Friday, October 22, 2010

First week back

Well... I have successfully completed my first week back at work.  It wasn't easy... I didn't do a full 40 hrs, but I am thankful for my student being so efficient and patient with me.  I have been so blessed to have a workplace that is supportive, not only through easing me back into working, but also through prayer.  I truly cannot imagine being at any other place. 

Emotionally I have been.... frustrated.  Frustrated at the situation, frustrated at the timing, and frustrated at the waiting.  I hate this feeling of waiting on seeing if this is going to be the fix or not.  I hate not knowing if my brain is keeping up or not.  That is the weird thing... with a heart attack you feel the pain, you have some warning... with the brain, there is no "feeling" before the loss of function. 

I guess the Lord is teaching me patience.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Over the last month...

So I am new at the blogging thing...Sorry I know this is long, but its been on my mind...

Over the last month the Lord has done great things.  It has been stressful... changing.  It is amazing how the Lord works.  How He can take something in your life, that you feel defines you, and make it His.  For me... He took my control. Control was something I coveted.  I love control.  I love the feeling I have when I have control over a situation, and then I love when situations result in the way I thought it should have. When control is taken away I get defensive, frustrated, helpless... which in the last month has taught me to lean more on the Lord for having Ultimate Control and less on myself.

For those of you who dont know... about a month ago I was admitted to the hospital.  It was a regular day at work, getting ready to go home, and I had a TIA (mini stroke).  Unbenonst to me, I had been having smaller TIA's for at least 3 weeks before, just noted by a little tingle in my right hand... unpredictable, and inconsistent. But on the day of the (we'll say larger TIA) I had right facial droop, hand weakness, slurred speech, and tongue deviation, lasting about 5 minutes. Now, as a speech therapist, you can see how this would be VERY concerning.  Through a long night of testing every possible test for my brain, my neurologist came into my room and discussed test results... My right middle cerebral artery (RMCA) one of the main blood suppliers to your brain was 100% blocked.  My Left MCA (one of the other main blood suppliers to your brain)was 80% blocked.  I have what the doctors call Moyamoya. (mainly seen in the pediatric asian popultation; in the United States it happens in one out of 2 million) Where progressively the RMCA and LMCA will completely block off over time, while also creating collaterals (smaller, more fragile vessels attempting to re-create blood supply) <isn't God cool, in how he creates us>  None of this I have control over, its not health related, or anything I could have done to prevent the situation. I am continually amazed at how, with such decreased blood flow, all I felt was a little tingling in my fingers. After trying to treat with medication and about a week later, with continued symptoms, my doctor ordered another MRI.  This time, with an actual stroke noted in the outer cortex of my brain. At this point, we decided to make a move, from the hospital that I work at, to Dallas, where they see more moyamoya patients.

Throughout this entire situation I was very aware of the Lord's presence.  The night of the TIA that sent me to the ER, my entire speech team that I work with was still at work and there to support me. I was at, in my opinion, one of the best hospitals in Fort Worth, which provided excellent care the entire time I was there.  I was provided a team of Neurologists that were brilliant, yet knew their limitations, and knew when to send me elsewhere.  I had the support of the entire rehab and managment team and more prayer than I feel I deserve.  Once I was transferred to Dallas, I was one of the cases presented at a vascular conference where multiple teams of physicians were able to discuss my case, a conference that is held once a week and I was admitted in time for that conversation to happen.

In Dallas, the lead neurosurgeon, decided that angioplasty (a type of brain surgery) was the appropriate treatment option.  The other option is a bipass, which is still not off the table for treatment down the line, depending on how stable the artery continues to be... and continued symptoms.

For me, a person that must have control over the situation, I hate that I feel as if a bandaid was placed on a larger problem that may (or may not) happen down the line. I tend to fear the worst, so my head automatically is waiting for a stroke to take things like communication, and comprehension from me. I fear the unknown and am angry that at 26 I am worring about strokes vs. starting a family, and is that even safe? And I am sadened that it took a situation requiring brain surgery to alert my larger need for turning everything over to the Lord, who has a perfect understanding of my fear, and a clear picture of the bigger plan for my life.