Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

I love New Year's Eve. Ok, that's something I'm sure many say but I truly do! The 30th is just as exciting to me. Something is just in the air, you can smell it. People turn in early on the 30th. The streets are quiet, there's a stillness in the city and a kind of magic that surrounds everyone. Now, I'm not one for partying on the Eve (unless I'm in Grenada!) That's not the reason I love today. It's an opportunity to reminisce about my year...the parts I can remember, and look forward to being an even better, even healthier person. In a way, I feel like I'm on top of the world.

When I was younger, I always watched the New Year's Twilight Zone marathon. I was obsessed! There was little to do for a teenager in the city on New Year's Eve so I just watched TV until 2:00am and listening to everyone outside celebrate with champagne and confetti. Right at 11:59pm, I would turn on the countdown and turn the volume all the way down and just listen to everyone outside. Joy would radiate and you could feel it through the concrete walls of apartment buildings and across the world. Again, magical. 

Sure, dressing up and dolling up is fun but on a day like today, I much prefer to enjoy the last day of my memorable 2012 in pajamas, wrapped in a blanket watching old television shows curled up with my dog slowly drifting off to sleep with the sounds of my city in the background.

Here's to a happy healthy 2013 and wishing you all the same!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Taping Of The Takeaway With John Hockenberry

Yesterday afternoon, I had the privilege of being interviewed by the legendary John Hockenberry for his show, The Takeaway.  He is doing an hour long special on the brain the day after Christmas.  I am so excited that I got to be a part of it! I was so nervous and am super glad I didn't stutter. Thank you stroke brain. 

John asked me one question in particular that is still with me today. He asked if my stroke brain had a name and I just realized, it doesn't have one. I've named other body parts. For example, the jiggly bit that is my stomach is named Esther. My booty is named Judy so why shouldn't my stroke brain have a name? Normally, I just talk to her but don't address her. Wow, that is rude! Mm, what should I name her? Do you guys have any ideas? 

Another thing I am excited about is the wealth of knowledge that is going to be featured in this special on the brain. Scientists know about the brain but don't KNOW about the brain. They are tapped into it but are still learning as they go. I for one am giddy over hearing of other experiences people have had with their brain injuries. It really feels like I'm part of this community. Go strokies!

The special on the brain will be at 9:00am on December 26th.
For more information on The Takeaway, click here
A listing of stations where you can listen to December 26th's show is here

Wait, I Know You!!

So last night I attended a Beres Hammond concert at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. It was my first time at the new arena and I was like a deer in headlights with all that was going on around me. Thanks to my cousin, I had a backstage pass and watched comfortably next to the sound booth.

As I listened to the smooth sounds of sweet Reggae coming from this man's lips, I kept staring at the cameraman on stage. On a break, he looked at me and gave me the head nod which I thought was polite. I smiled but I gave him that polite, I don't know you grin. I will chalk my actions up to being tired from the trip back home from the Bahamas and not getting enough rest. Anyway, about a half hour later, the cameraman's name came to mind. I know this guy, I thought. Suddenly all the details came flooding back and I felt so embarrassed. I immediately texted him apologizing. This wasn't someone I just met for one day. I knew this man. My face was red. I can't believe it took me half an hour to remember his name and everything about him. It was as though my brain needed a re-boot to scan all its files quickly and thoroughly. Apparently right before that, I was running on dial up! Just another small reminder of what once was.

But  I guess it is one step in the positive direction. At least I don't think everyone's name is Brian anymore. :)

Docket 32357 Online Screening!

Hot off the plane from the Bahamas where the short film I wrote, Docket 32357, was screened, I'm already posting about another screening BUT this is someone everyone no matter where you are, can check out.

We have the privilege of screening online at the International Black Film Festival of Nashville on Saturday, December 15th from 11:00am-11:00pm. The film is 14 minutes long so anyone can check it out when they have a breather and at $5 a ticket, it's a steal.

The link to view is here Docket 32357 Nashville!

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Boy, you forget something new every day, don't you?"-Sophia The Golden Girls

With my 6 month tune up behind me, I can now look to the next 6 months with hope. My doctor is funny. She asked me what I had been up to and if I had seen the doctor. I said I was avoiding the doctor. She said oh ok, and wrote "Avoiding the doctor" in big bold print on my file. Ha! It was all in good fun though. She was just as happy as I am that things have been progressing nicely. I did have concerns over headaches I have been having due to usual stresses in life and with school but the good news is that I can finally go back to taking Advil for my migraines! I wasn't allowed to take it before but having the green light makes me super glad. As of right now, I was treating my headaches with just green tea and dark chocolate, you know, for the caffeine fix. I am still skeptical of taking pills because of you know but just knowing I have the option to take something else is a small comfort.

We are just waiting on my D-Dimer results to give me the ok. Those results should be to me in 2 weeks. I did mention the numbness I have on my right side and the doc said just what I thought, that I have the residual effects of the stroke. My brain and the nerve endings aren't gelling the way they used to I guess but I just look at it as a battle wound. Some people have scars on the outside, mine are on the inside. She asked if I had this last winter and I couldn't recall if I did. Stroke joke. She laughed knowing full well that I may not remember certain things last winter.

All in all, a good appointment. Here's to good blood results in two weeks!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Six Month Tune Up

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my Hematologist. It's my six month check up tune up make sure everything is a-ok blood work up appointment. I always get such a kick out of going to that office. The patients there are more colorful than anyone I've encountered. All have at least 2 debilitating diseases but are in the best of spirits. The last time I went, I was getting my blood work done and an elderly man was getting his done next to me. He just looked at me and said "I guess we're racing." We laughed and made some small talk as I got my 6 tubes filled. He went on to tell me that he had a slew of cancers but didn't seem to down about it. That made me smile. I'm glad he was having a good day and a good outlook.

It's hard to get down about things that seem so inconsequential when you really think about how you have you health. Who knows, maybe tomorrow, I'll bring some candy for the oldies waiting to get their blood drawn since they seem to offer it to me whenever I'm there. What is it with older folks and candy? Perhaps I'll find the answer tomorrow :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Get Frustrated When...

I get frustrated when I say I can't remember something and someone says "I remember things when I was a little girl and you can't remember something from 3 years ago?"
I respond "It's not my fault. I had a stroke."
The person's response is always "There you go with the stroke."
It's not an excuse, it's MY REALITY. I get sick of people saying "There you go with the stroke." I can't remember! 

