Monday, February 28, 2011

I Remembered!

I remembered my pin.
The correct pin.
The pin for my debit card.
I was able to get money for cupcakes and french toast.
Twas a good day.

I guess maybe it was just one of those days.  I don't want to risk it though.  I am going to closely monitor myself.  Can't be too safe, right?

This Thursday, I'm starting a writing class to help with my playwriting and screenwriting.  I'm a little scared because I feel like I am slowing down...This could be just a case of writer's block or maybe just like what I said before, a case of one of those days...although this would be just one of those months...We'll see.  Last week I wrote a new piece.  It's not my best, but it's something...

Small victories :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just One Of Those Days?

Yesterday was a particularly bad day for my memory. I forgot a slew of things.

I went to the ATM and forgot my pin and stood in the bank for about 20 minutes trying all types of combinations. I stopped after the 4th time for fear that cops or something would show up and arrest me for suspicion or something. I still can't remember my pin.

Earlier in the week, I ordered tea after dining with a friend and two seconds later, couldn't remember what flavor I got.  I was very surprised when the waitress brought me peppermint.

I left my phone at home. I never leave my phone at home.  When I realized I didn't have it, I panicked and thought I lost it and was pretty much nervous for three hours until I got home and saw it in the charger.

I forgot to make an important call.  I forgot about something my Mom told me. I just plain left my brain somewhere else yesterday and everyone is telling me that it happens to everyone, that everyone has a day like that once in awhile and normally I wouldn't think anything of it but I had a stroke, I had a brain injury and I get scared.  I'm scared now.  What if it's not just one of those days? What if it's a sign of something else?  Am I losing myself?  I feel like it...but I could just be getting nervous over nothing.  All I know is that I feel pretty low about forgetting all those little things. Today should be better, right?  I mean, I remembered to write it all down today...that's good, right?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Strokes and You!

Ok, so apparently strokes in younger people are on the rise and strokes in older people are declining...but why?

This baffles me! But it's nice to see that the NY Times is recognizing that this is an issue.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strokes In The Media

You know, strokes are getting really popular in the media.  Last week, Grey's Anatomy featured a character (who couldn't have been more than 35) who was having a stroke.  The guy walked in with a migraine and was discharged and then caught right before he got into his car by Meredith to come back in because Lexie didn't diagnose him properly.

Why do strokes keep popping up in shows and news featuring just new people?  I'm beginning to think that something is in the water or in our food that is causing this.  Seriously...can you remember strokes being in the news so much?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Dreaded DVD

I have a DVD of my actual DVD with pics of my damaged brain and I want to look at it but I'm afraid.  It's been sitting on my counter for a week and I can't bring myself to look at it.  I'm scared of all the little black spots of dead cells I'm going to see.

I have to look at it.  I'm just scared to take that first step.  It's kind of like jumping in a pool of water, you know it's going to be so frigid cold but after you get acclimated, it's not so bad.  I just have to take that first step. 

C'mon!  You can do it! I have to do it...the chanting of go Eljon in my head isn't really working for me today. Go Eljon go. Eeeee, I can't even take it out of the sleeve! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Awesome Stroke Survivor

I'd like to give a warm shout out to Stacy who I met through this blog.  Stacy has also had an ischemic stroke and is recovering beautifully.  She's an inspiration to me and I'm so glad we are getting to know each other. 

I love that I'm finding this newfound family through such a terrible incident.  It's one of the positive things we should keep in mind whenever something bad happens to us.  There's always a silver lining :)

Yay Stacy, thank you for telling me your story.  :)

I'm Published!

I wrote an article for the Trinidadian Lifestyle magazine "Outlish" on my stroke!
Check it out.  Whoot whoot, stroke awareness!

Bill Collectors Beware Of The Eljon

So NYU has been calling me like I'm an old friend these days wondering where all my payments are. 
Since I have been getting like 5 bills a day, I am a little slack in paying everyone off. I'll put a bill or two aside and get to it 2 weeks later, still in plenty of time to get to said bill collector so I get a little "miffed" when peeps call me asking where their dough is.

