Up Until Now
OK…so this is to be my first blog entry (I guess) so first of all for all that read it I suppose I need to tell you a little bit about myself.
I was born on Aug. 26, 1960 around Sacramento.
When I was 9, on March of 1970 I had the first of 12 operations for an appendix that had ruptured 5 day before hand. Peritonitis spread through out of my lower abdomen and the Dr’s, in 4 more opp’s took away a foot and a half of my small intestines. I was just over 50 lb’s for a full year after that. Right away after I was put in the hospital my temperature went to 107 –108 degrees for a total of a week and the Dr’s tried everything from meds to pure alcohol to putting me in an ice bed. Finally they gave me 3 units of blood which led to my stroke a year later on Apr. 12, 1971.
I had a Massive CVA. The blood clot occurred in the Left Frontal Lobe of the Motor part of my brain, in a vessel to small for the Dr’s to operate (this was in 1971). I went to Kaiser first for 2 weeks and then to Sacramento Medical Center, the only trauma center, for 7 weeks and then back to Kaiser for 2 more weeks.
I’ve had a total of 12 operations over the years; 2 hernias, 3 spontaneously collapsed lung operations and 5 in all for the appendix, 2 minor skin lacerations to get the poison out of between my peritoneum and my outer skin.
I started having grand mal seizures about 14 years after my stroke but as a direct result of it. Scar Tissue had formed in my brain, which didn’t allow for the free flow of neurotransmitter signals, so at times my brain froze up. I guess that’s what the Neurologist tells me. The seizures have been quelled off and on by the use of 1000 mg of Tegratol and at first 180 mg of Phenobarbital. Now all I take is the generic Tegratol. I can dream again, yeah!! giggle
I have been on disability since May of 1989. Other than the seizures, my main limitations are limited use of my right hand and leg, which results in occasional falls. There are three small bones in my right hand that are fused so I can’t open it all the way. I have 40% less hearing in one ear. I have iEED, which means I cry at the drop of a hat. This can be very frustrating in crowds because I have little or no control over this. I tire easily and I have mild cognitive impartment, when I can think at all. Others have told me I have some difficulties with verbal directions. For example, my caregiver, Ariel, gave up on trying to tell me her work/life schedule over and over again. So she wrote it down so that I can see it so I know when she’ll be coming over. She’s my across the street neighbor, which is great because she’s available at a moment’s notice. She’s been helping me out for the last three years, but since this August she has been paid by the State to cook, clean, shop, take me to doctor’s appointments and even go on walks with me. This is a great arrangements for both of us since she says I’m one her more easy going clients. So it’s a win-win situation for us both.
Considering what I’ve read about other survivors, I realize I’m blessed to have as many abilities as I do and the help I get from Ariel with things around the house and I’m sure that the Stroke Net is going to help me out even further and that I may be of help to other survivors their caregivers.