I think it's sometimes hard for people to accept that I am a changed person and that certain things don't come as easily to me as they would to others especially for those who didn't go through recovery with me. I know it can be difficult to accept that a person who you have known your whole life has gone through a brain injury but, it's just as hard for us to not have our feelings hurt when you say things like that. It's enough that I have moments of private pain from this, I don't need friends or family saying things like that to cause more.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wish some folks were a bit more sensitive, that's all. 
This is my gripe for the night :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Staying Warm In The Cold Post Stroke

So one thing I've noticed after having the stroke and being on blood thinners is that I am very sensitive to cold temperatures. In the winter, I am slower, my right side definitely feels weaker, and the chill in the night air gets to me even more than it did before. At first I thought it was just me and maybe what I was feeling was all in my head but upon research, I found that it is actually common.

Right when I was able to walk more than a few blocks in 2010, I went to Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing store, and was just poking around window shopping. I came across clothing they had called Heattech. This thin, lightweight clothing is designed to absorb body moisture and generate heat when your bod gets cold and IT WORKS! I first bought a tank top and used that, skeptical that it wouldn't work but sure enough it did. This could be just a comfort thing and it may not work for everyone but if there's anything that brings a small bit of relief, I welcome it.

I passed by the store again this weekend after feeling kind of numb on my right side (thank you Winter) and bought a pair of Heattech leggings and a long sleeve Heattech shirt, hoping that it helps my right side to keep up with my left. I highly recommend this to anyone who has cold sensitivity due to stroke. It really makes a difference. Anyone who suffers from this problem knows that relief makes all the difference in the world, especially with this long Winter ahead of us. Uniqlo doesn't know how much of an impact it has had on me in these cold months.

I am thankful :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


My Granny passed away last Sunday. She was a wonderful woman. I used to spend summers in the Caribbean with my Grandparents and cousins every year from when I crawled straight through to when I graduated from High School. Some of the best memories of my life are of those summers with my family. Those experiences shaped me into the person I am today. Without them, I don't know where I would be.

Something I found myself doing early on in life was replaying memories of my childhood in my head at least once a week. In that way, I thought they would always be fresh in my mind and my hippocampus would keep them there longer than it could and not kick those memories out to make room for new ones. It would not only make me laugh but keep me warm on those days when I felt blue. I would think of those wonderfully good times swimming in the waters of Grenada with my cousins and actually re-taste the meals cooked for us in my mouth. Even smells would come back. I could see myself mapping out my Granny and Papa's house in my mind knowing everything from the colors of the tiles to the exact location of bushes and coconut trees on the property.

After my stroke, one of the things I was afraid of was losing those memories I worked so hard to preserve. I found myself panicking in the hospital trying to replay every single memory from those summers to make sure everything remained intact. While I'm sure I have lost some memories, I am so grateful for having one or two of my family, of my Granny back when life seemed simpler. I remember her voice and the way she used to sing to us. I can still hear my Papa's voice and smell the smoke from his pipe. It's on days like today, when I miss her so much, I can smile at knowing I can remember that.

I may not remember certain things but in the end, I guess sometimes it doesn't matter as long as I have these little moments where I can be thankful for having the memories I do to comfort me when it matters most. My flight was canceled and I couldn't make her funeral due to inclement weather thanks to the Nor'easter and Sandy so my memories have to do. They become my pictures, my windows to the soul especially tonight when I am missing Granny so much.

Thank you brain. Keep up the good work.

R.I.P. Granny

I Am

I am feeling tired,
And can't remember
Because my brain shorts out,
Think, think, think,
To no avail,
I can't remember
That person's name,
Please don't get mad,
I forget,
And mean no harm,
It's not that you were easy to forget,
It's that you were easy to remember
At the time but
I can't recall anything,
Don't think me dumb,
I just can't put my finger on it,
Even though I try
Very very hard,
That grey cloud covers the answer,
But it's still me,
Just sometimes forgetful,
Still me,
Still here,
Still me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Surviving Sandy

The Northeast went through the worst Superstorm in its history last week. Hurricane Sandy ripped through states leaving people without power, heat or hot water. While I was blessed to have a roof over my head, I lost all three of those for 5 days. There's only so much one can do by candlelight and by Day 2/3, I went a little stir crazy.

The darkness inside my apt. with candles lit.
People get sick, we all know this and we all have home remedies on how to get over things like colds, or coughs. Shots of rum and honey and lemon, a garlic necklace, etc. But what do you do when you're in a real medical emergency and have no way of getting through to anyone?
During Sandy, I couldn't help but think about how people in medical emergencies were faring. The pregnant Mothers, heart attacks and strokies out there who couldn't get in touch with the police or a hospital must have been terrified. What did they do? How did they get through it all being at home without access to medical professionals?

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a first aid kit at home complete with all the fixins including ASPIRIN. I have gone on several rants regarding the power of aspirin. It saves lives. Please please keep a bottle of Bayer in the house in your first aid kit for times like these. You never know when you'll be in a situation like this. I certainly didn't expect the storm to be that bad and for it to cause as much destruction as it did. Be prepared!

Prepare for the unexpected!

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm Still Here

Sometimes, I get very discouraged with the path I am on. The world of Theater and Entertainment is a tough world but even tougher I think on someone who is of color and/or a woman. Today was one of those days where I was feeling a bit low on myself. In searching for a suitable piece of large drawing paper for a score I have to bring to class tomorrow, I unzipped my art portfolio which was covered in dust from me not opening it in many many years. As I was filtering through everything, a note fell to the floor. I picked it up, opened it, and cried for about 10 minutes.

It was a note from my Grandmother, from 2003 given to me right after college Graduation. She says she's proud of me and goes into how much she loves me. It was just what I needed to hear. Like an angel from beyond a grave, she sent me this message to remind me to keep going.

Thank you stroke for causing me to forget receiving this 9 years ago and allowing me to see it anew. What a wonderful surprise.

What a beautiful small victory.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's My Strokiversary Month!

It's my Strokiversary Month.
It's my Strokiversary Month.
It's MY Strokiversary Month!!
It's my Stroke Month!!!!
It's my re-birthday and I'm so excited.

Who would have ever thought that having a stroke would incite such happiness?

Docket 32357 In The International Film Festival Of Nashville...ONLINE!

