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29
Aug

Ok, Ok, Ok everyone calm down…………

My last post sparked some negativity and that’s not ok with me.  My last post made people feel like this…..

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But I want to make lemonade out of all those lemons, oh shit…..

lemonadegrumpycat

Life has given me no sugar and water…Maybe in a year or two I’ll get some water and sugar from life.

By the way, this week I decided to eliminate dairy.  I’ve read in multiple places that going dairy-free can transform your health.  So what the hell?  I’ll do it.  I’ve always had a parmesan cheese problem.  I used to use heaping piles of parmesan cheese on my spaghetti and meatballs.  Well, not no more.  That stops today.  Actually, it stopped Monday.  My love affair with parmesan cheese must come to an end.

I also have a Starbucks problem.  Now, the only non-dairy option for milk is soymilk.  I have read conflicting stuff about soymilk being good for you.  No one knows for sure.  It’s kinda like recovering from a stroke – no one knows a GD thing.  So, Starbucks you need more non-dairy options to choose from like coconut or almond milk.  Soymilk alone doesn’t cut it.  That’s all.

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27
Aug

Fatigue

People that don’t have a brain injury DO NOT, CANNOT, NEVER WILL even come close to understanding the fatigue that has resulted from this.  You might be a doctor or a therapist, or have 10 PhDs, unless you have experienced this you don’t get it, trust me.  And from what I’ve learned, the fatigue will be an issue for the rest of my life.  It’s a heck of a lot better than it used to be but I kinda feel like it’s plateaued, the fatigue is unchanging now.  I have an entirely different brain now than I had before the stroke.  Luckily, my personality and cognition were not affected but even though I may seem like the same person as before, I’m not.  I went out Saturday at 5 o’clock, was in bed by 10:30 and it completely wiped me out for 2 days.  So if someone says they’re tired, BELIEVE THEM.  By the way, in my opinion, don’t bother going to a “sleep doctor” and having a sleep study.  That was an absolute waste of time for me.  Just figure out for yourself how to deal with this and what works best for you.

25
Aug

The Swank Diet

I met a guy recently who has Multiple Sclerosis.  He was diagnosed about 15 years ago and was bed bound for a while.  He has COMPLETELY controlled his MS through diet.  It’s called the Swank Diet.  Now, there is absolutely no information out there about diet for stroke survivors, except the generic eat a healthy diet BS.  I think I’m gonna try the Swank Diet for a couple of months and see what happens.  If it helps one neurological condition maybe it will help another.  The biggest thing about the Swank Diet is no dairy.  That will be really hard, I consume a crapload of dairy.  No ordering pizza?  Oh man.  And no lattes at Starbucks???????  Well, if it helps me get over this it’s totally, totally worth it.

By the way, I socialized last night.  For the first time since my stroke I went and hung out with a group of people who I mostly didn’t know that knew nothing about me.  This is something that I ABSOLUTELY would not have done a few months ago.  I went to dinner and a comedy show.  If it wasn’t a comedy show I probably would not have gone.  I went to see Kevin Nealon, he was hilarious.  I highly recommend going to see him live.  I’m paying for it today because I woke up with a headache but that’s ok, that was a big step for me.

23
Aug

More About Hair

My OT friend told me that when she was working in inpatient she made a deal with her therapist friend that if either of them were ever hospitalized, the other one would shave her legs for her.  That’s a good idea.  See, I was in the hospital for a month and by the end of that month the hair on my legs, armpits, and eyebrows was absolutely out of control.  Not that I gave a shit what the hair on my legs was doing.  So I really don’t know if I would have appreciated that at the time.  I was pretty out of it and also hated EVERYONE so if you came near me with a razor it may not have ended well.  I was also on Coumadin and you have to be really careful about shaving when on Coumadin.  So, maybe not a good idea for a devastating, awful, horrible traumatic event like I had but for less traumatic reasons for being in the hospital, I think that’s a good idea.

23
Aug

Nap Time….

It’s almost nap time for me.  I love it that I’m 33 years old and have to lay down for a nap EVERY day.  That rocks.  I mean I’m not complaining.  Well, yes I am.  I used to absolutely LOVE the opportunity to take a nap.  Now, not so much.  It’s all relative.

