“God grant me the serenity to accept the person I cannot change, the
courage to change the person I can, and the wisdom to know that it’s me.”
Take the pledge!  DoSomething.org,

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Medical Update 7-2

Yesterday was very frustrating for me.  I was ordered to complete a 30 day heart test monitor and that was terminated on June 1, the equipment was returned and I’ve been waiting for the test results.

I have a procedure Monday that requires me to drink 4 Liters of PEG-3350 (colon cleanse).  The 2nd listed side effect (contraindication) of this medication is Cardiac Arrhythmia.  Most of my medical people have been pointing at Atrial Fibrillation as a reason for the stroke and today is a holiday for most so answers were needed yesterday – Is this safe for me to drink or do I need to reschedule this procedure?

The problem is no one had received the test results and 2 different medical reps assured me that “these things just take a while and they have to read for each day of the test”, this was a direct quote from one of them.  It has been a MONTH!  Surely a cardiologist doesn’t wait 30 days to do an initial read of a 30 day test?

FRIENDS:  YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR HEALTH.  The medical community is two busy (literally) stopping the hemorrhaging in society to follow up with your minor issue.  S/He who bleeds buckets gets the attention and once the symptoms have been addressed you are replaced by someone in worse condition.  God help us and He has by sending amazing plants to address human suffering.  I digress.

First Call:  My primary care physicians office.  “We haven’t received the tests yet”.

Second Call:  Stroke Clinic “We haven’t received the tests yet”

Third Call:  “The test was ended on June 1 and the results were sent back on June 2″

To which provider?

“To the ordering physician”, which was the general practitioner at the hospital.

Fourth Call:  Ordering physicians office.  Tests were read on June 2 and faxed to your primary care physicians office.”  Can you give me any idea of the outcome/results? “The monitor was activated on 10 abnormal occassions but none of them correlate to any issues of concern” (later this was described as escalations found in a normal heartbeat).  Good news, right?  Yippeee.

Fifth Call:  Primary Care physician, the cardiac physicians readings were faxed to you on June 2 “Let me call you back:

Sixth Call:  Stroke Clinic “the cardiac physicians readings were completed on June 2, Dr. advised in my last appointment that she would follow up with the heart test and contact me with the results (argumentative nurse) “There is nothing in your chart indicating we would follow up”… ongoing theme of the conversation, of which I am proud I expressed myself calmly, listened to her excuses and finally was able to end the call with 2 “I need” statements.  Get the test results.  Tell me if there is any concern with me consuming this medication.  “Let me call you back”

Both offices called back after obtaining a copy of the report.  Neither apologized for not following through to request the test results after a certain period of time.  However, my primary care physicians nurse did empathize on her 3rd call back about the frustration I was feeling and was able to put a copy of the report in front of my physician and are in agreement that the solution is safe for me to consume.

Day Two

Written a couple of days ago and Word flaked so the post wasn’t sent.

I doubt if I will continue with a counting thread. I napped for about an hour yesterday watching a Parelli Video, OnLine Level 2. I’ve had these for a couple of years and don’t remember watching them through. It’s been the opportunity of time off and restricted activity that has prompted me to sit and listen. It’s paying off in spades with Autumn. She’s been confined to a stall at night, forcing me to handle her two or three times a day while walking her in and out morning and evening. She has become very quiet (i.e. No Drama) to work with and rarely panics and bolts. The geldings could care less but it’s hard for Callie to have her in and out. In the morning she is so needy when Autumn joins the herd. I considered leaving her out with them last night but she started a catch game with me so I had to follow through.

We have a few rules. I was able to approach her with a rope 3 times yesterday in the large pasture with no drama. I have decided to give her the weekends off to be with her friends since weekends are usually busy for me and I usually reach my walking steps in spades. I’m at 6500 steps per day this week. That has been challenging for me and there were 2 days I didn’t meet the goal so I’m considering continuing 6500 for next week and jumping to 7000 the following week. (It’s now next week and I did continue the 6500 steps which I havn’t met any days this week, I have plateaued).
The catch me game is this; If she runs when I come to catch her, then I ask her to run until she asks me if she can stop running/trotting/playing a fool..
If she starts a catch me game then she is separated from the herd for that time period. She’s very independent so that’s not an issue but she prefers to be with the herd.  She’s also very smart.  I first separated her on June 2nd.  Today is July 3rd.

