Friday, February 14, 2014
A year has passed since I had a TIA at work. A mini stroke that I should have left work for and gone to the hospital, but...I'm a badass and worked through it. Finally going to the hospital the next afternoon. But only because my blood pressure was so high I was an emotional basket case and just couldn't function anymore.
A year. A whole year has passed with no explanation for why this happened. The doctor's just don't know. But I know. I know why, but because my knowledge is intuitive they dismiss it out of hand. I know that I succumbed to the perfect storm. A vaccine followed by flu-like symptoms compromising my immune system, and then the final element, a spider bite. I know that is the cause. Because, I just know.
The doctor's found no evidence of any plaque in my arteries, not with the CAT Scan, not with the MRI or MRA, and not with the Echocardiagram. And yet I'm taking a statin to stabilize the plaque that they found no evidence of. I hate it. It makes me tired. It makes me feel weak. It makes my legs hurt. And all of this makes me crave comfort. Unfortunately, my favorite comfort is pastry.
Don't panic, I only crave...I rarely indulge. Mainly because I decided almost 2 years ago to go gluten free and to give up processed sugar. When I indulge it makes me feel miserable. Like being hung over. A wonderful incentive to just stay away from it, but I do still crave it.
A year of fear. Fear that I was going to have another stroke, bigger this time. Fear because it's how I lost my father in 2008. Fear because I don't know if taking the statin will eventually cause another stroke or just kill my liver. Fear because I am mortal and my invincibility was dinged. I am marred. I am vulnerable. Fear because even though I knew what was happening to me while it was happening, I refused to accept it. And it could have been a lot worse. Fear because I allowed myself to deny the truth. And allow myself to joke about it. " I'd like to care about your excuse, but unfortunately that part of my brain is dead". "What are you trying to do, give me a stroke? Wait, we've already done that". "It's all fun and games until somebody has a stroke!!!"
Still, I carry on. Last year on Valentine's Day, before my stroke, I went to Hot Yoga. It was a great class. I really enjoyed it. This year I went to the gym. I lifted weights, I did cardio. I won't give up my fitness goals because of fear. I fear being incapable of taking care of myself more than I fear a recurrence. I'm 48, I have no children, my parents are dead. If I don't take care of me, who will. Even if I had someone else to burden, I wouldn't do it. I have always been self reliant and that isn't going to change.
I have survived a whole year. Now, is time to shed the fears of that fluke of bad fortune. That perfect storm of unbelievable circumstances. This is my anniversary. I promise not to celebrate it with another stroke. In fact if I never have another one, that is just fine by me.