hours of being discharged.  Questions are tailored to the individual chart and profile of the patient's medical records.  At first, I thought it was some kind of joke, I mean who does that, right?  They didn't even know me!  After the "How are you", I expected them to ask for a small donation and was ready to cuss but they simply stopped there and made sure I had their number in case I had any questions.

So thank you Cheryl Hart, RN; Majella Maguire, RN; and Pat Walsh, RN.  Thank you for carrying out this program, and making me feel like I'm more than just an account number.  Thank you for making me feel like a human being with feelings who just went through a traumatic experience.  Thank you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Miss...Liquor

Dear Liquor,

I really REALLY miss you. I miss daquiris, wine, and scotch.  I know that I can have one or two of you a week but gone are the days where I could carry on carefree and have 3 or 4.  Do you not realize that I have West Indian blood running through my veins?  Being a rumaholic is something that you HAVE to be.  I may be getting my card taken away because of you!

Remember how much fun we used to have?  Beers at parties and martinis at sexy venues?  My hand just looked so great having a drink in it while subtly having my pinky out partaking in interesting conversation or dancing up a storm.  I wish you weren't so bad to mix with my medication.  And it's not just because you get me woozy.  It's because, I like the taste of a good wine, I enjoy the subtle vanilla flavor in Jameson.  I can taste the oak in dark rum. 

For now, I guess I will have to be content sipping Shirley Temples, water, and fruit spritzers.  A day will come when we can reunite and when we do, it will be that much sweeter.

With two ice cubes,


I Miss...Cranberries

Dear Cranberries,

I am been putting off how much I miss you because I really lose my words when thinking about you.  How lush and robust you are, I just don't know how I get on without you!  You're one of my favorite juices and a necessity in Thanksgiving dinners.  How do they expect me to just shun you?

There have been studies where you may not interact with Warfarin and the results are controversial to say the least yet I cannot chance it, I have to stay away from you no matter what.  You are a fickle b*tch...I hate you...I love you...I just don't know.

I'm so confused.

Yours in service,


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thank You

This is a post for all of you, the readers.  Thank you so much for continuing to follow what's going on with me.  I hope that something in my posts helps you or someone else if they are going through the same thing.

From what I can see, there are readers from the US, UK, Barbados, Canada, Grenada, the Netherlands, Trinidad, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Switzerland!  I hope it continues to grow!  Your support helps me through my recovery and for that thank you thank you thank you thank you...thanks!

Looking forward to more comments, laughter and posts.  You guys are the best!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Your Name Is Brian, Right?

So, I keep forgetting things...especially when I first meet people.  If you tell me your name and I'm just meeting you, trust and believe that I will forget what your name is 5 minutes from then.  And when I do realize that I have Memento and have forgotten, I'll always think your name is Brian. 

I don't know why Brian pops into my head but it does.  With girls, it tends to be whatever pops in my head but I always believe that if you're a dude, your name is Brian.  This has become ridiculously funny to me now.

Last week, I met this dude and minutes later he was like "What's my name?" and I said uhhhh Brian? Then he proceeded to remind me of his name every 5 minutes.  Man, this isn't helping me remember your name, this is just causing me to kind of hate you so if you see me and I call you Brian, correct me once, not every 5 minutes.  I will log your face in my brain and definitely remember I don't like you! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Searching For An Answer

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland has a stroke center...apparently one of the best in the country.  I'm really thinking of getting a second opinion.  While I know that the doctors at NYU are some of the best around, there is some comfort in knowing that a place outside the city has a specialty stroke center.

I would encourage everyone who has had a stroke to look at their website From what I see, everything looks really interesting with personable and easy to read articles (although sometimes I admit to getting sidetracked.  My concentration is something that is not back to 100% yet).  This place seems to treat people like family and I get the same feeling from them as I do when I see those Cancer Treatment Centers of America commercials. You know what I'm talking about!

This sight also again pushes the thanks I give everyday about how incredibly lucky I am.  Hopkins has a Pediatric Stroke Unit and to think that small children get strokes too worse than mine just puts things into perspective.  Nothing is that serious when you think about it. There is always someone out there who has it worse than you so if today my speech isn't great, it's ok, there's someone out there who can't speak and so on and so on.  In fact, I think this whole experience has made me a happier peson.  How weird is that? I really and truly am...happier. Try this today, let go, let God or let whatever you believe in.  I may have said this in an earlier post and if I did, well, you know, stroke memory, I forgot!