I treat it like a game now.  Yesterday *Liz called. She asked me about where payments were and instead of saying I mailed them, I asked her how she was and if she was following what was going on in Egypt.  She kept trying to get around that and was still asking for the bill money. I then asked her if she had seen any good movies lately.  She was really thrown and kept asking me about the money.  I eventually answered her but it really tickles me to mess with these peoples heads.  I think I'll do this from now on.

Hey, if you really REALLY want these co-payments, you may as well work for them :)

*Liz is not her real name.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bye Bye Warfarin!

I am officially off blood thinners!

I went to the Hematologist on Tuesday and was told that since my Neurologist is in agreement, I could stop taking Warfarin, like immediately.  No need for another bridge like the evil shot Lovenox, no need for weaning myself off, I could just stop cold turkey.

And I did! I walked out of there and had hummus and spinach for lunch and 3 cups of green tea.  I had sushi for lunch! And you've probably guessed, I got sick that night because I overdosed on green but I was just too excited!  It definitely feels weird not to take a pill every night.  I got so used to that but this is a step in a positive direction! No more blood thinners makes me feel like I'm one step closer to becoming me again.

I had to call the Anticoagulation clinic to tell them that I am no longer taking a blood thinner so I don't have to come in anymore and the secretary who I would see every time I would go in told me she was so happy for me and that she better not see my face back there ever again.  She was laughing and wished me well. I got off the phone and immediately called several people to tell them the good news and no one picked up.  Why does that always happen?  You call and call when you have something exciting to say and that's the one time when no one picks up.  I ended up just saying it out loud in the street until someone called me back.  I had to tell someone, so why not the universe!

I do feel very tired though but they said that would be the case since the meds will take a couple of days to get out of my system.  I can deal with a few more days of tiredness. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weird Stroke Like Behavior Caught While On The Air

I saw this on the news today.  A young CBS reporter, Serene Branson, suffered what seemed like a stroke on the air while covering the Grammy's.  An increasing amount of young people suffering strokes.  She went home after all this which is shocking.  Just because your vitals are ok doesn't mean you're ok. I really hope she went and got an MRI right after...


*It's been confirmed that this was actually caused by a migraine. Still, remember to get checked out no matter what.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Today, I Was Cinderella

I had the flu over the weekend, full fledged, 103 degree achy fevery flu and it SUCKED.  Not that the flu would ever be a good thing, but when you can't take anything but Tylenol for it, it is the worst thing ever.  The flu also took my appetite away so I didn't really eat much of anything until last night...big mistake when you're on Warfarin.

I had my blood checked today right before I went to my regular doc and my INR was crazy.  A normal read is between a 2 and a 3 and mine....well, mine was a 4.7...eek to say the least.  That would explain the feeling of dizziness, my blood was too thin.  While this was bad bad news, the solution was the best thing ever.  For today only, I was allowed to eat as much Vitamin K I could stand so my level would go back down.  It was like the nun was my fairy Godmother and I was given a pass until midnight.

So...I kind of went crazy. I had sushi for lunch and for dinner.  I had salad, I had spinach and 3, yes 3 cups of green tea.  I got nauseous from eating so fast.  I ate and ate until I was so full, I felt like you could roll me down the street and just like that, midnight came around and I turned back into a pumpkin who couldn't have sushi or green tea until further notice.  But it was everything I could have imagined it to be, how freeing, to be able to eat what I wanted, even for a couple of hours.  How happy...

One slight drawback's 1:00am and I'm wide awake...maybe I shouldn't have had quite so many cups of green tea.

Small victories :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Several years ago, I crocheted a scarf for one of my Mother's Christmas gifts.  She still has it and currently wears it to keep warm from all this blustery weather we're having.  The other day, we were talking about said scarf and when I made it and I couldn't remember a thing.  I mean, I know I made it, I know it was several years ago but I can't for the life of me remember crocheting it. 

I have a scarf I wear.  It's black, red, gold and green and I remember exactly where I was making it, sitting on the couch in my living room with my dog sitting next to me.  I'm happy I can remember that, I am but it's really bothering me that I don't remember making my Mother's scarf.  Is this from the stroke? Have I been robbed of other memories I don't even know about?

