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HOSPITAL

After an uneventful ride from Whiting in the ambulance ($3000.00+) because we stopped to pick up a paramedic who performed an EKG and placed an IV.  (Which I am still trying to have my insurance pay for this bill but somehow have an out of network deductible) I am now  wheeled into Community Medical Center in Toms River, where I was an employee for over 9 yrs.  I was very noncompliant and probably verbally abusive.  I am soooooo sorry to the nurses and everyone who had to deal with me.  I was in and out of consciousness (I guess you would put it )  and the pain was starting to climb from my neck to the right side of my head.  I saw Dr. Sarris, who saved my life!!!  And kept requesting Dr. Gibbons from Interventional Radiology who I worked with for a short period, but he did know all about my previous MRI’s and CT scans.  I have thanked them both profusely since that day and both are amazed that I am alive let alone able to speak and walk to give hugs.  I have suffered from migraines for years and they had found an Arteriovenous Malformation near my pituitary gland many years ago which was watched and stable.  That is why I tried to discuss STROKE signs and FAST protocol with my family. Just in case it ever bled out.  During the CT scan they stated they could not find it any longer and after I had my CT scan and an emergency MRI  that I was suffering from a MASSIVE ischemic (CLOT) stroke main artery (M1)  to the right side of my brain. Which would not be coming from the AVM.  I was continuing to have worse pain and loosing the use of more of my left side.   My family stated that I lost complete function of my left arm, I could not walk, and my left eye would not move at all. My oldest daughter Sierra pleaded with me to stop, because all I kept repeating was that I had to get to the gym at The MAX Challenge in Toms River.  “Mom you are not going to make it today or tomorrow”.  Over and over I whined about this.  When my husband, Jim, arrived, I did not recognize him. Even when he did his whistle.  This whistle is very important to my family.  We all whip around whenever he does it like trained dogs.  No matter what.  But I did not even move.  That was brutal for everyone involved and was shocking.  How can she not crack a smile or even turn my head in his direction.  He knew I was broken…..

My mother arrived at the hospital around the time of my nephew Austin, who is an EMT. He was dropping off a patient.   She was crying and I yelled at her to stop in front of my Austin. Just so I could give him a hug and tell him I loved him.  He is the cutest cause he always says it back!!!!! That still brings me to tears. I think that was the beginning of the acknowledgement of that this is real and I have to be flown out!!!! This is really big!

The pain continued to escalate, as everyone made arrangements for me to be transported via helicopter (at $58424.60) to Jefferson Neuroscience Hospital in Phila.  This took approximately 3 hours to get me out of CMC and on route to Jeff.  My husband flew with me in the front but could not hear my screams of pain during the entire 30 min flight. I thank the pilot and flight RN for all they did to try to keep me comfortable.  (I expressed my gratitude and the fact that they should receive a raise during my multiple phone calls about payment of this bill later) All with me barking that I needed more Zofran for my nausea and more pain meds.  The pain was the worst I have ever felt.  Nothing would work.  I was a complete mess. So the previous thought of stroke being a silent killer was not the case for me.  Jim stated we flew right over our house and it was a bitter sweet situation. He loves helicopters and it was pretty cool to be over his own house and recognize it, but was devastating to have his wife in the back pretty much in a very unknown situation of life or death.  Now every time a helicopter flies over, no matter military, news,  really any, I say a huge prayer.  I hear them much more now.

Upon my arrival to Jefferson Neuroscience Hospital, I remember very minimal.  I was apparently whisked to another ambulance around the block across the street down into the basement and cut many other families pre-scheduled for surgical procedures that day.  I was a major emergency.  My husband had to handle it all on his own. I am the one who is always signing and taking care of medical and financial situations in my family. Now he was signing paperwork for consent to do procedures he had no idea about. I could stroke again, if the surgery even worked, and blood flow was returned to the area of 15% which was dying as  they spoke.   I could have continued damage to the left side.  I could die on the table.  There was minimal chance that I would look or even speak the same.  This was totally overwhelming for my family.  The running rule of the house when discussing, if this or that happens, was ALWAYS do not let me drool in the corner for the rest of my life!!!!!!  Quality over quantity.  Many can disagree, but as a registered nurse I have seen my share of cases and it was my choice to not live like that.  Needless to say Sierra was pretty freaked out on which way I would go.

