Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I dream of walking.

There are days when it feels like the last two months have been spent trying, and failing, to walk. I long to amble on a clear cold day like today, to stride manfully somewhere, to stroll casually through the Union Square Christmas Crapvillage (pronounced with a French accent, of course). Just to wander up the street for a coffee would make my day, but it's currently beyond me.

The problem is no longer my weakened right side which has greatly improved since I started in rehab. Nor is it that I've forgotten how to walk; my dreams make it quite clear that I remember how. The problem is, and remains one of balance: mine is terrible, and there nothing I can do about it. My lack of balance is essentially unchanged from eight weeks ago. The symptoms are better: I have better control of my musculature and both my right leg and my core are stronger than they were. But the cause is unchanged and I'm still liable to fall over in a stiff breeze.

I can only really describe the sensation to those of you who drink, and who recall drinking to excess. There comes a stage in drunkenness where the imbiber staggers around, the room reels, and he (or she) lurches in the general direction of travel from (presumably) steady point to steady point. When you're that plastered, you are also feeling little or no pain, and have such diminished faculties that the prospect of falling over doesn't really bother you.

Not so with me: The sensation I live with is almost exactly like being drunk, but without the fringe benefits. I am acutely aware how catastrophic a fall would be for me, and I'm very capable of feeling pain. No matter how hard I try, though, my brain is ignoring the message.

The challenge is an all-consuming one. When I stand on a gently sloping surface, I have the very strong sensation that I'm falling in that direction, and unless I actively engage some muscles, I soon will be. This effect has improved with my ankle, leg and midriff strength, but it's still there; I just handle it better.

Sidewalks are not level, and worse they are all new to me and my brain. This is where the hassle of my eyesight comes in: I simply can't assess a potential walking surface at a glance. My one unoccluded eye skitters over the vista jerkily, and my brain forms an image as fast as it can with as much inferred depth information as possible. On a typical sidewalk this is as close to no information as makes no practical difference. The process is also slow, so my two short walks on unfamiliar surfaces were as cautious as a tortoise's.

On Saturday night, I dreamt of walking: I had a new doctor who insisted I wear a suit and dress shoes. I could tell he was an American doctor by the white coat and the gaggle of be-coated students and acolytes. He bade me walk, and I did, relishing the feeling of a good stride and the leather soles of dress shoes on stone flags. I realized suddenly that I was walking with ease, and that this was because I could see with binocular vision. Then I realized that I could see again because the occluding film had been removed from my left lens. Finally I realized that I could not remember removing the film, and must therefore have been dreaming. I woke, and checked to see if my vision was working, again.

Last night, I dreamt of walking: just walking. I guess it was a boring dream, but I loved it. Of course I checked my eyes when I woke.

Today I was allowed to walk a little, unaided.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two months

It's exactly two calendar months since I had the first of my many strokes, and I have much to marvel at. First, that I took so little damage; if ever there was a successful save vs. Death, I made it. Beyond that, I find many of the changes to my body quite interesting. I don't yet understand why my right side should so much weaker than my left, but it's giving me very practical insight into the workings of the muscles of my limbs especially.

I'm thoroughly bored of the destruction I wrought on my visual cortex. I knowit will eventually fix itself; I know it could have been much worse, but at this point, I really don't care. My double vision can go screw itself sideways with a rusty shovel. The necessary lack of depth perception (I have to keep one eye covered to avoid staggering around like someone epically shit-faced drunk - I chose the ugly squinting one) is also deeply boring and hampers me in a million different and unexpected ways; I liked and admired my friend with one glass eye before, now I hold her in the highest admiration.
Most tedious, though, is that my balance is still totally shot. It's a combination of new weakness in my core (especially on the right side), and something related to my vision. If it were related to my inner ear, I'd feel dizzy constantly, which I fortunately do not. No, my vision holds the key to balance and walking, to reading with my former ease, to typing quickly, to neat handwriting; essentially to all the prerequisites to getting a damn job and returning to society as anything more than an occasionally amusing burden.