Many people have been interested in seeing the short film I wrote, Docket 32357 but haven't had access to the festivals we've gotten into...until now! :)

Docket 32357 was just accepted into The International Film Festival of Nashville. This year, all the films will be showcased online for a certain time and day instead of being in a physical venue. This is a wonderful opportunity for us and I can't wait for you to see it. As soon as I get information on it, I will post.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Young Stroke Survivors Group In NYC

This week I was at NYU Hospital with my Mother for an appointment. We went to a separate section of the hospital I hadn't been to before. The place is a virtual maze! As we were waiting for the elevator, I looked at the notice board and saw that there was a posting for a Young Stroke Survivors Group. Below is the information for anyone who is in the NY area and can go. This is a great community and the first group for young strokies I've seen in the city.

I'm super excited about this! Hopefully I will be able to attend this month's group.

WHEN: 2nd Tuesday of every month
TIME: 5:30pm-6:30pm
WHERE: Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
400 East 34th Street Room RR 111-112
NY, NY 10036

RSVP to:
Pamela Singer Senior Social Worker
Dina Pagnotta

Monday, September 24, 2012

Docket 32357 At The Urbanworld Film Festival

Director Randy Wilkins, Me, Actress Ashley Denise Robinson,
Actor Kiel Perry, Actress Tara Gadomski
This weekend, the film I wrote, Docket 32357, made its NY premiere at the Urbanworld Film Festival. While I had already seen it on the big screen in Hollywood, CA at the Hollyshorts Film Festival, seeing it this time with my parents was a totally different feeling. My Father flew up from the Caribbean for it and hadn't so much as known what it was about when he stepped into the Theater. My Mom had seen it before but never on the big screen. Some of my friends were there and all these people made the experience very nerve wracking! I think I was more nervous for them to see it. Silly, I know but there is something inherently terrifying about showing people your work. It makes you feel so vulnerable. I even sat away from most everyone during the shorts block because of my shyness.

After the whole shorts block was done, cast and crew were invited up on stage for a Q & A session. We had done this in LA as well but this time, Randy encouraged me to mention why I wrote the story and to talk about the stroke if asked where the story came from. In LA, I was asked the same question and omitted the stroke part of it, I don't know why...So this time, someone asked the same question and I spoke about how the story came about and the stroke. While I was speaking these words, I wasn't completely aware of myself. I don't remember everything I said and I was even looking at the ground. Randy said as I spoke, some jaws dropped which is to be expected. Again, we're trying to bring awareness that even us young folk suffer from strokes. He also told me I spoke super fast! Haha, I'm pretty sure I just wanted to get it out.

I'm glad I mentioned it though. I should be proud of what I accomplished. I was able to write a compelling story in recovery and that says a lot. I'm pretty amped to go to more screenings at other festivals so I can talk about the experience again. Now I'm ready and I won't speak fast. I can do this! I have nothing to be embarrassed about. I lived to tell the tale!

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of the film! Hopefully it will be coming to a screen near you in the near future.

You can hear me speak to the audience about the film here

Friday, September 14, 2012

Healthcare Finally...But At A High Cost

I FINALLY got COBRA. On the 45th day, at the 11th hour, my company decided to grant me my right and give me some healthcare. Ugh!

Now I have the joy of paying $651 a month to these people. I have faith that one day healthcare will be affordable for everyone. It may not happen in my lifetime but I still have faith.

For anyone who has had this problem with their company not wanting to give them COBRA, remember, IT IS YOUR RIGHT. If they don't give you information, call the US Department of Labor and call them out on it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

COBRA Is Your Right!

I have had a myriad of problems with my ex employer regarding my healthcare coverage. I was supposed to be offered COBRA after my severance ran out at the end of July and the HR reps, who got everything wrong when I went on Medical Leave for the stroke 2 years ago, are now responsible for my current healthcare. Employers have 45 days from when one separates from the company to get everything organized and as it is, no one has been helpful. I have made calls myself to 3 different providers and administrators and have sent countless emails to HR and have received NO help.

I don't get it. Now I am stuck with medical bills for appointments I have had to make because of my pre-existing condition and have had to pay out of pocket. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't like paying over $400 out of pocket for a blood test when I should be covered.

I have spoken to the Department of Labor and they said they cannot step in until it has been 4 days. Well, I can't wait for that day to come because these people need a reality check. You can't do this to people, especially people who are sick. If that former employer is reading this, I just want to say this blog has over 14,000 views and it has been 40 days since you've ignored me...

Can't wait until 45. Please test me. Let me use you as an example.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Men, Eat Your Chocolate!

According to a new study posted in Neurology Magazine Online, eating moderate amounts of chocolate has proven to lower stroke risk in men. In this study, men who ate the largest amount of chocolate, about a third of a cup of choco chips per week had a lower risk of stroke (about 17%) compared to those who didn't have any choco. Can't this be true for women??? I want chocolate, haha!

This beneficial effect of chocolate on stroke may be related to the flavanoids in the yummy treat. The study used milk chocolate as opposed to dark...something that I find equally as interesting. The study was supported by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research. Mmm, Swedes and Cocoa, kind of like Ebony and Ivory!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Is It Too Late For Physical Therapy?

During a spirited game of "Tag", I tried to grab my boyfriend's foot with my right hand before he pulled it away and could not. I was just too slow. I tried this several times and my right hand just wasn't fast enough to catch his foot. I tried one time with my left hand and was able to catch it. This made me realize even more that I should have done Physical Therapy for the right side of my body. It was definitely a wake up call to see that my right side isn't as fast and strong as I thought. I was in shock for a minute and then wondered if I was still a candidate for Physical Therapy.

If you recall, I refused Physio when I was in the hospital still under the impression that nothing was wrong with me. I now realize that I was stupid and just reacting to my situation. If I do decide to go to treatment, is there even a possibility that it will do me some good at this point almost 2 years since the stroke? Is it a mental ailment or a physical one? Mmmm.

Hollyshorts Film Festival

I had the pleasure of attending the Hollyshorts Film Festival in LA last week to see the film I wrote, Docket 32357. In addition to this being a feat unto itself, I shed quite a few tears once the lights went down and I saw my work on the big screen. Certainly I was prepared to see the film on screen...after all, that's what I was there for, but I wasn't prepared to see it come on first! There was that nagging feeling in the back of my head about whether or not people would like it. I figured there would only be a handful of people, most all of whom I knew, clapping at the end but I was very happy to hear folks talking about the film positively during its run and the resounding sound of applause at the end.

I wrote this right after my stroke so this piece is my heart. I don't know if I will ever have as strong a connection to any other thing I write. It was so therapeutic to be able to flesh out these characters. Whenever I would feel frustrated with myself and what was going on within me, I wrote. Words came slowly but as I mentally got better, so did the piece. It healed me. I still had a creative edge, that that part of my mind wasn't gone.

