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.
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……