It’s hard to write since my brain is moving the thoughts around out of logical positions.  This is not the post I was mindful of when I woke up.  I was rudely woken around 0600 by a bathroom dream.  I was sitting on what felt like an oil pan, mounted to a large round bail of hay using the toilet in a smallish room.  My companion (family) invited some of my friends in who were curious why I was sitting and not getting up to greet them.  There was a canoe involved at some point and then several of us were racing (floating) down a river but I was still on the oil pan and then I woke up and realized I had peed the bed.  Well, Good Morning!!  That pretty much ended my night and now I have to wash bedding.

And on that note my brain has stopped functioning as a writer and the long post that I was creating early this morning has been filed away, at least for now.

Be well my friends, All My Love.

Day One by Mathew West

This song was on this morning when I was thinking about my health and age.  No one from church has contacted me since shortly after I left the hospital – that’s very discouraging since I have no transport to get to services.  Yes.  I will call them, and I know that everyone has life happening.  It’s just that this is the first time I’ve had a major illness in my life and I was hoping for more support.  I would think the pastor of care would at least call periodically.  se la vie.

Anyway.  I met with a DoTerra representative yesterday.  “nature’s medicine cabinet for your home”, Essential Oils primarily and have decided to jump in hook line and sinker.  The medical community continues to throw pills at the symptoms which I appreciate, but I want a cure I don’t want to live a lesser life than I could have and that responsibility lies with me not my Doctor. (And on that note, the final decision has been solidified).

I informed you thusly, (quote from Sheldon Cooper) that I am going to track my progress for both medicinal and holistic treatments and their effects.  I did use the sample toothpaste last night and this morning.  It doesn’t foam as I was advised, it does leave a sweet clove taste in your mouth which I can still smell even having drank coffee after.

Another sample that was left for me is a small vial of Wild Orange.  It smells amazing!  I’ve breathed it when I woke up a couple of times and will have some in a glass of ice water shortly.  I am very excited about this transition and fully intend to be healthier by the time I am 60 than I have ever been.

Money issues is a constant companion.  Part of this change is to open up the plentiful stores and invite wealth to me.  The only outside force being God’s will and my prayers and actions.  Cinderella must die.

Be well my friends, All my love.

0603

The test results are starting to come in. I have to do another sleep test to be fitted with a cpap, I’m very interested in seeing how that effects my sleep and energy levels.

The heart rate monitor tests haven’t come back yet.

I’m listening to a story on CD. Woke up too early today and may need a nap later.

Be well.

My FB reply to Carolina shooting

Carolina

My heart is broken again. For the church members who are personally effected, for the families of the shooter. For this young man.

And my response to one of the comments:

[You do realize his family is who taught him to hate this much, right? Prejudice is learned and his father have him the gun. Why would you feel sorry for him or his family?]

Yes. But we as a nation must unite in love not hate if we are to turn the tides and live with joy in all men/women/children with the earth. I love you as I love him. The families of the 9 murdered have each other and the support of the nation. He is but one of millions of young people who are lashing out from lack of direction, education, guidance. Gross acceptance of drugs, poverty, violence. Too much violence in their young lives – and we accept it and then crucify them when they break. WHAT IF people in his life had met him with great love and acceptance, offered him an alternative? Demonstrating by their actions great love and caring? I see a young man, broken, desperate or driven. It sounds like you see only a criminal. I don’t know him, so I am trying not to judge him. “Just because I am silent (mourning) does not mean I have nothing to say.” the late Dr Maya Angelou

Dream Job

If I were to change careers at this point what would I strive to do?

1. Travel Writer

2. Environmental Activist

3. Oceanographer

4. ?

5. ?

