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Friday, March 30, 2018

The Frightening Food Gallery Of Horrifying Hospital Cuisine

Hospital Food. Two words that strike fear in the hearts of mere mortals, and for good reason. I've done some research on the subject, and while some places have truly lovely hospital food, this wasn't one of them. I've received excellent care in this place, but the food . . . oh God, the food . . .

This was one of my first breakfasts. I ordered wheat toast, peanut butter and banana, and I was kind of looking forward to it. What I got was a soggy, plastic-wrapped piece of previously toasted bread, peanut butter, and an unpeeled orange because they ran out of bananas. An unpeeled orange. For the girl with one working hand.

This is 7/8 of a mostly-burnt pizza. I don't know why it's shorn off. It is possible it was used as a weapon, perhaps against demons.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Now Comes The Hard Part: Stroke Rehabilitation

That very next day, I met my team. I had two doctors - at least one of whom checked in with me every morning to check me over, update my status and listen to my concerns. I had a physical therapist with cats named after Harry Potter characters to help me walk, an occupational therapist with the world's smartest dog to help me regain use of my hand and arm and a sweetheart of a speech therapist to help me regain my diction and clarity.  I had a psychologist with the kindest soul, and a social worker who rode herd on paperwork for my insurance company and located outpatient therapy for me back home for when I returned. I had a nutritionist who talked diet and meal planning and a recreational therapist who invited me to group events. I had a nurse and an aide on every shift, and they were all terrific.

Anna and David were making do but it was a lot of stress on Anna. She couldn't hang at her father's house as much due to her part-time job (he lives over an hour away), and her course load of AP-level classes this semester is brutal. She was alone in the house a lot more than I would have liked, but there wasn't a lot of choice, really. David was managing okay once he got used to the new normal. That first week or so I limited our daily contact to texting only. When I said goodbye to the kids the day of the stroke, I wasn't doing too badly. I didn't want to frighten them with how much worse I'd gotten. But we talked and we joked as we texted, and my sister-in-law, neices and nephews all came by to lift my spirits.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: My First Visitor

His name is Escobar
"Eskie" for short
And he's a sweetheart
I'm really tired, I say apologetically
But that's okay with Eskie
He climbed right up and cuddled right in
I even managed to shift my useless arm
and lay it against him
The first time it's moved in two days
Thanks, buddy
You're just what I needed

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Riding The Strokercoaster

I woke Tuesday morning, and I couldn't coordinate my thumb to touch any of my fingers on my left hand. My leg felt heavy, clumsier, and my mouth was sluggish, like talking through marbles. But I could still walk, if wobbly, raise my arm and even clench my fist. Cognitively, I was still hitting all the marks, so while I'd moved up the stroke scale from a two to a five, the plan was to release me to outpatient therapy.

The hospital sent a social worker to discuss my discharge. Who is flying home with you? she asked. No one, I answered. And who will be staying with you to help you while you recuperate? No one. Can you call someone who will? No, not really. But you just had a stroke, she said. And I'm a single mom with no family around me for a thousand miles, I replied. It is what it is. She recommended that I get a wheelchair escort to and from the airport gate since fatigue would make walking that far problematic, and then they released me.

Monday, March 26, 2018

So . . . I Had A Stroke

Wish I had a catchier title.

Actually, I wish I had the most mundane, boring title out of some everyday part of my life because that's all the news there is, but it didn't shake out like that. Three weeks ago today, I dodged a bullet - or rather, got grazed by one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

We Belong To The Light, We Belong To The Thunder - My Daughter & Me

[Special Note: This post originally ran in December of 2013]

God help my daughter when we're in the car and the radio station starts playing eighties music. She is not permitted to change the station under penalty of me singing a whole lot louder.

So the other night when she happened upon Pat Benatar as she was tuning the radio dial and I said (okay, screeched) Stop!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Meet Matthew And Matthew's Mom - Who'd Like To Talk About Autism Stereotypes

I've highlighted this wonderful YouTube channel before and I'm going to do it again. SBSK (Special Books by Special Kids) tells the story of people dealing with conditions and disabilities, giving all of us a chance to virtually "meet" some awesome people. Matthew is one of them, and very much like my own son, David, in that he's a super-friendly and outgoing kid - something that people with autism are often assumed not to be. Check out Matthew's story (and you might want to subscribe to SBSK while you're at it)!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Temporary Hiatus

Hi everyone - stepping away from the blog through to next week because I'm hanging with my family for a big family wedding this weekend. Catch up with you next week!