One of the biggest changes, though, has been in my mind. I don't mean that there's been any cognitive impairment; as best we can tell there has not: I'm still mentally the same person I was on October 10th, only without the headaches. I mean that just over two months ago I had been living in New York for over eleven years. It was, and is. the place I think of when I think'home.' But since I had my 'brain events' I've been in institutions for all but one day at home and one overnight transatlantic flight. New York and my life there has begun to take on the features of a dream that I recall unusually well. Now, as I fight to walk down a corridor, or wrestle to force my hand to my will, my horizon has become so near, I am so focused on the next minute goal`that it's been increasingly hard to raise my eyes to "the only real citycity" as Truman Capote had it. Lunch with the demented denizens of this establishment is hardly the Algonquin round table, nor Thursday thali at Bhojan.

It's not by any means all grim, however; silver linings abound, if you know to look for them. For example, if I happen to forget your name, or your spouse's, or brood, or some significant event in our shared past, something that was not infrequent, I no longer have to frantically cover, nor wrack my (very much intact)memory. I just say "sorry, stoke damage, I'm afraid" with a meaningful and preferably lopsided look, and you will never know.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Food Poisoning

I am not currently in a position to recommend corned beef sandwiches. At all. Thursday night I slept very poorly, and then at 5am the diarrhoea started. Forunately I am now just steady enough on my feet (and with my walker) that I could consistently make it to the bathroom on time. Equally fortuately I managed not to throw up, but there were a couple of close-run moments, and I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth.

Cue 48 hours isolation and rest, which came at a rather opportune moment, particularly for my right leg.

I had noticed that the right side of my right foot was asleep, including the smaller toes, and that I had the sensation of phantom pressure under the foot, on my right calf and under my right buttock. It consistently felt like there was something in my shoe, I was wearing a tight sock, and I had sat on something

As I have been learning to walk again, I've had to concentrate hard on my right foot. I've mentioned that my balance is very poor; one of the contributing factors was that, when I leaned to the right, I would automatically use my big toe and the ball of my foot to correct my balance, since I couldn't feel the right side of the foot. With concentration, knowing they weren't actually missing, I could activate my foot and ankle, rather than the big toe, and be much more stable. Over a few days, sensation returned to my foot, and it's now very close to normal, though still weaker than the left.

On Thursday the assistant physio had me walking quite a long way with a quad-stock (I am due to graduate from the walker soon), and work in the gym, where we did a classic parallel bars learn-to-walk montage, complete with palsied grimaces.

When exercising, I've been getting very tired in the right leg, but not really feeling tired in any particular place. No more! Sensation returned to my right glute. Sadly it was the sensation of "Hey! I've been working too hard. Give me a break!" and it's quite painful... but it's sensation that was formerly absent and if the phantom object that I was sitting on has been replaced with a sore butt, I'll take it.

One of the odder consequences to the restoration of leg sensation is that my right leg now feels much stronger, while I've steadily been adapting to a weaker leg. I'm therefore more capable, but less steady - at least for a while.
In most apparent setbacks there is an abundance of silver linings.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

General Transatlantic Update

Since I've been offline for just under two weeks, I think a general update is in order.

First thing, first: I weathered the flight pretty well, arrived around 7:00am, saw my GP at 10:15am, saw the excellent and charming consultant at Homerton Hospital at about 4pm, and was promptly admitted after a general chat. I stayed on ward for a couple of days, before being transferred to a dedicated short-stay rehab unit. I'll be here until just before Christmas, but rehab is for life, children, not just for the holidays.

Three major problems remain, coinciding with the three initial "brain events" I had: face, vision, right side. I have a left side Bell's Palsy: the left side of my face is paralyzed. It is slowly coming back to life with diligent work and lots of strenuous face-pulling, which is good. More troubling is the fact that the damage extends do the left side of my throat, and my left vocal fold. Listening to a recording of my voice as it now stands was distressing: there's no colour at all, and I've got less than an octave in range. Happily, the voice therapy protocol I'm using works, so with luck, time and effort all will be well again.

