The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #112315   Message #2374802
Posted By: wysiwyg
26-Jun-08 - 10:51 AM
Thread Name: BS: 'Small' Strokes
Subject: BS: 'Small' Strokes
Like the "small" housefire we had in 2000, when it comes to some things there's no such thing as "small." But I am grateful that the ones I had were, um... so clearly delineated. :~)

For the last 2 years I've been bothered by some changes in mental function and mood that I could not account for by "mere" aging, and as time went on these were bothering me more and more. I could feel and see differences.... it was increasingly lonely that no one else really could... and there were several scary possibilities I decided I'd better check out. So I went to see the good "new" doc to get a CAT scan (or whatever) ordered.

I'm grateful to know it wasn't early Alzheimer's, or a brain tumor, or the delayed noticing of damage from 6 or 7 good hard concussions I'd had in my 20's, or a new wrinkle on brain chemistry. I was sorry to learn though that it wasn't just the "cottonheaded" thinking of perimenopause, but then I knew that since the peri had ended and the cotton head remained. And no, it wasn't mental skills atrophying from under-use.

It WAS the result of the logical and definite decision I'd made to get off the BP meds that were, literally, killing me, even if I stroked out. I'm on all-new meds now that do me no harm at all (except financially), and it was quite the reward to find these meds AND the new doc some of you have heard more about. But it was 3 (maybe 4) strokes in three different places, each of which accounts for a piece of the new mind I've been operating. (LOVE learning about brain anatomy!)

And you know what, it was totally WORTH it to have them, to get the life I have now. I'm being remade, again, and that has ALWAYS been a good thing.

I can spot at least three of the strokes in time with things that seemed odd which I described at the time (most of it to friends here). These occurred during a year, a time of inhuman pressure Hardi and I endured, plus an injury that stopped my pool workouts for a time, plus the implementation of the new meds with the new doc. For awhile I was in a high-risk situation and, amazingly, I have very few serious longterm consequences.

I'm learning a lot more about the "stroke thinking" that my dear late friend John Whitney had in his last year (the year I spent so much time "helping" him).

I'm sorting out what effects I've had so I can rehab them smartly.

For instance my handwriting and some other fine-motor skills that depend on left-right orientaiton are goofy but can be made to work right with strict mental attention to them. But my typing is magically less typo'd with the transposed letters I've had as a habit for years. I miss letters, but they are in the right order, usually. Innit funny?

I use the wrong word often, but my lifelong desire for accuracy in communication means that I hear them and correct them most of the time (self-absorbed as ever).

I lack a few memories (half the plot of some movies for example), but what I care about is in there and findable if I relax and let myself come to it a bit more slowly and/or sideways.

If I start the day "right" (for me) I mostly adjust, cope, and accommodate well all day long, but if I start off running into the frustrations head on, the brain chem all day is not my friend. I'm learning what "right" means for me-- it's all different for now-- and how to abort a bad day when I fall into it.

You'll see some posts exemplifying all of this and sometimes, as always, I'll probably seem to be trying out for "Chief A**hole." Oh well! Live and learn, as always. I find it helpful that this is not a choice-- we ALL live and learn whether we do it intentionally and efficiently, or not. [shrug}

(I'm having a good day today. I hope you are, too.)