I want my next career path to be intentional.

This was prompted by an email I found printed.  I’m listening to the CD Throw Out Fifty Things and this seriously needs to go, then I read it and realized I emailed myself a copy in March 2009.  Here it is.  Emails are on the list too, but physical stuff is first.  I am going through the 3 2-drawer filing cabinets now so I can move them downstairs and eventually to Salvation Army.  Enjoy the read.

Drug dealing for fun and profit.
New Rich (NR)
Be a deal maker-
D-Definition
E-Elimination
A-Automation
L-Liberation
What on earth do you do when you no longer have to work as an excuse to be hyperactive and avoid the big questions?
Be terrified and hold onto your ass with both hands, apparently.
Definition:  Reality is merely an allusion.
The freedom multiplier:
If you can free your time and location your money is already worth 3-10 times as much.
Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of values you can control in your life.
What When Where Whom
Everything popular is wrong.
The importance of being Earnest.
Relative income is more important than absolute income.
Euphoria and Disphoria
Distress is bad-eustress is good.
Distress-harmful stimuli that make you weaker, less confident and less able.  Destructive criticism, abusive bosses and smashing your face on a curb are examples of this.
Eustress-roll models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires and risk that expand our sphere of comfortable action.  Stress that is helpful and the stimulus for growth.  People who avoid all criticism fail.  It’s destructive criticism in all forms.  There is no progress without eustress and the more eustress we can create or apply to our lives the sooner we can actualize our dreams.  The trick is telling the two apart.  The nr are equally aggressive is removing distress and finding eustress.
Many a false step was made by standing still.
Named must your fear be before banish it you can.  Yoda
The power of pessimism-defining the nightmare.
Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.  Benjamin Disreali, former British prime minister
To do or not to do.  To try or not to try.
Dont Happy, Be Worry.
It’s just a phase.
Work through the case scenarios:
Worst
Probable
Best
What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.
What do you want?
What
I have developed adult onset ADD – “Adventure Deficit Disorder”
Answer the following questions
Drawing a blank?
  1. What would you do day to day if you had 100 Million dollars in the bank?
  2. What would make you most excited to wake up in the morning to another day?
Doing:
  1. Place to visit
  2. Thing to do before you die-memory of a lifetime
  3. One thing to do daily
  4. One thing to do weekly
  5. One thing you’ve always wanted to learn
Being
  1. Great cook
  2. Make christmas dinner without help
  3. Speak Chinese
Avoid paralysis by analysis.
Tomorrow becomes never-no matter how small the task
Don’t attempt more than one comfort challenge at a time
    Learn to eye gaze – 2 days.    No speaking is permitted.  Gazing into the eyes of a partner for 3 minutes.  Until they break contact; focus on one eye and blink occasionally so they don’t think you are a freak.  Practice on people bigger or more confident than yourself and if they get defensive just say “sorry, I thought you were an old friend”.
One does not accumulate but eliminate.  It is not daily increase but daily decrease.  The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.
Being busy is a form of laziness.  Lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.  Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing and is far more unpleasant.  Being selective, doing less is the path of the productive.  Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.
Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities.
Speed Reading 200% in 10 minutes
1. 2 minutes-use a pen or finger to trace under each line as you read as fast as possible
2. 3 minutes-begin focusing on the 3rd word in from the first work in each line and the 3rd word from the end of the line
     move in from both sides further and further as it gets easier
