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Don’t be a Stranger in your own life

So last year at this time I wrote about my Weirdo bells palsy , frozen face adventures! I recall then kinda laughing at how I thought I had ‘stroked out’ and I was afraid to tell Mark when it happened. Well…. I had an MRI in November and got the news before Christmas from my neurologist that I in fact Did have a stroke. I think I was holding Ella who was melting down from teething and Lola was barking at something and I took the news with the attention I could give at the time which wasn’t much. Time passed and demands never let up so I kept telling myself I will deal with this later. I couldn’t melt down, I had to keep my Shit together. Those luxuries * so I thought* were reserved for those who had time , resources, support staff to wallow. The truth is, if ya don’t deal with crap, it will catch up with you and kick your ass. That is where I am now.

Yes, I have Been slowly following up, had tests to figure out why it happened but nothing has turned up. I am on Baby asprin every day and suffering some physical side effects like a frozen feeling on that right side of my face when I get tired, pain in my limbs and my.teeth, Lord that is a whole nother post… Truly the scarier stuff is the neurological side effects. I found a list that another stroke sufferer made 16 months after it happened and I match about 98 % of it.  Here is the list, I didn’t write it, it is another patients experience but closely mirrors my own.

Effects of a stroke:
>
> Bear in mind that a stroke causes damage to the brain so side effects are extremely diverse and can include any of the following list (and probably more). If you know a stroke survivor, please try to be very patient and understanding with them – they are recovering from a brain injury and the brain can take a long time to repair and re-wire.
>
>  
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> A change of personality, for instance a survivor may completely lose their sense of humour.
>
> Extreme fatigue (I wanted and needed an afternoon sleep for months afterwards – totally unlike the ‘me’ of pre-stroke).
>
> Mental fogginess and forgetfulness. (In my case, it took 16 months to feel long periods of mental clarity).
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> Heightened emotions – to cry and laugh more easily and to sometimes even exhibit a mixture of both in the space of a few seconds. Sometimes exhibiting inappropriate reactions.
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> Shortened attention span, an inability to plan and learn new tasks. Difficulty in understanding spoken or written language.
>
> Depression and all of the classic side effects that in itself brings, like disturbed sleep patterns.
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> Feelings of fear and anxiety (not surprisingly).
>
> Facial paralysis (often on the right hand side). This contributes towards:
>
> Difficulty in speaking. Paralysis in the muscles of the face and neck may leave you slurring your words and sounding very different.
>
> As if simply getting the words out wasn’t difficult enough, you may inexplicably utter completely the wrong word, phrase or sentence when you were thinking something else entirely. (I, for instance, remember being in hospital and asking for ‘mushroom’. I even surprised myself because that wasn’t what I was thinking of at all.)
>
> Difficulty in swallowing. The same weakness and/or paralysis that leads to problems in speech can actually cause the even more serious problem of an affected swallow reflex.
>
> Paralysis of half the body (often the right), known as hemiplegia. This causes difficulty with all physical activities such as walking, dressing, eating and using the bathroom.
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> Loss of muscle control. The effect on me was that the right side of my body ‘curled in on itself’ in an almost foetal way.
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> Loss of the ability to balance.
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> Epileptic fits.
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> Slowed reactions in the effected part of the body.
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> Numbness in the effected limbs.
>
> Chronic pain resulting from damage to the nervous system. Sometimes sensations of prickling in affected limbs. Often the immobilized state of limbs leads to painful ‘frozen joints’. (In my case drugs did nothing to alleviate pain, instead I found that visits to a chiropractor seemed to make a difference).
>
> Incontinence, loss of bowel control or constipation.
>
> Disruption of the menstrual cycle, often a complete cessation of periods.
>

The absolute worst was loosing my dam sense of humor. I new this had happened but attributed it to sleep depervation – which I am sure didn’t help + being a new Mom. The loss of this really sent me in a tail spin. I kept wondering if every.New Mom felt so ‘different’ and so changed. My personal MOTO for most my adult life has been ‘don’t be a stranger in your own life’. I was a stranger and I didn’t like thus new me.  Being a Mom felt amazing but not connecting the new with the normal was very overwhelming And I could only focus on doing my best for Ella. Come to find out another side effect was me loosing my multi tasking mojo. I also lost my compare and contrast abilities. Just this week in finalizing taxes * yup, very late, I know* .  I was trying to look at 2010, 2011 and couldn’t hold both in my mind. It was scary but I kept at that kinda thinking and its getting better.  Also, I can’t watch TV, surf the web and hold a conversation like I used to. I simply won’t hear Mark unless I give him full attention. That is weird and new but maybe slowing down, paying close undivided attention is a good thing.

It is getting better, I am laughing more, taking things more in stride, crying, getting super frustrated less. I debated not sharing this but I have been pretty open through our pregnancy, New days as parents so it feels right to keep it real.

I apologize if I made anyone worry , sorry if posts, updates were angry sounding, sorry I havent been there both physically and emotionally for my loved ones.
The stranger is leaving and I am back in my life.

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Author:

I am a GeekMom, a Superhero * Hygena from Season 2 of Who Wants to be a Superhero * and I run a Group called Geeklings and Parental Units . My hobbies include giving a voice to Dee the Thief in an online animated DnD series * The Perturbed Dragon* I like coffee and Star Wars

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