The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Your Head Is Too Thick, I Have to Try Your Eyes!!

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SO! How’s it going, you may ask? Well, pretty crappy would be my reply! The  mini-stroke I suffered last week has been frustrating to say the least.  Nat and I were so hoping to get more answers from Dr. Chew this afternoon when I was scheduled for my follow-up visit. Turns out I was to have an Ultra-Sound of my neck which wasn’t so bad, just a little messy from the gel they put on. The male (cute!) technician was quite nice about the whole thing and even took into consideration my coif I had managed to create this morning with my still a bit shaky hand. He had no choice at one point when the back of my head had to be done, so he was very careful in wiping off the gel. After my neck and back of head were checked, he tried to do the side of my head just above the top of my ears. “Nope, can’t do that part, your head is too thick“, he said in all seriousness. With a quizzical look on my face, he explained that most females have very thick skulls and that he would have to go through my eyes!! EGAD, I began to think as my hands quickly covered my eyeballs, but  he reassured me the eyelids would be closed. With just a dab of gel on each eyelid, the procedure was over. He answered my questions and was pretty sure my veins were clear, as was the Cat Scan of my head. The Cat Scan can detect what damage was done, if any, after the stroke, but couldn’t detect where it began and why. That’s where the Ultra Sound came in. The veins are checked to make sure there is no blockage and there’s a good flow to the brain. Some people would argue that the flow of blood to my head can be really a little over-flowing because of what comes out of the old mouth and how I act at times. At least I can state that “medically” my blood flow is normal!

Once the Ultra Sound was completed, I was ushered into another room for a blood pressure assessment. Answering the usual medication questions again, there were at least six blood pressures taken and an average would be determined after they were complete. My dumb luck, as I sat there in silence, trying to slow my mind from racing, trying at all costs to make my muscles relax between each measurement, it was all to no avail. 164/83 – 143/82 – 156/80 – 144/80 -161/82 – 141/83 (if I remember correctly) were the measurements, which all indicated hyper-tension. The nurse knew right away but showed the results to Dr. Chew and without actually seeing the Doc, I was advised to double up on the blood pressure medication I’m already taking and to continue on with the Plavix he’s already prescribed, but to take them at night when they are more effective. Apparently anything over 140/80 is “hyper-tensive”.

I’ve been told in the past by my other doctors that  my blood pressure was high, but as usual I figured that was only because I was sitting in their presence (who wouldn’t have high blood pressure sitting in a Doctor’s office?). Now that it’s been positively confirmed and I’m due for a follow-up assessment in a couple of weeks, it looks like I’ll have to bloody well take care of myself – yea, like that’s going to happen!! It’s been a bit of a struggle to get back on my diet and to get back up to the 40 minutes I’ve been doing on the treadmill but I’m more determined than ever to get it done. It’s been confirmed again, that the Prednisone is going to be a huge crutch while I’m dieting but the nurse confirmed it can be done with a little bit more perseverance than anything else. I was feeling so, so good before this mini-stroke took its toll on me and I’ll get back there come hell or high water. (Good thing I can swim!!)

Nat and I are both still very thankful that this whole ordeal wasn’t worse. We’ll continue on with our lifestyles but with more consciousnesses in mind – lower stress level (may have to take “brain dead pills” for that to happen), more fresh fruit and veggies (yum, yum!!), and continued exercising (no fuss, no muss). I can’t help but wonder, however, how come I got hit with this whole scenario. I can think of plenty other people that should be going through the same thing but I guess it’s all goes back to the old kidneys and that bloody chronic disorder I was born with. I was positive that the new little kidney would be my saviour, but I was wrong. Still, very thankful for how things have turned out – that I have a second chance at life and this is just a small price to pay. Truth be told, however, it can’t help but get very frustrating at times; being spoiled by your parents will do that to  you. You just can’t get your way all the time, but God knows I try and try and try.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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