Impromptu Jam Session Brings Unity…It Can Happen! Watch

Hey bloggers! It’s another hot day in Connecticut, but I’ve managed to get writing done yesterday and today, between all the appointments I had to make. While checking my Facebook, I came across a Jimmy Kimmel video that a friend of mine posted and it inspired me so much that I wrote over five thousand words between yesterday and today. 🙂 Anyone that knows me understands what a challenge that is.

I’m posting the video here so you can hear for yourselves how one person playing guitar outside a dollar store incited two other men to join him in an impromptu jam session as a bystander was taping it. The young man who taped the session on his phone posted it on his Facebook and it went viral. After viewing it, you will understand why. Enjoy.

Not only does music bring back memories of good times past, music unites everyone regardless of creed, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, gender, financial situation, color, and race. I’m far from perfect, but I like to think I’ve raised my daughter to live judgement free of others based on the above. I believe I did good. 🙂

The differences in our cultures, musical and written inspiration, and lifestyles make for interesting conversation, amazing music and storytelling. ~ Eva E. Solar

I wouldn’t have it any other way. My wish is that we as a world could be as united as everyone is this video was.  Thinking about it, it really isn’t that difficult.

I’m just sayin’…

This is my little contribution for today. Now I think I’m going to write a couple thousand words more. Until next time, Hugs to you all!!!

Is It March Already? Way Too Many Things Going On.

How are all my blogger friends doing this fine March day? As for me, it is I dunno, about 14 degrees outside and I’m doing everything possible to stay warm.  squirrelprayingformercyBetween my backyard squirrel and I, we’ve prayed for Spring to hurry on up and get here already, because the cold wreaks havoc on my body when it comes to pain control.  As far as everything else goes, I have, for the most part, been a good girl. I’ve kept up with editing (well, it’s been more like tearing apart) my WIP, reviewing some recently read books that I plan on posting soon, working on blog posts in advance covering the next two weeks or so (uh-huh, go figure), and trying to keep myself as healthy as possible despite the tension and stress I’m under about my employer. That, my friends, is a long, drawn out and totally messed up story. Let’s just say that they did me wrong in the worst possible way. Have no fear though, for those of you that have known me and followed me for any length of time, Lily here is a fighter and what’s right is right. Period. In the meantime, they have “graciously” (can you hear my sarcasm?) offered to re-instate my benefits and give me a one time only extension of medical leave, in which, if I don’t come back to work at the end of it, whenever that will be (since they haven’t yet enlightened me with any details), I will definitely be terminated without further.

Courtgavel

There are several problems with that offer and I cannot go into it here in my blog post at this time, but I will say that I am looking forward to taking care of what needs to be taken care of. I will, however, print what I CAN say…I spent many years serving and do not take kindly to being thrown aside without so much as notice (verbal or written). Since my bleed, the only thing that really kept me going was the promise that I had a job waiting for me when I was cleared by a doctor to do some kind of work, whether it was part-time or full-time. It didn’t matter. That was what gave me hope and brought me happiness. I was promised and told that my job was secure. Now, don’t get me wrong. Everyone knew, myself included, that I would never work the street again. That’s just common sense. I was offered security. For this post, I can’t go any further into detail.

I went to the doctor on Jan. 30 because I had been unwell for weeks and dropping weight, having little appetite, always in pain and just plain tired.  I found out then that my insurance coverage was terminated. I was a mess; the crying, the bad speech, the stuttering, it all came out right there in the doctor’s office. The only thing I was spared was a seizure. That is no bueno in my book. Needless to say, I paid for that visit out-of-pocket, and have been on a mission since. I’ve kept busy to fight any depression that tries to find its way to me. I know how easily it can sneak in and overtake my life.  All of my meds, my blood work and the labs he ordered for the next day all had to be paid out-of-pocket (almost $500 in two days). I have put off the rest of my doctor’s appointments until this month, which is when my Medicare takes effect.

It’s funny, I’ve finally been able to catch up on some of my writing, editing, blogging and reviewing, but now I’ve got to catch up on all of my doctor’s appointments since they’ve all pretty much gone into the crapper since the last visit I went to in January, but at least my problem wasn’t a major one. The medication I’ve been given, generic Synthroid, seems to be working.

I’m done with my rant, really. For today, anyway. I just want to remind everyone again how much you all mean to me and how much I’ve always thought of you all, even when I was away from my computer. It’s good knowing very few of you have abandoned me. Until next post, love you guys!

It’s That Time…IWSG

This is the first post I’ve written in some time. It feels almost foreign.InsecureWritersSupportGroup

I missed last month’s posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, which was founded by the amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and didn’t want to miss two months in a row. It’s a safe haven where writer’s can write about their thoughts, fears, insecurities and doubts without fear. If you would like to be a part of this amazing group, please click on the icon below and you will be transported to the site where you can sign up. I haven’t been feeling 100% for some time. Over the past four or five weeks it’s been worse. I haven’t eaten much, have dropped more weight and have had zero energy.