22
Aug

Work

This post is dedicated to Barb.  So Barb you have to dedicate your next book to me.  A blog post for a book, that’s equal appreciation.  I think.  So yesterday I had lunch with a guy from my old company.  It’s this guy’s job to review all the therapist daily notes and documentation, rewrite policies, make sure we’re in compliance with Medicare, stuff like that.  I may start working soon and helping him out, being his assistant.  They haven’t offered me a job yet so nothing is set in stone but it will probably happen.  He said yesterday “I need help with all the boring, mundane, day-to-day stuff.”  I said “that sounds like heaven to me.”  I mean, that’s the perfect job for me, I can read and type – that’s about it.  He then said how some people find it hard to motivate themselves to get stuff done when working from home and I was like “after 2.5 years of doing nothing that won’t be a problem, trust me.”  It’s health reasons why he initially took this position so he knows exactly where I’m coming from.  Plus I enjoy sitting on my couch with a laptop on my lap.

Another opportunity is guest lecturing.  My awesome OT’s cousin is the PT department chair at a university a couple of hours away and she talked with him about me and he might want me to guest lecture.  At first I was like “Lynne you’re crazy I can’t lecture, listen to me talk.”  She said “Amy think of all the professors you’ve had with thick accents or that didn’t speak English very well.”  Good point.

20
Aug

Depression

This kinda goes against my post yesterday and against probably the image of myself that I’m putting out there, that’s partially why I want to write this.  I don’t feel like this often anymore but today has been a horrible, terrible, awful shit day and I was extremely depressed.  I just want to sit on the couch and cry.  People call me inspirational and motivational all the time, well I just wanted to say that I have absolutely awful days, kinda goes with the territory.  It’s OK if you’re feeling bad, that’s to be expected.  More than expected really.  Don’t try to fight it and be all strong, just let it be there, let yourself feel bad.

19
Aug

Saving a Life

There is a big, big difference between saving someone’s life and keeping that person alive.  My neurosurgeon did not save my life, he merely prevented me from dying.  He kept me breathing.  Meditation saved my life.  It made me want to live again, to be a functioning member of society.  Before I found this practice I was depressed as hell and wanted to die.

Please go here for a better, affordable alternative to learning Transcendental Meditation.

16
Aug

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Yes, tiniree, laughter is the best medicine.  There’s lots of research that says so.

This cracks me up………My dog has OCD.  But that’s kinda fitting, any dog of mine should have OCD.  When Cassie comes in the house using the back door, which is in my kitchen, she MUST step on the kitchen mat before entering the living room.  If something is in her way (in this case the cat) she will wait until that obstacle is gone.

Also, Barb challenged the cuteness of my dog, here is a picture of hers, decide for yourself……………

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Tiniree’s pug……

Cutie Pie Riley

15
Aug

Dog

If I didn’t have the cutest dog in the world, there would have been many, many, many, many, many days that I didn’t leave the house, didn’t go outside.  But I had to go outside, I had to take her out.  If you get sick, get a dog.  If you have little kids I’m sure you probably don’t need a puppy on top of that but if you have no kids to raise like me, get a dog.

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14
Aug

Neurologist

Yesterday I had an appointment with a brand new neurologist.  I really, really liked her.  Now, for me to say that I really like a doctor, especially a neurologist, and use 2 reallys to boot – that’s QUITE a big deal.  QUITE.  All of the neurologists I’ve seen have been arrogant BLEEPS.  This lady was not at all.  She was quite the opposite.  She was humble, she listened to everything I had to say, she didn’t dismiss things.  She didn’t try to push me to take pills.  She even said at one point “you can probably teach me more than I can teach you.”  Yes, I most definitely can.  That’s the way a doctor should be.

