:)

It’s never been better 🖤

Where I’ve Been

The truth?

I haven’t posted much this year because I’ve been working on me,

I’m so happy that I’m still here.

The end of last year was pretty rough. I got low – really low; and not in a depressed-but-manageable sort of way. Adam and my cat were all that kept me from offing myself.

I’m in a better place, despite the journey that it took to get here.

I’m seeing a fantastic psychologist. I couldn’t have gotten through some of what I got through without my psychologist.

My psychiatrist worked hard and my medication has been tweaked to what I need.

Adam is still the happiest-making person for me, but I’ve also gone back to feeling the love I have for the people I love.

I’m back to art. In fact, United Spinal Houston have generously given me permission to use their studio to create as much art as I want. I will do anything I can do to support them and their mission.

I plan to go back to Achilles this Saturday. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone!

The after-hours gym program at my rehab center will begin soon, along with PT. In fact, PT will begin next Tuesday.

I love being alive. Have I mentioned that? I hope you are, too.

– Ellie

That moment when…

That moment when I realized that I’m seven years and seven months past my stroke.

Wow.

I’ve come so damn far.

7

7 years. It feels like it’s been so much longer, but also feels like it was yesterday.

I relive that day every year.

10:00. I’m going to Target with Heather and Eric right now.

1:00. We’re stopping at Chipotle.

I remember Costco. Being exhausted at Target. I remember getting in my car and driving to the gym. Most strikingly, I remember the flat tire on my road bike and deciding to go for my 20 laps at the pool instead.

Then, feeling weird in the middle of a lap; the water swallowing me; choking on liquid next to the pool; being on a stretcher flying down the hall of the YMCA.

I want to go back to that pool each year. I’m not a member there anymore, though.

It’s like life began again in that second lap lane from the right; my memory wiped clean and being physically reduced back to infancy.

Adam with panic in his eyes over every single fall, every emotional outburst. What would I be without him? He rescued me after the stroke, became my hero then more than ever.

My friends sitting next to various hospital beds. Crystal holding a Subway sandwich. Why do I remember that so clearly?

Now life is different – in the best ways. And as I look back, i can’t help but think that I’m so damn lucky.

Here’s to another year. Cheers.

1 year

I left the hospital exactly one year ago today.

Thank you, TIRR!

What it is to burn

July 24, 2019

The confusion and my slowed heart rate made it hard for me to make sense of things. Stumbling into the living room, I called the Dr. Scheiss’ office. Dr. Scheiss’ nurse practitioner answered and I began telling her things – I don’t remember what things.

Then it was the nurse practitioner, the 911 operator, and myself on the phone. Then it was me and the 911 operator. Then the living room was filled with men in uniforms, and I remember staring at those big black boots from the floor. When did I lay on the floor? My chest hurt. I think I fell. I don’t remember. I just remember all those boots.

I somehow ended up in an ambulance. I have bits of memory that must have been clarity between seizures. I don’t remember leaving triage, or being moved to a room. I just remember feeling sluggish, like the world around me was moving slowly just like I was, and then moving too quickly as it left me behind, trying to catch up from the seizure and drug induced haze.

A week in Memorial Herman Hospital. I made friends with the EEG tech, Rosie, who was kind, and brought pizza and a movie on a day off.

I couldn’t walk by myself anymore. Two nurses would assist me when I was finally able to stumble to the bathroom. No more bedpan.

The camera that Rosie had set in my room watched in case I had another seizure while I was alone – that camera that was in my nightmares. It watched when I would sit up and hug my knees to my chest at night, and when I would banter with the nurses during the day. Visitors came and went. The black, bulbous eye of that camera, always watching.

I don’t remember much else from that first hospital. Next would come a month in rehab.

Random

Tonight I wish I’d never had a stroke. I miss me.

Time to wake up again. See you tomorrow.

That was fast

I don’t know why I haven’t written in so long.

The pandemic has countries in a mess, this election year is… weird, I’m still recovering from last year’s hospital stint, I don’t know how to explain to people what happened, the Astros need to pick it up for the season, and I need to get my ass in gear.

So, that’s the past year in a nutshell.

Peanut Butter and Nutella Sandwiches

Quarantine hasn’t been kind to me. I take that back – I haven’t been kind to myself during quarantine.

I’ve walked around the apartment and kept up with calisthenics… sometimes. I’ve gained 8lbs, which is no small amount for someone just under 5’2″. (Heads up, Lucas.)

I should have and could have been consistent with working out during all of this but, damn I love peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. I’m positive that I’m not the only person who’s dropped the ball during all of this, but I hate that I took the opportunity to miss the chance to keep moving.

So, alternate day fasting and calisthenics it is until the gym reopens on the 20th. Maybe a bit later in order to skip the gym rush. New Year’s all over again.

I haven’t mentioned that, have I? Going back to business as usual is happening, in phases. I’m excited to get back to the studio. I miss it, and I miss my studio-mates very much.

The gallery show with Art League Houston was moved from this month to July, so I have plenty of time to work on some new pieces. The second show at Sabine Studios was originally scheduled for October and hasn’t moved dates. So that’s good.

My aunt was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now recovering at home. I hope to visit once all of this is over.

I’m rambling because I really don’t have a specific thing to talk about today.

Again, hah.

Back to the first topic.

Nevermind, I’m tired of typing on my phone now. Later.

Missing out but it’s fine

Today my Wednesday art class had a video chat lunch together, and I had been looking forward to it since Rafferty first mentioned it a week ago.

But I must have needed a rest day today.

I woke up late, again, and got ready. I washed my face and threw on the tiny bit of makeup I wear anymore. My hands had started shaking by then and I could feel my lunch tumbling restlessly in my stomach.

I couldn’t make myself get dressed. Last year I had pared down the amount of clothes I own so that getting dressed would be less time consuming, but I couldn’t make myself get dressed. I sat on the edge of the bed in my underwear and the t-shirt I had slept in, and struggled to think through what items of clothing I would need in order to be considered presentable.

Finally, I simply grabbed my phone and tapped out a message. I don’t think I can make today after all. I’m sorry!

I got back in bed, my back against the headboard and my Kindle comfortingly on my lap. Then I picked up my phone and began to write this. Yup. That was my day up until now.

Anxiety’s a bitch.

I’ll be fine in a few hours and regretting missing the chance to see my friends.

It’s all okay, though, because I also know that I’ll eventually remember that it’s never been better than now. It’s something I tell myself when the bipolar, hypomania, anxiety – whatever – kicks in. Yeah, having a little phrase to get me through the bad days is cliche, but I don’t care. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, and I’m kinda whatever about it.

I’m already starting to feel okay again. Seeing my friends was a flop but the rest will get better. It’d fucking better.