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My Journey Pt.2

A lot has changed since having my Stroke. The stroke anniversary remains etched in my mind and carries its own special significance. When the first anniversary passed and now the second I had to deal with many emotions and changes.

  • Fear – “Will it happen again?”
  • Grief – “I miss the person I used to be and the life I used to have.”
  • Discouragement – “can no longer do the things I loved or it’s just more than I can bare due to neuropathy”. Or doctor can’t give any time line for improvement…..
  • Frustration- One day feeling great just to have several not so good, strange pains.
  • Encouragements-along the way mental and physical changes…..the ability to leave the past there and move in the new direction.
  • Victories-little ones for now….

Along the way a “New Normal” began to appear……new interests….some improvements in my ability to accept. Like letting go of the career I had to walk away from before I desired, or not being able to enjoy my musical talents as I use too. Learning how my body will respond in certain situations…..I still find myself losing footing, or how to handle ringing in my ear. Learning not to react in fear every time my body feels a little different, or fatigue sets in for no apparent reason.

Little known fact:

One of the biggest issues I deal with is how others see me……on the outside I look normal, talk normal but I’m anything but normal! I react to situations differently, my body and mind respond slower. I don’t seem to handle stressful situations as I use too?

Having said all this I’m in a good place. Having this stroked hasn’t defined my life but it has helped me to learn more about myself. I see life through a different pair of eyes. This time allowed me to step back and look at my past 62 years, to stop and enjoy not only the past but more importantly the present. Yes this has changed me but I’m beginning to believe it has been for the best?

I’m now finding and enjoying some new areas of interest. For example, this blog! I’ve never considered myself a writer or any kind of journalist but here I am!

I will continue to learn how to navigate “The Stroke” enjoy life and be an advocate for “Stroke Awareness “!

For more on strokes, prevention and just good info go to :https://strokeblog.net/

By the way, this Blog is by my Nuerologist Dr. Jodi Dodd’s, MD

My Journey

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For years I have been eating healthy, running, and cycling to keep my weight off. I was trying to protect myself from a heart attack or stroke. Life was stressful as most adults in this day in age. Little did I know that stress could be such a huge contributor to one of the worst days of my life. I didn’t have any of the usual signs or symptoms of a stroke. You know the ones they teach us all of our lives…FAST(facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to call EMS)? I woke up on March 21, 2017 (my 60th birthday) to numbness of my right arm. I thought I had slept on it wrong due to the tingling, but the tingling didn’t subside. As the morning progressed, the numbness and heaviness started moving down my right side from my head through my shoulder, much like a pinched nerve. I went to the Emergency Room (ER) and had numerous tests, but not an MRI. It was concluded, without the MRI, that I had a pinched nerve. The x-ray was conclusive for deterioration in my vertebral disks. The hospital discharged me and I went on about my day. 
During this time, I was several hundred miles away listening and adjudicating concert bands; which is something I have always loved. Over the next two days, my right side continued to worsen, my hearing started to bother me, my gait was off and the walls had to hold me up when I walked. Cymbals started sounding like cracking paper and my right hand was not responding as well when writing. But, I wasn’t told that I had a STROKE!
My wife drove me home and I went straight to my doctor. The doctor instantly sent me to the hospital to have an MRI; which did in fact show a STROKE in the PONS of the brain stem! He immediately started going into “how” he wanted to proceed…..what a wonderful doctor I had in Scott Jameson.
Over the last 14 months, I’ve been researching, studying and listening to anything I can find about strokes. I found a wonderful neurologist in Dr. Jodi Dodds, MD at Duke Medical System. This bright compassionate and empathetic woman listened to me and came up with a plan to help me work through this awful situation. I struggled with numerous neurological issues…..ears ringing , a constant lack of focus, and inability to do the normal day to day activities! My Blood Pressure spiked, my sugar spiked and life as I knew had changed! ……more to come!

Beach Life

Everybody enjoys a visit to the beach. Sun, surf and great seafood! As I sit here on our last evening watching the waves roll back and forth it reminds me of life. There’s a high and low tide, which during those moments different things happen. Lots of sea shells, some urchins, a few jelly fish roll on the sand which signifies the end of life for them.

But on the other hand people are sharing the warmth of the sun or the splash of the waves with families, lovers and friends to enjoy these activities.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share with my best friend and wife this life. It’s short and I for one don’t want to squander any of our time. I only have so many heart beats left before I roll up on the shore like the jelly fish….I want it to be a life well spent with my family and friends.

My life has had many ebb and flow of tides. Loss of loved ones or good friends, health scares and finally the decision it’s time to change direction and retire.

I’ve had to learn “how” to change that direction, too slow down and enjoy the rolling tides of life. Not to take things so serious and to enjoy the strolls on the beach, splash in the water or just lay still and listen while being baked by the sun.

Tonight is our last night before returning home. I plan on continuation of the same attitude of the rolling tides. The ebb and flow of time will continue and I’m just going to enjoy each and every day as it comes and thank God for another day!

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.””

‭‭John‬ ‭7:38‬ ‭NIV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/111/jhn.7.38.niv

To my God I thank you for this life, my wife and family and the chance to live it to the fullest. Amen

Pop, Pop can cause Strokes

Two years ago I was on a trip to South Carolina to judge a concert band assessment. The night before, my neck felt stiff so I tried moving it around and then “popped” it! It felt better and I went to bed.

