A minor stroke

Yup. Suddenly found that I couldn't hold a cigarette on the right side of my mouth--my lips on that side are numb and the muscles don't work. Looked in the mirror and that side of my mouth is drooping, also I can't speak as clearly.

It probably happened when I was asleep.

OH NO

Gosh Folkie, Just now home and reading this.  I haven't read the whole thread...Are you alright?  Is there a way to check your Blood pressure...or maybe you already have.  You know...you can always call the paramedics to assess...you don't necessarily have to go to hospital...but they are wonderful for assessing....and they have contact too with ER Doctor.  Just in case...

I'm okay, mojo, I think.....

However I just spilled a can of soda (all natural, no sodium or corn syrup) all over my keyboard. The keyboard still seems to be working (knock wood), but I have to wonder if this has something to do with the stroke, as I've never been this clumsy before.

My blood pressure seemed high just before I took my nap, but is seems better now. I hadn't thought to check it earlier.

Oops. I take that back about not having been so clumsy before. I turned my keyboard upside down on my computer desk after the spill, hoping the soda would drain off. Most of it did, and I think only a small amount of soda hit the keyboard--there was more on the desktop and on the rug. But where I'd turned the keyboard upside down I found tons of little crumbs. So I guess I've been clumsy all along.  ;)

I wonder what kind of exercises the Stroke Clinic will recommend to recover the muscles on the right side of my mouth. I imagine I'll be using my fingers to push my lips into a smile position over and over until I can smile naturally again.

Folkie?

What about your arms and legs?  Are you having any one sided weakness?  You know....if it's just the muscles in your face, it could be cranial nerve 7 disruption, Bell's Palsy. I do know one thing though, I know for sure I am going to be worried until you see someone and or hear from you....Maybe one of  your neighbors has a BP cuff?  

Interesting enough, before I went to bed last night I read that 10 percent more heart attacks and stress related accidents/injuries happen during daylight savings time transition.  I think its time to say no to daylight savings.  Or at least do 10 minutes a day for a week versus the whole hour.  It's really quite disruptive and destructive.

Arms and legs seem to be okay.

I think you're on to something about the transition, but I'm not sure if it is just daylight savings time or also because it is around the time of the transition from winter to spring. It does seem to be when things happen.

I'll post any news here. If I can get a stroke clinic appointment tomorrow it would be a really good thing.

 

Good morning!

Do you have an appt?  Waiting to hear...

I've been dropping alot of stuff here lately too.  It's like a series of uncoordinated attempts to put things together.  Drop something on floor, go to pick it up, something else falls, go to pick that up spill something else...on and on...it's like sheesh...what the hell...??  Earlier a single sheet of paper slipped in between the middle console of car and the passenger sheet, where barely fingers fit to pinch it out, and trying to get that sheet of paper knocked the cup of pens I have stashed in the car over...now pens rolling all over the floor of car..oh good grief.  I've had 2 days of notable clumsiness.

I hope whatever you discover about what is causing the facial droop ends up being mild and fixable.  Smiling at yourself in mirrors is always a good activity.  ;)

 

Review

from the UCSD Stroke Ctr.

About Stroke

What is a stroke?

A stroke (also known as a cerebro-vascular accident) occurs when the blood supply to your brain is reduced or interrupted by a blood clot or a hemorrhage. This deprives the brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, and causes brain cells to begin dying within a few minutes.

Stroke warning signs

The five warning signs of stroke are:

1) Sudden onset of weakness/numbness on one side
2) Sudden speech difficulty or confusion
3) Sudden visual difficulty (one or both eyes)
4) Sudden onset of dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance
5) Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately and the ambulance will take you to the nearest emergency room.

Stroke risk factors

The following are risk factors for stroke and may be modified to lower your risk:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Being overweight
  • Tobacco usage
  • Heavy alcohol use

Types of stroke

Ischemic stroke: Occurs when blood vessels are blocked by a clot. The clot can be a thrombus, a clot that forms at the site of the blockage; or an embolus, a clot that has moved from another part of the body and lodged in a blood vessel that feeds the brain.

  • 85% of strokes are ischemic. The most important risk factors for ischemic strokes are longstanding increased arterial blood pressure, diabetes and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat).

