Monday, September 27, 2010

Moments (with my niece and nephew)

I do not believe in "what if". I believe in a sovereign God that directs everything exactly as it is supposed to be, even if we don't understand. But, I am only human and from time to time the enormity of what I have lived through just hits me and I admit that the thought, "what if I missed this" creeps in. I have learned not to dwell on this thought but to simply appreciate it for what it is, just a thought. Dwelling on it only brings on intense fear and sadness. While visiting my sister and her family, this thought crept in. I thanked God that I have the opportunity to get to know my beautiful niece and nephew and be a small part of their lives!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Official results and stuff.....

My doctor just called to let me know the tests on my heart "all look normal". So not used to hearing those words out of a doctor's mouth. I am thankful and relieved for the good news.

I also had my EEG test today (measures brainwave activity). Apparently, the scar tissue in my brain (from aneurysm rupture)makes me at high risk for seizures. Doctors just wanted to rule that out at this time. The test was pretty easy as brain tests go. They glue a series of electrodes to your head then make you open and close your eyes as a bright light is flashed in the dark room. All my scars had to be mapped as the effect the results if the reader is unaware of them. The technician said I really put her to work diagramming them and trying to get the electrodes to stick among "the thickest hair ever" (her words not mine). I told her God gave me all that hair to cover all those scars. Deciding I had a good sense of humor she left me with this, "just in case anyone wonders, we did detect brainwaves". Then, she let me go even though I looked like a mad scientist! Seriously, for walking out of a hospital, I got a lot of strange looks. Here is why:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

more updates.........

I had an ultrasound done on my heart today to check on a murmur. The paper the doctor handed me said echo cardiogram but I think it ended up being both at the same time! The official results will be in next week but the technician said (after a bit of prying) that indeed there is a murmur but they are usually just monitored unless they are really bad but she thought mine did not qualify. So, looks okay for now! Thank you for praying! Will make sure to update the blog when official word is in!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Neuro Update

I went to see a new neurologist on Monday. I liked him very much. It is very unusual to find a neurologist with a sense of humor!! He said he had briefly looked over my records from the neurosurgery department (there are SO many, there was not time to review them all) then I went over my list of questions that my PCP helped me put together. The doctor got this smirk on his face then said, "you are a mess". We had a good laugh then he went on to explain that what he meant was, although he had never had anyone specifically mention my particular issues, my brain is still very scrambled from the two bleeds. The brain, being the body's control center, is probably responsible for all the "weird things" doctors can't account for with their medical tests. He described how a leading researcher once had a patient go into severe tachycardia while clipping an aneurysm. Once the surgeon let up on the aneurysm the heart returned to normal beats. His point being, the brain can't always be explained. There is no medical explanation for an aneurysm clipping causing irregular heart beats, then returning back too normal. So, he wasn't overly concerned about what he was hearing. Since I am at such high risk for seizures, (due to scar tissue in brain) I will be getting an EEG sometime this month just to be sure there is no seizure activity in my brain. He really doesn't feel that this is what is going on, admittedly he is being overly cautious. I am thankful for doctors who care enough to be careful. He also wants me to keep a "migraine log" to see if there is any obvious triggers. I, of course, wanted and exact list of what should be included in this log. He again smiled and said "I don't want an OCD log of every detail of your day, I just want you to note anything you feel is important, see if you can find a pattern". In 15 minutes he could already tell he was going to get and OCD list when he sees me next time, YIKES!! I'd like to think it is because he is so familiar with TBI, not that I have such an obvious personality flaw. Either way, there are no major concerns at this point so I am just trying to take one day at a time!! Thanks for all of your prayers, they certainly made a difference to me!!

Just being silly

Okay, from time to time, yes, I need comic relief. Not everyone appreciates this quirky quality but ,that has never stopped me. So, here you go, I have heard people say that owners start looking like their pets. Or, was it that pets start to take on the personalities of their owners?? I can't remember, so I will let you decide.......(mind you these pictures were taken months apart by two different people. I was just flipping through some pictures and this made me laugh).....................