No one knows why this happened to me.  I’ve had tests out the ass that all came back very, very normal.  Whatever normal is.  Anyway, the ONLY thing they found that was abnormal about me is that I have a PFO in my heart.  PFO = patent foramen ovale.  It means that there is a hole between the upper 2 chambers of my heart.  It used to be that if you had a stroke and a PFO was discovered, you had heart surgery ASAP to close that sucker.  Now, things are different.  Now, there is research to say that a PFO has no correlation to having a stroke.  They just completed a new trial and the neurologist lady yesterday said “now we have 3 studies that say there is no correlation between PFOs and stroke.”  The heart surgeon that I saw in the months following the stroke said “PFOs have been blamed for all the ills of the world.”  So – no one knows anything.

13
Aug

Cervicogenic Headache

When I look at my stats page I read all the search terms people used that made them wind up on my blog and sometimes that makes a blog post appear in my head.  Yesterday there was a search term ‘cervicogenic headache stroke.’  Cervicogenic headaches was the topic of my last case report paper thing in PT school.  I would never say that this relates to a stroke but maybe it does, who knows?  A cervicogenic headache is a headache that comes from the cervical spine, the neck.  So if something is going on with your neck muscles, if they’re all tight and have a bunch of knots it can cause a headache.  That’s a cervicogenic headache.  Bad alignment of your cervical spine will cause the discs to do weird things which can also cause cervicogenic headaches.  I get a lot of headaches, but they’re not cervicogenic.  I get headaches because I have a f’d up brain and I had a stroke.  My headaches aren’t referred from my neck.  Remember what referred pain is?  Referred pain is pain that is felt somewhere on the body in a different spot than what’s actually causing the pain.  Like if the left arm hurts when you’re having a heart attack.  That’s what cervicogenic headaches are, they’re referred pain from the neck.  To help a cervicogenic headache – POSTURE.  The main way to help this kind of headache is to have good posture.  Also, you need to relax those neck muscles, do some shoulder shrugs, get a massage.  Seriously though, posture, posture, posture, posture, posture.

11
Aug

Achilles Tendonitis

Someone wound up on my blog by searching ‘achilles tendonitis.’  So here ya go.  Everyone knows what the achilles tendon is right?  It’s at the back of the heel, it connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.  Umm there are a couple of words your doctor might say if you have a problem with the achilles tendon.  You might be diagnosed with achilles tendonitis or tendonosis.  Doesn’t matter, they’re treated the same damn way.  Tendons respond to eccentric contractionsEccentric heel raises are what you wanna be doing for achilles tendonitis.  You also want to do all the regular strengthening and stretching of the ankle stuff.  Disclaimer: don’t do anything that I say.  Barb, that does sound like Dean.

10
Aug

Hair

Multiple people have told me this.  I wish this was something I knew about 2.5 years ago when I was bald and absolutely devastated about losing my hair.  I was much more upset about losing all of my hair than having a life-altering, devastating massive stroke.  My priorities were obviously right where they should be.  Anyway, people have told me that pre-natal vitamins are great for your hair and make it grow really fast.  I didn’t know that!!!!!!!!!  Hey all moms, is that true?  How’s your hair Vic?

8
Aug

‘M’ is for Mop

I was reminded of something yesterday that I couldn’t do in the hospital.  Now, I couldn’t do a whole hell of a lot of stuff when I was in the hospital but for whatever reason it REALLY pissed me off that I was unable to do this test and it has stuck with me.  The test was…..pick a letter of the alphabet and say all the words that you can think of that begin with that letter.  I couldn’t do it.  I would come up with 1 or 2 words.  I forget what the goal is, I think 11 words in a minute.  I don’t know, I can’t remember.  11 words really?  That doesn’t seem like a lot.  You know, I bring up a good point.  🙂  Eleven words is so very, very abnormal for me but it would’ve been considered ‘normal’ had I gotten 11.  They taught us in PT school – you know what maybe they didn’t, maybe this is something I’ve learned since school – that you always need to ask the patient “is that normal FOR YOU?”  No one asked me that, ever.  With brain injuries it’s a little different because what’s normal for you is forever changed now but – I don’t know.

Ok I just did this with the letter ‘t.’  I got 19.  It would’ve been more if I could type with 2 hands, I should’ve given myself a little more time for pecking at the keyboard with one hand.

Tab, tap, tan, talk, tip, tint, taunt, tent, temperature, tell, Teflon, the, test, taste, tack, take, tame, tackle, time