Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Stroke

This is my story. 

 I wasn't sure I wanted to publish  it, but since this is my journal, this would be valuable information

Jan 4, 2014

Background information.  I had been laid off my job of 10 years in December.  To say it was a surprise, would be quite correct.  I dealt with shock and depression afterwords, then told myself I would take December off and enjoy the season of Christmas.  I did interview for a job, the Wednesday before. Interview went well, and then the stroke happened. 
Jan 4 was a saturday.  Ed and just left for a Mason Meeting and I slept in a little bit.  After visiting the bathroom, I felt like my body was starting to tilt to the left.  At first, I did not think much of it, I thought my leg was asleep.  As I continued to walk I had to use the wall for support.  I checked my face in the mirror and it looked fine.  Looked out the back door and then I had to use the table and hutch for support.  I decided to lay down.  Once in bed, I though this was not a very wise move, so I got up.  By that time, I was not able to walk, so I crawled to the kitchen.  From the floor the world looks very different.  I was not able to see the phone, and used a cord to knock it on the floor.  First of all, I called Ed and got no answer.  My response, GREAT, then what should I do.  By that time I was not able to move my legs and my arm was losing strength.  I called 911, and they told me they were so glad I had called.  I guess, a  lot of people don't.  She stayed on the phone with me til help arrived.  Unfortunately my house was locked up very secure.  The police who arrived first were not able to get in.  Our back gate was even locked.  The operator said they would have to call the fire search and rescue to break into my house.  By that time, my neighbor came out and asked what was going on.  With the police officer they broke through the back gate and Sara my neighbor crawled through our doggy door to get in.  Then help came.
They transported me to Southdale hospital in Edina.  I was among a flurry of professionals working all around me, asking me to answer questions and take test.  At that time I was paralyzed on my left side.  It is such a surreal feeling.  I would think and concentrate to move and was not able to.  The top neurologist in the state just happened to be in the emergency room.  He came in and said that since I had made it to the hospital in a timely matter, I was able to take a drug TPA, which is known as a blood thinner on steroids.  There was a catch.  The drug came with a high mortality rate.  One if 13people die.  We had to make a decision very quickly. We decided yes, I was received the drug orally and with an IV.  After about 5 minutes, I was able to move my arm and leg.  I felt like Heavenly Father was aware of me and I received a miracle.
I spent five days in the hospital.  Kristina  and her boys Alex and Kalen stayed with me for two weeks as I could not be alone.  I will forever be thankful to her.

This event has been the hardest thing I have had to cope with in my life.  I get fatigued easily.  At first I slept all the time and then I could not sleep at all, which I have found out is quite common.  I am now on Ambien to sleep.  Without it, I would be awake 24/7.   As a result I became quite successful in family history indexing.  In fact I indexed 3000+ names.  That kept me busy during the wee hours.

I also deal with scattered thoughts.  Some things do not make sense.
I have been given the term "New Normal"  I hate this term because it means my life has changed, and of course it has.  I am not able to bike any distance.  This used to be one of my passions.  I have about 2-3 hours total productive time a day.  Quite a change from the past.  I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.  Wonderful!

I am coming to terms with my new life more and more each day.  I am not able to work, I have found I am quite good in snacking which has produced a 30 pound weight gain.

In the big picture, I feel this is a gift/blessing from my Heavenly Father.  Work was becoming stressful,  I felt like I could not do anything right.  I wanted to stay home, but was not possible at the time.  Now I am able to stay home. we have received blessings/miracles that have helped us take care of our bills.  I feel that Heavenly Father is aware of me, that I am loved and important, and that everything will be OK.

Back to Basics

 Equipment needed to darn socks.  Cotton thread is needed, darning needles, light bulb to provide a hard surface in the sock to darn.  And of course a scissors. 

I have decided to start darning socks.  I learned when I was a child and thought, why not.  I have been darning all my socks that have holes.  I am quite proud of my accomplishment.  I have been blessed with lots of talents, and thought I should use them.

Empty Bowls

I was able to attend the empty bowls fundraising activity that is held yearly in Eagan.  It earns money for various needs in the community.  I have wanted to come for quite some time, so I was thankful I was able to attend.  The premise of the empty bowls is that you purchase a hand made bowl and have is filled with soup.  There were so many bowls to choose from.  The soup was delicious and the company was great.  I went with Karen and Orvella.  Hopefully I can come next year.


Ed belongs to the Masons.  This is an activity in a members back yard.  Ed is quite involved with the Masons and really enjoys it.

Murphy's Landing December 2013

Here I am all bundled up, ready to enjoy the sites.

 Sharon and Gordon Wright


Sharon and Gordon Wright invited me to Murphy's Landing in December to enjoy  Christmas through time.  Very enjoyable to visit different cultures  Very cold day.  Thanks to the Wright Family, I probably would not have visited if I did not have the invitation.

Maple Syrup

This is the second year I tapped our Maple Trees for sap to produce Maple Syrup.  I have a maple tree in the back yard, which is a good producer of sap and a maple tree in the front that tries.  I used a two liter bottle to collect the sap, along with a spigot inserted into the tree.
This was a banner year for syrup.  I collected about 8 gallons of sap and boiled it down to 3 pints.  Notes for next year, boil the sap outside, it creates a lot of steam in the house.  Have a larger collection container, such as a five gallon bucket.  With so much sap, I found myself outside outside a lot emptying the bottle.  The syrup was delicious and was able to can it for future use.  I feel like a pioneer. 

Pressure Canning Dry Beans

For a long time I wanted to learn how to can dry beans, such as white, pinto etc.  Thanks to youtube I learned how.  I was able to can about 30 pints of beans and have used them in  a lot of soups and stews.  One way to use up our Food Storage.  Adding canned beans has been a yummy addition to our meals.

Winter 2013 and 2014

We had record amounts of snow.  It was beautiful, but provided lots of shoveling and a huge heating bill.  Our heating bill for December was $300.00.  A record for us, as a result our budget payments went up from $60.00/month to $130.00/month.  What a budget adjustment!


 I made this doll quilt and Raggedy Ann for Alexandra's first birthday.  I love making quilts and try to create gifts if I can.  I also love Raggedy Ann dolls.  I remember making a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll for my oldest Karen,  The doll is tea dyed to give it a vintage look.  Had a lot of fun creating these.

Hand crocheted quilt for my newest granddaughter Madeleine.  After my stroke, when I wasn't sleeping, I crocheted.  I happen to have stash of yarn, so I created a granny square design.  From my observation, I have noticed that granny squares are making a comeback.

My attempt at a Journal

I attended a Relief Society meeting this month, on which the topic was keeping journals.  Many types were listed, so I chose to work on my blog.  That seems to work for me.  My son Jeff taught me how to upload photos to my blog, so I plan on documenting many events.  They are not in chronological order, but they are her. So here goes.   ONWARD