Monday, October 1, 2012

It's been a ghost town around here

I know, I know the tumbleweeds have collected around the text of this blog.  I have just been trying to figure how to fit life into everyday, not succeeding very well either. :)

It is the start of my favorite month, Halloween month!  I love Halloween!  I am contemplating writing a short a day in honor of this spooky month. If I so decide, I will let you read them right here in my ghost town.

I am also trying to find my Halloween decorations, they live in a box somewhere around here?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My time in Rehab

On January 6th, 2012 I was admitted into the hospital after suffering a stroke in my right frontal lobe. I was transferred to another hospital that specialized in rehabilitation.  I stayed there for 10 days.

I had my very first ambulance ride to the rehab hospital, which was very unnecessary and quite costly for just giving me a ride and checking my vitals.  They could've let me go with family and given me a blood pressure cuff to check myself! :)

Rehabilitation was 3 hours everyday and they would fit in as much exercise as they could.  The first day started off poorly as I was given pain meds on an empty stomach and almost hurled everywhere when they asked me to move around.  I started in a wheelchair but had to use my legs to pull me around as my left hand was clenched in a tight fist.  During my time there, my progression with my leg went very quickly. I got a 3 pronged walker and only used that for a couple of days.  I did have to learn to step correctly again and use my hip properly. Eyes straight ahead, move leg forward, heel toe heel toe.  There were times that I woke up doing heel toe in my sleep. :) I was walking up several flights of stairs as soon as they had me walking on my own although it was with a limp.  That is their main focus, to get you walking again and being able to function in day to day activities one handed.

I was evaluated by a speech therapist and my cognitive skills were tested.  I was given some facial exercises to do while I had some free time.

My boyfriend (now husband) was my constant cheerleader and he stayed with me every single night and almost everyday, so of course I said yes when he asked me to marry him in the hospital. 

My first personal goal was to progress enough to get a pass to get out to the meditation garden.  I could have my cats come visit me if I could get a pass.  I had one of them come visit me after the first week.  The boy was an ass and yowled as soon as he got in the carrier so just my girl got to come.

While I was there they did some work with my left arm as well.  The most helpful thing they did was Electrical Stimulation or ESTIM on my left arm and hand.  It was rather amusing watching my hand jump around and open without any effort from me.  I gave my left arm a name while I was there, I called her my Franken Arm or Frankie for short!  I was also given arm/hand exercises to try when I was in bed as well.  On a few days, they put me on an arm bike but they had to tie my left hand to the handle so I could "pedal" it since I couldn't open my left hand without prying it open.

The physical therapists all wanted to work with me since I was the most mobile stroke patient there. I was told by several people and my neurologist that I was what most stoke patients hope to be.  They all liked to see what they could make me do and I never seemed to disappoint them.

It eventually got to the point that one of them told my doctor I no longer needed to be there and I was discharged 3 days later, after they put me through my final test which was to cook a meal.  I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes and totally impressed my occupational therapist.  I was disappointed that I was discharged since my hand still didn't work, but that wasn't their concern.  

I was sent home as I was and the rest was up to me. This is quite literal as well since I didn't have any insurance and couldn't afford the discounted physical therapy that would cost me $150 per visit after a $400 evaluation.  

By sheer force of will I made my hand work again.  I sat there staring at my hand telling it to work and eventually it did.  I could do the exercises I was given in the hospital and worked at them everyday.  It is still quite slow and weak but I can open/close it, hold things, pick things up, type a little bit.  I am still working on it everyday.  My limp is gone except if I get really tired then it comes back a little bit.  My walking speed has improved tremendously as well.

7 months into my recovery, I am back to work part time, doing pet sitting/dog walking.

For now that is all.  I wanted this to come out as more of a story with better flow, but you get it as is. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm back... did ya miss me?

I took some time to think about my blog and how best it could serve me right now.  I have been trying to shove it in a writers costume, but in reality that is not what would help right now.  I try not to get to personal in public, however I think that might just be what I need.

