So, here we go.
It’s been forever since I tried blogging anything. Like two years sort of forever.
Seven months later
Today marks five months and eleven days since my brain got a tad choked up by a pesky little clot that didn’t last long, but turned my life upside down. As you can see, I didn’t finish the post I started seven months ago.
It happened in the left side of my brain, where the posterior cerebral artery and superior mesenteric artery meet. It is still unknown exactly which artery it occurred in. Regardless, I have the typical side effects of stroke, along with some other less than welcome markers of my less than welcome life detour. I have a slight vision impairment in both eyes – a ‘right field cut’, meaning that the right side of both eyes were impacted, causing a seeming impairment to the rightmost side of my vision. I’ll get into that later -, slurred speech, and a more withdrawn personality. Seemingly more specific to my stroke type are my incredibly poor balance and ataxia.
Needles to say, I was mildly annoyed that this happened.
Let’s start with when it happened. Most people want to know ‘what happened’ when they really mean ‘what were you doing when it happened?’ I was supposed to do a standard 20 mile training road on my rode bike the evening of November 2nd, however my bike had a random flat and I (luckily) was out of spare tubes. I set out to the Y, and foolishly didn’t tell Adam about the change in plans (by the way, I married Adam), and began a standard training swim focused on my freestyle stroke. I began to feel a tad peculiar at the end of my fourth lap, so I swam to the edge and leaned against the wall, facing away from the length of lap lane behind me.
The strange feeling didn’t shake off and I gradually became aware that I was struggling to stay above the water using my left arm and trying to stand on my left leg while my right side flapped in the current from the next lane over. Thankfully, the two swimmers sharing that lane noticed that something was happening and came over to ask if I was well. I don’t remember how, but I was suddenly lying on my back on the ground next to the pool. People, I don’t remember who or how many, began asking what felt like a billion questions while the two swimmers recounted what had happened.
I kept thinking that I should respond to the repeated questions about whether or not I was diabetic. I eventually shook my head and responded with a simple ‘no.’ The contents of my stomach came up and I was rolled onto my side to let it out. More questions about diabetes, or maybe that’s the first time they were asked. I don’t remember. The next thing I knew, I was being rolled onto a something by people in red jackets with emblems on the sleeves. Paramedics. I don’t remember how I got onto the gurney. Next I saw the lobby of the Y whizzing past, next being rolled onto the ambulance, next a paramedic’s face as he smiled reassuringly. Next, my strange and terrifying dream of the apocalypse that lasted around a week with a few short breaks for reality that I hardly remember and was mostly told about.
So, that’s what happened. Brain got sick and is taking a while to recover; Body and I are trying really hard to be strong and patient. This won’t last forever, but it is ridiculously annoying while it does. Now I have to just keep moving. Things will get easier as new pathways are built, and I will eventually get stronger.
Thank you, Adam, for staying in the hospital with me all that time. It was really scary. I’m glad you’re my best friend.