When we got up to participate in the Q and A portion of the Festival, my knees almost gave out. I was so nervous. I definitely felt the right side of my body give a little and became aware of the slight weakness I had. Thank goodness I didn't stutter when I was asked a question! I am so thankful and blessed to have experienced this. I can't wait for the film to be shown in more festivals. I walked away feeling so inspired and feeling like I could do anything! It makes me even more excited to start Grad School at the end of the month.


Friday, July 27, 2012

The first full length play I wrote, Docket 32357, was completed 6 months after my stroke. I was inspired to finish it to prove to myself I could still write. It was a long but beautiful journey essential to my recovery. Later that year, the first scene of said play was made into a short film. The feeling I got watching something I wrote being filmed and acted out is something I can't yet put into words. Having one of my dreams actually come true was a bit surreal. I will just say I was all smiles. Docket 32357 is currently getting into festivals around the U.S. and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Please check out the teaser Docket 32357 You never know, there might be a showing in your state soon!

A Friday Lapse

It still sucks when someone says "Remember when..." and I can't.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lazarus Effect Device?

I've been reading about a new thrombectomy device in the middle stages of becoming a treatment for ischemic strokies. This ReCover device works by "capturing" clots in the part of your bod it affects.

Let's think about this for a minute and collectively whoa. What could this mean for folks on blood thinners? Does this mean that if ReCover gets the clot that strokies won't have to be on blood thinners? Or maybe it will reduce the time of having to be on the evil things...lots to think about! Of course the afflicted area would need to heal but wow! This is pretty big!

Currently this Lazarus Effect plans to launch the Lazarus ReCover in Europe in 2013. How exciting!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Graduate School!

On the 4th of July, I got great news! I got into Fordham University's Inaugural MFA in Playwriting Program! I am still riding on the wave of joy from this news. Initially, I was super nervous about applying and sent in the first full length play I completed after the stroke.

For anyone who has had a stroke and thinks you can't still follow your dreams, I'm living proof that you can. You CAN do it. Your success, your small victories, your anything will feel that much sweeter because you've overcome something.

And then, once you're done smiling, you can laugh in the face of that little clot.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha....

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Birth Control Pills And Stroke

Ladies, you should totes pay attention to these commercials that seem to be powering through our TV even more today. We've all seen them: Have you suffered a stroke from taking the birth control pills Yaz and Yazmin and Orthotryciclen and Nuvaring? 

Why does this seem to be showing up even more? I know we've been hearing more about strokes and women in the news but this seems to be a bit much. I'd love to see some statistics about how strokes in women have risen in the past 5 years with all these pills coming out. Again, I have to say to you girls, talk to your doctor AT LENGTH about birth control pills and the side effects. See if bc pills without estrogen are right for you.

And at last...
Why are birth control pills named after women?

BBC Interview!


My awesome friend Tara Gadomski interviewed me for the BBC's Radio Show's "Up All Night""New York Talks" segment just a few hours ago.  You can listen to the broadcast below. The link will be active for 1 week.

Welcome to my new readers! Remember, if you or someone you know has a stroke story, I would love to hear it and have you guest write.

Hello London!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Over 30 letters from students at Cathedral High School I got in the mail today expressing their thanks for hearing me speak about strokes during their classes in May. I can't even put into words what I'm feeling right now. I am so touched and my heart feels so full right now. This means more to me than they will ever know.

Thank you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flying After Stroke

With summer already in full swing, I have started to make some travel plans that require me to fly. While this is exciting in itself, I wondered if this would be safe to me. As it is, I will most likely find myself on a plane every 2 to 3 weeks until the beginning of August. Stroke victims have to be extra careful when they fly because of the risk of blood clots. This is called "economy class stroke syndrome". Mm, if I fly in first class, does this mean I'm safe? (rimshot-bad joke lol)

Folks should move around on long flights to make sure they don't contract this syndrome. The last thing you want on the way to some tropical place is to have a pesky clot go up your leg and to your hippocampus. If your calves or any other extremities are swollen after you fly, seek medical attention immediately! Risks for this can be reduced by drinking a ton of water, stretching rotating your ankles and taking a stroll up and down the aisle. You'll probably have to walk to the bathroom a ton of times after drinking all the water! Sure peeps will think you're crazy but I'd rather folks think that than have something happen to me!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm Still Looking For YOU!

Do you know any strong strokies aka young stroke survivors?

I'm looking for them to tell their story and be a part of a young stroke survivor community! Share your story! Comment on this post to get in touch with me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Things In Common

On Saturday I went to my best friend's brother's wedding. I got to ride in the limo with the parents since she was the maid of honor. After the ceremony, the parents and older friends of the parents stopped by the house for tapas before the reception. Everyone sat down and took off their shoes including me and did older people things like talk about "When I was a young man". Of course, I had nothing in common when they brought up things as this.

Then, after discussing World War II and the deficit, Coumadin and Warfarin came up. My ears perked right up. The mother of the bride was on it and had a ton of black and blues on her arm (remember, strokies bruise easily when on blood thinners). Then a couple of the other people chimed in talking about blood clots and things like that. Is it bad that I got excited about talking about experience?

The only one under 50 in the room chatting their ears off about Vitamin K and blood clots. Awesome! I hope I didn't scare them with my enthusiasm but I was so happy to be in the company of those who had been through something similar. They must have anticipated folks coming to the house on blood thinners because there was not one green piece of food on any platter in that house.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blog Views!

11, 671 VIEWS!
That's how many views this blog has gotten so far. Thank you for coming with me on my journey! I'm still looking for young stroke victims to share their stories! Please pass along this blog to anyone you know who has gone through something similar.

Thank you again!

Knowledge is power!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Blessing In Disguise

Many times when things happen, we have to ask ourselves, "What could I have done differently?" or "What now?". Today I was faced with this and it's only now that I am seeing through the events of today and making sense of it all.

My job let me go today because they are moving my position to an out of state office. Granted, at first I was heartbroken but now I am seeing things a little more clearly. This is a blessing in disguise. I no longer have to go to a job where I am constantly reminded of my stroke. This is a new beginning. I should embrace it. Yes, not having a job is scary right now but I can't let it get to me too much because, what's not good for strokies? You got it, stress! 

