Stroke Code Thursday

2/1/18 11:07pm

Today has been one of the most harrowing days of my life. I’m currently propped up on pillows on the couch staring, half-watched the tv. Mom’s falling asleep with Ellie in the chair, intermittently telling me random things. I’m trying to to type but it’s extremely difficult.

I went to the VA MH Council meeting this morning – no problems. I mean, I didn’t want to go and felt a bit out of sorts but no more than normal. I was running late but participated a lot and socialized with Jean & Howard and McCail after, walked down with everyone. I didn’t want to leave just yet, wasn’t sure about plans for the day, so I sat down in the lobby and journaled and charted. It’s something I’ve done before. I like having moments to myself, unrushed, and I like watching the volunteer interactions there at the front. I was starting to feel like my blood sugar was low, getting a bit weak and disoriented. I wrote it down. I was alarmed when I got up to leave and began stumbling to the right. My purse is heavy and I used it as a counterweight. I figured if I could just get some food I’d probably be just fine. I made it to the Valet, ate a glucose tab, made it to the Chipotle parking structure, thought things were fine. I worked on something on my phone before getting out of the car. But when I did I was still falling and stumbling to the right. I had a heck of a time trying to get up the broken escalator stairs. I was starting to freak out as I waited at Chipotle. It was hard to breathe but I wasn’t feeling anxious. I made it through the line leaning on the counter, could barely hold myself up. I held myself up on the table until I could sit down. A growing portion of the right side of my face felt pressure, then tingling, then burning. Lips sat in a pout. My right hand and arm were shaking so bad I couldn’t eat more than a few bites. It wasn’t like anything I’ve ever experienced and God in my head kept telling me, “GO.” I knew I wasn’t safe to drive. I drank half my soda, bagged the food, and called an Uber. Thankfully, there are many around me.

I was lucky to arrive at the hospital in an utter lull. I knew what would probably happen and did – Stroke Code. Front of the line, many nurses and doctors all around testing everything under the sun. I was having trouble speaking clearly, moving my right side purposefully, holding a steady gaze. I had no pain. I wasn’t anxious. I was actually quite peaceful. All I’d wanted to do that day was get my nails painted but that would have been after Chipotle. Lots of blood tests, urine tests, eventually an MRI.

They were much less interested when they figured out I’m a psych patient. Reminded me SO much of Adrienne and scared me, but I was exhausted – both from shaking so much and fear and from the Ativan they gave me to try to stop the shaking for the MRI. I couldn’t move if I’d tried in the MRI thanks to drugs but I couldn’t stop the twitching/shaking. It’s been like that sometimes in the past few weeks. I don’t know why. The MRI people were nice. The last doctor not so much. The nurse came in and said great that my mother was there and she could drive me home. Ummm, excuse me what? The doctor came in and said my MRI of my brain was perfect and there was nothing wrong. I looked up at him and said, “I’m gonna have to call ‘Bullshit’ on you for that one there but continue…” He gave no explanation of any of what happened or why, how to prevent it from happening again, what to do if it comes back. Nothing. He just left. Dickwad. It’s really hard to type this ‘cuz my fingers are unpredictably shaking and I’m mostly lying down ‘cuz I’m too weak to continue sitting.

I didn’t call my mom ‘til just before the MRI. I knew she was off work then and she’d want to know. I didn’t ask her to come or for anything. I specifically did not need people freaking out around me. Minus all the patient reports outside, that room was so peaceful. I prayed and watched and felt. I listened. I tried to write. It worked a little. There was no tv or music, just me. And that was okay. The Ativan toward the end made me really tired and I know it’s still making me tired now. I’m still getting waves of confusion and dizziness. I contacted Dr. M but I think he wasn’t there.