I have missed you all more than I can even express with words on a page. That was when I asked my best friend Marilyn Parel over at http://onbecomingawriter.com to do me the favor and post on my blog for me, so you would all know that I’m OK, think about you all and haven’t forgotten you. She did an amazing post for me about love and happiness a few days ago and my girl inspires me. I’ve spent the past three hours just getting this far in my post, so it’s going to be somewhat short this month. I’m still waiting on some test results from my primary care doctor and my hematologist. So, in addition to love and happiness, I’d like to touch on this great thing called HOPE. I have a ton of it. Although I’ve gotten a lot of bad news since the beginning of the year; I’ve been terminated from my job (who knew?), lost my health insurance (found that out the hard way at my last doctor’s visit), been feeling like crap, and have barely written or edited a word of my writings, I am full of HOPE that I am going to get a lot of good news very shortly.

Marilyn has graciously offered to post on my blog once a week for me until I feel up to snuff and for that I am eternally grateful. One thing I can honestly say, is that I have been able to get a lot of reading in. I suppose that’s a good thing for us writers, no? 🙂

That being said, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for standing behind me and taking the time out (especially those who have inquired personally) to check on me. Keep your fingers crossed that all my lab work comes back OK!

By the way, yesterday was my first anniversary blogging… I wish I would have been in a condition to celebrate with a big old blog party!

Until next blog, love you guys!!!

Coming Clean About My Stroke-Part6

So, I’m finally back after taking a brief two-week hiatus. I apologize for that. I’ve done most of my catching-up, but not all. I will catch up by the end of the week. It is now time for me to continue to the last few parts of my Series posts. There should be no more than three or four after this that will bring you to up to speed about how I’m doing physically, medically, emotionally and psychologically in my life today.

********************

The days after Christmas flew by. I was doing extremely well and, as I mentioned in Part 5, I graduated from the ‘Buzz-master’, as it affectionately came to be called. I was walking around more confidently with my walker, maneuvering the corridors like a pro. I did well on shower days and was able to wash myself with little to no assistance (of course, sitting on the shower chair). The only problem with shower days was the excruciating pain when the water hit any part of my left side. It was like fire. I was on Neurontin at the time because the doctor said it would help my ‘nerve pain’. I would take it at night before bed. At first it knocked me out. That’s about it. More on that another time.

I continued to kick butt in all my therapies. The therapists even went so far as to order my home supplies (port-o-potty-for those “I don’t think I can make it moments” (yeah, I know), shower chair, my very own walker). This development, of course, gave me hope that I would be going home in time for New Year’s, which was only a few days away. The doctor had a meeting with my case worker, my nurses, and all my therapists, and they all felt that even though I was progressing extremely quickly and doing very well, they were not comfortable enough with me going home in time for New Year’s. They all felt I needed a little more inpatient rehab time. I was upset, but not hysterically so. While I wanted to go home, I knew I still had work to do, so I didn’t fight it. I kept doing what I had to do; since the house I live in has a few stairs, that’s one thing I always did in PT, up and down the stairs.

Same in OT.  I did a great job overall, especially when it came to anything having to do with daily living – hair, teeth, shower, etc. Getting dressed wasn’t too bad as long as I wore big shirts (couldn’t lift left arm, compromise)  and tanks instead of bras (same). I could put on loose-fitting socks and pants, but I’d have to be sitting  in bed for socks and lying down for pants. It was a lot of work. I had the most trouble with the little things, buttoning small buttons, fishing out little items from the putty ball with my left hand, things like that. Although they gave me some trouble, I was able to take some of the items they gave me and work on them in my room and on my bed.

http://lilicasplace.com

I know my precious Lhasa Apso Sophie came to visit me between Christmas and New Year’s. I love that hairy little thing so much! I don’t know what I’d do without her. She came one of the family visits. The rehab hospital allowed it every so often.

ST was giving me the most trouble. It wasn’t that I couldn’t communicate; for the most part, I could be understood clearly. My problem was my inability to find my words, to pull them out of my brain when I needed them. The problem was my inability to have simple conversations where there is a ‘change’ or a ‘conflict’ of some sort. It’s almost like in the books and stories we write. Once the ‘conflict’ came in, I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t focus, would become extremely flustered, would stutter so bad that you couldn’t understand what I was saying and would get to the point of frustration that I would burst into tears and shut down. Yup, I was going to need some work.