I'm now calling my disability leave from work, my "vacation".  One of the bosses at work just passed by and asked me how my "vacation" was.  I like that :) I'm so going to stick with it.

Lime Green Isn't Such A Bad Color

Ok, so I could get really upset with taking Warfarin and having all these restrictions and how tired it makes me and I do but there is a funny side to this...stop reading if you don't want to read something graphic.   Ok? Last chance, I'm going to talk about it!

I totally pee lime green sometimes. Like seriously...and according to the Anticoagulation people, this is ok and is a side effect of the medication.  When this first started, I didn't think anything of it, I just figured, oh, it's not lime green, it's yellow, right?  I'm probably just a tad color blind and again, that's ok too....but it was lime green, like almost neon and I started to freak out.

When you think about it though, lime green isn't such a bad color to pee. Out of all the colors next to yellow, it's an ok color to go with. Blue+Yellow is green, Red+Yellow is orange (and apparently not good aka dehydration) so yeah, lime green is great!  Sometimes when I am having a bad stretch, I think about this and laugh to myself.  You have to be able to laugh about something as crazy as that!  I was asked by a good friend of mine to take a picture of said pee but figured that I would just leave it to your imagination.  After all, a girl has to have some mystery to her!

I guess there are worse side effects in the world.  I could grow a third arm, go blind, break out and instead I pee lime green.  The best color in the world at the moment.


Monday, January 10, 2011

I Miss...Garbanzos

Dear Chick Peas,

I think I may miss you the most.  So high in Vitamin K, and not even green!  I miss scooping you up as hummus on a pita chip, having you as chana masala and having you as falafel in a warm pita pocket from Mamoun's.  You complete me.  You fill me, you are just a magnificent bean.

For I spent most of my young life hating you and thinking that you were gross, I have since fallen in love with you in my teenage years over Indian food and dream about the day when we can be together again.  The gentle lentil has tried to woo me but even that is high in K and has earned the shaft for now.

I guess I will have to resort to split peas or...kidney beans.  My love, I promise, once I'm able to have you, we will spend so much time together.  Days! Many many meals enjoying each other's company.  I look forward to this day and many days after. You are well loved.

In my heart,


Hi Gym! Hi Job!

I was finally given clearance to go to the gym to do a light work out!  I went to the gym yesterday and took it easy.  I only did 30 minutes of cardio and I swear I was the only person in the gym smiling.  Treading along on the eliptical with a big ol cheese smile on my face and sweat dripping down my brow.  I'm definitely welcoming the soreness that comes with the day after you go to the gym.  Sweet pain, happy pain, glad to be getting back to some kind of normalcy pain. My first week of work did that to me too. I think I was so tired on Friday night that I slept over 15 hours into Saturday morning.  It was a beautiful thing. 

My memory has definitely suffered throughout all this. This became quite visible this weekend. I was walking through my neighborhood and couldn't remember where 2nd avenue was.  Now, I know where 2nd avenue is. I mean I thought I did. My memory just needed some jogging.  I was with my friend when this happened and the look on her face...I think some people don't realize that I had a bonafide stroke.  But the look on my friend's face, it became real to her in that instant.  The same thing happened a day later. I was at the supermarket with my other friend and said that we had never been there together before and he gave me the same look and told me we had been there several times before.  It took me a second but I remembered.  That same look on his face...confused but, it became real in that second.  Whoa, you're not ok, at least not 100% ok.

But I'm getting there!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'm Going To Wake Up...Right?

Every couple of days since this stroke, late at night before I go to sleep, I sometimes get the feeling that I am not going to wake up the next day.  I wonder if this is common in people who have suffered heart attacks or strokes.  I feel like I may have another stroke that will render me completely incapacitated.  It will come fast and when I let my guard down, at least that's how I think it will happen.

I'm still on the Warfarin so the likelihood of this happening again is slim to nil but what about when I get off the meds.  Then what?  It's kind of eating away at me.  Yesterday, I was watching The Twilight Zone (I'm obsessed) and I saw an episode called "Nothing In The Dark" about an old woman who feared death. She kept to herself and didn't come out of her house for many years because she was afraid death was waiting to take her.  At the end (Spoiler alert), she finally meets death and he says take my hand and she's scared but it turns out it was quick and painless and she went in her sleep.  She was just afraid of the unknown.  I took strange comfort in this...I guess all any of us really fear is the unknown.  How will I die?  Will it hurt? When it will it come?  I'm taking seeing that episode as a sign and letting my guard down.