3.  2 minutes-once comfortable indenting 3 or 4 words from both sides focus on taking only two snap shots aka fixation per line on the first and last indented words
4. 3 minutes-practice reading too fast for comprehension but with good technique from the above 3 techniques for 5 pages prior to continuing to read at a comfortable speed
To read 12000X faster than the top 1% of the population visit
Learn to be difficult when it counts.  Having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time.
www.pxmethod.com
Q&A
Questions and Actions
  1. Get an assistant-even if you don’t need one
As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few.
The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.  The man who tries methods, ignoring principles is sure to have trouble.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
I not only use all the brains that I have but those that I can borrow.  —
L-Liberation
It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains.  Thomas H Huxley, English Biologist aka Darwin’s Bulldog
Ask for the world
What would I need to do to [desired outcome]?
Under what circumstances [desired outcome]?
Have you ever made an exception [desired outcome]?
I’m sure you’ve made an exception before havn’t you? Why or Why not?
Put your employer on remote training wheels.
It’s too big a world to spend most of life in a cubicle.
Dont confuse the complex with the difficult.
Self imposed suffering that can be avoided.
There are two types of mistakes.
Mistakes of ambition-result of a decision to act.  To do something.  Made with incomplete information and is to be encouraged.
                –Fortune favors the bold–
Mistakes of sloth-to not do something.  Refuse to change a bad situation out of fear despite all the facts.  This is how learning experiences become terminal punishments.
The person who has more options, has more power.
www.iresign.com
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM NOW?
What if you did a mini retirement?  Spend 3-6 months in a new location that you think you may want to live in.
Recurring-it’s a lifestyle.  3-4 mini retirements per year. (Did it.  year and a half between my last 2 jobs).
Use Orbitz.com
Vagabond
www.virtualturist.com
www. escapeartist. com
Outside Magazine hhtp: outside.away.com
gridskipper.com the urban travel guide
globalfreeloaders.com
    homeexchange.com
hostels.com
craigslist.com
Become a travel writer:  writtenroad.com
Teach engrish:  www.esl.com
www workingoverseas .com
language addicts 4-hourworkweek.com
  1. Revisit ground zero-do nothing.  Consider attending a silence retreat for 3-7 days  Learn to slow down the static of the mind    spiritrock.org
  2. Make an anonymous donation to the service organization of your choice    charitynavigator.org
Recommended reading-the fundamental 4:
  1. The Magic of Thinking Big, by David Scwartz
  2. How to Make Millions with Your Ideas, an Entrepreneurs Guide by Dan S Kennedy
  3. The e-myth revisited.  Why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it by Michael E Gerber
  4. Vagabonding; An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long Time World Travel by Ralph (Rolf ?). Potts
  5. Reducing Emotional and Material Baggage, Walden by Henry David Thorogh
  6. Less Is More; The Art of Voluntary Poverty; edited by Goldie and Vandenbrook
  7. The Monk and The Riddle; the Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur by Randy Commisar (Deferred Life Plan)
  8. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
  9. Muse Creation and Related Skills (Harvard) www hbsp.harvard.edu School Cases
  10. This Business Has Legs by Peter Bieler (100 Million Dollar Merchandising Empire in 2 years-www.mediafunding.com)
  11. Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson
  12. Getting Past No
  13. Bargaining for Advantage
  14. Response mag responsemagazine.com
  15. Jordan Whitney Greensheet: jwgreensheet.com
  16. Small Giants by Bo Birlingham
  17. ****Negotiating World Travel and Preparing for Escape – (I can really do this)
  18. Transitions Abroad – transitionsabroad.com (magazine)
4-hourworkweek.com
Thanks (again) Tim for the inspiration.

