journal: health updates

This week I got some good news.  Some really good, really unexpected news.

To rewind a bit, I recently went back for a full set of tests after having really strange symptoms.  The most notable were the sudden and temporary losses of long term memory.  I’d forgotten my birthday, the name of the city where I grew up, my mother’s name, and every other type of information that makes life easier when you forget your password to something.

The second strange symptom was the creation of false memories that I knew were false, and also still remembered. The false memories had a distinct feel to them, almost like remembering a TV show.

At this point, though the brain swelling and constrictions had reduced from the critical point, there were areas of my brain that were still notably swollen or constricted by damage.  The doctors felt it was unlikely that most of these areas would recover, so we have been focusing on the one they thought would.

They were afraid that the new symptoms meant that area was more damaged than anticipated. They were hopeful that the new symptoms meant that the area was finally healing.

We did all the tests again.

After a tense week of waiting, it turns out the swelling went down everywhere. 

Everywhere.

My brain essentially just looks like a concussed brain now.

In the long run, that means no more dramatic and scary turns.

In the short term, it means my brain is adjusting, is seemingly running through all kinds of bizarre symptoms.  They don’t last long, but they’re exhausting.

I’ve wanted to tell people the good news, but I actually feel worse than I have in a long time.  Beyond the physical, this major shift is also somehow hard to grasp.

PTSD has done something strange to how I intake news.  Bad news is easy.  Good news sits like a rock under my tongue.  It cracks my teeth, cuts my skin.  I wonder why it is there.  How long it will last.

My neurologist basically said goodbye at the hospital, and I realized then how I expected this to last forever even though I must have known this stage of constant hospitals would end eventually.  I have been so focused on small steps forward, I did not look to see where I was going.

Here.
I was headed here, and I’m not sure how to enjoy it yet, but I hope I will figure that out, too.

I’m grateful that you’ve come all this way with me.  It is nice to not walk these wacky journeys alone.  Thank you.

xoxo,
Ra

Frequently Asked Follow Ups

  1. Will the headaches stop now?  Possibly not. Those who suffered TIAs or strokes often have migraines forever. We’re rooting for “Yes!” though.
  2. Will my peripheral vision come back? It already is. I’ve screamed a lot this week as I’ve begun to see things in pieces again.
  3. Will my reading ability come back? I’m reading much better, thanks to my neurotherapist, but still can no longer speed read or comprehend at the same levels. But that type of stuff– like my ability to code, as well– is too macro to really say.  It will be less of a struggle to re-learn though.
  4. When will you be fully recovered now? I don’t have a concussion, but it’s similar enough to use those time scales.  It could be a few months.  It could be a couple years.  But, what I’m talking about here is just fogginess, quicker exhaustion, and quicker irritability.  Stuff that should soon be totally gone: the moments of total confusion, the urgent-care-level pains, the no caffeine rule (though it’s still admittedly not recommended), the blood thinners, the major hormone fluxes, the appetite issues, the long term memory blanks, the false memories, the aphasia (though I’ll have to continue neurotherapy to really fix that up), and probably many more things that I’m not thinking of.

36 thoughts on “journal: health updates

  1. Rara! This is such great news, I’m so happy to hear it for you!!! It sounds like you still have a long way to go but lots of <3<3<3 to help you through it.

    I was thinking a lot about healing when I did my big hike in New Zealand in November. Climbing up the mountain feels like the hardest part, but you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you get to the top! But sometimes the climb down is actually more difficult, because by that point you've already done the thing you came to do, taken the pictures you came to take, and you've walked all day and your feet are sore and you're exhausted and you can no longer see the goal as a looming mountain peak in the sky ahead… but you're not done, there's still a lot of walking left. The way down is essentially the same though: you just keep putting one foot in front of the other having faith that you're going the way you need to go and eventually you WILL get where you need to be.

    Much love to you!!! 😘💜💚💞💖

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m so pleased you have better news at last. I don’t often comment (well, almost never in fact) but I keep thinking of you and sending good thoughts xx

    Like

  3. I’m so happy for you! My mother suffered a stroke a few years ago and I was terrified about what her future would look like. She has a tremendous vocabulary but initially had some significant aphasia. I’m happy to say that today you would never know she even had a stroke. So hang in there and keep on working on the rehab process. The brain and body truly are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Be encouraged, dear one. Our Creator does everything in time. Believing and claiming healing goes a long way to the action of healing. I stand with you that you are completely healed and whole. Better than you were. Will you have the same things to hold? Maybe not and that’s okay; that’s what growth is all about anyway. It may be the Creator’s way of saying the old has passed and the new is coming …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so happy to hear this! i didn’t get a chance to read it on FB when you posted the link, and I had to reset my email after some problems, which meant for some reason my email thought your posts were junk. Nothing junky about you. Keep up the awesome recovery! I know it seems like it’s neverending, but eventually you will feel like you again.

    Liked by 1 person

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