If death comes fast, at least I won't be thinking about it every single minute every couple of days.  I'm going to live.  I shouldn't be scared.  The stroke happened, it's over. I'm on meds, I'm ok. I'm going to be ok.  Right?

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Miss...Spinach

Dear Spinach,

Why do you have to be so damn leafy green?  I miss having you in salads and on sandwiches.  Popeye doesn't realize how lucky he truly is.  Gone are the days that I used to have salads drizzled in dressing and croutons.  Love don't live here anymore for sure. 

I can't have you until at least March.  Until then I will count down the days when I can have you sauteed, steamed the raw. You are awesome.

Hopelessly devoted to you,


The Little Differences

One of the things I have taken away from this whole experience is to really enjoy every moment of life.  So many times we let life pass us by whether it be wishing the work day to go by faster or hoping that Saturday comes quickly.

I've started to do little things differently.  I look people in eyes longer.  I give longer hugs. I smile at everyone (yes, I'm that nut walking down the street) and I listen, really listen, to my surroundings.  When I was home recovering, I took half an hour everyday to just listen to the silence.  I didn't talk, well most of the time because I was too tired, but I kept at it and I have to tell you, I feel much more at peace.  Try it!  I swear, I'm not crazy!

Remember it takes more muscles in your face to smile than to frown.  Why stress out? Again I say, you can be faced with tough situations but we're only given as much as we can handle.  We may not know why this happened but with some digging, you'll be surprised what you can find.

This morning I went to the Hematologist and got my blood test results (12 vials later!) and she still can't figure out what's wrong with me and while I'm a little discouraged, she did say that sometimes these things happen. So I guess I will have to be satisfied with that for now. I get to see her next month for another follow-up. I still have to be on this Warfarin for at least 3 months so that will be mid February. 

A long day so far as the snow slowly falls.  When I leave work, I'm going to listen and be silent, thankful that I can still walk and hear, I may not hear anything but even silence is beautiful and can be as loud as the noisiest concert.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grey's Anatomy

Seriously though, I would have made an amazing patient on Grey's Anatomy.  McNerdy and McShy wouldn't fit in though.

Clove Helped Save My Life

Clove helped save my life.  The itty bitty little spice used to perk up ham, saved me.

My dad knows a lot about spices as he lives in Grenada, the isle of spice and knows about every bush, tree, plant, and flower there.  I have TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder-pain in the jaw when chewing) and something as small as chewing gum hurts.  Now, out of respect to my fellow man, I didn't want to walk around with death breath so I asked my father if he could recommend a natural something or other to chew or have in my mouth and he recommended clove.  So he sent up a big bag and I started to suck/chew/play with clove in my mouth.  Soon I started giving everyone clove!  Hey, have you heard about clove? Try it, it's good.  I became a clove addict and it's a good thing I did.

Clove is also a natural blood thinner!  All this time I was chewing clove, I was actually helping myself.  I think about how thick my blood could have been if I didn't chew on this miracle spice and I can't help but think there was someone else watching over me.  I could have had a worse stroke...and that's scary.  So let me pass along some information that may save your life or someone you know.  Clove is a great breath freshener.  It's great for toothaches (natural painkiller and antiseptic) and can help if you're having a heart attack.  Just have the person who's afflicted bite down on it, it's just like baby aspirin.

So I'm not as bad as I could have been and it's all because of clove. Just more proof that everything happens for a reason.  Every...little...thing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Miss...Sushi

Dear Sushi,

Oh seaweed, how I adore you.  Without you, sushi is just sashimi, miso soup is just soy broth.  You MAKE Japanese food yummy.  And I miss you...Why do you have to be so high in Vitamin K? Can't you just not be so K'ish so I can enjoy you?  One roll?  One small soup?  Let's compromise...if I can eat you and be ok, I'll give up...something.  All for that soy sauce soaked goodness that is a cucumber roll.