My vision is currently buggered: I have a squint in the left eye that makes me look like dribbling idiot--unfortunate because I dribble at the moment (see above re: palsy)--which concerns me only slightly less than the double vision I have when using both eyes. It turns out that my eyes will at some point magically fix themselves in the next 4-6 months, and in the meantime I should just STFU and deal. In practice this means I have put a frosty coating over the left eye lens in my spectacles, and go about my business, hoping each morning that I will miraculously be able to see again. If they don't fix themselves, there apparently reamins the knife. I shudder.

The physio here is excellent: strict, observant, accurate and persistent. It helps, I think, that I'm relatively young and determined to walk the hell out of here. RIght now I'm back to walking with a (Zimmer) frame, but I expect to graduate to a quad stick and then a walking stick before long. It may surprise some, but I'm working bloody hard to walk (properly) again. Although it felt initially like a step backwards from Mt. Sinai, it isn't: I'm getting to address the core problem, which is my balance. I still have a mild tendency to keel over.

I have my own room, with its own bathroom (about which more anon), and I'm now allowed to walk its confines unaccompanied (a joy!), although nowhere else. My day is packed with a schedule (of my own devising) of physio, voice, speech, writing and typing therapies. I have to be careful not to reach an unproductive level of exhaustion... with which I'll sign off!
Until the next update, I remain
Stroker Ace


Thanks to the wonders of the modern age and the vastly superior European 3G network, I'm connected again. Expect a fuller update or two soon, but for now: I'm well ensconced in a rehab facility and working my ass off. No more urine adventures.

I'm at the Median Road Intermediate Care Unit, Room 8, in Hackney. The number in my room (inbound only) is [redacted], If you're crazy enough to call, the best time to reach me is between 1pm and 4pm Eastern. I expect to be here until just before Christmas.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I flew back to the UK with my father, and was admitted to hospital before the day was done. I was exhausted, but trying to stay cheerful. Two days later, I was taken to the nearby in-patient unit, but didn't get back online for weeks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Brief Respite

Getting ready to leave the hospital after a month! I can't wait. I have much to say about hospitalisation, infantilisation and so on, but it will have to wait until I can type more reliably. For now: Yay! Home! For tomorrow: ooh! aeroplane to London!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ultimate Urine Victory

Ultimate Urine Victory

(TMI incoming for the faint of heart.)

Just over a month ago, when I had the first of my several little stokes, I barely noticed the fist catheter going in, when I was in the emergency room, except as notice that my stay would not likely be short. It stayed for about 8-10 days.

definitely noticed when the first one was removed.It was... uncomfortable. You may want to wince in sympathy.

At this point, I learned one of the great truths of hospitalisation: catheters happen, and where catheters happen, urinary tract infections also happen. Joy of joys, with the removal of my first catheter, I promptly grew a fever and it was determined that I had a UTI. A course of antibiotics later and the infection was no more.

Now by this time I was done with the active stroke-having and the majority of the testing, I was mobile-ish with a walker and able to pee. Theoretically. The reality was different: you see, peeing meant either being half-carried to a horrid hospital bathroom with no lock, or using a ghastly plastic jug urinal thing with an unfinished and rather sharp neck.

I was in a wretched position, since the probability of being interrupted while in the lavatory approached 1, and the sharpness and general insalubrity of the urinal was an absolute inhibitor. Not normally pee-shy, I found myself unable to meet the doctor-imposed deadline of pee or it's the catheter again!

Enter catheter #2.I noticed that one.

I protested mightily and to no avail, and in the meantime was promoted out of the 4-bed stroke critical care unit to a glorious single room. When #2 finally came out, and I was again given a deadline to pee or be damned, I figured the additional privacy would help my addled brain, as would the copious amounts of water I was encouraged to down.

Sadly, I was mistaken. If anything I was interrupted more, and once by a PCA who wandered in and casually took my blood pressure while I was on the can. Small wonder that it was higher than usual. In any case, my not-too-distant ability to drink seven or eight pints before needing to pee did not serve me well, and a new pleasure awaited before catheter #3: the dreaded straight catheter. This is pretty much what it sounds like, a simple tube that goes in, allows the pee to flow, and is then removed.

I produced more than twice what the average human bladder contains, and overflowed the measuring bucket that comes with the straight catheter. Indignity heaped upon indignity!

