Originally published at MeiLin Miranda. You can comment here or there.
In case you missed it on Facebook. I don't really like it there, but my friends insist on hanging out there.
It's been nearly nine months since the stroke that nearly killed me. And so, a status report, in response to my husband's questions. Those who only do good news, scroll down.
How are you doing?
I am stronger than before, with limits.
I went for my final examinations for Social Security Disability, and the 99% chance I'd be approved went poof. We Are the 1%! Oh well, that's why they made an appeals process. It's been thirteen years I've been trying to win approval now; at some point, they'll have to give in. I cannot work, even before I had the stroke. In the past, I have had either no one [legal] on my side, or [legal] hacks.* This time, I have someone on my side who truly understands the process, and I'm optimistic. I won't give up.
I'm still stroke-affected. My right hand is much, much better, which is only saying so much. My right leg works now; I couldn't move it at all--not a fraction of an inch. That said, they remain difficult.
My balance is still bad. I have a hard time standing in one place for any long period (over five minutes). The balance issues extend even into sitting; with no opportunity to rest, the room just swims. If I sit quietly, the issue goes away. The problem is with my right eye; it doesn't move as my left eye does, and the result is double vision/diplopia. The neuro-opthamologist says it's definitely neurological, not physical. Not great news, since there's only so much that can be done.
The balance issues may resolve given time. It has definitely gotten better since the stroke. I am now walking with a cane, sometimes unassisted (though usually I rely on help). In environments which are familiar, like the house we're in, I walk without either assistance or a cane. Most of the time, it's fine. Sometimes, it's not, but my "you will NOT fall" record is intact--at least since leaving the hospital. I credit my physical therapist, Jordan at Therapeutic Associates. He's AMAZING, as is Debra from Connected and the crew at Care Center East, especially Karen. Blessings on them.
My speech is very nearly intact. As long as I'm not over-tired, I'm fine (part of the finding of the SSA people, a part I agree with). My wits are what they were. I'm able to concentrate past the balance issues to communicate. For the most part, that's enough. Missing is the ability to write fiction. It's just not there. I haven't the heart yet.
What could you use going forward?
VISITS. I know most of you don't have time, but for those who do, I'm lonely. Any time: evenings, weekends, daytime. It's hard but not impossible for me to get places. I am fairly normal, not at all difficult to visit. I wear an eyepatch over one eye, I walk funny, and my hair is quite short, but otherwise I am the same. Please call or write first.
We still accept dinners. John tires of cooking, and I'm still not much in the kitchen apart from super-simple main courses. T'ain't critical, but it helps.
What has been an amazing surprise for you?
THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE. From the fire through the stroke, I have been continuously astonished--FLOORED--by the outpouring of love, caring, and materials our friends and coworkers have given us. Blessings, BLESSINGS, on all of you!!
* Note: I (JJ) added the legal note to clarify after discussing with Lynn. This was directed at the legal profession, NOT our friends.