I'm looking at this as just another facet of recovery. The final piece of the more stroke job, no more reminder of said stroke, minimized stress. Of course, this leads to the elephant in the care! Luckily, I am covered until the end of July but what about after that? What do I do? Cobra is quite expensive as some of you know. And how does this take a toll on strokies? Do persons with pre-existing conditions have to pay a higher premium? Hmm, things to think about...tomorrow. For now, I'm going to sleep in tomorrow morning and enjoy the forced vacation. :)

What a wonderful way to end Stroke Awareness Month! 

Monday, May 21, 2012


During my speeches at CHS, many of the students asked me if I was mad at my Primary Care Physician for missing the warning signs of my stroke and I had to really think about it. I said no but nowadays, I realize that wasn't the truth.

I am mad. I'm still mad. Not the best feeling in the world.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Stroke Speech At My Alma Mater, Cathedral High School

On Friday May 11th, I went back to Cathedral High School to speak to students on my experience of having a stroke. I was so nervous on the days leading up to this awesome event! This was the first time I had spoken publicly to anyone in a large group about this! When I get nervous, I tend to fumble over my words and I didn't want to sound stupid! Learning how to control my speech during times like this is a process :)

I took the same route I did when I was a student which brought back so many fun memories. Walking through the halls immediately took me back to my days as a backpack toting uniform wearing band nerd. I only wish I could have brought some of the grads from my class with me but they were there in a sense. I sent them pictures at every turn so they could see what I was seeing.

I was immediately back in my teenage mindset unaware that I had 15 years on some of these kids! CHS grads, your girl was treated like a VIP. I got to take the elevator everywhere! (Class of '99, you know exactly what this means)The four classes I spoke to were filled with amazing talented young women interested in the medical field. I have to say, it was a bit intimidating to stand in front of these students. I didn't know how I would be received. In fact, I was so amped during my first speech I flew through my presentation in no time! Eek. Haha. All in all, they had all sorts of questions about strokes. I tried to answer them to the best of my ability. I hope each of them walked away with new knowledge on prevention.

One student asked what I was thankful for every day and what I took away from it. Being at the school definitely gave me something else to be thankful for. As I left Cathedral, I couldn't help but be so happy for the incredible opportunity I was given which is yet another reason why I am thankful for this stroke. Knowledge is power and I shared everything I could. You never know who you will touch just by sharing your experiences in life.

Everyone was so lovely. I'd like to send a big thank you to Alice D'Orazi for being so accommodating! I look forward to many more opportunities like this. Anything I can do to help others and prevent strokes is what Stroke Awareness Month is all about!

Thank you Cathedral High School!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Be Grateful For Today

So I went to the Hematologist (Hema what? :) to get my blood checked. My every 6 month checkup now, whoo hoo! Once again, I was the youngest in the waiting room.  There was a family there with the matriarch of the family who had clearly undergone some kind of trauma...stroke or something. I was trying hard not to look but couldn't help but observe her movements. She was trying to unwrap a piece of candy but was having some difficulty with her left arm and hand. Her family didn't help her. They just watched.

At first, I didn't understand this and got kind of annoyed that they weren't helping her with her candy situation but after about 2 minutes, she was successful and got it out of its wrapper and into her mouth with her right hand. Her family members kind of looked at each other. I guess they wanted her to do it herself to get her used to not having her left hand/arm as strong as her right. Of course, I'm just speculating but it's what I saw.  She kind of reminded me of myself when I was trying to get the strength back into my right arm. It was very humbling.

I got my blood taken in the same small room I always do and this time I had some company, an elderly man who was quite talkative. He complimented me on my hair and then started cracking jokes. We laughed as both of us were in the chairs for some time since the vampires were taking several vials of blood. He then broke out into what was wrong with him...The list kind of floored me. Since he was in such good spirits, I kind of didn't believe him. Pancreatic Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Skin Cancer and finally to top it all off, Shingles. Whoa. He joked around a bit more with me and told me to have a good summer. I automatically said "You too" not realizing he may not have another summer.

Yes, this is awful but reminded me still that you should be grateful for today. This dude was a walking dead body and he didn't let it get him down. Bless him. You have today! Small victories!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Stroke Awareness Month Eve

It's the last day of April! Stroke Awareness Month is almost here! Even if you didn't have a stroke or don't know anyone who had a stroke, chances are, you will so why not learn about the signs? Take the time at least ONCE during the month of May to learn about how you can make a difference in someone's life. Knowledge is power.

You never know who you can save. I've said it a lot but I'll say it again. Know when to act F.A.S.T.

Face look uneven?
Arm hanging down?
Slurred speech?
Time to call 911!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Guest Stroke Blogger: Meet Stacy

Meet Stacy, a wonderful young woman who found me through searching for other young stroke survivors online. She is an inspiration. I'm so glad she found me! It's awesome to be able to email with someone who has the same concerns you do. Below is her incredible story also featured on

My husband and I, John, got married on September 18, 2010. We thought everything was going our way. John got a permanent position as a store manager at Sherwin-Williams, which we thought at the time would be impossible, I got in to the dental hygiene program at Bellingham Technical College so I wouldn't have to move to the Seattle area. I started school the winter of 2008 and graduated the summer of 2010. In the meantime we got engaged! I was so excited to start planning my wedding. We decided that financially it would be smart to get married in the fall after I graduated. So I started planning our wedding in the midst of tests, state board exams, and juggling the fact that I now had a fiance. Our life for those two years while I was in school was turned upside down. He knew that my late night studying and fretting over the state board exams would soon be worth it.
As graduation and our wedding day was fast approaching I noticed this soreness in my neck. As most people do I took some ibuprofen and went on with my busy schedule getting ready for the wedding. The pain came and went and as we neared the wedding day, it was more of a dull ache. Since doing dental hygiene I thought that maybe my sore neck had to do with my posture and I made a mental note to sit more straight up to take the tension off my neck. The wedding day came and went seamlessly, and within a couple days we would be off to Maui for our long awaited honeymoon.

Maui was amazing! We stayed at a very nice hotel in Maui and were very excited when we found our the hotel had Starbucks. On the fifth day of our honeymoon my neck really started to hurt, we went back to our room early after dinner and I took a couple ibuprofen and we went to bed early seeing that we had an early morning of wake boarding in the morning. The following morning we woke up, the pain in my neck had gone away completely and we were off to go wake boarding! We were about ten minutes away when I all of a sudden got really dizzy. John pulled the car over and asked if I was okay, at this time my tongue went numb and he called 911. He tried to describe where we were, while he got out of the car and was now holding me. I couldn't stand on my own and my whole right side went tingly. The ambulance finally came with what seemed like hours, I could hear everything that was said but was unresponsive. They put me in the ambulance and rushed me to the hospital and told John to follow. In the ambulance they were having a hard time diagnosing what was wrong with me seeing that all my vitals signs were normal. They put the oxygen mask on me and that was the last thing I remembered.

