Well, it's seven weeks, more or less, since Oct 2, when I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.
I made a few videos to tell my strokey story, in four parts. Feel free to watch them. Links at the bottom of the post.
I should update you on what life is like for me now. I can do anything I used to do, with the partial exception of the fact that I play the guitar like I was 12. The one remaining vestige of the stroke is a certain lack of coordination in my left hand. But it's getting better. The more I type, for example, the better I get at it; I suppose I'm not done rehabbing. Up until recently I created a huge amount of typos, but that's slowly resolving itself.
Below the belt, I can walk just fine without benefit of a cane, even outside; it's time to put the old girl into storage instead of hanging by the hall table. Sometimes though, when I'm really tired, like when I wake up in the middle of the night to take a squirt, I catch myself doing what I call "the stroke walk," that old-man shuffle that is characteristic of stroke victims. I won't swing my arms like I'm supposed to also, and will find myself holding my arms in a weird position in front of me. But when I pay attention, my gait is more or less perfectly normal. I'm sure that at some point it'll become unconscious behavior again.
Stairs are just fine; I can walk up and down stairs without a rail. I need to pay attention to the first step to sort of get me started. Down requires more attention than up.
If there's any downside to the stroke, it is this: I can do anything you can do, but I always need to pay attention. I guess that's as close to a one-line answer as to how I'm doing as it gets. That was the true cost of the stroke: a certain mental vigilance with fucking EVERYTHING. It can get exhausting. Good thing I sleep well.
On that subject, I've been forbidden from taking NSAIDs like Advil. I told my doctor that I wanted something for the aches and pains of being me, but that the stuff (oxycodone 5mg, the primary ingredient in Percocet) I had was a bit strong. He perscribed me something a little more gentle, hydrocodone/APAP 5/325, which is Vicodin more or less. So I have something in the house at least for pain.
I have numbness and nerve pain in my thighs, from the stroke, that the Neurontin and the Lyrica can only affect so much. I've pulled the offending teeth out of my mouth, so I have no mouth pain, but my knee hurts almost all the time (that's new) and I seem to be prone to muscle pulls lately. Just the other day I fell asleep while sitting on the couch, slumped over and pulled every muscle in my ribcage. These are just the kind of aches and pains that I could knock down with a couple of Advil, but god forbid my platelets should get too thin or whatever. Vicodin is nice, don't get me wrong, but when you have to take them for real pain, all the time, it gets a little depressing.
Anyway, that's my life as it stands right now. Thanks for paying attention. Here's the links to those videos, which feature my pretty face talking all about my stroke, my hospital stay, the nursing staff who to the last woman saw my genitals, rehab, and the trip home. I'll do another one, I think, to describe what a stroke looks like, how to detect stroke in others, and what to do (that's easy: dial 911).