Enter catheter the third and an honest-to-Bacchus urologist. The latter determined that the third full-on tube should stay in for a good three days too give my, by now, much abused urethra and bladder a bit of R&R, whereafter I should be on a regimen of regular straight catheterisation, until I could pee normally. I was determined that this ultimate sanction should never come to pass.

For one thing I was pretty sure that I was peeing normally for me, if they'd only bugger off and let me do my thing. For another this would have meant either days of self-imposed excruciation or a catheter on a plane, something I did not want.

Fortunately, through an exercise of will worthy of a Bhoddisatva, I produced all the necessary urine voluntarily, and then some.I was not quite home free, alas. One single holdout doctor would not give me clearance. It turns out that most bladders retain a bit of pee after going; there was a distinct possibility I was retaining a lot more, and that would be symptomatic of a real problem. 

Alone among her male colleagues, she insisted on thoroughness, and I cannot for an instant begrudge her the transitory discomfort that the men in the room sought incorrectly to spare me. 

Cue catheter #4, to be used directly after peeing, to fully drain my bladder and thence measure the retention. Over 200mL, and the catheter would not be removed this side of the Atlantic. It was a tense moment only barely alleviate bu an extraordinary informational pamphlet in the style of a greetings card that came with the catheter set. Its true glory cannot be described.

I passed the final tube test, and have been a veritable Niagara now the pressure's off. Hurrah! You may now uncross your legs.

If there is a moral, it is this: train yourself to have a weak damn bladder!

P.S To the G+ contingent, Yes, I am enjoying the gentle irony of this post appearing in your stream.

(You can see the card here.)

Saturday Update

1. Continual gradual improvement to the face and hand; barely detectable from outside
2. Ultimate Urine Victory is mine! I will not be travelling with a catheter, nor will I need to cath myself.
3. I have all the records and images available to me, and a discharge transcript that will provide a summary to Dr. C et al.
4. Discharge drugs have been prescribed and the prescriptions filled, but the drugs will be  locked in the drug room until tomorrow.
5. Contrary to some of the discharge bumf I received, I will not be given warfarin to go (a good  thing).
6. Walking is generally much better, but see below.
7. I got a visit from Dr JR the excellent Neuro-opthalmologist yesterday, she noted Dr. GP at Moorfields (she thought) as a folow-up.
8. Dr Rucker also applied two prisms to my glasses which help resolve the double vision, which is still otherwise terrible.
9. The new prisms seem to have greatly improved my balance, but because they restore the double vision, make walking harder. This is easily restored with a bit of tape.

Finally, I expect quite a few visitors today to say "au revoir" and am looking forward to getting out and home tomorrow, and the road to further treatment beyond!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last Chance to See? - UPDATED!

Last Chance to See? - UPDATED!

UPDATE: If you were very generously thinking of schlepping up here on Sunday, hold your horses! Current plan is to discharge me into Dad's care at home (in the US) on Sunday, for transfer to the UK on Monday. As a result, Sunday visits (to home or hospital) are very ill advised... but fret not: I shall return! In the meantime, I have the joys of bladder training and straight catheters to occupy me this week. The days are simply packed!

So, it turns out that the hospital will under no circumstances discharge me to my apartment before I've undergone a month or two of rehab. 

They will only discharge me to the care of a parent and an immediate airplane to the UK, and thence rehab.

The other concern for the men and women in white coats is that there are a number of nasty infections on the ward, and I'm also in danger here (antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infection? No, thanks!) I share their concern!

The upshot is that at some point in the next week or so, I will get the airplane/wheelchair treatment and be back to the UK for a while. My intention is to return before my residency is threatened, but that may be a challenge.

If you're in the NYC area and have a chance for a quick trip up town, it would be a pleasure to bid you a temporary farewell.


P.S. I make no apologies for the histrionic header: I had a stroke: sue me! ;p

Friday, November 4, 2011

Progress Report!

Progress report! It's like a performance review for my brain!

Walking remains to be seen, but I made substantial progress yesterday, getting up and down a flight of stairs twice. Knackered afterwards, but progress! PT exercises still kicking my ass, though.