At the ages of 24 yrs and 13 yrs old I feel it was pretty shitty to have to go through.  I would have to say they saw me at my ultimate worst.  They had to help make decisions and help save my life more than one time that day.  They kept second guessing what they should do.  There was lots of crying and they were just scared to death for all involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BRAIN BLEED-SERIOUSLY!

So now we are really close to the present. I know it is May and that was February but in the past 3 months soooooo very much has changed.  Talk about angry!!  LOL it is a different world.  I thought my headaches were horrible prior, during, and after the stroke. Welllllll they were the WORST ever now!!!!!  They were the kind where you cannot open your eyes. If you moved you would get nauseous. But not like migraines at all.  A dull horrendous ache in the back and right side of my head and then if I would move or get stressed or think or sit or breath, anything!!! a horrible stabbing would occur and for 27 days I stayed in bed only getting up for the bathroom, the dogs, and sometimes to eat. I would not wish this pain on anyone. Not even those in my life I hate with all my heart.  This pain is brutal and they would not give me meds to control it. Once again it was a neurological situation. To me I needed the big guns.  I was allowed to take baby guns iv during my 4 day hospital stay.  They started me on steroids in the hospital which helped but once I got out the headache was unbelievable, so we had to increase the steroids to break the horrible pain.  The blood in my brain was irritating my MENINGES which was causing the pain.  My bleed was 2.4 cm wide and there was a 7.0 mm shift towards the left side.  So the blood was pushing my brain to the left side which made my headaches worse. I could not sleep on the left side, which was only bad if I forgot and moved that way.  I visualized daily, my brain absorbing the blood, because my other choices were minimal.  The bleed was too big to drill burr holes in my skull to clean and suction out the blood to help the headaches. If my surgeon performed a craniotomy (opening one big area-removing my skull-washing the entire area out) there was such a huge chance that I would stroke on the table because I was no longer allowed to be on my blood thinners.  You can imagine my face when she told me these options.  She stated that the headache may never go away and that was why she was trying to baby me with the steroids and lots of sleep. My brain needed rest. Now, I had suffered 2 severe brain trauma’s within a 3 month period. Are you kidding me?  WTH was going on?????  I was 8 days away from a beautiful recovery.  Now the quiet was gone. My family was damaged again. Was I not hearing GOD the first time? What am I missing? I prayed constantly. “I can’t hear you” “I need more direction”. All the things I was working on prior to the stroke and during the healing time of the stroke were now gone. We were worse off!! More bills!!! Less $$$$. More crying because even though you would think my pain would increase if I cried like a normal person, for some reason the pressure would release if I cried now.  So you would find me just laying in bed crying like a blithering idiot. My brain so much of a fog. I was dragged wayyyyy back to the beginning. Further away from healing. Further away from driving. Further away from the gym.  I wasn’t even allowed to bend down.

