MUSIC, STROKES, HEAT-DISEASE, BELL'S PALSY
AND READJUSTING TO AN UNPREDICTABLE LIFE
Not many people know what has been going on and why this blog, which I had such high hopes for, didn’t quite make it off the ground.
I have been blogging, but in other places…like “Mended Hearts Heart Disease Support” Community and “WomenHear Support Community” and a private posts to the Facebook walls of close friends…but I figured the stuff I am posting here is probably PRETTY BORING compared to REAL LIFE.
And as my blogger friend, Bill Lindsey at Bilgrimage, has taught me: real life is what changes life and matters most in the GREAT SCHEME of THINGS.
So here is my post from my WomenHeart Journal…and I will try to fill in the gaps of the life-changing events that have rocked my world in the last few weeks:
The right facial pain continues and the weakness and droopiness returned. They have done all the tests and there is no sign of stroke or tumor...but this is still disconcerting. A month ago I was celebrating successful eye surgery to remove the cataracts that formed early due to the use of so much prednisone for my rheumatoid arthritis. I could read without glasses and the all the colors that I didn't know I was missing I could see again. I have even taken out my photography equipment again and have restarted a favorite hobby.
The Bell's Palsy that started right around the time of my angioplasty they are pretty sure is was not caused by the eye surgeries or the heart problems. I have had the Herpes Simplex I since I was a chid and had cold sores for the first 40 years of my life. About 10 years ago they decided to vacate their normal lip breakout and, instead, breakout inside my nasal passages. They think the change was caused by the severe stress I was under losing my sister and mother and brother all within 5 years. It's an opportunistic infection and, similar to shingles, it usually picks a time when your body is down from other things to breakout.
They think it chose to breakout in my facial nerves (and maybe my sinus') due to all the trauma to my body and the stress of finding out that my long time vegetarianism, active life had led me into a sweet delusion of heart-disease free body and impending angioplasty and sten...compacted within a three hour span.
(I am only 55 years old…so it is classified as “premature onset heart-disease”).
Even though I knew, being an RN, that angio-catharizations are as common and more risk free than any previous time, the specters of the sudden deaths of my brother and sister and the long deterioration of my parents due to strokes and heart disease weighed on my mind.
I actively worked on a positive attitude; kept right on planning the future things like my trip to Finland to visit my daughter, putting a genuine Finnish Sauna (for a Finn-that is nirvana), restarting voice lessons, joining a community choir and restarting work on my songwriting, ontinuing to increase my physical activities and adding new ones oafter the surgery, cutting out the few things that have crept back into my diet that shouldn’t be there…I did everything they told me to do for a positive outcome...AND I HAVE A POSITIVE OUTCOME...
BUT this Bell's Palsy...the look of my face... and the MEMORY of the look of my father's face AFTER HIS STROKE, I know...it's an emotional and irrational reaction.
It's also messed up my NEW, PERFECT EYESIGHT that I was so thrilled with...my right eye either won't stop tearing or its too dry and the facial muscles that help it focus just aren't working properly....I can still read and see things without glasses, but it's work.
BUT TODAY a gift my father gave me returned to give me some extra assurance. I started playing the piano...something I have only done maybe once a month. It's SOLID PROOF TO ME THAT I HAVEN'T HAD A STROKE... everything from the neck down works properly.
I started playing through my Suzuki book 1 ...Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Lightly Row (I am a certified Suzuki Piano teacher) and into book 2-Bach Minuets, Schumann...
They feel like familiar friends who are telling me....it's going to be OK.
The Music is still here even if your face looks a little funny and your eyes aren't perfect at the moment; the music is still in your body
They say the Bell's resolves completely in 75% percent of cases, but being associated with the Herpes Virus may come and go.
So it's still one day at a time, even an hour at a time because the symptoms change that fast. The Prednisone and Valtrex and pain meds are helping.
Tomorrow I Am Singing In The Worship Ensemble At Church--a surprise to most people who thought I would still be recuperating - but music is my medicine, as much, if not more needed than anything the doctors have prescribed