My Stroke: Part One

I have to do this in a parts–I wish I could sit down and smash it out in one quick go, but the pain is still too fresh–I have to do it in parts.

In September 2011 I was 21 years and 6 months old. It is the 19th, my older brother’s 27th birthday; he is an firefighter/EMT. I did not see him that day, instead, I hopped from place to place drinking with friends.

We, me and my friends, decided on a porch for the night and they began a card game while someone else played guitar. I was uncomfortably sad all of the sudden for no reason and decided I needed to leave IMMEDIATELY. I wiggled to the edge of the porch and leapt off without saying a goodbye. I was caught and hugged by one friend– it felt overwhelming, my head was not in a good place.

I lived alone in a small city 10 miles from the bigger city where I left my friends. I should not have driven with the amount of alcohol I had that day, but I did anyway. I drove home but did not want to be home, so I went on a walk and called my mom– she lived 3 miles away. We talked about whatever we used to talk about– it is the last mundane conversation we would have for a long time. I wish I could remember what we talked about. I was starting school in a couple weeks so maybe it was about that. I want so badly to remember the simple hidden in the chaos that night would be remembered for.

The walk did not do the good I wanted. I was hoping for a feeling of euphoria after being in the summer night air, but no, I was still sad. To combat the sadness you should…add to the sadness– I put ‘Atonement’ into the DVD player and headed to the bedroom to disrobe for the evening. On my way back to the couch I decided to check computer things.

*bzz* My head was full with it, this noise, this *bzz*. It did not come on gradually, there was no warning. It was instantaneous and I was aggravated. My facebook was not making the noise, there were no pop-ups, nothing on my computer was assaulting my ears. AHA! The TV! I had an older TV and the noise did sound similar to the noise older TVs make. It must be the TV. “I have to turn off the TV!”, I began repeating in my head.

With both hands–I always mention the two hands because it is weird to me that I needed both of them– I closed my laptop and stood up. I took one step and the room began pulsating. The wall was too close then too far, the floor was not there then I saw my foot and realized I was standing on it. I took another step and slammed into the wall and toppled onto the floor. It became more urgent that I turn off the TV; turn off the bzzing, turn off the pulsating. My arms and legs did not want to do what my brain was communicating. The sudden paralysis I experienced should have given me my second “AHA!” of the evening to alert me the TV was, in fact, not the culprit, but it did not and I was determined to turn it OFF! My “turn off the TV” chant became more fervent.

I used every ounce of will power I had to drag my body across my living room, not to the TV but the couch where I pulled myself up and sat, staring down the enemy. It was while I was staring at ‘Atonement’s’ DVD menu that I had the “AHA!” moment. The TV was not my problem. A TV would not cause any of these symptoms. There was something seriously wrong with me and I needed help.

Bless me for the state of despair I was in upon entering my house, because that despair led me to dramatically spilling the contents of my purse onto the middle of my living room. My phone lay just 3 feet away. I flopped myself back onto the ground and drug myself to the phone. Thank goodness for touch screens and “favorite” menus. The room was still ebbing and flowing and my arms were not responding normally, but, with huge, spastic motions, I was able to call “Home”. It was my mom who answered the phone:

Mom: “Hello!”
Me: “Thur thome wong. Ithe need howp.”
Mom: “What? Who is this? Heidi?”

My speech was slurred and my mom was confused. I cant blame her for it. We had just talked on the phone. Why would her healthy 21 year old be talking like this. Her confusion did not last long and she sprung into action. My dad was sent to me while my mom called 911.

My front door was locked and, since I did not want my door bashed in, I drug myself another couple of feet and unlocked it. My vision had started to calm down. I lay on my back in an oversize sweatshirt and undies trying to make sense of what happened. I did not understand and, more importantly, everyone was going to see me in my undies!

-To Be Continued-


Prednisone Diaries.

Day 39: This morning I was lethargic, almost depressed, then I was manic, ready to do anything, but as I am writing this I am tired.

Falling asleep has gotten harder. My body wants to go, go, go! Since I could not sleep last night, I decided to look up prednisone struggles.

Moon face- I am not alone in that struggle!

Weight gain- 10 extra pounds appeared on my body in a week!

Mood swings- I am a fiery bitch half the time and depressed, happy, manic, and paranoid the other half.

My teeth have been sensitive to everything. Drinking anything hot or cold without a straw causes a horrible ache; I blame prednisone.

My boy…friend is wary of me and my hysteria. He gets to experience most of my crazy because I love him. He’s a lucky guy.

I have more to say about prednisone and its effects, but the crazy is too strong in me right now. A better day will come

I gym-ed.

I love wrinkled butts! Well, not really, but I like my gym. My gym appeals to the older generation, the wrinkled butts generation if you please. So, since I like my gym, the guts of my gym are filled with wrinkled butts, and I need to exaggerate the like for love because blogging (duh!)— I love wrinkled butts!

I have begun working out. 3.0 mph for 20 minutes with no incline on the treadmill. Baby steps… Tomorrow I might go 3.0 mph on the treadmill with 0.5 incline for 25 minutes! Who knows!

I am 9 weeks and 1 day post open-heart surgery, my second open-heart surgery. Today was the first day I have ever worked out with a working heart! I don’t know if it’s the prednisone talking but I’m excited!