On the day of my release from the hospital, I found mail from the day I went into the hospital from disability asking for additional info from my doctor and apparently they had requested something from my HR dept as well.  The paperwork was messed up and my checks were not released until April 9th.  So from Feb 5 to April 9 I would call and they would tell me their spiel. I would cry and no check would be released.  This is when Sierra started my GOFUNDME page.  I cried a ton that day.  There is no way I can allow anyone to help me let alone with money.  OMG!!! What has happened??  This is bull crap!!! Seriously!!!! Every time someone would donate I would cry…….HARD!!  Thank you for the food supplies!!! I have used almost all of it. But, I am so very thankful for the help I received, but it was one of the hardest things to deal with.  I could definitely hear GOD saying. “Just let them help you. Let them help”. Maybe a lesson for us all…?? My car insurance was going to cancel me. My electric bill was going to turn me off, as well as, the heat. My medical bills have started to send me to collections. How they can bill a person for $99,000+ just the hospital bill is amazing.  I sat for 2 1/2 hours the other day on the phone with my insurance company going line by line, because the doctors were billing me $3900, $3600, $2900 and I finally got it down to $500.00. What about seniors that cannot figure all of that out? How do they do it? I got a bill the other day for $10,000 which I had to laugh really hard about.  Seriously! I will not be able to pay that.  Ha! That was after my insurance paid and what I would be required to pay.  I called them and explained that it stated I was in ICU which I was not. I told them to fix the bill and let my insurance know about the overpayment/underpayment. They told me I might have received care “like I was in ICU”. I stated “Really? I am a Registered Nurse and I received steroids and a pain med in my IV. That’s it!!!” That is not considered ICU.  So you have them call me!!” I was sooooo mad.  I have not heard from them yet.

Now, I am devastated because of all the hard work I did prior to the stroke on my diet and weight.  Which if you look at me now you would be like seriously! she got up a lot to eat. But the steroids make you like a sugar vacuum.  It was horrible!!! I would eat until I could not breath.  Ridiculous!!!  I couldn’t stand it.  I would tell myself to stop. I am going to explode, but nothing worked.  I would try to go on walks, but had to push myself so hard.  I would get soooooo short of breath just walking. Everyone is like, “Its ok, you are alive and can work on that.” Except for Dakota, she says “what are you doing complaining. Get up and move!!” Gotta love her!! It still sucks really bad.  I can’t run. I can’t do sit-ups or leg lifts or any of the exercises I love to do. I felt soooo great prior to the stroke and now not sooooo much.

They finally stopped the steroids and my weight is coming down like 1lb and I truly feel it should get off just as fast as it went on.  LOL but it doesn’t work that way.  A lot of things do not work the way we want them too.  Maybe, that is part of the lesson I am supposed to learn.  I have learned that GOD is definitely in control. So I just give it to him. I pretty much move through the day, trying to not not move. But when my body says “ok that’s it” I do listen.  I have the last closet to do. My garden is looking the best it has ever looked.  I love to rake!!! Repetitive things that used to bore me or make me loose my mind, I can so totally do now.  LOL. I do not drool as much. I do not bite my lip anymore.  I cry much less. I am back to driving. I went on the parkway the other day and did much better than the girls in front of me that I was following. LOL.  (you know who you are)

My benefits are stopping soon. I see the surgeon next week and she has to send me back to work at the end of May. I need my health insurance and a slightly normal paycheck. I don’t know how long I will last at work. I am sure they will probably fire me.  This is the hardest for me.  It took me sooooo very long to be a nurse and now I don’t know what will happen.  If anyone has ideas or openings please let me know. Also please know how much I thank you all for all of your help and prayers. !!! I really really do!!! Really Really!!!  This totally sucks but we are supposed to be going through it. I say we because my family has had such a shitty time as well.  KARMA will definitely kick you in the ass and GOD will make you STRONGER. You might want to check out the new books I am listening/reading.  The Wisdom of Sundays.  Oprah Winfrey The untethered soul, The journey beyond yourself.   Michael Singer.  GOD must be guiding me through videos and books because many of the ones I have read or listened too recently are definitely what I was supposed learn about.

Thank you once again and please continue to pray!! I send Love and Light!!

BIG GIRL PANTS!

Its the beginning of the Holiday’s now.  They were such a struggle.  I needed to get here and there. I had not finished my Christmas shopping!!!  I had to get food for Thanksgiving. Everyday poor Sierra wanted to choke me. She would get off work and then have to bring me here or there.  I would add “oh can we stop here”.  She was tired and I was freaking out to get out of the house from being locked up and crying all day.  It was just a very difficult time for my family.  But, Thanksgiving went pretty good.  Cooking was overwhelming but the girls all helped and my whole family DID have much to be thankful for.

