Wednesday, December 9, 2020

So, I Had a Stroke

You know, life is weird.

You're rolling along, doing your thing, and you have a migraine that starts off like normal. Throughout the day, you realize that your face is starting to get numb. You think it's a little weird, but it's not a huge deal, so you blow it off as the headache eases.

Several weeks later, you have the same kind of headache. This time, you take your migraine rescue meds and they don't work, so you head to the Emergency Room because you need some relief. The doc decides you need a CT scan because you're having some weird symptoms, and they find a clot in your brain.

It's weird. Over the last few weeks, I'd been really tired. I'd chalked that up to stress. It's really hard to be managing work and supervising distance learning and taking care of the house and dealing with special needs kiddos and feeling like you're doing that all by yourself during a fucking pandemic.

Look, I'm a veteran of all of the major TV hospital shows. I've watched ER all the way through more than once. I know my shit, right? A stroke is not something you can have without knowing it, right?


Except you can. An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, and it's caused by a blood clot that forms or lodges in your brain. If the clot doesn't fully block your vein, or if the blockage is short-lived, then you don't lose many brain cells, and you may not experience many deficits. In my case, I've had some issues finding the right words, which kind of sucks when you write for a living. I'm supposed to start speech therapy to help with that, but I have some other issues going on, so I'm going to wait until after those are dealt with before I start speech therapy.

So, what now?

Well, we're still kind of in the investigation phase. Neuro has essentially cleared me of this stroke. In other words, This stroke is done, and I'm healthy and physically recovered from the acute part. There is no cause in my brain for the stroke.

I do have some heart issues, one of which probably contributed to the stroke, and am being tested for some other issues. Once those are a little more clear I will post about them more. My medical team is great and I feel like they are doing the deed and trying to figure out why I had a stroke at 47. 

For right now, I'm dealing with my mental health and mindset. It kind of fucks with your head to know that you almost died. To know that you were a centimeter away from death. It's definitely made me prioritize some things that I had put aside for a while, and, in some cases, a very long time. I'm turning much more inward and looking at how I can make things flow better for myself.

I took some time off right after I found out about the stroke, and if I have the slightest feeling that I'm tired, I force myself to take that time to be tired. I have a power nap and go on with my day. I've started using BHBs because it's really the only thing that gives me good energy without a nasty crash or a negative result on my gut. I'm trying to focus on being keto so that I'm only eating healthy foods, but


I'm also trying to clean the house from top to bottom including cleaning out the refrigerator and freezers. It's hard to be full keto and clean out the freezers.

I still feel like I'm managing everything on my own. It rips my heart out to feel like I'm barely supported by someone who is supposed to be a partner. I'm utterly exhausted by mid-afternoon, and I usually still have hours of work left to do, between making sure school work got done, my work, dinner, house stuff, etc. And sometimes I still don't sleep until 1 or 2 am. 

Having a stroke, even when you have no lasting deficiencies, forces you to take a time out. It forces you to take stock of where you are and what you're doing in your life, because I'll tell you one thing. I'm not ready to die. I have 10,000 things left to do. I've been raising children for a very long time, and I'm not quite done yet. Because I started at a young age, I haven't done many of the things I've wanted to do in my own life. So I simply don't have time to die yet. I want to go to Ireland, and Norway, and Mexico. I want to bungee jump, and skydive, and learn how to swim. I may need more naps, but I am still going to do all of those things.

Death can fuck straight off. I'm not going on a ride with him yet.