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Archive for June, 2006

Oh what fun!

I don’t know if it is due to my meds, but I have been having the craziest (and most entertaining) dreams in some time!

A week ago, I dreamt that a good friend of mine (a stewardess) was in the girl’s restroom (I rather expected him to be there, too!). On my way to the restroom, I saw my previous advisor/professor. While walking past him, he made a comment that I didn’t catch. I turned around and asked him if he needed anything from me. He walked up to me, sniffed me, and then said no. I resumed walking to the restroom and found that my friend occupied the body of a coworker friend of mine (also male but didn’t expect him to be in the restroom…). It turns out that he was directing a fashion show in the bathroom and instructing the women how to walk and whatnot. What fun!

Last night, I dreamt that my cousins from California had come to visit us in South Dakota (a regular occurrence in our childhood). We were all adults and having a good time in the basement just BSing and whatnot (also a regular occurrence in childhood) and my cousin Diane had brought a friend of hers – Madonna (the singer). It was a rather jolly good time!

I recently finished reading Stephen King’s book ‘The Stand’ – wowzer! I was so immersed in the story. He has a fabulous way of providing rich visual details although I am usually disappointed in his endings. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and just didn’t want it to end (odd, considering it was 1153 pages long!).  Bob & I will be celebrating our six year anniversary (although we have been together for nearly 20 years!) next week with a cruise from Alaska to Vancouver, Canada. I will need some reading material but am so excited as neither of us have ever been on a cruise before.

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I had a nightmare last night like none I have had in a long time.

I was standing before my dissertation committee in my final defense for my Ph.D. and while my committee members were discussing a few topics amongst themselves, I had another stroke. This one was severe. My face was paralyzed and my whole left side went out. As I was laying on the floor of the conference room, I kept trying to say “call 911” but it came out distorted thanks to the paralysis and no one heard me or noticed that I had fallen. I felt so extremely scared, vulnerable (reoccurring feeling for me since my stroke), and upset at my committee ignoring me.

I told my major advisor about my dream and, thankfully, we laughed about it. There are no words to describe how lucky and happy I feel with having him as my advisor. He is understanding, intelligent, compassionate (sometimes to a fault…), and everything that my two other advisors weren’t.

Bob and I rode our bikes to my work on Sunday to assess my ability to handle it. (This is where Reality rears its ugly head) It was about 5-6 miles each way and, amazingly, with a headwind the whole time (now I feel like my grandpa who walked to school uphill both ways!). I fell once and was sweaty and pooped out. I need some practice before this is something I can do on my own. I was a little frustrated with my inability to accomplish this. It is something I used to be able to do on a daily basis…BAH on me!

Like many other stroke survivors, the only ‘normal’ person that I can compare myself to is my ‘prestroke’ self and I consistently fail in the comparison. I don’t have the energy, zip, drive, grace (although Bob will say I didn’t have grace before!) or feeling of what I used to be. I totally and completely realize that I am creating a new me, I just don’t really like the new me so much right now. I will give it more time (7 months today).

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Happy Dance!

Went for MRI / MRA and….(drum roll, please)…

First good news: they didn’t drop me on the floor this time!

Second good news: after pushing the IV needle for the contrast *through* the whole vein and squirting pretty blood everywhere, they backed it out & it worked!

Third good news: Dr. Humorless (neurologist) showed damaged area of brain shrunk and artery is healed.

Hence Fourth good news: I got off Coumadin!! although now I’m on Aggrenox for 6 months.

Leading to Fifth good news: I can eat greens and veg oil now!!

ULTIMATE good news: I can drink alcohol – I can’t have more than 3 if I drink every day, so I may have to cut back a little (ha!) but – I GET TO DRINK!!! oh yeah – pass the shiraz my way!

Now that I am less likely to become a bloody (literally) mess if I ride my bike, I may start riding my bike to work (5 miles or so, in flat Florida) with Bob’s agreement

Yippee!

Oh, I need to make it clear that I probably can’t dance just yet…so it is a mental happy dance.

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Randomnecessity

I really like made-up words. My dad says things ‘in all seriosity’ his reasoning is if you can be curious and ask something in curiosity, why can you be serious and say something in seriosity?!

I got my Masters degree at the State University of New York at Binghamton and one of my fellow classmates used to ‘dilemmanize’ over situations, ‘I’m dilemmanizing over…’ I liked how it turned into a verb.

Before I came here, I never knew that ‘stroke’ could be used not only as a noun, but also as a verb, adjective, etc. – awesome!

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Every so often, I think to myself:

Oh My God

I Had A Stroke. I HadA Stroke. IHadAStroke! IHadAStroke! IHadAStroke! IHadAStroke!

And then it just runs all together into a freaky realization that I survived one of the top 3 killers (heart disease, cancer, stroke) and I am amazed.

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When I first got out of the hospital, I was still out of it in a very weird way – happy, ignorant, bland. Then I started to wake up and notice how much I have been affected & how different my life is, how different I am from my old self and everyone around me. I was bitter and threw plenty of pity parties for myself while Bob really didn’t know what to say or do.

I’m better. I’m no longer ignorant or bland (and mostly happy though). The bitterness has receded. Slowly. I realized today that I no longer want desperately to trade places with other people, I don’t feel AS different as I first did.

I still feel incredibly vulnerable physically and mentally. I used to run and it made me feel more prepared, for what I don’t know, but I felt as though if someone were to start chasing me, it would at least take a little bit longer for them to catch me (not much, but a little). I can’t run yet. It makes me feel weak and exposed. My thinking is slower, I wonder if people have scammed me because I may be clueless…

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