I say thank you to GOD EVERYDAY. That was a huge thing in the morning.  “I made it!!! I am awake!!” LOL this was a huge announcement in the morning.  Since it was so very difficult to even get to sleep at night, (I felt I would die and it was horrible to try to get to sleep every night and worry about whether I would wake up the next day) it was a great feeling to be so dead asleep and wake ready for the day.  This was not how it used to go prior to the stroke. I would never sleep through the night and was always so tired during the day.  There were still a few things that changed for the better after the stroke.  I started getting up to make breakfast for Cheyenne and Jim. They would do my neurological checks to make sure there was no extra drooling and everyone felt better when leaving me home.  I would cry after they left. It was difficult to be home by myself alone. I felt caged. I couldn’t drive. The doc’s had me completely petrified that I would restroke or bleed from the blood thinners. If I fell, God forbid hitting my head, I would die.  It chipped away at my strength.  I had to fight to really overcome all of that.

It was much better when Dakota, my middle daughter, came home for Christmas, even though she became my chauffer.  On December 22, prior to my insurance changing, Deborah Heart and Lung placed a LOOP RECORDER in my chest to monitor my heart. There was a possibility that at some point on the night I had the stroke, I could have gone into an AFIB rhythm which could have contributed to the stroke. There was no proof of this. This device is like a VIP holter monitor and can send any changes or concerns back to my doctor. However the actual insertion  sucked since the blood thinners made a HUGE hematoma (blood clot) at the incision site which took forever to close. I was concerned it would get infected which would be terrible since it is right by my heart. Luckily, this did not happen.  The clots exploded twice and would make a pocket which the device would kinda float and hit good tissue. It felt like a shock or pinch.  It would almost bring me to my knees in pain.  I would ooze the blood out, trying to make the pocket smaller and heal the clot.  This I finally did after a January 5th visit when the wound RN tried to get the clot out. I finally got it out when I returned home that day. It closed pretty well after that.  IMG_2284

Poor Dakota had to take me back and forth to the hospital multiple times.  She hates hospitals and does not do well at all.  She almost passes out when she even hears the monitors.  She was a trooper but still wanted to stick a fork in her eye every time she had to bring me so I started to have her just drop me off.  She is a very SASSY girl and refused to believe anything else was going to happen to me and could not stand me continuing to cry. We never knew when an episode would start and anything could bring one on.  The entire holiday was brutal.

I had a meltdown right after Christmas.  I couldn’t stand everyone sending me to my room. They didn’t mean to do it. But it was like a pat on the head and then “don’t you need a nap”? WTH? I hated when they would close me in my room.  I did definitely need a nap, but still I was completely appalled that they would suggest it. I could not, and still do not, really understand why I survived a stroke with minimal residual physical affects. I started to feel like a burden to my family. There was so much I couldn’t do. My headaches continued to scare me with the on and off stabbing.

The doctors did not seem to be concerned about the headaches.  They all stated I had a traumatic brain injury and my brain was still sore. The rules were if the headache got to the point of me needing more than the pain meds I had and I got nauseous, I had to go to the ER for a CAT scan.  I could have a spontaneous bleed from the blood thinners anywhere in my body and they were concerned that the area where the clot occurred was weak.  The DVT could occlude or I could have a Pulmonary Embolus.

So I would wake in the morning YAAAYYYY!!!! Get through my crying spell, check the goats and the chickens, hang with the dogs, clean something, try to fight with the insurance companies, go on a doctor visit with my friend Karen. Thank God she could get me there and wait and deal with my exhausting unfocused rambling. Or my friend Ms. Jenna who would get me out to lunch. OMG thank GOD to them both for getting me out!!!  Take a nap, do dinner a 4H activity for Cheyenne and then try to fall asleep.  Everyday the same depressing day. Everyday someone would tell me how lucky I am.  Hmmmmm yep I know I am lucky! But maybe that luck was just a bit heavier than I could stand at the time.

