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the daY OF.... My LIFE CHANGE..


alansd

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I grew up in  a beach town in New York city,only blocks from the ocean.It was the summer spot for many New yorkers, and my parents chose to make it their year round home. Rockaway was great for an active kid, who rode his trike and later a  bike n the 8 mile long boardwalk by the sea.Unfortunately bad Governing turned the peninsula into a refuge for low income housing dwellers and for the mentally Ill in half way houses,which scared off residents to leave for greener pastures.

I left for college 12 hours away, paid tuition with steady work in a number of bands as a  guitar player and singer.Went onto a teaching career which I abandoned to try my luck as a song writer and guitarist in Nashville.I set year long goals for a 5 year period.I met all my goals in two years.So I stayed and got in a group that toured Nationwide as a remake of the Vogues vocal group.We were seen in a Nashville night club by a producer and his crew who offered us a contract yo record an album,but in Country music style, which our tight harmonies leaned into well. Amazingly our first song release went to #9 on the "charts: and we were off and run,ning literally aboard a bus for the next 5 years.The touring was one of my goals, to see the country and let my guitar pay the way, but I also got paid well to do it, so it was a bonus.This began in 1982 and lasted until 1987 when things went wrong due to changes ar our Record Label,MCA. I returned home to Atlanta and married my girlfriend, attempting to carve out a career to support a family.I returned to my education career and was able to get a job teaching elementary school special needs children.This lasted long enough, 20 years...so I could retire.Then this :Sorry about the caps, typing is stressful;

 

 

ON ASemmingly Normal DAY SINCE RETIRING FROM MY EDUCATION CAREER,  I

WOKE AT 5am WHEN MY WIFE  ROSE TO BEGIN HER WORKDAY. I go TO THE KITCHEN,to GET AN ESPRESSO AND OPEN my LAPTOP TO SEE WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPENED IN THE WORLD OVERNIGHT.THEN, ITS OFF TO THE GYM ABOUT 8AM AFTER THE SCHOOL TRAFFIC IS DONE. I SPEND  AN HOUR THERE,THEN HOME FOR BREAKFAST But on this day, AUG 28 2017,WHILE ON THE VERY BUSY 2 LANE ROAD HEADING HOME, I FELT MY TRUCK PULL HARD LEFT TOWARDS ONCOMING TRAFFIC, I WAS NOT SURE WHAT WAS HAPPENENING TO THE TRUCK,SO I SLOWED TO 30MPH, THEN I REALIZED IT WAS MY LEFT ARM PULLING THE WHEEL OVER TO THE LEFT  I pulled the fingers  from around the STEERING wheel AND DROVE WITH MY RIGHT HAND UNTIL I GOT HOME,THEN IN THE DRIVEWAY I OPENED MY DOOR WITH MY RIGHT HAND AND STEPPED OUT ONTO A LEFT LEG THAT DID NOT HOLD ME, FELL HARD ONTO THE CONCRETE DRIVE. AND  PANICKED MORE THAN  A LITTLE   I FORCED MYSELF OFF THE CONCRETE ONTO THE RUNNING BOARD AND TRIED TO CATCH MY BREATH, THEN WALKED INTO THE GARAGE AND TO THE HOUSE. I WENT TO THE SHOWER AND TOOK A WARM ONE TO RELAX. THEN I TOOK MY BLOOD PRESSURE TO SEE IF IT WAS HIGH,I FOUND THAT IT WAS 202 OVER 110. I TOOK 2 ASPIRIN ( SMARTbut late) AND CALLED A NEIGHBOR TO COME OVER, HE SAW ME, said I looked bad, and told me I To call  911. I ALSO TEXTED MY WIFE WHO SAID TO MAKE THAT CALL RIGHT AWAY!, SO  OF COURSE,I DID NOW ,I WAS  QUITE WORRIED, BECAUSE I HAD MADE IT TO 68 YEARS OLD HAVING NEVER BEEN HOSPITALIZED BEFORE, and knew it was coming.   I TOLD MYSELF  I WOULD TRY TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE new eXPERIENCE AND JUST to RELAX,and found THE EMT CREW so PROFESSIONAL THEY MADE ITeasier  FOR ME.Then the EMERGENCY ROOM, WITH A BUSY GROUP IN BLUE SUITS ALL AROUND ME. , I KINDA FOUND IT HARD TO BREATHE, ANXIETY SET IN, AND THEY OFFERED ME OXYGEN  AND A DRUG TO RELAX ME AND LOWER MY NOW 210/112 BP.  I FELT WEIRD as the drug hit,AND WAS TOLD I WAS STROKING,, HAVING a TIA WHICH can COME IN waves . I HAD AGREED TO GET A ROUND OF TPA, THE CLOT BUSTING DRUG THAT PREVENTS MAJOR STROKES, WHICH CAN FOLLOW A TIA, SCARY BECAUSE IF I HAD ANY BLEEDING INTERNALLY, THE TPA COULD TURN 'EVIL" AND KILL ME.