All the Asians in my neighborhood mock me....I have two Sushi spots on my block! 2!  You expect me to survive without saying hello every once in awhile?  Is this a trick?  Stop trying to trick me into loving you again!  Please, this is hard enough as it is.  I have to go now, I'm starting to salivate.  Goodbye for now.  I know we will meet again soon.



Silent Day

Today is one of those days where it's tiring to talk.  I have been awake for about an hour now to try and get out of this funk but no words want to come out of my mouth.  I really just don't really want to speak right now.

Last night, towards the end of the evening, I started to slow down and stutter a little and try and search for words.  This is probably because I was tired from the day. I mean I worked a full day for the first time in a month and a half! But oh, this and then it is good to take time to reflect and not use your voice but to get winded from just speaking is another thing.  It's like my brain is tired.  It's actually exhausting to speak.  I sometimes have to take a deep breath after a couple of sentences so I don't pass out it seems and that's kind of how I feel now.  I know it will take my brain time to heal, it will heal slower and take longer than my dissection did.

Yesterday, I felt kind of normal.  Maybe I overdid it?  Today, I'll slow down a little.  I'm not back to normal, not yet. Patience, patience, patience.  It's ok.

I'm hoping breakfast speeds something inside up and helps jump start my voice.  While I'm waiting to get some inspiration to speak, I'll just listen to the sounds of the city, really listen.  When do you get a chance to do that?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Miss...Green Tea

Dear Green Tea,

We've been such good friends.  You've been there when I have needed a caffeine fix, day or night.  I used to come to you 5 times a work day and now, sadly, I haven't been able to enjoy you...because you're green, because you're not black, like coffee.  Racist!  So racist, I know!  I hope you know I prefer green to black, but I have to cheat on you because well, black is my only option right now.  I know they say once you go black you never go back but rest assured, once I am off this pill, this Warfarin that is keeping us apart, I will show you even more love than before.

I love you. I adore you.  I need you! I want you! I above all, miss you.

Your ever devoted drinker,


Restless Sleep

Last night's sleep was restless. I felt like a kid the night before the first day of school.  I still can't believe I'm sitting at my work desk, typing from my computer and feeling slightly normal. I was so nervous to come back here...mostly afraid of the emails coming in.  I have 410 and my send/receive is still going...going...going since 8:30am this morning!

The only phone call I have gotten today was from my Dad.  I answered the phone all professional like and it was just him. haha. Now I'm sitting anxiously awaiting that first work call althought I'm pretty sure most of my co-workers are scared to give me any work.  I'm afraid to get any work!  I don't remember how to do everything as is expected but I'm not being discouraged by that.  Little by little, it will come back, right?

I have an appt with the Hematologist on Friday to see if I can get off this Warfarin.  I really miss sushi and green tea...well pretty much anything green at this point!  But it is, despite everything, a great day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh Joy!

I just got a call from my Neurologist regarding my MRI MRA results and got GREAT NEWS.  The dissection in my neck aka the rip in the vessel in my neck is absolutely totally and irrevocably gone!  Yay!  I can hardly believe it!  But just because the inside is healed, doesn't mean the outside is healed.  I still have pain in my neck but it's ok, it will go away soon :) Small victories.

I also just got permission to use a treadmill and do small yoga poses not involving my neck and I can flyyyyyyy.  I feel like I've hit the lottery! I can go to work tomorrow!  I am a little scared though....what if I'm not able to do everything I used to?  The doc was very clear on stating that my brain is still healing even though the dissection is gone.  I still have to take the meds but oh my neck dissection is gone! 

Happy Dance!

Damn You Short Term Memory

When I first got the call to go to the ER because of the ischemic stroke, I called my mom and called my dad.  I told my mom everything but I just told my dad that I had to go to the hospital and I was fine because he lives in the Caribbean and I didn't want him to panic more.  He's also had a stroke but his was more gangster than mine.  He had a heart attack AND a stroke at the same time!  He made a full recovery.  (Side note-Always tell your doctors your family history, ALL of it.  You never know what they can find out through you telling them what your parents, grandparents, great grand parents had).  Of course this happened 9 years ago but I didn't want him to stress out right that second.  At this point, I just figured I would be in and out of the hospital.

