Tag Archives: Neurologist

#CTST – KEEPING IT POSITIVE

Welcome to another posting of Celebrate the Small Things brought to us by LEXA CAINPost anything in life that you’re celebrating, no matter how small or big, on your blog.

Sign up by clicking on the image, hop around and celebrate with others.

Make Celebrate the Small Thingssure your blog post has a link to the sign-up as well, so other bloggers will be able to sign-up and hop around too. 

This is such a simple and easy blog-hop, and it also happens to be one of my favorites.  After posting the things you have to celebrate, please don’t forget to visit and thank Lexa and her awesome and amazing co-hosts for the wonderful job they do:

 

LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge   and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits

There are some things I need to discuss regarding the MRIs I had taken a few weeks ago, but that’s for a post next week. Today, I’m keeping it all positive.

  • I saw my neurologist today and he’s weaning me off the Keppra and next week starting to increase the Depakote. He’s working one med at a time in case there’s a problem, he’ll know which med is responsible. I’m just happy to get this ball rolling already.
  • Last week my other blog, lilicasplace celebrated four years of blogging.
  • Vivi and I also had manicures done last week.
  • After my neuro visit, Vivi treated me to breakfast before heading off to work.

And of course, I’m STILL ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GRASS!!

What have you celebrated this week?

 

 

 

FRUSTRATED

Good morning, everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

There’s been a lot of stressing here for the last week, give or take a few days. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had my three MRIs done about a week and a half ago. My neurologist appointment was supposed to be on Friday, but I received a call that morning that he wouldn’t be in the office. The earliest ‘late’ appointment I could get was the beginning of March.

meds-id-100339110

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Normally that wouldn’t bother me but with the whole medication thing up in the air, it leaves me frustrated. In an attempt to stay more alert, I’ve started taking my 30mg Duloxetine every other day instead of daily. I won’t chance any other changes until I see and speak to Dr. G.

It’s helped with the sleepiness, but minimally. The thought of lowering the number of meds I’d have to take daily fueled my excitement. Now I have to wait another month. I haven’t received any phone calls from him regarding the MRIs. I don’t know if it’s because he hasn’t seen them, or if it’s because no news is good news.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but the purpose of two of the MRIs was to rule out spinal stenosis (like I need any other issues).

I suffered through two days with a monster headache a few days ago. In my bed was where I spent most of my time.

Other than that, I’ve been taking things day by day. Staying positive has been a task but between my friends, family, and Sophie, I’ll make it through. I might call during the week to see if he has any cancellations prior to March.

Thank you guys for always allowing me to vent, and for being there when things get tough. I appreciate you.

Have a great week. Hugs.

 

RECOVERY PROGRESS REPORT

Good morning, everyone! Encouraged by my first visit to my new neurologist last week, I thought this would be a perfect time to give you a progress report of sorts.

Getting better...

Hopefully will be taking a lot less!! 🙂

As a lot of you know, I take a variety of medications. For the purposes of this post, I’ll list the one’s that are relevant.

  • Keppra (Levetiracetam) for seizures 1,250mg daily)
  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine 30 and 60mg) daily for neuropathic pain
  • Paroxetine (Paxil) 40mg for depression. 

After going over my medical history and medications together, Dr. G. said he was a little perplexed that my other doctors had me on so many different medications for so long. He understands why they probably did; the Keppra is a safe drug with few side effects. Unfortunately, it is also a mood destabilizer.

He wants to try something new with me. He said that I have every neurologic problem the medication he wants to put me on will help. That medication is Depakote. I’ve known people on it, and had patients who were on it, but I never realized its versatility. I always thought it was to treat bipolar disorder only. Not so. It helps prevent migraines and seizures, works on neuropathic pain, and is a mood stabilizer. WHAT?! 🙂

Dr. G put me on a low placebo dose of it to see how my body reacts to it. If all goes well, when I see him next month, I’ll start weaning off the listed four meds, and have the Depakote gradually increase until we hit the magic therapeutic dose.

Unfortunately, my gait hasn’t been the greatest lately, and I’ve been using my cane more than I normally would. I’ve been clumsy lately and Vivi told the doctor that when I went to NJ, each time I returned, it took almost two days to recover. We’re hoping the Depakote will solve the mood and exhaustion problems, as well as the neuropathic pain.

Dr. G is sending me for an MRI of my brain, neck, and back since I’m unsteady. He noted that I walk with my legs a little spread and said that it’s my body’s way of keeping me balanced. I love that he speaks in layman’s terms. He basically said my spine is like the highway of my body. if there’s a lane closure, what happens? Traffic. I probably have some brain to limb traffic; actually, I know I do. Hence, all the MRIs. Fingers crossed that it’ll be something we can fix through PT or something. I’ll keep you updated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#CTST – NOT A BAD WEEK

Hey everyone! It’s time for another posting of Celebrate the Small Things brought to us by LEXA CAINPost anything in life that you’re celebrating, no matter how small or big, on your blog.

Sign up by clicking on the image, hop around and celebrate with others.