I think I cried the most when Jim was hunting.  But luckily Cheyenne got sick. Seriously, how could I be happy that my kid was missing a week of school and sick as a dog is ridiculous.  But I was! We cuddled some and I made her lunch and was thrilled to be home with her.  If I was working, I would not have been able to do all of that. I just loved her to be better. But since the Nurse Practitioner that we saw would not give her medication the first week, she was out an additional week. This put a huge strain on her grades.  She refused to allow me to tell the school about my stroke. She made up the work and tried her best to get through that marking period.  The kid is amazing!!!  She keeps her grades up as best she can. The past 2 yrs have been brutal for her and she just keeps doing the best she can.  I just keep crying.

I had brutal hematomas (clots) in my belly that where getting larger and harder to find a spot for the next injection. I would bruise if they hit a sensitive area or the edge of one of the clots and depending on how fast they would push the med it would determine how big the bruise.  Everything was such a hassle. They would give them to me in the car. They had to do it before they went to work and before I went to bed. Everything was just a hassle.  They dropped the ball at a Christmas party. It really upset me and thank God my nurse friend was there to give me the shot.  But after that I started giving them to my self. This seemed to work out much better since I could feel the clots and the pressure of the med. I just wanted to be done with them. I would count the days.

I had to put my big girl pants on and start to crawl out of the pit I was in.  A friend of mine from 4H shared a supplement with me which has helped other stroke patients. I started taking it on January 16th and many physical and brain related changes occurred.  I started driving to Wawa and just around town. My fogginess was getting better. I started laughing more and my crying seemed to subside. I walked everyday if there was no snow. I only had 2 closets left to do. I cleaned and cooked and felt like it was going to be ok.  I worked with my brain games on the computer. I went to PT/OT and tried to get the cognitive therapy, but no one takes my insurance. I was just excited that the end of the blood thinners was near.  I knew once I stopped them, I could get started to return to the gym. I would be able to focus better. I would have more stamina.  I felt confident about returning to work. So much would change once the last injection was given.  

I had finished the first book  Love Warrior  by Glennon Doyle Melton which inspired me to do this blog. I highly recommend it to everyone as well as the new one she wrote Carry On Warrior  and her Blog MOMASTERY.com.  There is a whole chapter on LOVE which I suggest.  I am a very loving person. I love very deeply almost everyone I know or come in contact with.  Even when I worked at the hospital the doctors used to say. “Mie you love everyone” like it was a bad thing.  I used to emanate love. LOL. I would open my arms and love would flow out of me.  But as the years continued and things in my life changed drastically it was harder to love. I became bitter because I could not forgive. Many relationships did not return the love I wanted and people I trusted gutted me. I obsessed over things I could not change. As Glennon has explained I was full of FEAR. What if this. What if that. I prayed for clarity and then it all fell apart. Be careful what you pray for.  It became crystal clear that I was in the wrong place, wrong job, wrong relationships, wrong, wrong, wrong.  My whole life was torn apart over a period of about 3 years.   I wanted to move maybe that would help. I was much happier when I was not at my house. I swore there was something wrong with the house itself. I know now it was just the contents. And financially I cannot move, let alone make Cheyenne change schools after the stuff she has gone through. That is all she has really asked me for; is to stay put until she graduates.  I trusted a few people that I knew I should not have. I saw them everyday and spoke about my life and theirs. Clearly a horrible choice. When things began to fall apart I had no control. Love was lost for quite awhile. Like I said before, it is amazing the people that you think will be there for you are not and there are many who step up and help and do things you would never think they would.  I am thankful for both sides really. I am a completely different person now than I was before the stroke.  I do miss the Mie I was before, but I do respect and love the one I am becoming now.  Even though this one is scared a lot of the time, she has strength she never new she had and a deep sense of calm.  I have given everything over to GOD. I do not care what others think about me and I know I will be ok. I know it is not my time yet. I know I am to continue to LOVE, but I will not let others hurt me anymore.  As I put it, my give a shit monitor is almost nonexistent. LOL with a peace sign!!!

