Tag Archives: notAlone

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outside vs inside

Hate when you’re sick but you don’t look it. Just tired.

Hate the word “just”.

Mondays are a bit rough. The teaching until 10pm followed by the 8am class is also a bit of a stretch. Energy level was low. Still is. I can do this.

Elaine, “Go to bed. I’ll take care of this.”

No argument. Even though I passed the driving hurdle, glad she is here. She drove. I know when not to operate heavy machinery.

No sketch. No time. Tomorrow. I promise.

Took the sleeping pill tonight. It’s starting to hit. Looking forward to the crash.

thegirls

cheese

At this point I’m as normal as I was, except for the need for naps every two to three hours.

So this morning Liz picked me up to head to the public market with our dear friend, Sylvie (who happens to be our fabulous WoW guild mistress extraordinaire). I hadn’t met Sylvie in meat space until this past Thursday when a bunch of us went to dinner. That dinner included in addition to Liz and Sylvie, mein capitan and Dan and Dave. Really fabulous folk.

Dave arrived and gave Dan a hug, then Sylvie, and then me. Liz was skipped for a moment. He gave an apologetic, “Oh!” and quickly remedied it. I said it’s okay because it was a total:

Far away

Far away

almost dead  progression.

Liz is none of those.

And the reason I love Dave is that at the end of the evening, after three hours of talk and cocktails, he said, “Yes. That’s what it was.” I get him. We don’t talk much. We don’t need to.

So anyway, Liz and Sylvie and I stand at an imposing 5 feet tall each. So we went to the market and reveled in our shared vantage…then Dave joined us. (Six foot four?). Yeah. This is a picture of us. The words may have been changed.

Other terribly exciting news! Liz came by in the afternoon to accompany me on my first foray into post stroke driving. Apropos to the occasion, our destination was the liquor store. Also apropos, we bought a case of wine plus bourbon for the soon to arrive seester.

Driving was easy. I just needed to nap right after.

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I Want to be Sedated

Twenty four twenty four hours ago…

20 minutes to make it under the wire for a daily post.

The nurse explained that the sedation wouldn’t necessarily knock me out, but I wouldn’t remember anything. I’m pretty sure I was knocked out. I know I didn’t remember things. Kim took me there for my eight am appointment. She’d been singing the Ramones since yesterday when they called about this appointment.

She hung out with me all day. (Thanks Kim). At one point I remembered that I didn’t know the result of the morning’s transesophegeal echocardiogram. (Translation: an ultrasound of the heart taken by running a camera down one’s throat).

So, I think I am supposed to contact the neurologist I saw yesterday…or was it my primary care physician? Will have to ask Kim again, because thankfully she remembers what happened. The nurse wasn’t lying about the amnesia thing.

I remember the part through where the fellow played the Ramones on his phone. “I Want to Be Sedated” should be the theme of all anesthesiologists.

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I’ll take a sleeping pill, please

Yesterday was a mess.

A

B

Here is a bunch of two and three hour bits of fitful sleep. (As in full of fits, not as in would-be-fit-as-a-fiddle-if-you-got-one-of-these). Here is a generic ambien induced straight eight hours of maybe-snoring-maybe-muttering-but-I-didn’t-gain-consciousness-so-I-don’t-care.

Having seen the two, I will take B any day.

Stuff happened. As I told Sela, “The how-does-all-this-work is a crazy state of being, isn’t it? I keep getting sideswiped by how not automatic simple things are.” (That was this morning. Not sure that I could have formed that coherent a sentence yesterday).

The nonautomatic-ness of walking and standing takes quite a bit of brain energy. Again, the disconnect between body and head. The muscles are fine. I am not a frail thing. In fact, my mom would probably describe me as “healthy”. This means I could stand to lose a few pounds. (Hi, mom. So glad you are still here to take care of me).

The lack of sleep was enough to take me back several days to really awkward. (I am now throwing in an aside just because there seem to be a lot of parentheticals here).

I was exhausted on the ride back from the grocery store. Wegmans had been a crazy ordeal of sensation. Leaned heavily on the cart for support. Got the pretzel rolls though. (OMG, delicious, and dairy free so they won’t kill my chauffeur/friend). “Why am I like this?”, a frustrated dump.