Make Celebrate the Small Thingssure your blog post has a link to the sign-up as well, so other bloggers will be able to sign-up and hop around too. 

This is such a simple and easy blog-hop, and it also happens to be one of my favorites.  After posting the things you have to celebrate, please don’t forget to visit and thank Lexa and her awesome and amazing co-hosts for the wonderful job they do:

 

LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge   and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits

This week wasn’t bad. I had my quarterly visit with my neurologist and everything is looking good. She even asked if I’ve had more physical therapy since my last visit because my gait has improved so much. It felt good to tell her I hadn’t, that I’d done most of the work on my own since I maxed out early this year.

My daughter is coming tomorrow for the weekend, since her birthday was yesterday. I can’t believe my baby girl is now 28. It’s unreal, but I’m excited.

Saving the best for last, I’m STILL ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE GRASS!! Yeah, Baby!!

What have you celebrated this week? 

 

 

 

Redefining Disability Challenge-Post 6

 

Hello blogger friends and welcome. Here is another post for the redfng-disblty2Redefining Disability Challenge started by Rose B. Fischer. If you click on the image to the left, you can see exactly what it’s all about and feel free to join. Answer as many of the 52 questions as you like, or the ones that pertain to you. There is no time limit. Answer them in one post, one a day, a week, or whatever fits your needs.

I’m going to spread the questions out over the remainder of the year since a lot of the questions pertain to me already. For today’s post I’m going to answer question(s) 10.

  1. Does disability affect you in other ways? If so, how? I know I’ve mentioned most of the ways the brain hemorrhage and subsequent stroke affect me in some of my previous posts. Of course they affect me in ways big and small. Let me give you a few examples, some big (for me at least), and some small.

A couple of months ago I had an appointment with my neurologist and this was before I met the friend and neighbor who helps me now. As you probably know, I still don’t drive yet, so I called ahead for a taxi. Since I live in the sticks, it sometimes takes anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours for a cab to be available. I got lucky that day; the cab came early and I arrived over an hour before my appointment . . .

It’s raining, but I don’t feel like sitting in the waiting room for an hour and change. Across the street is the hospital and catty-corner to that by the intersection is a gas station with a convenience store. I forget what’s on the other corner. Anyway, I decide to hit the store for a cup of coffee and a buttered roll. I walk to the corner and cross the street when the light changes green. I have to cross again to get to the convenience store, but the light won’t change in my favor; at least I don’t think it does. It has the delayed green for left turn signal… I grow impatient after about 10 minutes of standing in the rain and run (gimp) across the two-way street as soon as I can. Not exactly the smartest thing to do, but at least a turning driver is kind enough to wave me ahead.

I head in to the store to the coffee station; I make a cup, and grab a buttered roll from a display. I pay. I step outside and it’s still raining, but I look around and realize I’m completely alone.

Photo courtesy of http://morguefile.com

Come on brain, work!

It’s only been a few days since the only person I really knew in PA, my ex, hauled it back to NJ and I’m here fending for myself. I’m okay with that, but the reality of that freedom finally hits me. I waited a long time for this. It’s overwhelming. I smile, but then I frown. Something doesn’t click.

I look around again and nothing seems familiar; confusion sets in. I don’t know where I am right now. I step off to the side, away from the door. I put my bag on the window ledge with shaky hands. I close my eyes and try to breathe, and think. The last thing I want is to have a panic attack in a strange place. In my mind I know I’m not crazy and something tells me I SHOULD know where I am. BREATHE, Eva. I’m leaning against the building now, trying to slow my racing heart.

After about two minutes, I’m calm enough to open my eyes. The rain is lighter; I look up and see the sign for the gas station. I look across the street. It’s a hospital, my hospital. I breathe a sigh of relief. I got this. I have an appointment today with Dr. H, my neurologist. I know exactly where I am. I pick up my bag, hold my head up, and make my way back to the doctor’s office. Though these occurrences are few and far between, they happen; they scare the crap out of me. These are a couple of the big things.

The first month was extremely difficult for me knowing that the only people I had in PA were my doctors and 911. God blessed me when he put a couple of new friends in my life. I’ve been able to come out of my shell more and my mind is clearer.

Sometimes the small things get to me sometimes too, but not as much. It would be nice to be able to get on a step stool again to change my curtains or reach a shelf without having to worry about doing a face plant to the floor. Or cleaning my shower without worrying about muscle spasms, dizziness, pain, or the inability to bend. I’d also love to hop in my car and just drive. Anywhere. (Oh, wait… That goes under BIG things.)

There’s a lot more I can include, but I’m not going to make this an overwhelming post. I just wanted to give you an idea of some of the things I deal with.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and if anyone has any questions or needs an ear, leave a comment or drop me an email. Until next post, have a great day.

 

 

Redefining Disability Challenge – Post 5

Hello blogger friends and welcome. Here is another post for the redfng-disblty2Redefining Disability Challenge started by Rose B. Fischer. If you click on the image to the left, you can see exactly what it’s all about and feel free to join. Answer as many of the 52 questions as you like, or the ones that pertain to you. There is no time limit. Answer them in one post, one a day, a week, or whatever fits your needs.