I began to sleep less. I did not need a nap. My brain did not fold into itself as much.  I remember the day I drove to Wawa, to CVS, and to Stop n Shop. I was so excited. I could so totally see the end.  I had about 8 days left of the injections.  I was sitting in my car drinking my coffee talking to Jim on the phone. All of a sudden a stabbing horrible headache. I even said to him “damn my head hurts really bad”.  Not bad enough to go to the hospital. I always try to put off going to the hospital. Hate it!!!!!  Plus I had just had a CT scan which told me I was ok. I had a headache that day. I had just seen the neurologist NP. But as the days went on it got worse. I was in bed for 2 days. I went to super bowl and could not really enjoy the night because of the headache even though it was a great night. I have never seen my brother in law sooooo happy. It was a good game with old friends I have not seen in years. But nothing helped.  So for 6 days I fought this headache until my meds did nothing and I woke up on Feb 7th at 430 am in such pain that I thought I would die and was finally nauseous.  Now, I woke up Sierra to drop me off at the ER. Everyone was mad at me but they needed to go to work and school and I would call them with the results. At approximately 7am I found out my brain had been bleeding for approximately 6 days. Yep I know!!! Can you imagine!!! Unbelievable. Can GOD kick me in the face repeatedly!!!!!! Yes, yes he can……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explain the Pictures!!!

SOOOOOOOOO I totally need to apologize for my posting the stroke pics and then not really explaining them.  I am very sorry I left that portion out.  I got a few calls with questions and then I had a horrendous week of doctor visits between Jim and I.  (He had hand surgery) I am very sorry for the delay.  Today I am so much clearer and can write better.  So………  the first shot shows the clot and how it cut off the blood supply to approximately 15% of my brain on the right side near my nasal cavity.  The longer the blood flow is stopped more of my brain dies.

The 2nd picture shows the return of the blood flow and the amazing work my awesome surgeon did to save me.  She used a special Navigator catheter which went up my left groin artery all the way around to remove the clot and allow the blood flow to return.  This was all very quick to the point that anesthesia was not on board in enough time. Even though you think the brain pain sensors are lessened, I was screaming about my headache the entire time and do remember screaming about a suction feeling.  I finally passed out after that to the joy of everyone involved, I am sure.   It was touch and go during that time (As they explained to Jim) because once the clot was removed it was like a  dry patch in the grass. The blood could be replenished in the vessels where it belongs or   it could leak out (like water would) if there was a spread of leaking it would cause a major bleed. Blood does not belong in your brain. It does not like it!!!!  I could restroke with a bleed or clot again or heal. No one knew what was going to happen.

That day GOD let me heal.  I was in an out of consciousness that night. It was brutal.  The next morning I awoke to having the same headache I had before the actual stroke, but not as bad as the stroke headache. I still had a left sided cut in my vision and was very upset because I thought I would not ever be able to read a book again.  I cried and cried and drooled and drooled.  It was the worst.  I could not move my left arm or walk at that point either, but was so very much more upset about a book. When I would eat, I would bite the inside of my left lip and CRYYYYYY it hurt so bad.  The tears would come and I couldn’t stop it. It was like my face did not know I had a lip.  My surgeon stated “at least your alive”.  She has sass definitely!!!  She explained that I could stay the same or I would get better everyday.  No one knew.  We would have to wait to see.  Now pretty much everyone that knows me knows I have NO PATIENCE!!! I was not going to have this. After all I just went through. Seriously!!!! I changed the TV to closed captioned and read the words while watching all day and by the next day I could see to read a piece of paper, which would lead to a book somehow. SUCCESS!!! Minor but a step in the right direction.  Your brain is amazing and I noticed that it would take only a few times to do things and I could relearn them.  Thank you GOD again!!!!