It's a little scary, actually a lot scary. I don't even know what to do about it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be In The Know

In healing and recovering from this ischemic stroke (which I feel should have a name, anyone have any suggestions?), I have been doing a lot of research because the only thing more deadly than a disease that can kill you, is a lack of knowledge about the disease that can kill you. Knowledge is power.

We put too much trust in doctors, at least that's how I feel. We look to them as a sort of higher power, tell me what's wrong with me, you have all the answers, but the truth is, they don't. In fact, through this whole journey, I have come across pretty stupid doctors to the point where I questioned the medication they were giving me and wouldn't take it until I spoke with a pharmacist and got a second opinion from my primary care doctor.  I shouldn't have to do that but maybe I should, after all, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be well informed.

When I went to the Anticoagulation clinic for the first time, the nurses had me sit down and watch a video on Coumadin in addition to explaining it to me.  While I felt a little weird sitting in a conference room watching a video all by myself, I appreciated that they wanted me to have all the info I could get my hands on. They sent me home with packets of info and made sure I was comfortable with my new regiment.

I love CNN. Seriously, addicted to the news from there (I'm a weirdo).  I just saw that they have a section called The Empowered Patient which focuses on well, doing your own research and knowing what's going on with your body.  Everyone should read this, sick or not.

Knowledge is power!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2 Weeks Vacation Just Isn't Enough

Two weeks vacay just isn't enough for me or anyone for that matter but especially me right now, yes it's about me today, haha. I feel that by living through this stroke, I have to see more, do more, travel more. I just can't do that with 10 days of vacation time a year off...I mean it's impossible. 

Oh wait, there's that little thing called money that also needs to be accounted for. Yes, money to travel. Charge it, charge it, charge it. I have always said that I don't mind going into debt to travel, and I don't. It's not like I'm buying a dress or something I'm only going to enjoy a handful of times. These are memories that I am going to make which will last me my entire life (memory don't fail me now...seriously, don't). Ok, slightly bad joke but a worry nonetheless. There are so many things to do, see, experience, touch, taste and again, not something I can do on 10 itty bitty little days off. This is why Europeans and people who live in the Caribbean probably live longer. They get, what 3 weeks off or something like that?

Now that I can fly, I want to go EVERYWHERE. My first trip is on March 4th to the beautiful island of Trinidad for Carnival. Now I know you're thinking whoa whoa whoa but rest assured, I will not be partying it up for most of my time there. I'm going to take a backseat and look at others.  I'm going to really take in everyone else singing and dancing, with new eyes. As someone who almost didn't have this chance.  I think I'm going to do that if I visit other places I usually frequent during vacation time and look at them with new eyes...good idea, right?

So much to do in 10 little days for the year. I'll have to choose wisely. But one thing is for certain, I will see everything with a new perspective. Something, I maybe didn't do, before the stroke. New eyes, new experiences, giving thanks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Brain: The Inside Story

Today, a coworker saw my stroke magnet on my file cabinet and was asking about the signs of a stroke and what to do if someone she knows is experiencing the same symptoms.  Many people have been asking me a lot lately about symptoms and how they should proceed when faced with an injury like that and I can't stress enough how important it is to call your doctor or 911 as soon as this happens.

Remember, the time between a moment and a minute can make all the difference in how severe your injury will be.  Never ever think that it can't happen to you just because you're young or healthy.  You can still stroke out just like anyone else.  Did you know even children have strokes? Crazy! The brain is such an unchartered territory in terms of research and we are just now learning more about it. 

I went to the Museum of Natural History this weekend with a good friend to see their exhibit on The Brain and would encourage anyone who lives in the New York area to see it as well.  It's all about, well, how the brain works and what doctors and scientists are discovering. It was very interactive and allowed you to give your own brain tests on how things effect your senses and how all your neurons work together. I'm totally butchering what you see there but if you click on the link, you'll see what I'm talking about.  It just makes you realize even more that we really don't know as much as we think we do about brain injuries.