Saturday, September 29, 2012


I saw my neurology PA on Monday!  I "talked" my dad into coming with me so I could keep things straight and remember what they told me.  They confirmed that scans all look good (they let me physically read the reports for myself, I must have a 'red flag' in my file, I didn't even have to neurotically ask). No concerns stemming from the aneurysm, that is a relief to hear, again.  The general consensus is.....migraine (aura came Friday night) caused numb face and hand is unrelated with an irritated median nerve from the curled stroke hand all the time.  I am now wearing a wrist guard 24/7 to keep the left side from curling because realistically, I can't think about keeping it uncurled ALL the time, I still have to live life, cook dinner, do laundry, grocery shop, the usual things that take incredible brainpower now!!

I must say in the ER I was more overloaded than I have been in years.  I literally could not focus long enough to follow a finger with my eyes! So glad Nate was there with me! Although, amazingly, the neurologist seeing me picked up on it right away as she asks, "are you having trouble concentrating?" This week I decided I was going to limit my daily activities and not "push through" each day doing 'WAY TOO MUCH'.  A couple days earlier this week, I didn't even have the strength or energy to get out of bed so, I just stayed there! I was SO wiped out I was not convinced my involuntary muscles would even keep going (you know like your heart pumping blood, your lungs breathing in air).  I haven't crashed that hard in awhile!  I guess three, four hour mornings in one week at work is still way too much for this injured brain.  Lesson learned. Please remind me if I forget or try to push it again!  My brain DOES NOT 'just bounce back' (this is confirmed by renown neuro-psychologist, I didn't just make it up).  That being said, I had to miss out on a family gathering for my cousin's 18th birthday (Happy 18th Birthday M), I hate missing things I would love to be at but I am learning: NEW LIMITS WITH ACCEPTANCE AND JOY!

Just because this picture makes me smile!!  -Author of Picture Unknown

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yes, yes I am a neuro nightmare!!

Here is the deal, for those who have heard pieces of it....perhaps David Bowie says it best :"I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring!"

All week I have had numbness/tingling in the tips of my left fingers. I tried to brush it off, ignore it, and 'chalk it off' to doing too much! When I was at work yesterday morning, it (numbness and tingling) slowly move up to my face. This made me very concerned! My poor sister had been telling me for days to get it checked out in the ER because of my medical history. It seemed like a very exhausting, overwhelming thing to go through again and I didn't have a headache, so I kept hoping it would just go away! Long story short, I called my AMAZING neurosurgery team and they advised I get it checked for possible stroke/ TIA. I don't argue with them, I just go! Forbidden to drive myself there, a gracious friend packed up her napping infant and picked me up. I felt good about a nurse and good friend taking me to the ER! We met Nate at the ER entrance, who of course was sick to his stomach by the whole "ordeal". It was a good thing he was there because then the questions started to fly. I was overloaded and missed a nap after my morning at work. Nate got me checked in and pointed in the right direction, "my neurosurgery team" had made me special 'reservations' so, doctors began asking me questions as the nurses are trying to put an IV in my tiny veins and sticking heart and oxygen monitors on me....TOTAL UTTER OVERLOAD! Then, the neurology team on call, asked me the date: my answer included a 19......oops that is my birthday year. Okay, not 2002, don't make that mistake again. I finally got it! It was really funny when Nate told the resident neurology doctor about my shunt she got all excited and asked if she could "see it"!  So I parted my hair and she felt all around it! Then I showed her the scar on m belly where it drained to!  She was amazed at how well it had healed so I told her about my "Arbonne Rejuvenating Cream" that really helped heal it!! I just thought it was hysterical how excited she got over a shunt!!!! 

Again, POOR Nate! We are in the same 'room' as when they brought me in back in 2005 and told him to say "goodbye". After an EKG, blood tests, urine tests, a CAT scan and then one with contrast, a million more questions, I was clear! Doctors ruled out stroke or TIA! The conclusion is: either a migraine without headache or pinched/irritated nerve. My amazing parents immediately made the two hour trip up and my sister was set to go too. Yes, I am one loved girl. I am so glad it turned out OK.

My neurosurgery team called me today! When I answered the phone I heard my favorite PA say, "Dr and I have been talking about you for the last hour" (I have no doubts that was 100% true) They both felt confident, by the scans they got from last night, that my symptoms have nothing to do with the vascular/aneurysm/stroke problems of 2005. But, the PA reminded me "Lisa, your case is very complicated so we will follow up on you. We are confident with whatever neurology wants to pursue" I will follow up with neurology on Monday as there is no real answer as of yet! Thanks for all your prayers for me. I am confident God is still working out some/LOTS of my own weaknesses! The above song was going through my head as I laid in the quiet CAT scan machine, just thought I'd share!!

"Never Let You Go"
When you're awake and you can't believe your eyes
Cause all the truth that you knew has turned to lies
When you're scared and you can't see past a day
Remember who holds tomorrow
Know his love will light your way

Hold on when everything is shaking
Stand strong when the ground is falling through
Reach out to my hand in the darkness
That's holding you

I'll be your peace in the waiting
Your strength when you're broken on the floor
Hold on, it's all worth fighting for
Cause I will never let you go
I will never let you go

When you look in the mirror and you run away
Cause all you see are the scars from yesterday
When the parade goes by and you feel alone
Never lose hope to sorrow
You're closer than you know

Hold on when everything is shaking
Stand strong when the ground is falling through
Reach out to my hand in the darkness
That's holding you

I'll be your peace in the waiting
Your strength when you're broken on the floor
Hold on it's all worth fighting for
Cause I will never let you go
I will never let you go

When the road is hard and your faith is shaken
Never look back on the steps you're taking
You're more to me than you could ever know

Hold on when everything is shaking
Stand strong when the ground is falling through
Reach out to my hand in the darkness
I'm holding you

I'll be your peace in the waiting
Your strength when you're broken on the floor
Hold on it's all worth fighting for
Cause I will never let you go...
I will never let you go
I will never let you go...

You're more to me than you could ever know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Plumb- Need You Now

"Well, everybody's got a story to tell
And everybody's got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there's beauty here
So, I guess you're tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn't plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I'm trying to hear that still small voice
I'm trying to hear above the noise


Oh I walk, Oh I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?


I need you now
I need you now"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness month! If you know me I'm sure you are very "aware"! According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation here are the warning signs:
Image created by the incredible, Lauren Melnick-Lamb (click on her name to see what she is up to!)

"Understanding : Warning Signs/ Symptoms

Unruptured brain aneurysms are typically completely asymptomatic. These aneurysms are typically small in size, usually less than one half inch in diameter. However, large unruptured aneurysms can occasionally press on the brain or the nerves stemming out of the brain and may result in various neurological symptoms. Any individual experiencing some or all of the following symptoms, regardless of age, should undergo immediate and careful evaluation by a physician.
  • Localized Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain above and behind eye
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Difficulty speaking
Ruptured brain aneurysms usually result in a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which is defined as bleeding into the subarachnoid space. When blood escapes into the space around the brain, it can cause sudden symptoms.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately If You Are Experiencing Some Or All Of These Symptoms:
  • Sudden severe headache, the worst headache of your life
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Stiff Neck
  • Sudden blurred or double vision
  • Sudden pain above/behind the eye or difficulty seeing
  • Sudden change in mental status/awareness
  • Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
  • Sudden weakness and numbness
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Seizure
  • Drooping eyelid"

Here is my recovery story again!

BUT, you don't have to take my word for it! Check out Maria's story

Happy September!
Image also created by Lauren!!!!