When John got to the hospital he was told that; "I was in bad condition." They rushed me off to take an MRI and they saw that I was having a stroke. The vertebral artery in my neck dissected and caused a blood clot. Because I got to the hospital in 46 minutes I was able to get the drug tPA. This drug thins out your blood to dangerous levels and melts the blood clot. In a small percentage of people this drug can cause you to bleed to death and because of this John had to sign a waiver okaying this drug to be given to save my life. A huge decision for a man that just got married 6 days ago, you hope that you never have to make a decision like this but since he was left with no option, he of course signed it. When a person has a stroke you only have a small window, 3 hours, to be able to get this drug in hopes that the person will not have permanent damages. The neurosurgeon that did brain surgery on me was able to get the blood flowing again to areas of my brain that were deprived of precious oxygenated blood. One of the side effects of the drug tPA is bleeding in the lungs. I started to bleed in my lungs and was quickly put on a ventilator. I was on the ventilator for 6 days while the doctors tried to control the bleeding in my lungs and John was told that worst case scenario if the bleeding didn't stop they would have to take out one of my lungs. After 6 days the bleeding stopped and the ventilator was removed. Was the brain damage too extensive? Would she be able to live a normal life again? And most importantly, would she know who I was? Being on the ventilator and heavily sedated I couldn't communicate, all I knew was that I wanted my husband next to me. I tried communicating with the nurses and was told that I pointed to my ring finger and they knew then that I wanted my husband. When he got to my room I squeezed his hand and he knew everything was going to be alright. When the bleeding stopped and the ventilator was removed they learned that my memory was fully intact. My two years of dental hygiene school were still there. What wasn't was my fine motor skills. I struggled to hold utensils in my right hand and do anything with my right side. In the hospital they had to re-teach me how to do the everyday normal things one doesn't think about, walking, swallowing, and using my right side again. Through the 2 weeks in the hospital, John never left my side for a second. The first thing I told him was, do you still want to be married to me? He told me; "What kind of man would I be if I left you when you needed me most?" We said our vows just a short 10 days earlier, to death do you part, through sickness and health, through the good times and bad. We tested those vows and strengthened our very new marriage.

Through this John has taught me that he really loves me. He showed it to me before the wedding and there was no doubt in my mind that that I married the perfect man for me, but he showed it after. Very few people can say their significant others' saved their life and I can. He is exactly the man that I would want for our daughter and exactly the man I would want my son to be. We were fortunate in that we didn't have any children, so my recovery has been all about me. Because of him I love deeper, the relationships that I have with people are deeper. When someone tells me that they have a terminal illness or that they know someone with a terminal illness I really feel for them. I did before, but it's different now. Our marriage is unbreakable, we don't sweat the small stuff anymore and we never miss a chance to tell each other we love them. This stroke has been the best thing for me, I was fortunate to have it at age 27 so I can go my whole life looking at if differently. Since September 28, I was told that I would make a full recovery in 6 months. When I got home I went back to the basics, I had to relearn how to do everything again, including holding my dental hygiene instruments. I went to the gym daily and got my strength back in my right side. I was very fortunate to have such a caring boss that told me to take as much time as I needed and that my job would be waiting for me when I was ready. I was back to work in 3 months, my worries about starting a new job were just magnified by my stroke, was I ready? Could I do this again? Could I communicate effectively? Being the determined person that I was, failing was just not an option.

John saved my life in every way imaginable. He is my soulmate, my best friend, and my husband. He is my other half, I feel whole when he is around. I ache when he isn't there. Some people say that they climb a mountain to get where they want to be, we climbed a range. He has been my rock and has been there for me when I needed him the most.

In the hospital I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Fibromuscular Dysplasia. This disease primarily affects woman of child-bearing age and is usually diagnosed after a stroke. Fibromuscular Dysplasia affects primarily the arteries or kidneys and is noted by a "string of beads" appearance.

My stroke was of a catastrophic magnitude and I was told I am very lucky to still be alive today. At first, I went through the normal emotions of "why me" and "it shouldn't have happened to me" and unfortunately it did. I moved passed those feelings and tried to focus my energy on the good that came out of it. I am still here and I really believe that I am because I was put here for another reason that I initially thought. I am here to educate others that strokes can happen to anyone. You can recover! At first I was told in 6 months I would make a full recovery. A long the way I realized that stroke recovery is a life long process. It's up the person to determine how far their recovery will go.

Recovery from stroke is a life long process and journey! I love that! I find myself learning more about myself every single day. You are one brave survivor!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Little Thumb Clot

Hey little blood clot in my thumb,
Thanks for stopping there
And not going to my brain,
It's much appreciated.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A New Way Of Studying

On Saturday, I decided to take a class with a friend to build my resume. We're going to be tested on Wednesday and I'm SUPER nervous. This is going to be the first time since the stroke where I've had to memorize and be quizzed on something and to tell you the truth, I'm scared. Study methods that have worked for me in the past may not work for me now...I'm trying to figure that out.

Can you tell which is the old index card
and which is the new?
 One suggestion the teacher made was to make flash cards so as soon as I got home, I busted out my old index cards hidden deep in dust in the far corners of one of my drawers. You know you haven't studied in awhile when your index cards have yellowed! I quickly got to work writing down tons of definitions and words in different colored ink, laid them out on the table and started practicing, just like a game of Concentration. Remember doing that when you were little?

While I'm not as good as I used to be, I am pretty sure I can do this. I mean, how hard can it be right? C'mon brain, I know you have it in you to memorize some mumbo jumbo and hold on to it until Wednesday. If you do, I'll reward you with...a cupcake or some kind of ginseng treat to boost something up there? Do we have a deal?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bringing Stroke Awareness To My High School

My BFF Marie and I at
Prom circa too long ago
When I posted about bringing awareness to others about strokes in the month of May, I couldn't help but think of my High School. With strokes being very common in women under 65, it is so important now than ever to educate our youth!

I recently received one of the Alumnae newsletters from Cathedral High School and took that as a sign to offer to speak. I was so excited dialing the school's phone number. I think the secretary could feel me smiling through the phone. Today I spoke to Alice, the school's director of Gateways to Health and she invited me to speak to some students in May (whoo hoo Stroke Awareness Month!) I can't wait! I already have somewhat of a Powerpoint Presentation with pictures ready and set to go!