Thursday, September 9, 2010


My job coach today told me to write a book and call it "Just Add it to the List". Yesterday, I went to my routine PCP follow up after changing around some medicine. Upon listening to my heart, she said "your murmur sounds much louder today". I didn't realize I even had a murmur she was keeping track of. Anyway, due to my medical history, further tests will be done on Thursday, just to be safe! Check Spelling
So, yesterday this story from childhood kept running through my mind. I felt like the "pup tent" that we once slept in while camping. Yes, it was held up by two flimsy strings and a thin pole on each end. And, to make matters worse it smelled like dog poo from being kept in a musty basement. One night my sister, Kristin, and I were smooched in this dog poo smelling pup tent with my 80 pound Lab, Megan. Of course the jokes were just flying amongst the friends with us (we were at a trail system with our horse for a trail ride). Well, in the middle of the night, in the dark, someone went to the bathroom and didn't have a light. I'm not sure why the smell didn't signal his proximity to our tent, but it was the middle of the night, so I'll cut him some slack. So, he trips over the thin string holding up one end of the tent. The whole end collapses in on Kristin and me as we are sleeping. Kristin woke me up for fear that we would suffocate to death. Neither one of us wanted to go outside and fix the string so we decided to just spin around so the end still up was by our head and the collapsed one at our feet. The next night, we decided it would be better to just clean out the horse trailer and sleep in there! To make a long story short, it was not better! Now it smelled like horse poo and the floor was even harder than the lumpy ground not to mention dirty! so, what is my point to this story? Sometimes I feel like that pup tent, held together by "two flimsy strings". From time to time one end doesn't work properly and needs to be "staked into solid ground" again. BUT, it could always be worse!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

SQUASH - not the veggie

Bob Woodruff says, " No one can undergo a life-changing event and be the exact same person they were before it happened." I think he is right, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. As someone who deals with change poorly this used to make me feel very sad after my aneurysm burst. I remember spending a lot of energy trying to convince everyone that I was exactly the same, because in my jumbled mind this meant I was "ok", and there was "nothing wrong with me". I even became angry if people made me feel otherwise. So, what triggered this memory?? I'll tell you, it was part of the sermon in church this morning. One of our pastors talked about how we are shaped by God our Creator "Potter". He used this analogy about an actual clay pot. "When the potter isn't happy with his clay, he doesn't throw it out. Instead, he may just squash it and start again". I know that God the creator is perfect in ALL ways so it is not that He has made a mistake but sometimes allows trails that "squash" us and give us the chance to "start again". For me this was very literal; learning how to walk, read, drive, cook and many other things again. Perhaps I was lumpy clay before, I was substitute teaching while getting my Masters in reading so I could keep my NYS teacher certification. To be honest, I hated it so much I didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. I dreaded Monday because it meant another week of subbing. I felt a lots of anxiety about doing all the things I needed to do to keep that certification because it "was a good job". I did truly loved the children I worked with and I loved the actual teaching part, learning new things and discovering what the world holds through the eyes of a child. It was all the other stuff I dreaded, the classroom management, trouble with parents, following IEPs, standardized testing scores etc.. I felt very inadequate for the job and had a hard time believing others who told me otherwise. So, with all that being said, I was pretty lumpy clay. After my aneurysm, my teaching certification expired and I almost felt liberated from the bondage of trying to keep it no matter what, I had worked so hard for it. Sure life was different and held new challenges but I can honestly say now I am thankful to wake up each morning and I look forward to going to the library to 'work'. Of course, there are other areas of life that are still "lumpy" (like I have never had any desire to bear children of my own, now more than ever, I have always wanted to adopt a child, I don't know why, just is what it is and is one thing that has not changed). So, like everyone not all my "lumps" have been completely resolved yet, but I am still being molded. SQUASH may have saved me from me, what a wonderful potter we have! I am thankful to be here and hope that this time I am not lumpy clay, so hard to mold, it needs to just be squashed. Thank you Lord for giving me the chance to be reformed, I hope this new formation brings God glory!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Just incase any of my fellow aneurysm buddies actually read this: I don't know if any other survivors experience this but, when a weather front is coming in I can feel the exact line where my skull was removed then replaced. I can even feel where the shunt valve enters. Hurricane Earl just seemed to make it worse. A cold front moving in and Earl to the East made for a Motrin filled evening. To make matters worse that song by the Dixie Chicks (you know, the Earl has to die one) kept running through my pain-filled head, oh, the joys of being me!!! Blessings and happy healing!