So what do I do now? I asked David and Soleil for cancellations tomorrow and David called me. After talking a little, I get to see Soleil tomorrow. He says if there’s nothing wrong with my brain then it’s all psych and I’m under a tremendous amount of stress. Don’t you throw that psychosomatic crap at me. When I’m stressed my pain gets worse. I don’t go ‘round fake believing I’m having a stroke. Too much work if nothing else. I told him I agree I’m under a shit ton of stress but ALSO that something neurologically is WRONG with me, STILL. Fluids don’t solve that. Neither does the Chinese food I ate after. Nor will a few hours’ sleep. Today, though, wasn’t stressful before this. I wanted to get my nails done!

I need help but God only knows what with. I’m SOOOO tired and sore. God save the queen. Here’s to a tomorrow sans weakness, shaking, falling over and pretty large needles. Here’s to a tomorrow that’s not so scary and more easy to understand. Please pray if you do. Thanks.

Ⓒ Michelle Routhieaux 2018

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He loves me

7/18/12     1:08pm

I had the most intense dream last night. It was about Dad and J-. I can’t recount in too much detail. I’m still in a fog an hour later.

I was looking for J- and his secretary, this lady, kept telling me I could only contact him through FB. I was confused and frustrated, but finally I figured out that was code for him being a patient at MV. I went to visit him in the ICU. He was a mess. Didn’t wanna see Rachael. I’m worried about him. I said I would come back. The next day I had a Hell of a time getting there. Kim was following me on a skateboard. Had to navigate the ocean to find my way.

Somehow I found a lady from Social Security. I don’t know what she was calling about but she had so much information. Information nobody has. She told me that my

(mom touches me. need to SCREAM. her energy is stuck to my ear. can’t breathe.)

She told me my mom was there when my dad died and that she stopped them from saving him. I couldn’t breathe, so much crying. I was injected into the scene. I watched but I saw something they didn’t. Before he died, after they stopped trying, he woke up. He opened his eyes wide, smiled hugely – a grin like I’ve never seen – pointed to him, pointed to the ceiling. He looked at me, said “I love you,” smiled big, pointed at the ceiling again and was gone.

(deep breath)
I wasn’t angry anymore.
I felt peace. I heard his voice.
He loves me.

This woman, my worker, knew a lot about me. She knew things about my life I don’t know. But we were putting flowers in a vase and she said she knows I drive a lot. I told her I don’t, that I don’t have a license. She said I have a permit. I said that I don’t. She said, “Then that’s the next step.” And my mom woke me up.

What I take from this:

  • J- is sick/stressed. I should stop sending him emails.
  • My dad is okay. I can let go, disengage. He loves me.
  • I need to get my permit this week.

What a dream.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

No Peace

5-23-10                 5:36pm

I wish my mom would just let me be. There is no peace in my house, little when I’m out. She’s constantly contacting me. Last night she sent at least ten texts wanting to know where I was, what I was doing, if I knew how to get there, what time it was over, if I got a seat, if I was still there. For God’s sake. I sit at the computer and she’s constantly asking me questions and to do things that are neither her tasks or related to what I’m doing. She “thinks” (assumes) I will do things or magically know what she’s thinking or wants me to do. Then she gets mad when I don’t do what she thought. THOUGHT. Key word.

She says she’s mad because I never help her around the house, but she never asks me to do anything that helps or affects HER. Like today she was mad I didn’t put my makeup in the bathroom. But it’s MY makeup on MY floor in MY room. It’s MY business. She always wants the table cleaned off, though she is constantly moving my things and adding to piles I’ve worked hard to pare down. So I started to work on the table today and she got mad about where I was putting my papers. I said, “If you want this stuff off the table, you don’t get to say where it goes. It’s not yours.”

She’s finally stopped yelling at me most nights. That’s good. But nothing’s ever good enough for her. My shirt is too low. My pants are too long. I spend too much money. Yes, she bitches about MY money too. I can’t do laundry. She asks me for directions but refuses to follow them, then gets angry at me when we’re late. What? There is no peace.

And when I cannot stand being around her and leave she calls and texts again and again. It’s fucking insane. People wonder why I stopped taking her calls when I moved to LA. This is why. There is no peace. It’s also why I like going places alone and why the peace of the hospital is comforting.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010