The next morning (which I’m so thankful I had a next day) I woke up with my right arm tinkling and somewhat heavy. Thinking I had slept on it, I shook my arm and waited for the feeling to return.

Long story short I had a stroke! After going to ER It wasn’t initially diagnosed as that but as a degenerative issue in my neck, however the heaviness and numbness continued down my right side and other issues started showing up.

Three days later, problems with walking, heaviness and lethargic I head back home to my doctor. He sents me to have an MRI and “bingo” a mass in the pons area of the brain stem showed a stroke.

I what to share with everyone that “strokes” happen from all types of issues. Having high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, stress and now popping of neck. Now you might say this is an isolated event and does not happen often, which is what I came to believe until this morning when I stumbled upon this article on Facebook.

https://www.wesh.com/article/28-year-old-man-suffers-stroke-from-cracking-his-neck/27338422

As I continue looking for “why” this happened to me I’m reminded just how luck and blessed I am to have survived a stroke. I spend a lot of my days working to keep this from happening again and to promote stroke awareness.

It’s important that we work on our health but also how to recognize signs and symptoms and to be aware other factors could lead to a stroke.

FACE!

  • F is for face — Are you seeing any drooping?
  • A is for arms– Do notice a drift or weakness to one arm when holding both in front of you? 
  • S is for speech — Is your speech slurred?
  • T is for time, as your life hangs in the balance.

But now let’s add “popping” our necks.

May is Stroke Awareness Month spend a few minutes sharing our message to be aware of the signs and stay healthy!

TechnoHealth

I guess some of your are wondering why this title?

After having my stroke I started researching and trying out different “technology ” to help me do better at keeping up with my blood pressure, oxygen level, EKG, sugar and so on These are all areas that can lead to a stroke! Hence Techno

Also, I wanted to understand my health better. So I started reading and studying about how different foods, supplements, exercising, stress and other factors has an effect on our health. ……..TechnoHealth!

And last but not least…..Life!

So if you are interested in my blog go to: http://www.technoHealth.life

A Good Wife

On January 6, 2017 I married Sue Cyree Miles!

Three months later I had a stroke and life changed fast.

Let’s back up a few years before Sue and I married.

I had been married for 30 years but unfortunately lost my wife to Picks disease. Sharon was a wonderful spouse and friend. We had a beautiful little girl….Brooke. Life was good! To have a wonderful wife and friend was more than most men get to experience. Sure, we struggled had arguments and so on…..but the deal was “sickness and health” til death do us part! And we did….Sharon was a “Good Wife”! I love and miss you.

Dating…….again!?/!$

The learning curve for dating after 30 years of marriage was real…..how does one do this in today’s world? Where do you meet people…..church….clubs…..work? I quickly found out this was the old way and won’t work. So I learned about online dating….or so I thought!

I learned the hard way not every one online was sincere or even honest. It became painfully obvious I wasn’t in Kansas anymore!

The fun begins.……

Swiping….texting….swiping…..texting…..meeting, meals, a lot of questions…..just to find out that what was on profile was questionable. This was frustrating, why even try to date again!! This went on for a few years, until one day I finally read and see someone I really wanted to meet…..ok Bob here goes the text….no response? Why? So frustrating!! A year later different site there she was again….do I? NO! This time I’ll just wait………….🤪

Good thing I did…..here came the text. Hello…..how are you? Finally, the one I really wanted to meet YES! I just had to know why now? She told me…..1- she wasn’t sure timing was right 2-she lost her password to dating site! 🤣🤣🤣

Now its important to know this was Labor Day weekend. On Monday, Labor Day we meet, dinner, conversation….instant connection. Our next date a week later and so it begins! We had a real connection! There was a comfort this time….it was just a natural fit.

We dated from Labor Day forward. We became inseparable…I was in disbelief! Had I met another wonderful women? Sue was kind, sweet, funny, beautiful, and I really enjoyed her company. Before I knew it December rolled around and I wanted this person to be in my life…..you know, “til death do us part”!

Yep, this video is me getting on one knee.

Now back to the beginning of story.  We got married on January 6,2017 it was such an exciting time. We both knew this was “right”, we clicked. To say Sue was beautiful isn’t enough…..I love her personality her smile lights the room when she’s in it! The angelic voice God gave her will melt your soul …..her acting chops will blow you away. And these are just a few of her attributes.  However, I learned rather quick the true woman I married, on March 21, 2017, The day I had my stroke, only three months into our marriage Sue went into action,  protective, encouraging, intuitive, always beside my side.

I was devastated, a Stroke, newly married now what…..She didn’t sign up for this. It was Our Time….a new relationship and marriage. I really didn’t know what to expect from her, I really wouldn’t blame her if she walked away at this stage of life. However, she was unwavering in her resolve to be beside me taking care of my needs and more than anything, loving me unconditionally! Sue is a “Good Wife”!

I’m a very blessed man, two women that came into my life. They both loved me unconditionally and selfless. I don’t know how I became this fortunate but I’m glad I was the one chosen. To have a Good Wife is truly a blessing but to have two Good wives is beyond blessed…..

Sue Cyree you bless me everyday by being you! Where would I be if you hadn’t entered my life? You are a Great Wife and I am proud to be your husband  I love you to the moon and beyond!