Monday, July 22, 2013

I didn't realize I still had draft posts. Oh well, I haven't looked at this thing in ages, and why?

December 14, 2011, I had a venal right parietal ischemic attack. That's right ladies and gentlemen, less than two weeks after finally getting a job I had a stroke! right in the middle of dress rehearsal for a Christmas handbell concert. One minute I'm a little dizzy and the next my left arm won't work right and I can't talk.

I had a fun ride to OHSU in an ambulance (2 hours!) spent nearly three days in the ICU, spent quite a bit of time inside the workings of the MRI machine and ended with a sonogram of my heart taken through my esophagus (gag!!).

While the stroke wasn't very debilitating it did have some fun effects. Total loss of energy. confusion. loss of function in my left arm. occasional bouts of stammering and sentences coming out of my mouth all wrong. (I think one word and something else comes out: guitars instead of ladders, dogs instead of pencils) loss of spatial ability (I have a lot of trouble following a drawn plan to set up tables and chairs in a room) and my ability to remember names has been shot all to hell.

I'm doing fine now, but for a long time I could get so confused and carrying a sack of groceries would wear me out. I still don't remember names and faces. Three people said hello to me today and I have no idea who they are. Most days I sound coherent, but every so often I have An Attack of the Aphasics (duh duh duuuh) and say something weird. I still can't do a Sudoku puzzle because of the need to arrange numbers spatially. I can play handbells four-in-hand (two bells in each hand) but it is harder now. I confuse which hand is which.

I can work. I still have my secretary job at the church and two months after the stroke I took another part time job doing bookkeeping for a local non-profit. I can certainly continue to pet sit (speaking of which, my cat is snoring!)

The big problem now is keeping ahead of the occasional bouts of fear that I'll have another one. I'm supposed to avoid any serious stress or strain (no high-stress jobs, high drama relationships, iron man triatholons, no competitive weight lifting) I have to keep calm. Or at least try to keep calm. Reasonably calm. Calmish? This could be bad.

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