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(wc 880)

It might be different from my usual Monday Joy but no less joyful:  I am at home and not in the dreaded hospital. The hospital I use is wonderful – terrific people, prompt, professional,  very kind, and competent.  It’s just that as general rule, hospitals are near the bottom of places that I like to frequent, especially if it’s me who is stuck there.

The reason I spent Sunday afternoon in the ER is that I probably had a TIA, but I was double checking to make certain it was not turning into another full-blown stroke.  Monday Joy?  IT WAS NOT A STROKE! When I awoke Sunday morning, I had an ice pick (figuratively, of course) jammed into and above my left eye (same pain I had before the real stroke I had a few years back).  I was really dizzy for a few minutes. The dizziness disappeared, but after that I found that I had a difficult time walking, or staying steady – with or without crutches.  The vision in my left eye kept kind of going from decent focus (it’s never been great) to a complete blur.  I could really see nothing out of it except light.  That was intermittent, however, sort of “come and go.”  I felt well enough to go to church, and the anthem our choir was singing needed all of our altos, one of which I am, so I decided to “shake it off,” and go.

Once I got into the choir loft, I realized that I better not stand up again until I really had to, because my unsteadiness was increasing.  So I sat for the rest of the service, including the singing of the anthem (I sang, though – I knew most of it by heart, and didn’t have to worry about reading the music!).

After the service, I remained seated, and waited for Ashley to come back to the choir loft and help me get out of the building.  I swallowed very hard, and said, “Honey, I think you should take me to the ER.  Something’s not right.” Even though the ER was crowded, I was taken back to the treatment area relatively promptly and soon had a whole host of tests run, including a head CT scan (they discovered that I indeed do have a brain – contrary to what some of you may think), an EKG and blood work.  The ER physician was very thorough and suggested to me that I stay overnight so they could do an MRI and a few other tests.  She gave me a good whonk of morphine to settle the pain over my eye (did the trick, eventually) and a couple of other meds that were supposed to help.  Don’t know if they did – but they were all given as comfort measures.  She told me that I could go home if I wished.  I stopped her right there and said, where are my clothes, I’ll go home now!  In any event, I ended up signing out against medical advice, which at the time I wasn’t exactly sure I was doing.  I mean she gave me the option, right?

Hubs was rather perturbed with me.  My illnesses are very hard on him, as his are on mine, so I understood how he was feeling.  He was concerned that something would happen in the middle of the night and any help would come too late.  But for me, because the CT scan showed only the older areas of the old stroke, and nothing new, and my blood work was good, I just knew I would do better at home, where I could stay in a dark room till the pain receded, and be relatively comfortable in my own bed.  So I’m home!  True Monday Joy!

By the time I got home, the morphine was doing a pretty good job on my headache, and consequently I was walking with a more steady gait, not feeling that I was going to fall down with every step.  So I will be taking it rather slow and easy for a few days, but I expect to be posting most days.  If you don’t read anything new from me, please assume that I am alright!  Ashley will inform you all if anything major ever keeps me from writing, and photographing, and blogging.  So no news from me is good news!!

This is a CT scan of a left occipital brain stroke, similar to what I had a few years back. This is not a photo of my scan – just an approximation from what I could find on left occipital strokes.  Our brains are incredible things, are they not?  I would like to recommend to you all the extraordinary book, “My Stroke of Insight,” by Jill Bolte Taylor. (Also available on Kindle.)  It is fairly short, and will open your eyes to the wonderful, incredible organ our brain is. I was especially attracted to this book because her stroke, though far more massive than mine, was in the same area of the brain, and I experienced many of the same things she did at the beginning of her stroke.

I’m pretty sure my muse has something for you tomorrow.  We’ll see!  Until the next time, I wish all of you, my kind and Gentle Readers, enough. . .