He kept calling as a Daddy should, and I totally forgot that I didn't tell him why I was there (thank you short term memory). Stroke slipped out and so did a long pause and a loud WHAT?  My dad was on a plane as soon as he could get a flight.  I was definitely kicking myself for that but the only good thing out of this was that he didn't get to see me in the hospital.  My father can't stand needles, even him seeing the or hearing the word needle would freak him out.  So to tell him that I was hooked up to several needles would probably make him so uncomfortable that I am pretty sure I wouldn't even get looked in the face if he came to visit me.  By the time he could get a flight up here, I was already out and home.

I told him about the shots I had to give myself when I got home and he quickly interrupted me and told me never to mention that word again and that he would cook for me and get me back to health asap. I am an only child so my parents freak out over a lot since if anything happens to me, well that's it.  No it's ok, at least we have her brother. Lol. Ok I'll shut up.  My father never really tells me how he's feeling.  He shows it in other ways, especially with food.  And boy was I spoiled...He made me all my favorite the same time.  I tried to take pics of everything he made but I was so greedy and devoured all, only remembering after that I had to take pictures.  The pic on the left is the only one I have and this is of my second serving!  Fishcake (salted cod, tomato, seasonings, flour all fried) and toast and some juice.  :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

MRI MRA Potato Pohtahtoe

Happy New Year!

So I got my second MRI/MRA since the stroke this past Thursday and am anxiously awaiting the results.  If you haven't gotten an MRI, trust me, you aren't missing anything.  You're in a long tube for about 45 minutes and you can't move.  You're in the most stylish of hospital gowns and you get a fierce needle sticking out of one of your arms.  Then you get contrast (the fluid that makes you cold down to your bones) injected into your iv.

The highlight of this whole thing is that they put the iv in my left arm.  I didn't know I had an iv option so now I'm enjoying that my right arm doesn't look like a heroin addict's anymore!  Yay, small victories.

What I am hoping that this test shows is that I am healing well and that I can fly soon.  I asked the technicians if  I could see a pic of my noggin and they showed me but by law they can't tell me what is what so I was just oohing and aahing at stuff I had no idea about!

The technicians now recognize me and were like "weren't you just here last week?". Sure seems that way right? I peaced out of there and said that I didn't really mean this in a mean way but I hope I never see you again. So now, I wait.  Whenever I go to the doc or the anticoagulation clinic, they know me by name now.  I feel kind of important, like some kind of celebrity.  Oh, did you hear?  Eljon is coming to get her INR tested today! I even get a lollipop or a piece of candy now when I go in.  I am now the Diddy of blood.  (Holla)

Let's hope good news comes my way on Monday regarding all this stuff.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Not Working

Not hard for me.

Again I had stated that not doing anything period is like hell but this, this was something I was not prepared for.  I always said wow it would be great to have like a month off because I work so hard and I'm so overwhelmed and I so got my wish but under different circumstances obviously.  It's been tough. I have days where I don't feel like I am a part of society.  I sit here, so tired that I can only watch tv and throw a ball to my dog.  I can't even speak.  It's exhausting to speak.  That's why this blog is so great.  It allows me to have another outlet to get everything out when I can't talk or when I just don't want to talk. Sometimes, you need to wallow, and that's fine as long as you don't pity yourself for too long.  Mourn your losses and keep it moving.  Mourn for like 5 minutes and nothing more a day.  Make yourself get out of that funk.  We've only been given things we can handle, right?

A couple of days into my medical leave, I decided that I really needed to start writing again....but I was scared.  The stroke had struck the part of my brain where the creative juices flow.  If I couldn't write...well, I can't really say what I would do but I know that 5 minutes a day of mourning wouldn't be enough...

I had several unfinished plays and a big unfinished screenplay. My writing partner wasn't pushing me to finish of course but he knows me and my big hard head and that I needed at least this one thing to feel like a functioning member of society.  When I was in the hospital, I even spoke to him on the phone about this being great material for the Alzheimer's script we're working on.  The big 'ol creative brain is always working!

So we talked, and we put up index cards of scenes, and we wrote...and I finished my first draft of my first screenplay.  Actually now it's on its 3rd draft!  The feeling of finishing something felt amazing!  I may not be able to do pivot tables or fancy excel spreadsheets right now but I wrote 106 pages of comedic fantasticness (if I do say so myself).

The picture above reminds me that it is possible.  I can get back to my old self.  It will just take time like everything else.  For those of you suffering from the effects of a stroke, remember, if you can do just one small thing that you used to do before the stroke, you're blessed.  Remember, small victories.