My mouth has definitely improved, although it's still impaired (and I have a quasi-synaesthetic taste of cold).

My right hand is also functioning better, or at least I'm adapting to it better: I can touch type consistently now with persistent difficulty, but it''s far better than it was. Fortunately the QWERTY layout favours the left hand.

Our last hurrah to get Medicaid to approve rehab in time to be really useful has failed, so we have engaged an alternate plan to fly me back to the UK where a grown-up healthcare system can dio me some good. Never fear, US-ians, I shall return! It took 10 bloody years to get a green card, I'm not giving up on residency or citizenship just because of a few piddling strokes!

The only remaining hassle (potential TMI incoming!) id that I picked up a Urinary Tract Infection when first catheterised, and it does not appear to have responded to the course of antibiotics. Some uncomfortable shenanigans have ensued, and I'm back to having a catheter again, at least until Saturday, whereupon "we shall se..." A bit of a pain, figuratively and otherwise

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Best In The World

Latest word is that Ms. L---- has submitted the Medicaid application, but declined to approve it. This means there is no hope of rehab in the US within the c.2 months it takes NY to process the application.

So, I think there is no alternative but to engage the NHS, if I want to have rehab at all within the first three months after the strokes. For the time being I am in no danger of being ejected from the hospital, but they are clearly eager to discharge me. That certainly won't happen until after the weekend at the earliest. The remaining uncertain factors are the ongoing UTI, which has developed beyond the initial infection a bit, and my steadiness on my feet.

I would very much like to return home for a few hours before hopping on a flight across the pond, and may well be discharged before we can arrange all the details, which shouldn't be too great a problem to handle.

Again, nothing's happening until next week at the earliest, and I can almost certainly manage at home for a day or two!

I have the appropriate form for the hospital to mail (!) my records to Dr C-----, and can fill it out as soon as I have his address. J------ is going to make sure I have a copy of my PT records.

I think that's it for now; if anything else occurs to me, I'll email. 
Talk tomorrow,

(Any American who thinks the current US system is the best in the world is either obscenely wealthy or a fool. In my case, a demonstrably lazy and rather stupid hospital administrator simply made the wrong determination, and I had to leave the USA to get treatment.)

"Almost" is a delusion

Excellent night's sleep.

Some slight thawing of the face today. I can almost close the left eye.

RH progress continues slowly.

Unfortunately gained a new catheter and drip, due to concerns about wretched UTI

Feels a bit of a setback but plenty of support to varry,,,carry on carrying on.

Lots of love

(More email. 15 months after the stroke I still can't close that eye.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Email update

Medically basically stable but the mild urinary tract infection that surfaced when the catheter was removed may have escalated; time and a Urologist's visit will tell. It's certainly nothing to worry about.

Physically continual slow progress is steady, but slow. I can walk better and without a walker or cane, but am still very (perhaps dangerously yet) unsteady on my feet. Stairs were much better today, but still present a monumental obstacle to going home.

Still no further communication from Ms. L----; it may be time to engage aggressively with J-----.

Hope this update is useful; I'm pretty bushed from today's physical therapy.

(I was trying to update both friends on G+ and family by email. Parallel redundancy didn't last.)

Ça continue.

Ça continue.

Daily slow progress is slow (but daily).
The Medicaid saga drags on (don't ask!)
Tired today: not nearly enough sleep last night.
PT exercises are kicking my ass.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

3 Weeks

3 Weeks and Counting.

It's been exactly 3 weeks since my first strokes and things are generally interesting.

Physically there are continual, gradual signs of progress in most areas, with the exception (apparently) of my eye muscles.Today I shall make a first attempt at stairs, which are a pre-requisite for discharge.

Mentally, I still seem to be about as compos mentis as ever, although I find long paragraphs visually a bit difficult: my eyes lose track at about the fourth line, I can usually bully my way through, but it's tiring.

Emotionally, I seem to have short-circuited a couple of feedback loops that,e.g. prevent me from laughing at my own jokes, so I can, I fear, come across as a gauche loon. I am also rather more prone to sentimental blubbing.