Cody says, “I dunno, maybe it’s because you had a stroke?”

I keep forgetting. It hasn’t been two weeks even. Probably should chill. Maybe remember that I really am not back. Not really.

theStroke

in defense of facebook (or why I am not an asshole)

So Jezebel posted “The More Facebook Friends You Have, the Bigger Asshole You Are“. Granted, she quotes a study regarding a small number of college students who happen to show narcissistic tendencies. She clearly hates narcissists. She possibly hates young people. Probably hates facebook. That’s a lot of generous qualifiers to give someone who made a sweeping title that would suggest I am an asshole.

For the record, as of this writing, I have 963 friends. I can honestly say I know them all. They are friends from decades ago; they are former and current students from where I profess; they are members of the deaf community which I served as an interpreter; they are colleagues, peers, people I have met online through social media and games.

May I make a few suggestions?

Facebook is not merely inhabited by the young. Facebook is not merely inhabited by narcissists. That there is no correlation to the number of friends one has to the quality of interaction the friend-haver has. That social media enables behaviors already inherent in individuals and affords the possibility of amplifying some; but also has the benefit of ameliorating others. That teenagers and twenty somethings and thirty somethings and any othersomethings have different concerns. That people of all ages write on occasion. Sometimes people write crap, ie. the post to which I am responding.

That social media – facebook specifically – is not any more inherently good or evil than a telephone or a hammer.

I recently had a very positive experience with facebook and my horde of friends. The very condensed version is this…I went to the hospital with what turned out to be a stroke. I was armed with my smartphone. I posted the happenings on facebook intermittently throughout the day – ostensibly to keep my friends and family informed of what was going on. No matter where my friends lay on that circle (Inner or periphery), the outpouring of love and concern and help to me was tangible evidence of what is otherwise ethereal connectedness. I got words in return. On my end, the posts were an important function of my status. This was real status, as in this-is-what-is-occurring-now. That I had a means of broadcasting that information for whom the information was meaningful was exactly what this tool does best.

I have no pithy end line. Just wanted to counter the demonization of a something that happened to be invaluable to me when I needed it. Excuse me as I give my condolences to a friend who lost his dog. Excuse me as I offer congratulations to someone who graduated ten years ago and is now a proud father across the sea.

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Like Food for Pinay

…as opposed to Pinoy …as opposed to “Like Water for Chocolate“…for any of those who don’t get any of these references, nvm.

Clearly, mom is here. Breakfast of tocino and rice. Yesterday was champorado and bacon. In the fridge are containers of adobo, sinigang, and tinola. I’m good for at least a week.

We measure time in meals.

That being said, bite it Matthew Kampschmidt. My cholesterol is 94! You who nay-sayed my pork filled cooking. Despite that love of bacon and pork; despite being filipina; I have been on a Mediterranean diet.

On a side note, walking is taking less effort today. The wizard staff of +10 wisdom to all party members that I got from Steve and was named by Claude has given way to a sweet lighter weight wooden cane from Katie via Tona.

I have an entire post on the sleeping pill prescription, but that is another day. Suffice to say I got more than three hours of continuous sleep, and I didn’t do anything stupid while sleeping. Mom made sure by sleeping at the foot of my bed.

 

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it’s off to work we go

So I get picked up and escorted to my two hour lecture, have a bit of a break with a side of primary care physician (“oh hai! doc. I know you’ve only seen me three times in twenty years. Nope, it isn’t bronchitis.”), and a four hour evening class. There’s a pesky 8 am class tomorrow, but that is so eighteen hours from now.

I shall admit a worry about stamina, and how all of this is going to work. This whole thing where my body isn’t quite doing what I intend is just plain weird. I got the lectures down. I figure if I am stationary so I can just speak and not really have to attend to standing or walking, I’ll be fine. Note, I am cognizant that if I can’t walk, I sure as hell should not drive.

First world problems.