IT WORKEAND I WAS TAKEN TO GET A CT SCAN LOOKING FOR BLOOD AND CLOTS IN MY BRAIN,luckily NONE WERE FOUND AS REPORTED to THE NEUROLOGIST, SO I WAS IN THE CLEAR FOR AWHILE. PHEW! I THEN HAD MORE SCANS, including A FULL 45 MINUTE MRI, TALK ABOUT CLAUSTROPHOBIC! ALSO A CARDIAC SCAN AND NUCLEAR STRESS TEST, AS A GENETIC CANDIDATE FOR HEART DISEASE, I HAVE ALWAYS CARED FOR MY HEART, EXERCISING REGULARLY AND EATING HEALTHY. I ALSO Took SEVERAL HEART SUPPLEMENTS THAT ARE HELPFUL, SO ALL THE TESTS CAME BACK NEGATIVE FOR HEART DISEASE AND BLOCKAGES, OTHER THAN AN ELECTRICAL ISSUE, called  a RIGHT BUNDLE BRANCH BLOCK WAS DISCOVERED, WHICH CAN CAUSE  ATRIAL FIBRILLATION AND ULTIMATELY LEAD TO STROKE.   I also had a full body MRI.

 I ultimately SPENT 3 NIGHTS IN EMERGENCY CARE THEN 5 MORE IN the ICU. I COULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED TO REHAB , BUT IT WAS THE  FRIDAY BEFORE LABOR DAY WEEKEND AND THE REHAB CENTER WOULD NOT ADMIT A NEW PATIENT. SO I spent 3 MORE NIGHTS IN THE RECOVERY AREA OF ICU.  FINALLY TUESDAY ARRIVED, AND I WAS TRANSFERRED TO IN- PATIENT REHAB, 

ON LEAVING THE HOSPITAL, I WAS STRUCK WITH HOW GREAT IT FELT TO BE OUTSIDE, IF EVEN IN AN AMBULANCE,

 

THE REHAB CENTER WAS AnNOTHER NEW EXPERIENCE, A SMALL PRIVATE ROOM WITH very SMALL TV, a BED, LOUNGE CHAIR AND two  ROLLING TABLES .THIS WAS TO BE MY HOME FOR 3 WEEKS.   VERY DULL, EXCEPT FOR THE THERAPY SESSIONS WHEN MY WHEEL CHAIR WAS ROLLED INTO THE GYM, FOR TWO OR MORE HOURS OF LEG EXERCISES, AND LEARNING HOW YO USE A WALKER SAFELY. ONE  DAY AFTER SEVERAL WEEKS I WAS INSTRUCTED TO TRANSFER TO A LOW MAT- TABLE , MY CHAIR WAS PLACED SEVERAL FEET AWAY, SO I STOOD AND WALKED,TO THE MAT. THIS WAS SUCCESSFUL BUT NOT VERY PRETTY. MY LEFT LEG WAS GAINING IN STRENGTH BUT NOT  IN GOOD CONTROL, I REALIZED THOUGH THAT I HAD ACTUALLY WALKED AND WAS QUITE PROUD OF THAT ACTION. THE OT THERAPY CONCENTRATED ON MY LEFT ARM AND HAND USING VARIOUS TECHNIQUES INCLUDING E-STIM, ELECTRONIC MUSCLE STIMUATION, WHICH AMAZED ME TO SEE MY HAND AND FINGERS MOVE ANIMATEDLY. I ALSO HAD SPEECH THERAPY TO IMPROVE MY VOICE CONTROL, AND WE SPENT SOME TIME SINGING WHICH FOR ME WAS A MAJOR PART OF MY LIFE PRIOR TO ALL THIS.