Practically, I am in a sort of pre-discharge limbo while we figure out how best to arrange some sort of rehab. I'm safe and secure in Mt Sinai for the time being, hoever.

While preparing this, I took my first stairs more-or-les successfully: four steps down were enough to tire my right leg out, which is a little ridiculous.No going home for me today!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Physical progress continues slowly, but the real news is the 99% certain rejection of my Medicaid claim on essentially entirely spurious grounds. Ergono rehab. Such is life. The view is a little bleak today.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In Which I Channel Amy Winehouse

They tried to make me go to rehab...

...and I said "yes, yes, yes!" Unfortunately, although we've spent a week with Medicaid paperwork (thanks, Dad!), it looks like tomorrow is the earliest I could get there, and it feels slow, slow, slow.

Apart from that, some progress continues (part of this post was touch-typed and laboriously corrected), so it's all good. Last night was bedlam between the snowstorm and Hallowe'en.


(Hallowe'en was, indeed crazy. Don't get Hospital-sick on Hallowe'en.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

In Which I Channel Shakespeare

I am feeling contained today.

The excellent Mt. Sinai's rules have expanded to match my abilities as they increase, but it is my very abilities that constrain me.

My words rattle at the bars presented by my hands and voice. My world is cabinned by the box of my buggered vision; my mobility is cribb'd by the limits of my balance; my emotional repertoire is confined by my facial paralysis.

But I am straining at the fetters, and I can feel them creak.

Plus my pretension is unchanged!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Still in 107, 8W, now waiting for medicaid approval and rehab. RH dexterity improved since yesterday: typing is almost possible on this MacBook! I think my vision .has slightly improved as well, which would be fantastic.
Thank you for all wondrous offers; my needs are currently few and remarkably well met!

(Comment to the "Stroke With Me" post.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stroke With Me

Alexander's Stroke With Me update: 2 weeks on!

A couple of weeks ago, I had three strokes. Two were very small ones in the white matter (sod you, Poirot), but one was a bit of a larger bleed in the brainstem. The latter was cause for considerable concern, but has not bled further (yay!), however over the following two days I had half a dozen or so more tiny strokes which have been a bit of a mystery.

The mystery has lain in the apparent lack of a reason why a 40-year-old should have multiple strokes like this. 

The excellent doctors have spent upwards of a million bucks trying to figure it out, to no avail, but do now know that my heart is in fine shape, I don't have cancer of the guts or nuts, nor an unusual Herpes variant or HIV. Much of which I could have told them for free. Still, I suppose one must get spinal tap practice where you can!

In all this I have been epically lucky: first, B--- was still home when my little adventure began. Second, while I am still waiting for super-powers to emerge, B---'s have just been revealed: he's been a total hero.

Third, while it's impossible to deny that there has been some nerve damage, apart from a bit of facial paralysis, it all seems to be fine motor control, which has improved daily.

Finally, I have had many calls and visits and bananas and much tea from friends and family, which have all been remarkably therapeutic.
Next stop is rehab, once the insurance cones through, which is a little bit of a concern, but I remain sure that all wil be well

- Alexander

(It took most of the day to write this Google+ post)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fancy new room!

New room, Central Park view, and best of all, a shower have left me feeling chipper.

Improved:walking, sitting and standing. RH cooordination
No Detectable change: vision.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Social Obligations Persist

Hey! Thanks for all the comments. They are much appreciated. Eventually, i wii\ll get to each of them in turn, but I am without my personal secretary, this morning, so it may take a while,

Iam walking, rather unsteadily, and with a frame, but much progress there.
I can feed and water myself with unsurprisingly no difficulty swallowing..

Last night, I played hot to _Spinal Tap,_who were less amusing than advertised,
The big news from yesterday was from thr neuro-opthalmologist: i expect to recover fully *eventually.

That's it for now, it took about an hour to type this!

(This was a comment on a G+ post, and I am normally very persnickety about spelling and grammar, so typing "hot" for "host" when joking about lumbar punctures gives you an idea of the damage at the time.)

Chat is also hard

(Chat transcript with a friend out of town. I was typing as fast as I could.)