I’m going to spread the questions out over the remainder of the year since a lot of the questions pertain to me already. For today’s post I’m going to answer question(s) nine .

  1. Are your leisure activities or hobbies affected by disability? How do you work around this? My leisure activities and hobbies are definitely affected by my brain hemorrhage/stroke. My favorite things to do have always been cooking, writing, crafting, photography, gardening, driving long distances, and attending concerts/sporting events.

I can’t cook the way I used to because I have a difficult time focusing. I tend to walk away from the stove because I think of something else that needs to be done and forget the food. My left side was always my strong side (being a leftie), so strength is also an issue. I work around it by eating a lot of instant oatmeal, Ensure dietary supplements, cereals, and occasional microwaveable meals. Sometimes I’ll practice cooking a ‘real’ meal if there is someone with me to help, like my daughter, or a friend.

I’m still not cleared to drive, so that’s out the window completely for now. I’m going to talk to my neurologist Dr. H soon to see if she will clear me so I can at least practice drive. I haven’t had a seizure of any kind since July, 2014. Unfortunately, there’s no way of getting around that; I have my neighbor and friend take me to my appointments and run errands. Worst case scenario I can take the disabled bus service with 48 hours notice or cab it.

Real gardening is out for me because of the bending involved. It would be too painful for me. I work around that by having myself a little windowsill herb garden and some green plants at home. I can work on them standing up and a little at a time. As long as I have them, I’m happy. Doesn’t take much. 🙂

The crafting and photography I’m still trying to work on, but it’s difficult because of the tremors I get on my left arm/hand. While my little projects have gotten better, they still need a lot of work. Let’s just say I wouldn’t give them as gifts. Lol. My pictures are definitely getting better.

I haven’t attended any concerts or sporting events since before my illness. I’m looking forward to doing it one day soon, although I know it could be dangerous for me. In crowded places, people tend to bump into each other and I have no way of steadying myself because of my deficits. It’s difficult, almost impossible for me to make a turn if someone bumps into me. I have no way to steady myself. Unfortunately, the way I’ve worked around it, is by avoiding the situation. I went to a fundraiser in October and came very close to face planting because some one decided it was okay to whiz past me (clearly seeing I had difficulty walking). Thank goodness someone next to me helped steady me.

My writing was the first thing I went back to when I was well enough to do so. My once beautiful handwriting is now unsteady. I can only write pen to paper for a few minutes at a time before it becomes illegible. I’m still working on it, though. It will get there. I work around it by using my computer and typing. It’s what has helped me work on some of my cognitive skills. Even though I have to go through my work over and over again, I pay closer attention to details, which helps with my focus, memory, and attention.

That’s all I have for this post. I’ll be answering another question regarding the Redefining Disability Challenge soon. Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

 

Celebrate the Small Things – October 17, 2014

Hello blogger friends. It’s Friday, October 17, 2014 and time for the Celebrate the Small Things meme brought to us by Viklit at Scribblings of an Aspiring AuthorThis is one of the easiest blog-hops around. Post anything in life that you’re celebrating, no matter how small or BIG, on your blog. Sign up by clicking on the image, Celebrate the Small Thingsand hop around and celebrate with others. Make sure your blog post has a link to the sign-up as well, so other bloggers will be able to sign-up and hop around tooAfter posting the things you have to celebrate, please don’t forget to visit and thank Viklit’s awesome and amazing co-hosts for the wonderful job they do:

 

Diana Wilder
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

Thankfully this week wasn’t too bad:

  1. Little by little I’ve unpacked and put away several bags and boxes of clothes and things I need…
  2. I had my follow-up appointment with my neurologist, Dr. H and it went well. She reduced my Topamax by 25mg. so I’m back down to 50mg. at night and 50mg. in the morning. Eh. I’ll take what I can get. At least I’ll save some $$$ on the 25mg. tabs. Won’t be able to do anything about lowering my Keppra until I’ve passed my seizure-free time. I’m not even going to mention it, so as not to jinx myself again. :-/
  3. I spoke to the Realtor last week about the lady who was supposed to run errands for me and things, but I haven’t heard back from him; I did conduct a phone interview with the girlfriend of the cab driver who took me to my neuro appointment. She works and I may hire her just to take me to doctor appointments and errands. Your feedback is welcome. I’m also going to check into local services for now. NJ is home, but I can’t see myself leaving before the holidays after just having had my stuff brought over to my rental. I should’ve just had it brought over when I rented it and lived here. Another life lesson learned the hard way.
  4. I’m slowly working on an outline for November’s NaNo. Whatever progress I make or don’t will be updated on my writing blog, lilicasplace during next month. I’ll see how it goes. I’ve always been a pantster; let’s see how the plotting goes.
  5. I’ve heard from one or two people I haven’t heard from in a while. Sweet. I’m happy about that. Like my special fellowship always says, “While alive, brother, while alive.”
  6. I’m still here. Amen.

What have you celebrated this week?