The period when I was in the high powered ICU was horrific because I just wanted to go to the bathroom on the toilet that I could see, right there, right in my room in front of me.  I begged, pleaded, and bribed the nurses, but nope they would not let me. I was a horrible patient totally. The ultrasound had showed I had a DVT, deep vein thrombosis, in the left groin and they would not let me up. This is like a clot in my vein. So now I have issues in both my arteries and veins. WTH??  This could of been caused by the entry of the thrombectomy or when they held pressure at the end.  So at this point a ton of blood work was performed to check to see if I had “sticky blood”.  No one can figure out why at my 48 yrs old am I having a massive main artery stroke.  This meant I had to be placed on high levels of blood thinners called Lovenox.  We had to give them in my belly for 90 days.  I had to stay an additional 2 days in the hospital to make sure I did not bleed anywhere, especially the weakened area near the stroke.

I really wanted to go home!! I needed to do my closets!!! LOL. I felt locked up. All I wanted was to be with my family and my animals.  Prior to all this, I used to wish “damn if I could only have like a week to do my closets and some big stuff around my house”.  DO NOT DO THIS!!! It is not worth a stroke.  But I guess it was one of my obsessive replays in my mind.  I wish this. I wish that. I have been doing that my whole life.  Living in the moment has always been difficult.  My mind never stops. It is so fast. I scan the world instead of looking at it.  I run through my life with so much to do.  I can do 15 things at once and it is difficult to do just one. It is so hard to turn my brain off no matter what it pertains too.

When I first woke from the stroke, my blood pressure was amazing 106/72, my heart rate was amazing at 59 bpm.  It usually ran between 120-136 all the time even with medication.  All the palpitations I used to have were gone.  The biggest thing was that my mind was FINALLY quiet.  OMG!!! This is great.  This is what the Dali Lama, everyone who meditates is talking about.  I had been working really hard on 10% Happier by Dan Harris from GMA.  This was truly amazing.  I could sit and talk to my family and just listen, just hear what they were saying. Nothing in the background, what about this or that or what I had to do etc.  It was the best ever!!!!!! It was GOLDEN.  I did not obsess about any of it. Am I going to die? How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to work?  It was beautiful. Truly, I do not think I have ever been that ok.  It was very different than comfort or happy to be alive( I wasn’t even sure about that yet). It was just quiet.

My family, was having a hard time.  I cried all the time over anything.  They said it was like living with a toddler, 2-9yrs old.  Sometimes I was ok with the activity and sometimes I was not.  I could not go into Stop-N-Shop without getting so overwhelmed.  The bread isle was too much and made me cry.  I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. I used to run through that store in a matter of minutes to get my items. In and out. This was ridiculous!!. Why am I crying over the bread which I can see the ones I need. Wth is going on?  My sister-in-law tried to help me understand. She has medical issues that involve her brain and went through similar situations.  She made me feel better and I could wrap myself around the fact that it was real, because at first it was not.  No one in my family knew what to really do with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Then I Had A Stroke!!!!

It is absurd, REALLY!!!  That is what I said to the EMT’s that arrived. I flung open my front door stating, “Apparently, I am having a STROKE.” Can you imagine? I was losing the left side of my face, drooling, stumbling, and completely freaking my daughter out. WTH?? I was not having it-I would not allow my body to do this to my Cheyenne, my daughter #3.

I remember waking at about 5am to let the dogs out. I was very fuzzy and kept running into the counter and walls, but just figured I was tired. I got them out and then went to the bathroom and then returned to let them in.  I made it back to bed so it was not an issue. I then remember my alarm going off. I usually hit snooze a couple times, but I must have turned it completely off. My husband stated he did not hear it again. Then at 7am he woke me to give him my morning kiss goodbye. That was difficult.  I was SOOOOO tired. I gave kisses and just fell back down on my pillow to sleep.

I remember rubbing my left hand with my right as I started to wake, I think. My left hand felt fat, chubby like a baby’s foot. Weird… My daughter, Cheyenne climbed up on my bed “Hey MOM!! It is 837am. Why are you still here? Don’t you have to go to work today?”  OMG! I am sooo late. How did this happen? I think, because this part is very sporadic and foggy. In and out my brain went. Where it went, I have no idea.