Stroke

It‘s been months since I’ve written. There is too much on my mind now to fit in Facebook, where most of my friends will read it. So I write here for myself and the 4 (less now probably) people who may stop by.
There has been a lot of drama out here including a conflict that has nearly destroyed the relationship with my room-mate and has seriously damaged the friendship I thought I had with her. On a separate issue, the landlord brought in another tenant with horses which caused a ton of stress between the two of us after she turned her three loose in the pasture where ours have been for 3 years without so much as knocking on the door to say they were there. My room-mate and the neighbor were told that we might be getting a new boarder, then she showed up and took over.  This following the drama with my father last year in which I was made out to be the money grabber even though I haven’t received $50,000 from him, but one family member has.  That’s irony isn’t it?  He never has and probably never will take care of his children (but we are grown now anyway). In spite of that I was willing to step in to take actions in his best interest.  I digress, he was deemed competent and returned to his rat hole where he was then truly robbed and abused.  I have not much more than pity for him and still some anger.  He only gives to people who cater to his whims and join him in his abusive co-dependent relationships.  Personally I believe he is high functioning Autistic/Aspergers but no one will every know.

I am currently on leave from work following a series of life threatening medical events.

April 17th or 18th

We moved a bunch of seasoned horse dirt and ash to an area by the house where I wanted to plant a garden. It was a normal, sunny Saturday afternoon. That evening I started having intense pain radiating down my left arm. I considered that I may be having a heart attack but I’ve had my heart checked periodically throughout life and the EKG readings have been normal so took an Advil and eventually it subsided. The same pain woke me up again later that night.

April 19th
I woke up with a blanket of rash from my left shoulder to my left wrist – looks a lot like poison ivy which I am very susceptible to so I started treating it with OTC topical meds, like I always do. The pain in my arm has subsided by now. I continue treating the rash and it continues to spread.

April 21st
I speak to the pharmacist about another topical treatment and she makes a face when I show her the rash and suggests I need a steroid. I went to an Instacare center where the doc looked at the rash, prescribed Progesterone (Prednosone – side effect of the brain issues, confusing to the ER staff since the 2 meds are not interchangeable) and sent me on my way. I spoke with 3 different people in the office about the intense sharp pains in my left arm including the doctor and it was dismissed. On the way out of the office I again had a conversation about the pain in my left arm, the receptionist was surprised that the Dr didn’t explore further about the cause and I went home.

Sunday April 26th
I was in the barn throwing hay out for the horses evening meal when I was suddenly hit with a feeling of vertigo making me feel as if I were going to black out. I fell (more like tipped over and the bale caught me) into the large round hay bale near where I was standing. Two of the other renters were in the area and they helped me steady myself until I was able to slide down to the floor leaning against it. I remember her asking if I was diabetic. Even though I was sitting, it felt as if the world was spinning around and I had to keep my eyes closed for 20+ minutes until it subsided. I had an alcoholic beverage earlier in the day and after talking with them we thought maybe it was an interaction with the prescription I was on. I went in the house, watched TV and went to bed.

I’m continuing on the Prednisone, the rash is responding and drying up, I was working full-time and there are no further issues until Thursday May (April) 30th.

Thursday April 20th (uh April 30th)
I work a split shift from home so my hours at this time are 7:30 am to 11:30 and 6pm to 10pm, but I’ve been picking up as much overtime as possible and working 60+ hour weeks for the last + months. I live in my chair at the desk 10-12 hours a day. On my evening shift break is 7:45 to 8:00 pm and on break I took the dog out for a walk. When I get back to the living room in the house I get hit by the freight train again. This time it takes me 3 ½ hours to recover. My room-mate is home and brings a chair, trash can to vomit in and several dish towels, wet cloths to help (at this point I should have called an ambulance I later learn). This episode is accompanied by violent vomiting, explosive gas and intense nausea. Even with my eyes closed it feels as if I’m on a Tilt-A-Whirl, previously my favorite amusement park ride. Now I have my own personal ride that I cannot stop.

At 9:00 or so, she checks in with me before going to bed. I’m still sitting in the kitchen chair and manage to get up under her supervision and stumble to the bathroom and back to the couch, she gets my comforter from the bedroom, puts it over me and goes to bed. Around 11:30 I wake up with a cat on my chest (Skylar) and the dog cemented to my side while the other cats are perched around me observing. I was able to propel myself from the couch to my bed without incident. I slept through the night as far as I know.

Friday May 1st
I heard her moving around when I got up and asked for a ride to the hospital. I NEVER want to experience that again and the 2nd was violently worse than the first and I want to know what is going on and what do I need to do to prevent another episode?

I would say here for all intents and purposes I appear to be functioning in a normal means. I am walking, talking, having cognitive conversations and making decisions for myself. From the surface it appears that nothing has changed. If you think it’s frustrating for you – switch places with me.