I love taking this experience and making it into a positive!

Small victories!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

And The Grand Total Is...

Over 10,000 views! WOW. I never would have thought it! Thank you to everyone who continues to read and share this blog. You never know who you might touch with the info you share. Everyone knows someone who had a stroke, whether it be a friend, family member, or friend of a friend.

May is fast approaching and you know what that birthday! Well, not only that, it's also Stroke Awareness Month. How will you spread awareness?

Here's hoping we get to 15,000 views :)

Small victories!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guest Stroke Blogger: Meet Dave

Meet Dave, a friend of mine I went to college with. Last year I heard Dave had a stroke too. I'm so glad he is recovering nicely and also to have another person to talk to about recovery. Below is his story.
It was five months ago – October 24, 2011 – that I had a stroke about six weeks before my 31st birthday.
I had just been offered a job in Richmond after a couple years of piecing together freelance work and a variety of part time jobs after finishing grad school.  I’d finally got a job!  I’d asked my mother to come along for a few days of apartment hunting.  I didn’t feel well and had been getting sick the morning we left, but I get butterflies when I get anxious, so I thought it was just a result of being nervous.  I knew something wasn’t quite right, so I asked my mum to take the first leg of driving out of Boston.  As we continued to drive, I continued to get sick, but being a bit overly persistent, I insisted we go on.  I started feeling a tingling sensation on my right side.  We finally stopped, at my mother’s insistence, at a motel off of I-684 in Westchester County, thinking that I had a flu and that I’d sleep it off and we’d get up and press on.
I took a long nap and when I woke up, I clearly wasn’t right.  The tingling on my right side had increased and my speech had become slurred.  I tried to walk, but I fell, and got back into bed, only to try to get up again and fall in the space between the bed and the wall.  We decided it was time to call an ambulance.
I was taken to Northern Westchester Hospital.  In the ER, they couldn’t figure out was wrong with me.  One doctor even wanted to send me home, despite my inability to move or speak clearly.  Aside from being overweight, everything checked out: blood sugar, blood pressure, heart.  They couldn’t find anything in the CT Scan.  I appeared to be healthy, they said.
with friend Brynne on a
recent trip to the West Coast
I needed an MRI to get to the bottom of things, so they moved me to the much larger Westchester Medical Center.  The MRI revealed a small ischemic stroke.  And I tested positive for syphilis.  That was as much a shocker as the stroke.  I’d never had any symptoms.  And is this the 18th or 19th Century?  (George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Franz Schubert all had syphilis; thankfully it is cured with a two week course of antibiotics today, rather than arsenic or mercury, which is likely what killed Napoleon and Schubert.)  A seriously nasty bacteria whatever the case – and a cause of stroke (and plenty of other terrible symptoms – think of the infamous Tuskegee experiment, one of the lowest points in the history of Western medicine.)  It’s prevalent enough even now, but curable with antibiotics.
I don’t remember when it was that I was finally able to get out of bed.  At first, I was so weak that they needed a lift to get me into a chair – sitting in the chair was pretty torturous at first when I was too weak shift my body weight.  Eventually, I was able to stand with a walker and get myself to the chair.  Then to the end of the room.  Then to the nurses’ station.  Then a bit farther.  It was slow going, but it was good to get out of bed.  
In a way it was good that I had to have the course of antibiotics before leaving the hospital, as it gave me access to physical therapy and occupational therapy that I wouldn’t have been able to receive otherwise.  I didn’t have insurance.  Despite trying everything imaginable to get a hospital in New York or Boston to take me on for PT (and the social worker at Westchester Medical Center was ace), we couldn’t get it to work out with Mass Health.
I continued to walk a little bit farther each day and a few weeks after the stroke I graduated to a cane.  By the time I left the hospital, I was doing laps around the neurology ward several times a day.  
I’m really grateful to all the doctors and nurses and residents and staff at the hospital.  I can’t remember everyone’s name, but there were some amazingly helpful and encouraging people: Dr. Marks and Dr. Birdi, resident Alexandra, the social worker Jeanne, and nurses Kathy, Alyama, Joan, Kwaku, Ailish and so many more.  
And my grad school friend Sara came up from the Bronx and my Aunt Rita from Baltimore and my parents were back and forth and back and forth from Boston.
I drove back to Boston with my mom, just in time for Thanksgiving with the family.  There was plenty to be thankful for – not least of which was a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  
I moved to Richmond at the beginning of December anyway.  I found my apartment over the Internet (and the local connection of my friend Alex) while I was still in the hospital.   Mum had been laid off from her job earlier in the year, so she decided to come stay with me to help me out.  My job takes me all over Virginia, and since I still have tingling on my right side, I haven’t been able to drive with the foot pedals.
At first I was pretty weak and it took me forever to walk anywhere, but that has been improving.  I ditched the cane soon after coming to Richmond and have gradually been able to pick up the pace.  I’m even walking to and from work some days, just over a mile from my apartment.  And I’m pretty much back up to normal pace.  I feel like I’m getting stronger and getting well.
I still get very tired – really, really tired.  And discouraged when I get tired.  I’m used to a pretty busy and briskly paced life and I can’t keep it up like I’d like to. Sometimes I worry that I’m not keeping apace, but perhaps it’s a sign to slow down a bit.  Not being able to use my body has made me all that much more aware of it and of its limitations, but there’s no question it’s getting stronger and healing everyday.  I just keep pushing myself as much as I can.
Mum is leaving next weekend after I have hand controls installed on my car.  She and I have spent a lot of time together over the last five months and I’m incredibly grateful for that.  We’ve even managed to have a lot of fun.
The story continues.  And I get stronger and healthier.  I’m grateful to see the adventure unfold. 
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Dave. You are incredibly brave! Here's to continued small miracles of recovery! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One Year Later!

I've been off Warfarin for a year this month! I AM SO HAPPY!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stroke and Sleep

Some sleep problems can lead to I've been reading. I'm pretty worried about this since my dog has had insomnia for the past month. I'm not sure why she's having such an issue and neither is the vet. All I know is, now I'm stuck with a dog on Prozac (which doesn't seem to be helping).

In the meantime, I am suffering from sleep deprivation. I don't get more than 3 hours of sleep and my head has been hurting every day. In doing a little research without trying to scare myself, I've found that there is a connection between sleep and stroke. Some strokes are caused by lack of sleep and some sleep issues are caused by stroke. You already know by now that I am terrified of having another stroke and sometimes am a little too crazy with the research and end up freaking myself out but this seems to be something I should pay attention to.

