Friday, August 05, 2011



Fun fact to know and tell… according to the National Stroke Association, I’m normal.

*Snicker* … somebody ain’t checkin’ they memoz.

But seriously, folks…

One of the unfortunate murky-linings of having PF and a cancer history is susceptibility to strokes.  I’ve had a few minor ones, and this week got zapped with another.  So far the damage appears to be minor, but one of the things I learned was how stealthy the damage can be.  Among the sneaky little gremlins? I may find myself “ignoring” or “missing” things on my left side.

Stand on the left, won’t you, buttheads of the world?

In all seriousness, while sitting around in-between appointments, the nice people at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge directed me to this site: National Stroke Association's Effects Page.  On that site I read up on my most recent stroke-age:

A stroke in the right hemisphere often causes paralysis in the left side of the body. This is known as left hemiplegia. Survivors of right-hemisphere strokes may also have problems with their spatial and perceptual abilities. This may cause them to misjudge distances (leading to a fall) or be unable to guide their hands to pick up an object, button a shirt or tie their shoes. They may even be unable to tell right-side up from upside-down when trying to read.

Along with their impaired ability to judge spatial relationships, survivors of right-hemisphere strokes often have judgment difficulties that show up in their behavioral styles. These patients often develop an impulsive style unaware of their impairments and certain of their ability to perform the same tasks as before the stroke. This behavioral style can be extremely dangerous. It may lead the left hemiplegic stroke survivor to try to walk without aid. Or it may lead the survivor with spatial and perceptual impairments to try to drive a car.

So far the damage I have seems NOT to have mucked up my driving… but I drive in Massachusetts, so it’s hard to tell.  Short term memory seems fine… but I have always had excellent long-term, but spotty short-term memory.  I’ve trained myself to leave my keys in the exact same spot ALL the time, and to write things down because of this.  But if the official testy-peeps say I’m good, I suppose I’m good.

I am listing to one side, dropping things on that side, and tripping because my left foot is dragging.  This makes it fun for Ahmed, who is in charge of catching me.  Hey… one excuse to cop a feel is as good as the other, right?

I learned a lot from this experience.  I seem to be speaking fine… but my pauses are longer.  I can type, but at a normal speed.  My speed was once legendary, so being average is pissing me off a little.

Lastly?  When my man unit announced to the world—in very classic Ahmed fashion—that I could do with some prayers, Facebook exploded with lovely good wishes.  It was incredibly touching, and you’re all in my  prayers, too.  MWAH!!!  Big, fat, hairy kisses… that pull slightly to the right.

9 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Gwen Hayes said...

Yay! Listing slightly is the new black.

Diana Castilleja said...

While I'm all for any excuse to cop a feel, can we try for a less scary method? Hm, please?

Love you!

Leigh Royals said...

Happy tears to read you! You make listing look cool.

Minx Malone said...

So glad you're doing better! Listing? Just call it your swagger :)

RG Alexander said...

Very glad to read this!

Natasha Moore said...

SO glad you still have your sense of humor. Hugs!

Susan Lohrer said...

Chrissy, I'm so happy to see you're your same awesome self. And that slight pull to the right? You'll rock it. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

Glad to read you're doing okay... even if okay is now average instead of possesing typing super powers.

Carly Carson said...

So glad to hear you're doing better. What's a little 'listing' among friends?

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