Vitals appear normal but “as a precaution” they are going to do a checkup. I’m connected to a heart monitor and sent down for a brain scan. They install an IV and luckily at that moment labs shows up and are able to take their samples from the same hole (less drilling for now). Some time passes. This cute doc comes in and sits next to the bed (that’s always a sign of bad news btw) and says the brain scan is showing a shadow on my cerebellum, they are checking me in for a CT scan to check it out. I said to him “to see if it’s a cancerous growth”, he nods and offers that they also want to eliminate stroke and emphasizes that he cannot confirm at this time if it was a stroke – that word was so far from the realm of possibilities I was considering that it was shocking to me.  At this point it’s been 5 or so hours since I’ve been in the hospital and I’m getting hungry since I usually eat shortly after waking up. I text Eric to call me on lunch – there is no need to worry him unnecessarily. I tell him to stay at work for his shift and come to the hospital at night.

He did and slept in the chair next to me all night.  Twice sliding off of it to the floor.  Love’s his mama and I think he was afraid I was packing my bags for the final journey.

May 1st to 3rd are spent listening to the sounds of the hospital, gazing out the window and napping.  I am check from tip to toe with the following results.  I still find it humorous that almost the first thing the neurologist says to me is “You’ve had 2 strokes”.  She was a rock star and the first doctor to shoot straight and give me direction for recovery.  I have to say with 1 exception every person I encountered at the hospital was aces.

The verdict:

  • Stroke 1 (small, Ischemic*) on right hemisphere of brain.
  • Stroke 2 (major, Ischemic) on left hemisphere of brain at the cerebellum
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Patent Foramen Ovale – a hole in my heart that I’ve lived with since my first breath
  • AIC of 6.6 – which means I have developed Type 1 Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea – on Friday night I stopped breathing 13 times, the norm is 5
  • Anemic – from a known issue that I’ve been battling for several years
  • Atrial Fibrillation – strong possibility, I had a heart rate monitor on for 30 days and we’re still waiting for the test results to be confirmed.
  • Stress from the conflict between my roommate and Eric and the stress of the disrespectful tenant with the new horses in addition to the silent health issues created a perfect storm.

I had 8 out the 10 indicators for stroke.  I have never smoked anything-ever and I’m not an alcoholic.  Those were the only 2 I didn’t have.  Word to the wise Eat Healthy and Exercise so you don’t have a stroke.

It has been 6 weeks and 2 days since I left the hospital.  In addition to the testing done there I’ve also had my annual physical stuff, am going to Diabetes classes, have additional testing scheduled and completed.

What most likely happened is my heart went into AFib, allowing enough blood to pool for long enough to create a blood clot.  When the heart beat normally again it shot the blood clots through the PFO into an artery up to my brain – resulting in the strokes.  The stress inflated an already high blood pressure.

The good news is I have confirmed that I do not have a brain tumor, weak heart or breast cancer.  I walked out of the hospital under my own power and am recovering my cognitive abilities.  I have learned that the brain in an adult does not recover dead cells, no new ones will grow.  It will take time for my brain to re-learn those skills that I have lost and the dead tissues will remain a shadow.  It’s kind of like someone taking a melon baller and removing a scoop of brain tissue.  There are things that are simply absent, and I don’t know that I don’t know until someone reminds me.

Oh, one of the side effects too is that I tire easily now.  I have set some personal goals for recovery and this week am up to walking 6,000 steps per day.  This one has been the most challenging level so far (I’ve been increasing 500 steps per day each week from the amount I was able to do right out of the hospital)

One nurse told me that people with PFO are more emotional than most and I can attest to that.  I am sitting here with a tear running down my cheek.  Eric called about an hour ago to tell me he passed out at a stop sign on the way to work and was woken up by a police man.  I sent him to a doctor and he isn’t answering his phone.  He’s all I have left and I’m not even with him and now his phone is going straight to voice mail.  Be still and know that I am God.


Random order in which these thoughts came to me while writing.

