April 14th, 2009

20111112, Marilee

Neurologist

So I got up at an unhuman hour, "walked" the giant DVD/VCR box down the ramp and sidewalk into the back of the van, drove to the shipping place, and then walked it to the door of the shipping place. The owner came to get the box and I told her it had a pre-paid Fedex shipping label and headed on to the neurologist.

I got the last handicapped parking spot at Kaiser Penderbrook and when I went into the building, there was a young foreign family who clearly didn't know where they were, but weren't looking like they wanted help. I pushed the Up button for the elevators and they got in after me. They didn't push a button inside, and as we were going up, the man asked me if I worked there. Bad choice of words because the building doesn't belong to Kaiser -- they rent a few floors -- and I said "no" and asked him where he was going. He said "Dr. Spicer" and as the elevator door opened on the fourth floor, I asked him what type of doctor and the woman outside said "This is the fourth floor!" I said "Yes, thank you" and motioned the family out. He said something I didn't quite understand and then tapped the heart area and I said "cardiologist?" He said yes, so I told and motioned how to go down two floors and turn right when they get off the elevator. I have two doctors there and I don't know any of the cardiologists.

The neurologist was a little late and the first thing she did was to congratulate me for surviving. Then she told me:

1. They don't know what caused the stroke after all. The rheumatology (vasculitis) was a guess by the Kaiser DC-area Chief rheumatologist.

2. They don't know when it happened. I had the explosive headache on the 2nd and the first time they saw something odd on the CTs was the 5th.

3. The damage is in exactly the same place my first (1988) stroke was. Nice thing about being a Kaiser member since 1977 -- she can just look this up.

4. My status/ability is almost exactly what it was before this stroke. From my side, I can read faster than recently but not as fast as before the first, my voice is gravelly and throat sometimes painful, and some food seems diluted in taste.

5. How to decrease/discontinue one of the anticonvulsent meds because I don't need two when I've never had a seizure.

6. To see the rheumatologist soon (I walked down the hall and got an appointment for Thursday).

I had generic Tylenol #3 to pick up at Kaiser Manassas; both centers are off I-66, so I just drove out. I had lunch at Chili's -- soup, salad, and their chips & salsa -- and then came home to find the lawn crew had mowed and blowed and caused the first kitty terror of the year. The cats will get better as they continue through the year and finally get used to them and then the mowing will stop and the cats will forget.

I got partway through my outside blog list when I almost went to sleep, so I napped for about 2.5 hours. This is the second day of driving and walking and talking to people so I may have to nap every day for the rest of the week.