Well, 2014 is nearly done. It is December 16, 2014 at 11:12PM as I begin this post. Another year post-stroke that I have lived and flourished through. Many of you have been with me throughout this year; some have not. I am certain that I lost a few, but I did find one blog sister and am happy for her return.
The biggest problem with the year post-stroke is that my memory is not so hot on the timing of events and I may mention something that happened in 2011 or last month and not be able to tell you the time of it. That makes putting 2014 in order difficult. What I can do is highlights, I hope.
Early 2014 found me trying to deal with Medicare and the reset deductibles. That will happen again in a couple of weeks. This means that the injection I took for $5 this month may cost $100 in January of 2015. Speaking of Medicare / Medical concerns, I have been taking Testosterone injections monthly now for about a year. I am at maximum amount, so this month and next month will show how much effect I can expect from it. It does help me to make / keep muscles. Exercising does no good if you can’t build muscle mass. And, if I understand it, losing muscle mass also could damage my heart.
I have continued Reflexology treatments and they help me. I am learning to reduce and to manage pain levels. For those new to all this, I had a horrible hemorrhagic stroke May 7, 2010 and suffer pain and several other results of that ordeal. Those include balance issues, short-term memory problems, double vision, weakened left side, need for a cane, greater fatigue, and a certain level of constant pain. I am also diabetic and suffer from neuropathy (foot pain and numbness).
The world was blessed in February with the first birthday of my first great niece, Karlee Koontz. She has been fun to watch grow and learn this year. Adrienne and Lance are expecting their second daughter this February. If I have the months wrong, I apologize. Best I can do with what I have (lol).
My daughter, Dr. Aarika White is working part-time at my old Alma Mater, UIndy, as a psychologist for the students. She enjoys the work and I love that she is working there. Her husband, Josh, did a lot of work-related travel this past year, so she and I did spent quite a bit of time together.
My son, Aaron, just began a new job in Portland, Oregon. He works with computers in things I can understand but not do. I have been tempted to move up there and no longer have a car (public transpo is excellent), but am not certain how I would handle the cost of living on my relatively fixed income (You can read that as not writing a best seller nor winning the lottery). I shall reconsider this decision every year or so.
I did go to Olive Garden for my anniversary of the stroke again this year. I have missed that once since the stroke when I simply forgot it (it actually felt good to realize I had forgotten it enough to not go).
The summer went pleasantly enough. I spent a lot of it getting to know my neighbors and do a bit of traveling. My sister, Darci and I went to Fort Wayne, Indiana for a several-day much needed vacation. It is a beautiful city and we had a great time. She did wear herself out one day pushing me in a wheelchair around the zoo.
This fall was met with both joy (it is my favorite season) and some distaste for the rain and the cold. I knew winter was coming with the snow and ice. I don’t mind the weather, but have to make certain that I do not fall and injure myself.
My Dad, Richard, fell a couple of months ago and broke his ankle in three places. This has been very difficult on him and on us as well. I look forward to him being back up and walking in the next couple of months.
Thanksgiving went well. It was an adjustment with Dad and me (I have gone to Vegan – more shortly), but that, too, was simply something to deal with, and we did.
I switched to Vegan back in July. I did some research after coming to the conclusion that the medical efforts at handling my diabetes were more aimed at allowing it to worsen slowly rather than attempting a cure. After reading and studying, I decided my best bet was to go strict vegan. This December, I am pleased to report that my blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight have all gone down significantly. I had the blood tests last week and am waiting for results to see if I am handling it well. I know that I eat more healthy and a greater amount of food. I feel better and have added a few supplements to my diet as well. Most significant has been the addition of food enzymes, Chromium Picolinate, and Chlorophyll in pill form.
I must mention my cat, Tamika, who in now into her 8th year and shows some small signs of slowing as well as a bit of graying around the edges. Having almost lost her to the outdoors a few years back, I am glad she has, at least, learned to stay inside and follow a few simple commands (at times, the addition of a spray water bottle has helped). She sleeps at the foot of my bed or on a box by the window in my bedroom as long as she behaves (about 1/2 the time). One more problem from the stroke is my inability to sleep more than 2-3 hours without waking up. It has fluctuated a bit, but seems to be 1.5-3 hours currently. I dream more and do it quicker, but I also tend to fall asleep in the afternoon and early evenings if not careful about a nap.
To keep my brain active, currently, I:
write fiction, play 15-18 games of Words with Friends on FB, do some writing on FB, play video games (mostly Skyrim in which I am now at level 47), and I play Dungeons and Dragons online with several people on Monday evenings. I do eat out a couple of times a week, at least once with my friend, Kevin, who had an aneurism around Thanksgiving and survived it well (thank goodness). I do try to go to the movies a few times a month with another friend from Indy and I visit a friend who is in a wheelchair and lives in Wabash, IN once a month if I can.
I think that about does my general overview of this year. I thank all of you who have been even a small part of my life. I feel loved and needed and that is, in no small part, due to all of you.
*Please note that all pictures in this post were taken from Google Image Searches with “licensed for reuse” filters.