I have a brain injury.  To those of you, like me before, who have no idea what that’s like I have two suggestions to increase your understanding and hopefully your compassion.  Memory now is like looking through a stained glass window, there is an image of each little memory but those that are dreams, thoughts and actions are somewhat scrambled together and It’s not certain which is which at times, especially if I’m tired or stressed.  This observation came about following a brief conversation I just had with my roommate regarding a ride to the sleep study on Friday.  Until an event in April between her and my son Eric we had a strong healthy mutually respectful friendship.

A number of “friends” have inferred that my strokes must not have been too bad or must have been mini strokes (there is no such thing btw) and to them I provide the following for understanding.  Go to the paint store.  Place your head in the paint can shaker and turn it on.  Wait for the timer to go off, now try to function.  Basically on the 2nd stroke my head was in the shaker for 2.5 hours before I could open my eyes and balance against the walls enough to get to the bathroom.  It took another hour before I was able to walk without support enough to go to bed.

Word to the wise if anyone in your family ever says the world is spinning – CALL AN AMBULANCE, don’t go to bed and say “let me know if you need anything”.  What I need in this moment is for someone else to make a decision because I am not capable of logical thought, my focus is on breathing.

STROKE = FAST

Face, Arms, Speech, Time

Face – Is one side of the face drooping, have your loved one smile.

Arms – Have your loved one hold both arms straight out in front of themselves and close their eyes.  Does one arm drop?

Speech – Ask them to speak a simple sentence or recite a tongue twister.  Did they stare at you blankly or look like they can’t make the words or is their speech is slurred?

Long term issues – my language and math skills are still drastically effected as you may be able to tell by the writing above.  I’m just freaking thankful I can write and function at all having the benefit of time and education on my side now.  If I don’t write something down, it may get lost in the shuffle, like reference to my chat with the roommate earlier.  Since I was reminded of our chat I vaguely remember we talked about her picking me up on Saturday from the sleep study but before the reminder I was remembering the earlier arrangements for her to take me to the hospital and me figuring out a ride home.  How can I help you understand what I need when there are still moments when I have to think in logical sequence to function?  I can’t tell you what I want if it’s a secret to me.  I’ve put that in bold for all the caregivers and medical patients, I hope it will lead to understanding and much more patience.  I know it’s confusing to you and you don’t know how to relate but if I am incapable of expressing myself it falls on you to offer compassion and patience.  Refrain from judgement and irritation because you don’t get an answer from me on YOUR time schedule, my slate has been wiped clean and I’m probably writing on it with fresh chalk.

The outlook?  30% of stroke patients have another one within 5 years.  So 70% don’t and go on to lead normal lives?  Since I’ve already had my 2 I’m looking to the sunny side.

Today 6/17 0800  Just got off the phone with Eric.  He passed out at a stop sign while driving and was woken up by a policeman.  I told him to go to the Instacare center and he’s not answering his phone.  Lord – I know you have him in your hands.  Keep him safe and anyone around him.  If he passes out again get him to the emergency room.  I am powerless from here.

The last time I saw Eric he said my personality had changed.  I think it scared him a little.  It has. No longer do I suffer fools.  How could it not change after an event of this magnitude?  I am less emotional than I was, I expect more out of others – to handle their own business, I have stopped taking on other adults problems.  I am still compassionate and loving.  I am simply disengaged.  I’ve always been the caregiver sacrificing my own needs to be there for other people, interfering in their decisions at times and justifying it while pitying them.  As I write that I realize they are harsh words.  What has changed though has nothing to do with others, it’s about taking care of myself and not being willing to sacrifice my health – mental or physical – over someone else’s poor choices and that includes my son.  I love him as much as ever and I have given him all that I have.

Followup:  He’s fine.  Doc thinks dehydration but I think he lied to me about going.  It wasn’t enough time between calls for him to be seen.  I hate when he lies to me.  He passed out in the car again between 0830 and 1200 when he called again.  He’s out of money, gas and food and didn’t go to work today.  He’s a grown man.  He’s giving it a good effort anyway.  A grown man wouldn’t run out of gas unless it was extenuating circumstances, but exhaustion will do that to you too – foster poor decision making.  I’m glad he’s ok.

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