11:06 AM me: yo
 K----: HEY!!!!!!
  I hate that I have to ask this, but how are you doing buddy? J-- and I are worried sick
 me: so this sucks ass
11:07 AM K----: lol, not in a good way at least
 me: so-so...
  ssme things
11:08 AM are coming back
  quuite quickly
 K----: that is good. from what everyone says your cognitive skills haven't been hit by the stroke
11:09 AM me: lycky in that
 K----: they know what caused it or the docs still in the dark?
 me: there is stiill the potential
11:10 AM for thr brain stem to bleed more
  which would likely be bad
11:11 AM cause: unknown, but
 K----: that is good
 me: NOT nut cancer
 K----: too much WoW?
11:12 AM me: lots of NOT, not much THIS
11:13 AM K----: do they consider you stable at this point or are they concerned for smaller strokes?

8 minutes
11:22 AM me: Sorry doc break
  yes, they now have
 K----: no problem
11:23 AM me: no treatment options excepy rehab
11:24 AM which will start as soon as the insurance is sorted
 K----: yeah, what is up with that? Do you have any options?
11:25 AM me: rehab or insurance?
11:26 AM rehab: bring it
11:27 AM K----: insurance
11:28 AM me: ins: not thinking about it
11:29 AM lcan barely read, so it's too much to wotty about
 K----: understandable
 me: worry
 K----: if you need to flee creditors, you have a place in Chicago :)
11:30 AM me: thanks <3
11:31 AM g2g tired head now!
 K----: get your rest brother. J-- and I love ya :)
11:32 AM me: tale care!

Email is hard

oops. hard to tyype and easy to send too soon.

Speech is intelligible and clearing daily.
iam walking but wobbly from both minor nerve damage and the damn bedresst.

I am sure in a few weeks this will seem an unpleasant dream, although for now, it''s rather hard work.

love, always,
Most worrying were my eyes, which have some motor muscle damage and double vision which makes reading very very hard
. The neuroopthalmologist assures me that aall that damage is recoverable, and if not, treatable, which is exce

(Email reply to my mother. At the time I could not read well enough to see that the cursor had moved,)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Email failure


That was Alexander's attempt at writing. The rest is dictated to me (B---) and he promises to write as soon as he's less of a gimp, and he's grateful to hear from you.

(Email attempt)

First Google+ Update (Dictated)

Hello friends. Sorry I've been somewhat absent here. I've been slightly busy having strokes all over New York. A week ago in a stroke of genius I started in my apartment, then was at Mt. Sinai Queens by a stroke of luck when the next round happened and have since been transferred to Mt. Sinai Manhattan. Visitors are very welcome to come and laugh at me as I spill tea and flail with a walker. I'm currently in room 101A in ward 8W in the Guggenheim Pavilion. I'm not certain what the visiting hours are but I believe they should be on the Mt. Sinai website.

P.S. - Percoset is really good stuff.


Email to Dad and Stepmom

Dear Dad,

Had a few small strokes a week ago. No need to panic. Damage mostly recoverable. Comfortable in Mt. Sinai Hospital. Excellent roommate B--- has been a hero. Life goes on. Will call when it's easier to do so.

Lots of love,

(Email, dictated. I had kept quiet to the UK while in the ICU)

Email to Mom

Hi darling,

Sorry for taking so long to reply. Only just got connected again. Circumstances have been a little challenging. A week ago I had a few small strokes, and I'm currently recovering in comfort at Mt. Sinai hospital. Recovery is going very well, heart is in top health. No need to rush over here or anything silly, mostly a question of rest, recovery, and rehab right now. Love you always. Will speak when it's easier to phone.


(Email to my mom, dictated.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Life Ends

At about 7:30am EST on Tuesday 11th October, 2011, I had the first of many strokes. These posts are the messages I first sent friends and then made public, and then my further journey into recovery. Discovering mental strength and physical weakness, learning about anatomy and neurology, experiencing determination and depression.

I'm this blog in the hope that my journey will be of some use to other sufferers of stroke, their carers, and their friends.

- Alexander

Some posts that might be interesting for the first-time visitor: