Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Corroded carotids, cataract clouds, crappy craft show and a cold

Now that I set the stage for this post, I expect you to read it. Hah. No, really. It's been nearly a month since I last wrote. A month full of emotional and physical stress. Every time I thought about updating you, I put it off, hoping for a slow down, some relief. All at once occurrences usually don't happen to me.

But first, let me point out how much I enjoy going to the gym, taking Zumba and drumming classes. I regret not having nor taking the time many years ago for these activities. This part of my days are doing positive things for m and have nothing to do with me otherwise falling apart.

On March 8th I was in bed fiddling with my phone (doing crosswords). When I felt tired, I put the phone away, turned off the lights and said goodnight to the cat and Kevin. All of a sudden I had this feeling in my brain. It was as though I was a robot and someone had, in a microsecond  turned me off and on again. It felt like a wave went through my brain in a dip. I thought, "I am shutting down,"  and immediately, "I back on again."

That was odd, I thought. And took a retake of what happened before falling asleep. The next morning I was off to the gym. While there I started thinking about what happened and at first decided it was probably just my overactive mind. But by the time my workout was finished, I decided it wouldn't hurt to stop by my doctor's office on the way home and mention it, just in case. I ended up with an appointment the following morning.

My doctor said it was possibly a TIA, Transient Ischemic Attack, aka mini stroke or forewarning of a stroke. He said while there is no test to definitely say that is what happened, he'd order other tests to check for stroke conditions and also check my brain to see if there isn't something else going that needs attention. He was surprised by it since I don't fit the pattern. I was just there for my six month check up and all seemed fine. He prescribed the low dose aspirin and off I went with many fears.

When he said TIA I had now idea what he was talking about, but it soon became clear. When I told a few people I realized those close to my age reacted almost nonchalant and cited friends and relatives who have or had TIA. On the other hand, the kids (daughters and grands) were more like me jumping from TIA to stroke and having scary thoughts. I'd read online that 50% of the time those who had a TIA had a stroke within a few days. So that was a trying time between the strange occurrence in my head and the tests.

I know the results of the Doppler carotid test. Both carotids (arteries that bring blood to my brain) are 50% clogged. When I heard that, I was ready to scream in terror. Then I was told my insurance wouldn't cover medical treatment until they were 70 to 80% clogged and the doctor's office had already placed an order to have them checked again in six months. It took me a few days to understand it must take some time for the carotids to get to the danger point.

I didn't get results for the test that checked my heart or the Brain MRI, so no news is good. I have a follow-up appointment next week.

In the meantime, I went to the eye doctor regarding cataracts in my left eye. It is getting tough driving at night and harder to see very far away.  They set up an appointment for cataract surgery in June. I am planning to spend most of May in wonderful Palm Beach County with the girls.

This was also kind of a hassle. I didn't care for the optical place I went to on last fall for new glasses. I ended up paying a lot more for the glasses then the insurance company said. what they did was talk me into special deals on everything from the frames, lens to coatings, which cost me more money. Each line item was the same but added up differently. I can't explain. I decided to go to the Hernando Eye Institute which is where Dr. Tang sent Kevin a year ago. It seemed more professional and listed in the insurance company manual. I'd asked my primary care doctor is I need a referral from him and he did one.

When I called for an appointment I found out they weren't contracted with that company, that I was assigned to another place and to call my insurance and request a change. Another long story short, they did allow the change and boy am I glad. Since then I 've heard nothing but horror stories about the other place regarding cataract surgery and nothing but good things about the doctors at the eye ins.

While all of this is going on I was busy preparing for an upcoming craft show that turned out to be a dud. It was a twofer in downtown Brooksville. A statewide bicycle racing event and a health fair.  I wasn't going to do it, but was talked into it and they lowered my entry fee. Doesn't matter I still lost money and a whole day.

Kevin and I did the annual bike racing event in 2010 when we first moved here. It was busy, fun and somewhat successful as far as sales. At the time it was run by the city.

This time the downtown association took control. Crowd turnout was low. The two events were set up on different city blocks and there didn't seem to be any commingling. Few people from the health fair bothered to check out booths on the race side which is where my booth was located. And the racers didn't pay any attention to what we were offering. I'd spent a lot of time stamping fabric with my famous stamp of Kevin's favorite bike's tread. Please note that's a drop of gold paint on the wallet and not ice cream.

I had a few sales. Some of the other vendors had no sales. it was the first really hot day of the year and I started having a sore throat. The good takeaway was getting to know some new vendors and catching up with others that I know from earlier shows.

That brings us to Tuesday (today) and I am hopefully getting over a cold. At least my throat feels better this morning.

Lots of good things happened. I went to the movies with my neighbor. We both admitted the movie sucked, but it was fun to be social on a Tuesday afternoon.  Had lunch with Anna and Sally, as always fun to be with them. Made lots of chicken soup and am brainstorming over what's next for Antsy Nancy Co aka Antsy Artist Redux.

I didn't get to the yard yet for urgent spring cleaning. I dread it more than ever. Kevin loved spring and always things everywhere.  Hot weather and summer here means doing yard work when you can stand to be out in the heat which is before 10 a.m.

I probably forgot some things I meant to share, but for now I am tapped out. and sure you are, too.

I've decided to lay off going to grief support. I can always go back.The topics and questions are generally the same each week and no longer things that concern me. The other reason to keep attending is for helping others get through it. I don't feel like the subjects they address have much to do with me. And there are others who are eager to help those new to grieve and loss.

Kevin is still keeping our beautiful blue skies interesting. Here is his artwork for the bike racing event:

I hope you have a less eventful, but better event-filled week, than me. Thank you for reading my posts. I am grateful for all of your good wishes.

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