If we were a bunch of nomadic hunter gatherers, my sorry a$$ but would have been left on a grassy dune. Instead, I get to stroll at a leisurely pace on the arm of a friend who shall surreptitiously ensure I don’t face plant. I know what they’re up to. I am thankful.

As a side note, dear Stephen dropped off a wizardly staff so I can lean on it. The notion that I actually could look a student in the eye and say, “You shall not pass!” is kinda fantastic.

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and the village came

It was crazy. I had my phone. This is how I let people know what was going on. Over a hundred people commented and wrote and wished me well. This is just a snapshot of it all. It’s worth remembering. There can be a later post about social structures and how technology allowed for this to happen. But for now, I was and am well cared for and loved.

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back – ish

Yesterday is a tired blur. There was that discharge. Said goodbye and thanks to all the nurses. Hope the crazies are not so much. They really were good. Never EVER take insurance for granted if you’ve got it. There was never a question of can-I-afford-this? No one should ever have to worry about it.

See? This is me not leaning right.

There was an exhausted sleep for two hours. It will be a few hours until Jim comes with the boys. When I woke up I took Cody out for sushi to thank him for getting me to and from the hospital – a weird sort of bookend, and because it is not hospital food, nor is it deep fried, and hell no- I am in no condition to cook. No sake. Green tea is the thing; as is water, and soup and salad. Mr. Hu took care of us.

I need aspirin. It is my one prescription. Take this for the rest of your life. He drives me to Wegman’s. It is silly, but I lean on his arm. This will be my pose for the next week. Oh! I probably shouldn’t drive for a while. This is something to figure out later. I kick him out promising to sleep.

I lie.

Instead I check the pouring of email and posts and care. I talk to Benny. I get yelled at. “You can put the word ‘teeney’ in front of it all you like, but a STROKE is a STROKE.”

Then we laugh, because going off to the right is stupit. I imagine my sad nephews laughing as they list to the right.

You should try it. It’s HI•larious. (No sarcasm there at all, seriously).

I chat with Troy because he warned in a message that he was near tears. I love Troy. I do. He managed not to cry, though he threatened to. And in all this, it had turned 11:30 and mom walked in the door.

Mom got in late last night. The reason mom is here is because of this:

Somewhere in that hospital haze, mom asked if she should come? I said I needed to sleep on it. Tona sent the image with the subject line, “For your consideration…” Thanks, Tona.

Thanks, mom. I’m glad you are here.

Funny about when you think you’ll be strong.

I haven’t had to think about the dishes I left when I left Tuesday morning for the hospital, nor the dog hair, or food or anything. This is good, because I am more tired than I knew I was. Walking takes thought. Standing takes thought. The muscles work. The brain is relearning basics. I hope this means a lot of calories. That would be a sweet silver lining.

I had over eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Michelle invited herself over this morning (ostensibly to talk about course materials). She knows it’s better to have an activity. What I did learn from Liz over the last few days, sometimes people just need to know I’m okay; and that friends like to help. We talked course materials, then headed over to Barnes and Nobles on our mosey toward RIT and work. I lean on Michelle’s arm. “On the Avenue…Fifth avenue…” I hear a, “Weez!” and Fico gives me a big bear hug. This is one of my students. Naw, he’s beyond a student, he’s just great. He gives me a long hug. He looks relieved. God that makes me happy. “I’m sorry I made you worry.”

From there, to RIT where I check in with people to show my face; to show I am okay, despite leaning on Shel’s arm. I kinda like this arm in arm thing. I score a hug from Brenda who-doesn’t-do-hugs, and Chris who-also-hells-no-doesn’t-do-hugs. Alas, this is not captured on film. There are two meetings that I have come specifically to attend. (They were important.) I got to lean on Tona. I got to hug a whole lot of people, or got hugged by people. It doesn’t really matter. That students and faculty alike yelled my name and ran up to me to hold me is pretty fabulous.

I can see behind the smile and the hug the relief, and in some a worry that comes from care.

I am sorry. I also know that the love and care and worry are all intertwingled.

Came home the way I left, on Michelle’s arm. Crashed again because this is a lot more tiring than I ever thought. But my mommy is here.