This blog may best serve me as a place to think and talk about my stroke recovery.  I am 6 months into the recovery phase.  That is really where all my thoughts and energy lie right now.

From the beginning I shall start. On January 4, 2012 I had a stroke in my right frontal lobe.  However I didn't go to the hospital until 2 days later.  The typical signs just weren't as prevalent as they lead you to believe they will be.

I had a pulled muscle in my back from shoveling snow so I had taken a Vicodin the night before.  I woke up with a headache and felt groggy, not unusual for me as I often had headaches and Vicodin can make me feel drunk.  So I went about my day.  Did my morning job, went home fell asleep and slept through a new sit I was supposed to start and went to the others way late.  Now that was unusual, I am not a nap taker and I'm never late.... anywhere.  I still thought it was the Vicodin.  So I went to bed, woke up feeling fine the next day.  I went to work and I even went to the gym and worked out but got tired really fast and my back still hurt.

So onto the next day, I still felt fine.  I went to work as usual but started having a hard time texting.  It was all coming out gibberish as I didn't realize that the T9 wasn't turned on so actual words weren't being typed and my speech was beginning to slur as well.  I dropped the leashes of the dogs I was walking a couple of times and when I bent down to pick them up I drooled all over myself.  I was getting ready to leave that job, talking to my husband (at that time still boyfriend) and I couldn't get my car into reverse; it's a clutch.  So he got worried and left work.  He made me talk to him while I drove home (I have bluetooth in my car so it was safe)! We met at home and I started having trouble with my left hand I dropped a cup when he handed it to me and my foot dragged when I walked.  I got my last job covered and went to the emergency room.  By the time we got there, the left side of my face was drooping.  I never lost consciousness, thankfully.  After a CT Scan and MRI they determined that I had a stroke but it was too late to treat with the blood clot medicine.  They also tried to scare me and say I had a brain tumor, but that wasn't the case.  I spent a couple days at that hospital then got transferred to another for rehabilitation.  I was there for 10 days.

I wish I had recorded more of that time in my journal, but for whatever reason I refused to write about what was going on.  Everyone else cried for me but I never cried for myself or went through a why me phase.  I just dealt with it and moved on.  I couldn't get better if I felt sorry for myself.  That is something that I need to try to remember now, I need to remember that woman that was in the hospital full of determination to walk again and use her arm and hand again.  Some days it is hard to deal with the after affects of my stroke.  I struggle to do things that used to be so easy and it can get incredibly frustrating.  Some days I do get down but I try at least in the back of my head to be grateful I am alive.  It could be so much worse than what it is.

I don't want to blather on too long so I will tell you about what I remember about rehab in another post on another day.

Be grateful for what you have and all that you are capable of!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No Wordzzzzz or Insecure Writers today

Happy Independence Day!!

Also I got another award for my blog thank you Carolyn but once again I am not participating in the Q and A portion nor the passing along of the award, sorry.

I am not doing my Wordzzzzz On Wednesday nor the Insecure Writers today. I am contemplating again the direction of this blog as I find it hard to motivate myself lately. So until further notice, I am not sure when I will be posting again.

Have a great week all!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Poem for The Roarin' Twenties Blogfest


ticking of the clock
the hands are full
how to pass
the time
how about
the other thing

Here are the rules: Any time between June 22 (Wendy Lu's birthday!) and June 24, post on your blog either an original poem or an existing poem that focuses on one or more of the following: birthdays, the 1920s era, or time. Visit the above link (Wendy's name) and join the fun!

Now I must confess I originally wrote this poem as part of the A to Z Challenge but it fit the theme.  I started back to work this week after being out since January due to suffering a stroke.  I really wanted to participate in this blogfest so I re-used a poem!  Have a great weekend all! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordzzzzz on Wednesday

Today's Wordle is once again brought to you by my night time imagination.  I am a super vivid dreamer and have all kinds of dreams that would make great stories.  So last nights dream was about these men that had a hobby of torturing women.  They all got together formed a cult and recruited women to torture.

Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning and have you ever used them in a story?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Dads Day

Just a quick shout out to all you fathers on fathers day, have a great day!