Webmd says that getting too much sleep makes you at risk for a stroke! Another website says if you snore you can get a stroke, I mean come on. It seems like no matter what you do, you're at risk of a stroke! I think I'll call the doctor this week and go in and just hear straight from the horse's mouth what I am and am not at risk of. This could partly be why I can't fall asleep...well that and the Dumbo eared cutie in the picture above.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guest Stroke Blogger: Meet Heidi

Meet Heidi, a 21 year old stroke survivor. Heidi has been kind enough to share her story in the hopes of helping others like herself. I am blown away by her bravery.

Heidi suffered her stroke in September 2011.

Below is her story.

I was home alone when it happened. After losing the ability to control my arms and legs, I was somehow able to call my parents (who live 5 miles from my house) and they called 911. All my vitals were fine so the EMTs said I could stay with my parents and have them watch over me that night. My parents said “No, you’re taking her to the ER.”. After several hours at the ER the doctor told me I had a severe case of vertigo and to check with my general practitioner in a couple days. I saw my doctor 3 days later, told him I wanted an MRI, and waited some more. 2 days after I had the doctor visit I had my MRI, they detained me there while they read the results then sent my straight to the hospital to get on a blood thinner. I was admitted for 3 days while they did tests on my to try and figure out why I had a stroke.

They found the issue; a hole between the two upper chambers of my heart (Atrial Septal Defect) and decided I needed open heart surgery. I had surgery December 1st and am still trying to get back on my feet. The doctors are confident the problem is fixed and I don’t have to worry about a thing. I still worry; I think that’s natural.

I wasn’t on medication. I am not unnaturally overweight. I have always been active; I was on a recreational soccer team when it all happened. There is no family history of this. I have never had health issues. I am young! BUT I am so grateful this happened to me; it saved my life. The hole in my heart, if it had gone undetected, could have done major damage and maybe killed me. I get a second chance. I am going to take full advantage of this as soon as I am recovered from surgery.

Now I feel so-so. For how much trauma my body has been through in a very short amount of time, I feel great! When I get tired everything gets a little funky; my speech gets twisted, my coordination is a little worse, I can't make numbers make sense when people tell them to me, I just have some silly little quirks now (trying to stay positive!). I'm just super lucky; my stroke affected both sides of my brain so if it had been any bigger it could have done some very serious, life altering, damage.

Heidi, I'm so happy this was found before like you said, it could have gotten worse. Recovery time is slow but rewarding. Remember to celebrate everything! Small victories! Second chances are the best chances. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daddy Therapy

My mother has a habit of closing things really tightly as if there is poison inside the jar or flowing from the faucet of everything she seals. Since my right side is not as strong as my left from the stroke, it is often very frustrating to not be able to open these things.

Today I once again explained that I can't open faucets when she does this. I truly believe that sometimes she forgets I went through what I did which is kind of nice sometimes, I guess. This creeps in when I am tired and slur and she asks me if I'm drunk and I have to again remind her of what happens when I just can't focus on sounding proper when I'm too sleepy to care.

This morning I spoke to my father and vented my frustrations to him. It was only after I got off the phone that I realized that he too must have gone through this having his stroke a little over 10 years ago. Just as my mom forgets I went through this at moments, I forget my Dad did too. It's always interesting to speak to him about my troubles or frustrations with recovery because he almost never puts his own experiences into the conversation. He takes the Daddy card and listens intently and tries to make me feel better which he almost always does. Next time I have one of these moments, I have to remember to ask him if this ever happened to him and remember, I have my own little support group right in front of me.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Looking For You!

Are you young and strokey?
Have you suffered a stroke at a young age? Are you looking for a place to tell your story and get support?

Comment here! I'd love to hear you story. We're in this together! Let this be a community for you to share your experience and inspire others :)

Coco the Clot
Although dangerous to us, she carries a sign
indicating self-loathing.

I Miss My Brain Sometimes

The weirdest thing...
Sometimes when I'm lost in my mind, I get to a point where I'm traveling through the tunnels and have to stop. I stop at a door, some part of my brain I can't get to anymore because it's locked and I don't have the key. It's a small piece of my former self I can't access no matter how hard I try. What's behind there? Stuff I forgot, things I can't remember? I visit my mind like this every couple of days in the hopes that one day the door will open. Maybe if I knock loud enough, it will hear me and let me in.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Aspirin Therapy

Since leaving the life I had with blood thinners last March, I have been taking baby aspirin every day to prevent future clots. Recently, my Mother asked me if I could get off the aspirin. I don't know, I feel very comfortable taking the aspirin even if it is for the rest of my life. It has become a bit of a crutch for me. I feel like if I don't take it and miss a couple of days, I'll immediately go into shock and stroke out.

My Mom seems to think that if I DO continue to take it, I'll end up injuring myself. I've been doing some research online and found that it's pretty dangerous to just stop taking aspirin. According to the Mayo Clinic, your body can really go into rebound mode and trigger a blood clot! 

I hope someone out there reads this and is able to pass along this info to someone they know. Who knew something as simple as taking daily baby aspirin could hurt you?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Healthy New Year

Happy New Year! It's 2012 and like most people, I have started off the year with hopes of becoming more physically fit. I have made it to the gym 3 times since I have been back in the country and have no intentions of stopping. Many say that by February, our resolutions of physical fitness die down and the gym becomes a memory. Let's hope that doesn't happen to me!

The same can be said of YOUR health. There is not one of us who can honestly say they have no room for improvement because we should all be constantly trying to better ourselves especially with our health. I'm going to start adding fish oil tablets to my vitamin regiment. I have long been frightened to take additional supplements since I really thought I was pretty healthy before the stroke. I took Green Vibrance every morning, stretched etc etc. I have slowly been adding vitamins and other things I used to do in my former daily routine to my new life. This is the year to be at your best health ever! I know, I sound like a page out of an exercise magazine but I'm serious!

When I was on vacation, I ran into a childhood friend who is very close in age to me. He suffered a heart attack the year before I had my stroke. Both of us found ourselves in an in depth conversation about drugs such as Plavix and Warfarin. We paused for a second because we realized we sounded like our parents! Both of us standing there, survivors of disease, laughing about who's taking what and in agreement that maybe we went through what we did so we wouldn't have to suffer later in life. No suffering this year, no hospitals, only routine doctor visits!

Here's to your best health best you ever this year. I'm looking forward to it :)