New Year’s Eve came and after a couple of morning therapies, the rest of the day was mine. Everyone I knew was working. I spoke to my daughter, my son-in-law and some close friends. I read a little, watched some TV, and practiced make-believe checkbook balancing and math problems. Then I watched some more TV. I think there were even some marathons going. I know I probably watched.  It had already been decided that everyone was going to do their own thing for New Year’s 2012, whether it was work, party, stay home or whatever.  I figured I was just going to watch TV and the countdown like I did when I was a kid. I didn’t even make it to the ball drop.

All of a sudden, it’s morning, it’s a new year, and I made it! Sweet. It’s a holiday and I’ve got the day all to myself and I plan; I plan for all the changes I’m going to make in 2012 and beyond. Why? Because I’m still alive. It’s now 2012 and by the grace of God, I’m still here. So, obviously, I have things to do…right?

I’m sorry Part 6 took me so long to get out to you, so I’ve already started on Part 7. Until next post, love you guys. And yes, I have a couple of between posts due; nothing like playing catchup is there? Hugs.

Coming Clean About My Stroke-Part3

Good evening to all my blog family! Sorry it’s taken me a bit to complete Part 3 of the Series. Last week was the week for me. I had a post due for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group on Wednesday. That had to be kept short and very sweet (and a little late) because I arrived in NJ to attend the wedding of a friend and wound up having a focal seizure while attempting to purchase a dress at the mall.  😦 Anyhoo, what matters is that I made it to the wedding and I will post a few of my ‘sexy mama’ pix in a future post.

Back to the hospital. . .

The neurosurgeon and neurologist are getting ready to clear me from NICU and transfer me to a regular floor until a bed is available at the inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Physical and speech therapists still come by regularly to work with me. At this point, I am able to stand with assistance.  The day before my move to a regular room, I take my first steps with the help of a physical therapist on each side of me (a friend actually took video). As much as I would have loved to include them in my photo, I haven’t been back to see them in some time, and have not gotten permission yet. It was a big day. All of my bears and balloons were packed and taken away that night (except for a small Eeyore I kept with me) since I would be going to a small semi-private room in the morning.

My very first steps. . .After one month in NICU. The beginning of a very long and arduous journey towards recovery.

My very first steps. . .After one month in NICU. The beginning of a very long and arduous journey towards recovery.

The following morning, I was wheeled up to my new room; which was TINY compared to my suite in NICU. I did have a roommate though. She was about 15 years older than me and was friendly towards me. She did tattle on me though…

My daughter and son-in-law came to visit me my first day on the regular floor. Me, being the stubborn, hard-headed person that I can sometimes be, decided I would go to the bathroom with help from my daughter and son-in-law. (Oh, did I forget to mention that I only had my Foley catheter removed two days earlier and was supposed to use a bedpan??) As much as they tried to dissuade me, I won. I felt that with their assistance, I would be able to drag the left side of my body across to the bathroom. I didn’t make it halfway across before I became so winded and exhausted that I couldn’t move anymore. Because of all the lines in me, my son-in-law was afraid to try carrying me back to the bed, so my roommate rang for the nurse. It happened to be a male nurse. As wonderful as he was, he proceeded to verbally pow pow me about attempting to leave the bed without proper supervision. Between him and my son-in-law, back into bed I went and out came the damn bedpan.  😦

My two favorite physical therapists came back later in the afternoon for a session. We talked about the morning fiasco; word sure did get around! I worked my butt off that afternoon and made it about 20 steps round trip that day with one stop to sit in a chair. I had another plasmapheresis treatment and some more visitors. I know I slept a bit because every time I woke up, someone new was sitting in my room. I also had another session with a Speech Therapist. I know I had some while I was in NICU (besides having to pass the swallow test), I just can’t remember them. It was extremely frustrating. By the time she left my room, I was in tears. I knew there were going to be a lot more days like that ahead of me.

My last day at the hospital was basically the same; meals, physical, speech therapies and my meds. More visitors came by. Of course, no more trying to get out of bed for me.  All my things were packed and ready to go. My case worker came by to speak to me about the rehabilitation hospital I would be transferred to the next day. I signed some paperwork, as did my daughter and that was it. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.

December 19 or 20, I think it was, would be the start of my new adventure at the inpatient Rehabilitation hospital. I’ll explain as much as I can remember about the journey from the hospital to rehab and my first days there in Part 4 of the Series. I hope to have that post up by next week.

As I got further along in recovery, I remembered more things; fascinating stuff, this brain we have. As I move along in my journey, you’ll find that I will get more in-depth with what’s going on around me, details that I remember, my feelings, my frustrations, my willpower, and sometimes lack of.

I hope you guys stick with me while I finish flushing my system of all that I’ve pent-up for so long. I already know those who definitely will and I love you so much more for it. 🙂

Until next post.