After I got home things were not really clear for a while, Cindy sat me in front of the computer and challenged me to play Free Cell, which did nothing but confuse me at first but after a while of playing I finally won a game, I looked at myself in the mirror and did not like what I saw, I actually stood there and talked watching only one side of my mouth move and one eye was always partially closed, this really ticked me off but as you all know now everything finally started working again, I got myself strong enough to return back to work and was told on my service anniversary that I was on medical leave until “You find out what’s wrong with you”
Diabetes is a condition that can bring on these type of things, I was diagnosed at the age of fifteen so nearly twenty eight years with no complications is a blessing, and now I was seeing more Doctors than the law allows and after going through all the tests from “Remember these three words” which were told to me then I had to repeat them at the end of the visit, well I was no good at this to the carotid artery sonogram that showed a plaque build up that “we are just going to watch for now”, another side effect that appeared at this same time is called Neuropathy and rather than getting into one limb it hit all four so with this diagnosis I was officially retired from work due to my disability, so now that they knew what was wrong with me those at work could stop saving my service orders and let the other servicemen work them.
I am told I suffered several of these mini strokes so the fear of another coming on is always at the back of my mind, in 2007 Tim was getting ready to graduate from High School and we were going through all the preparations of getting him there, my brother had come to live with us to be with me when Cindy was working and to help me get some things done around the house that I had neglected for obvious reasons for a few years, Cindy had taken classes for a New Mexico Certified Nursing Assistant certification and was to leave early morning to take the test.
I remember her kissing me goodbye and it kind of scared me that I thought I heard her voice echo, I laid there for a while and saw my brother sitting at Cindy’s computer playing on Myspace I actually called for him as I was trying to get myself out of bed, he looked my direction and laughed, it seemed to take forever but I finally got myself up thinking my blood sugar was low I made my way to my own desk and fumbled with my glucometer, I just couldn’t get it to work and kept dropping it, Brother asked if I needed a hand and I told him that it appeared I did, in my mind the words were clear but the ones that came out were gibberish, Brother laughed out loud and went back to Myspace (I am calling him Brother because I didn’t know his name at the time) I worked and worked to get the sugar checked and finally got a reading that looked good but I still was not in good shape, I tried to light a cigarette but couldn’t do that either and it pissed me off so bad that I have to this day never picked one up again, Brother got a kick out of this too and gave me another laugh when I told him I was having problems, as I said before the words were clear until they left my lips and were no more than gibberish again to which he thought I was messing around and laughed again.
Dixie (You remember my little sidekick Dixie, our longhaired daschund) was sitting trying to get me to pick her up and I complied, I could remember her name and she was still on my lap loving on me when Cindy came rushing in, evidently Brother and some other guy (that turned out to be Tim) had decided to call Cindy since I wasn’t acting right, my new language told Cindy everything she needed to know and was picking up the phone to call 911, I remember arguing and shaking my head no as the thought of riding in the ambulance had me scared, through Cindy understanding my body language she talked me into going to the hospital as long as I didn’t have to ride in an ambulance, she got me into my wheelchair and Brother pushed me out to the van, some other people were in the front yard talking to me like they had known me forever but they just confused me and when I spoke the look of fear on their faces helped me very little.
Lying on the bed in the hospital I saw a lot of people who asked if I knew who they were, I don’t think it was the ER but it may have been, could have been Intensive Care, the guy that put the IV in asked me if I knew where I was and he just smiled when I said that I had a good idea, this new language just wasn’t working well for me, Cindy came in and told me that Nancy was coming to see me, I knew who Cindy and Dixie were but for the life of me knew no one else.
My words started coming back and Cindy had to leave for a little while, they informed me that I was going to be with them for a while and I had some forms they needed signed which didn’t work too good because I didn’t know what to do with the pen they put into my hand, they gave up and Cindy signed for me later I suppose, a nice lady with a German Shepard came by everyone’s beds to visit and when I saw this dog I asked if I could bring Dixie up for a while, the lady talked with me about the dogs and the longer we talked the better my words got, Cindy came in and was happy to talk with me in our own language for a change, I told her about the dog that had visited and asked if she could get Dixie, she stroked my head and agreed with me but I could see by the look on her face that she did not believe me about the dog that had come to visit.
I was taken to a room and people came in to see me that I recognized but just couldn’t put a name with, it seemed I was in the hospital forever which turned out only to be two days because I threw a fit that I would be home in time to see Tim graduate, I was placed on a Plavix and two aspirin per day regimen and given instructions to go for another carotid artery sonogram which came out with the same results as before, I was wheeled into Tim’s Graduation in my wheelchair and feel good that I did not miss this important accomplishment in his life.
Three years later we have moved to California, I got to see Tim marry the love of his life and witnessed the sonogram that showed the image of a baby boy that is our grandson who appears to look just like his Dad, Cindy and I have had a lot of quality time together and I have had only one episode that appears to be a TIA since the last one, my short term memory is not very good and I now have a stutter in my voice especially when I am tired, my medications are monitored really well and a new drug has replaced the Plavix/aspirin routine.
To go back a bit we get a laugh today when we think about the dog that came to see me at the hospital, I actually had to find a nurse who verified that I was right and while Cindy was out a group had actually brought dogs in to cheer up the patients, we also get a laugh when Cindy recollects that she knew I was back with her when I stated in the hospital that I never knew that I knew Japanese until I started speaking it, and to this day I am the only one who understood it.