My Stroke Journey

“Happy Pills”

June 24, 2013

One of the major problems with my recovery from my strokes have been the anxiety of thinking I am going to have an other one, and the lack of sleep that I am getting. First I should explain that when I experienced my strokes it was six-thirty A.M. and all I was doing was turning from one side of the bed to the other to cuddle into my wife for the last half-hour before going to work and bam! I was hit with the biggest VERTIGO feeling I ever had. It then followed with my speech getting weird. It didn’t slow down it just sounded off. I guess during that flip I tore the left artery in my neck and I had some bleeding on the brain that caused my two strokes.

That was one of my biggest fits of anxiety. After the week long visit in the hospital, I came home. Now to face the bed. I tried one night but just couldn’t do it. I ended waking up every hour and turning over like Frankenstein. I would physically rise out of bed turn my self and then re-lower myself.

After that I ended up sleeping on the sofa, which thankfully we had just purchased a new one a week before that has a chaise(sp?) lounge with it. So this meant that I could stretch out and leave my neck in one position. What I didn’t realize was that I would be spending the next month on the sofa. I started thinking my wife must be loving having our entire bed to herself until she cuddled up to me one night on the sofa and said she missed my body beside hers.

That was it, I needed to find a way to get back into bed and quick, so I spoke with my Doctor and he suggested that I could be put on short term Anxiety pilled called CLONAZEPAM. He wrote me a prescription, and I was off only one problem, I was scared shitless to take them. Here I am trying to get my brain right, and now I am going to be talking something that was going to alter it.

I sat on the prescription for over a week until I saw my Neurologist. After explaining that they would be perfectly fine and might actually help me I decided to give them ago. It’s been three weeks now with me taking them and I have been sleeping in our bed for just about the entire three weeks. They have also helped with the anxiety of thinking that I am going to have a stroke at any time. What I was worried about was that taking them they would put me in a fog like state and I wouldn’t really be me. What has happened is that it just mellowed me. I am relaxed. I don’t stress over some of the little things.

Family Matters

June 23rd, 2013 12:37A.M.

It looks like this is going to be yet another sleepless night. You have to love when your brain isn’t ready to sleep. Since having my strokes in April, I have been on the road to recovery and I can honestly say that I am improving daily. Now if I could only be able to sleep.

During that week in the hospital and honestly not knowing if I was going to live or die(even though the Doctors said I was going to be fine) opened my eyes to what is important in my life. I have always loved my wife, and at that time we just had our amazing little girl Samaura for just a little over a month and a half, but having my wife in the hospital every day and seeing the look of concern and love in her eyes really made my realize how lucky I really am. In the past I have thought, and said how much I love my wife Jenn, but to have it electrify my entire body when I would see her was incredible. It really has taken my love and respect for her to entirely new level.

My wife would bring our daughter Samaura in to see me and that would be the only time that my eyes would tear up. Something so small and made from love from my wife and I, and the thought that depending on how the strokes went could make me never see her again really shook my world.

From that moment forward I vowed to enjoy every waking moment with both of my ladies. Seeing I have been off of work for the last two months I have been able to take advantage of seeing my daughter make many of her firsts. Her first smile, Her first giggle, and her first time rolling over. Words truly can`t explain how I feel. I guess maybe `Proud Daddy` might be it.

I have also been able to enjoy the rest of my family, which to be honest before the stroke I took for granted. My parents are both in the mid sixties and we are all not getting younger. yes since having our little girl we would see more of my parents but after the stroke it was night and day, like a wake up call. Once again, it really does make you realize how important life is and how short it really can be. I adore my parents and I let life get in the way. Working 50/60 hours a week and not being able to share and enjoy each other is just plain crazy. The same goes for my sister Danielle, We had such a tight relationship growing up but as we became adults we drifted apart. Even after my brother Alex passed away from cancer at the age of 37 almost 10 years ago I now look back and know I was talking my life for granted.

As corny as this is going to sound, please take the extra couple seconds every day, and let your wife know how much you love her, how beautiful and smart she is, Or husband, Give you child(ren) the love they deserve with a simple smile and a kiss. Lastly don`t take your parents and siblings for granted. You would be amazed how many times I would say to myself that I need to call my parents but then not call them because I was too tired, or that I became interested in something on the tv. Now family is a priority to me, and also being able to live my life.

The Dreaded MRI

June 22, 2013

One of the pleasures of having two strokes is having pictures taken with a lovely MRI. The one problem? I am extremely claustrophobic. So, having a technician have me lay on the table and squeeze my head into the support and then have them put the wire mask over my face isn’t exactly what I call fun. You then get slid into the unit which then closes my arms even tighter into my body. When I spent the week in the hospital with my two strokes I ended up having to MRIs. Now two months later I have the exciting opportunity to have a third. My last one I kept myself calm by thinking of my then month and a half old daughter Samaura and her little no,no,no,no type thing she would cry out when she was trying to fight her sleep. It would instantly put a smile on my face and the half hour that the MRI took would fly by. My question now is, Does anyone have any tricks they use when they are feeling a little anxiety?

My story………take one!

June 22, 2013

Good morning fellow readers, It is officially 3:20 A.M and it is another night that I can’t sleep. Let me introduce myself, My name is Mark Allan, I am 38 years old, I am married to a wonderful, and beautiful woman named Jenn,. I also recently just had the most amazing thing in my life happen we had our daughter Samaura almost five months ago. Let me tell you have this little angel has been a life changer for me. The other life changing moment I have had recently is that I suffered two strokes.

Yup that’s right. Two strokes! At the age of 38 that is the last thing I thought would happen to me especially having a new born baby. Too be completely honest I thought maybe a heart attack. I do love my greasy food. Who doesn’t love burger and a poutine? Well maybe vegans and vegetarians wouldn’t.

Anyway, As per my many, many doctors orders I have been off work for the last two months and I will be off for at least two more. Before the stroke I worked between fifty and sixty hours a week and fantasized about not having to work. After my stroke, and now being off for two months I can’t actually believe I am saying this but I miss work. Don’t get me wrong, being able to spend every moment with my wife and my new born Samaura has been fantastic but when you are used to working since thirteen it seems very strange not to be working.

Anyway, with all this time on my hands, I thought I would start a blog to share my experiences and most importantly share my reviews on wide assortment of things from the latest food trends, new movies, new products, to the lasted Michael Myers masks that are available for Halloween.

What I hope you get from my blog is hopefully some humour, knowing that something as scary as having strokes doesn’t stop your life, and finally I hope to help people make an informed decisions on a lot of the things I will review on this blog.

I think I have rambled enough for my first entry. I hope I haven’t scared away anyone who happens upon this page. If anyone else has had a life changing moment in their life, please feel free to share below. I would love to know what it was and how your life changed from it.

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