I got up out of bed, tried to get myself dressed. Had both legs in one underwear hole with them pulled up to my belly and could not understand why they were up that far. I put them on and off 2 more times the same way, as I fell over onto my bed multiple times towards the left side, before I just gave up and decided I would cut them and just wear my scrubs. What was wrong with them? Why did they keep doing that?  I was a sight to be seen. I do not think I ever did cut them and just kept them up that far. LOL seriously I can just see myself.  So confused and probably really mad!!!  My baby girl was yelling at me that there was something wrong. No, nothing is wrong. Why do you keep saying that?

My husband, Jim usually calls me around 830am when he is getting his day started, just to, you know chat. Where are we going what’s on the list that day. Yata Yata. I do not remember answering the call but suddenly he was on the line and I asked him why he didn’t put Cheyenne on the bus. He was confused because “didn’t she have off today?” It was all set. My mother was coming to have brunch with her and I would go to work. He moved on to what I was supposed to tell her about the chickens and that the big black one was a rooster.  That was the day we finally gave in to him. Yep, one of them was a rooster. He had been making a type of crowing sound for several days and we kept praying that it would not be a rooster, but Taa Daa she became a he that day.  I however, could not get those words out to Cheyenne.  It was the most difficult thing to say. “The black one is a rooster”.  She states that I kept mumbling something incoherent.

My brain was not working, but I did not understand that. Cheyenne was trying to explain to my husband that there was something definitely wrong with me. She had done all the FAST testing, even though she didn’t really know that is what she was doing.  Face=drooping. Arms=left side drifting down. Speaking=oh that definitely was a complete mess. Time= well we didn’t know my last known time. Probably at 7 am when my husband left for work and I sat up and gave him a kiss. But I do remember that was very difficult. I was sooooo tired. I just laid back down and went back to sleep. I never do that!! Never!! Next she was waking me up late and everything went to Shit.  He did mention later that I stated my neck hurt and that I felt like I had a kink. Like I slept wrong.  I remember telling Cheyenne that over and over when I first woke up. As she went through all of this all I kept telling her was that I was ok and there was nothing wrong. She kept getting more upset. There I was, trying to get to work.  I had to get to work. My patients were waiting. I even got outside to start my car.

I do have thoughts about that one. OMG! If I had made it onto the road what I could of done to others and myself is scary. We live just off Route 539 where all the huge dump trucks travel daily.  There have been many accidents on that stretch. It is scary to think what I might have caused if I made it that far. Still when they drive me to WAWA everyday, I still think how brutal that may have been.

Cheyenne was a mess. Crying and yelling. Calling everyone.  I do remember at one point when she called my older daughter, Sierra, as she was stomping her feet. “ You have to get home NOW!!! Something is very wrong with mommy.” I am pretty sure she went on to explain what was going on with me because Sierra knew right away and called the ambulance.

Now she is pulling at my scrub shirt, that I finally was able to get on since I kept trying to get my big head through the arm and it wouldn’t fit. I finally got it to go over my head.  Seriously, it is funny when I speak of it now, but Cheyenne does not feel that way.  She gets very sassy about it. I cannot imagine being 13 yrs old waking up to this mess while I continue to tell her I am fine and to STOP. Just STOP. Go get in my bed and wait until her gama (grandma) gets here to take you to brunch.

“Please baby I have to go. Mommy is ok.”

She just kept yelling and crying telling me “Mommy you are not ok!!! You are not ok!!! You are gonna hurt yourself or someone else. Please, do not walk out the door. Mommy PLEASE!!!”

FAST is an acronym used as a mnemonic to help detect and enhance responsiveness to stroke victim needs. The acronym stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time.

www.stroke.org 

She was the hero!!! She saved my life. If I had stayed asleep, I’d have major residual mental and physical deficits and probably be dead. She was off from school that day. God’s plan as usual. She had no idea what I meant when I would speak about a stroke before that day. She says she was not fast enough and should have called the ambulance herself.  I keep telling her she was brave and did a wonderful job. She saved me and it was all meant to be……… Now that is the part to more of the story. Thank you for reading and I hope you return for more of my story.  Love and Light Mie