I KNEW THAT THE POSSIBILITY OF REGAINING MY GUITAR PLAYING ABILITY WAS REMOTE AND WELL INTO THE FUTURE OF ALL THIS. DEPRESSING, BUT MY  REALITY NO DOUBT.SINCE A STROKE CAN MAKE YOU VERY EMOTIONAL  QUICKLY, often I WOULD BE OVERCOME WITH CRYING JAGS WHEN  I BECAME truly AWARE OF my new  REALITY, AND this  ONLY ABATED WITH A PRESCRIPTION ANTI -DEPRESSANT PRESCRIBED FOR ME. THE THREE WEEKS DRAGGED ON WITH PROGRESS BEING HARD WON, AND MANY  HOURS SPENT IN MY BORING ROOM., ALONE THANKFULLY I HAD MY LAPTOP BROUGHT IN, AND FOUND THE STROKE SUPPORT ONLINE NETWORK, WHICH GAVE ME  INSIGHTS INTO WHAT OTHERS HAD EXPERIENCED WITH their  STROKE AND AFTERWARDS. I ALSO STARTED READING A BOOK ON RECOVERY FROM STROKE WHICH WAS VERY EDUCATIONAL. I SAW THE POTENTIAL AND MY OPTIMISM INCREASED GREATLY.

I JOINED AND EAGERLY READ THE POSTS FROM OTHER SURVIVORS. I RECEIVED A NUMBER OF VISITORS at  rehab INCLUDING A FEW OLD FRIENDS I HAD NOT SEEN IN QUITE SOME TIME. MY WIFE CAME EVERY DAY AFTER WORK , ROLLING ME OUT TO THE COURTYARD FOR SOME AIR AND SUNSHINE. I LOOKED FORWARD TO SEEING HER EACH DAY, AND SHE PREPARED TO BE MY HOME CAREGIVER SOON. I WORRIED ABOUT BURDENING HER, BUT SHE WOULD NOT HEAR ANY OF THAT, MY SONS BOTH CAME TOO AND ONE STAYED THREE DAYS, SLEEPING ON THE COUCH IN THE ROOM I HAD. HE IS  STRONG YOUNG MAN AND VERY POSITIVE , SO HIS VISIT WAS GREAT FOR MY MOTIVATION. I RELISHED THE TIMES I HAD ACCESS TO A HOT SHOWER AS THEY WERE FEW, BUT IT WAS WONDERFUL.BEING CLEAN AND  FELT GREAT AFTERWARDS. Then the special joy of going home where a friend had supplied us with a ramp over the stairs  to the door, and several bathroom grab bars thankfully.

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Sounds like a reasonable start to the experience of blogging  Alan.  Thank you for joining the Blog Community, I hope you find blogging therapeutic.  I think Ray's first stroke was very similar to yours, left side affected.  Of course he went on to have others which fortunataly is not what everyone does.  I hope with treatment this is your first and last..

Sue.

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hi Alan :

 

welcome to wonderful & therapeutic world of blogging. It will be interesting to get to know you better through your blogs. could you please start from the beginning & tell little bit about yourself. I am official blog junkie. I stroked at age 34 which left me paralyzed on my left side & retired me from the job I loved. I never thought I would find joy in living again.but thanks to great support of friends & family & this site. I found my joy back. & today after 13+ years on this post stroke journey I can view my stroke just s speed bump in our life which made me slow down & enjoy scenery along the way. oh in the beginning lot of us bloggers did 100 things about me blog.I found blogging & hatting with other survivor very therapeutic for my soul. we do have chats everyday in the afternoon 3-4 EST & M,W,F in the evening 8-9 EST. oh I just saw you updated us with your whole story. welcome to best online stroke support group. I am sorry you had need to find & join us, but out of traumatic event there is growth which comes too, & that makes life very meaningful.

 

Asha

 

 

 

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an abnormal day is filled with driving my 2 old cars on the back roads near my home, lots of curvy winding roads with light traffic make it fun . a 78 porsche 911 and a 73 volkswagen  Thing are are fun and very different experiences. i enjoy both a lot. will miss them these next months.

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My 92 year old mom,passed last week,she had a hemmoragic   stroke and only woke a few times in the following week.She was very strong, and had a great attitude, that kept her going through the 20 Years since my dad passed also from a stroke.

we were able to FaceTime during one awake time with her, and it was great to see her acknowledge us on the iPad. The funeral was in Florida, and required two planes and a shuttle bus to get me there. Totally exhausting trip, but well worth it, seeing my 9 nephews and nieces and many of their spouses. Also my brothers and sister were there, making it a great reunion my mother would have truly enjoyed. As a sideline, when we got to the hotel,my younger son who is in the army, arrived and walked in followed by all of the Atlanta falcons football team, which we are big fans of. Truly exciting to see them up close and realize how huge most of them really are! So it was as good a trip as a funeral trip could be. I came homectotally exhausted and emotionally drained, and had to rest the next day all day. 

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So sorry for your loss, my mother was 94 when she passed away but l still miss her it is something you come to terms with but never get over.

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