recovery slipped

Posted on December 8th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Recovery, Stuff.

Three weeks and four days my precarious recovery slipped, wobbled, and spiraled down, and I'm still slowly coming back. I'd been having a rough day; crying, depression, I don't know what. Sometimes it's hard. Late afternoon I entered the living room, and sat down to watch tv. I was tired, and I laid down. Suddenly I felt strange; maybe five seconds I felt weird, and I felt -- maybe -- my leg started to get cramped. And I felt numb, and I couldn't move. Then I felt better; except I couldn't speak.

Velma was looking pale, though. I wanted to speak to her, but I couldn't. I felt bemused. Suddenly -- again -- the apartment was full of people, EMT people, five of them. I couldn't understand them, mostly. I started to panic. Why? It's just five to ten seconds! They loaded me on a stretcher, and I began to cry. Going to the hospital, again! And I got mad. Speech slowly returned. But I wouldn't talk to the EMT people, or (mostly) Velma. I wasn't rational.

I arrived at the hospital. I was in and out. I remember Howard and Helen were there, but I don't remember them arriving. I lay down, and I turned, and then again I felt strange and again my leg started to cramp. Howard said loudly something.... And then it was three or four days past, upstairs. Apparently I had loudly threatened to kill myself. Apparently I had calmly told Velma I didn't love her anymore; that's hard, but is harder for Velma. Apparently I had two seizures, about three minutes; when you experience something as five seconds but in fact it actually is three minutes, it's, well, weird.

Anyway, I'm back, slowly, again. I'm home, after six days. Two weeks of Lexipro was hard, but I finally got off that stuff. Now I'm still on Keppra, which makes me numb and sleepy and queasy and I can't sleep -- yes, I can simultaneously can't sleep and am sleepy -- but my neurologist thinks it's messing up with Gabapentin, so I'm going to pull off the Gabapentin slowly, about six weeks, then check.

So yeah, the recovery slipped. But my comeback is back.


a somewhat funny homework assignment

Posted on November 1st, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Comedy, Recovery, Words.

(The last three weeks have been a steep curve of learning; I want to write down some of it.) This homework assignment is to describe a children's drawing, a simple drawing of a birthday party. And my therapist, Alexandra, told me to make a little story also (because she seems to have got the idea that I am promising).

"It's a birthday party. The boy with the big grin in the center is probably the celebrator.* The boys to either side have (presumably) presents for him. The cake in front of the celebrator has nine candles, which either means he's nine years old, or his parents screwed up. There are plates in front of his friends, but none in front of the birthday boy. Maybe he's supposed to give a slice to each of them, and than eat the rest of it by himself.

"But it doesn't matter; the missing plate is far from the birthday boy's thoughts. (Let's call him Ralph.) He is grinning -- do you notice that the other two are not? -- not in laughter; he is grinning because the plan he has cultivated, the plan he has spent the last year, well, planning, is coming to fruition. For his right hand is reaching, grasping for the big knife; and he is going to kill the two, or at least maim them.

"And yet. The right one of the boys -- let's call him Ralph, too -- is concentrating on Ralph the Killer's (or Maimer's) face. And do you know? his hands, both of them, are under the table. Maybe he is reaching for a knife too; it could be, because we can't see under the table. Maybe he's reaching for a gun! Maybe he's reaching for a knife and a gun! One thing that is for sure: we can't know until we move a minute past . . . the birthday party."

*(Originally I used the word "celebrant", but I looked it up, and the definition was "the priest officiating at the Eucharist," so no.)



Posted on September 27th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Memory, Recovery, Words.

(I'm going to post insignificant details of my rebuilding mind, both because I wish I'd kept closer track of my pre-stroke mind -- even before my stroke, my memory was not good, but now it's awful -- and because I'm living here, and while my friends keep marveling at my speed of recovery, it frequently seems like I'm standing still to me.)

For four or five months, I've been typing every day, and my progress has been infinitesimal. Not the progress of my content; two months ago I couldn't summon up the word "infinitesimal", for instance. But my typing is about the same as two months ago. It's frustrating. A sentence will enter my thoughts, and by the time the typing catches up, sometimes the sentence will have vanished. And, my god, the N's. For some reason, N is particularly difficult, both the placement of the N in a word -- literally about one-third of the time my mind will drop the N, except the ING combination -- and also the placement of the N on the keyboard. Even though, as I said, I stare at the keyboard every day.

Composing and typing time: 24 minutes.


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