Hemorrhagic stroke: Occurs as a result of rupture or perforation of blood vessels within the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes can be caused by longstanding arterial hypertension, aneurysms (weakened blood vessel wall); trauma, drug abuse or a malformations of the blood vessel.

  • Approximately 15% of all strokes are hemorrhagic. The most important risk factor for these strokes is arterial hypertension.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA): Sometimes called a “mini-stroke," a TIA is a warning sign of the potential for a future stroke. A TIA may last only a few minutes, or up to 24 hours. TIA occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. Symptoms are similar to those of stroke but do not last as long.

  • About one-third of strokes are preceded by one or more TIAs that can occur days, weeks or even months before a stroke.
  • If you experience a TIA, let your physician know immediately and schedule a follow-up appointment as soon as possible to discuss stroke prevention.

To schedule an appointment at the UCSD Stroke Center, call (858) 657-8540.

 

That's one of the numbers I phoned.

 

It said they're closed on weekends and to call back tomorrow. I certainly will!

I see lots of movement in the field

Bat saliva was tapped for a new and improved treatment for ischemic strokes (non-hemorrhagic).

Telemedicine is expanding, even in your area.

And aspirin is most likely the best first aid for your stroke and I'm betting my money it was ischemic.

Modern medicine isn't all bad. Neurology & Chemistry are still in their baby shoes.

In your case, it would be benficial to know where the stoppage occured and what caused it. If you don't need a stint, aspirin treatment might suffice. We're only guessing here. Professionals know better but they can't help us unless we help ourselves by letting them help us.

UCSD in Hillcrest has a stroke center.

I just phoned them. They're closed on weekends. I'll call them tomorrow and see what they say.

I have a ticket to go to a play this afternoon, bought it months ago as a birthday treat, but not sure I'd want to risk raising my blood pressure or having a massive stroke in a public place. Might just stay home.

Thanks for being there for me, rossi. As you can imagine, I'm scared shitless.

I tried a few different phone numbers. Either a recording saying to call back on Monday, or a person saying that I should try calling on Monday. They all say they're open 24/7, but they aren't. And even Ask-A-Nurse, which is just a referral service, would charge $35 for a 15-minute phone or email consultation, which is absurd. They'd probably refer me to whatever doctor pays them the most, who probably wouldn't even refer me to the UCSD stroke clinic for fear of having to split a fee. Fuck capitalism!

This is what I get for being too gutless to have hijacked a plane to Cuba years ago, instead of trying to get by on garlic, turmeric, and grapefruit seed extract. Oh wait. Back then I think homosexuality was still considered a crime in Cuba, and since I don't conform to gender role stereotypes, they'd probably have assumed that I'm gay and thrown me in jail. Always something, ain't it?


My aspirin bottle says it expired in January 1995. So the aspirin are probably twenty years old. They look just like new and they still seem to work, but I really should get around to buying a new bottle. :confused1:

 

Aspirin can expire but

it doesn't go bad as long as it's kept dry and cool.

It may lose strength and it may taste more bitter but it doesn't go bad.

r

That's good to know.

 

I'd taken two each time, but now I'll take three, just in case they've lost strength.

UCSD was behind the one link

Brett C. Meyer, M.D., principal investigator of the STRokE DOC  trial and Co- Director of the UC San Diego Medical Center Stroke Center

http://heartcenter.ucsd.edu/stroke/Pages/default.aspx

About as good as they get. I seriously doubt they will turn you away. This is one of the leading stroke ctrs. in all of the Americas. AND this stroke ctr. would also have the latest greatest trial stuff like the bat spit extract. Get there and get in, tell all and mention aspirin and how I advised you to take it right away because I think your stroke is non-hemorrhagic. You only need for them to confirm this. Further treatment is a steady diet of a small amount of aspirin on a daily basis. A little goes a long way.

We need an expert's confirmation that we're doing the right thing. That's all.

All will be well !!!

rossi

Okay.

 

Since I don't have any other expert opinion at the moment, I'll take your word for it.

And since everything is going to be okay, I think I'll go back to sleep.

take 2 more aspirins and see me in the morning

sleep well !!

r

What if

What if you were sitting in front of a small fire in a tipi somewhere on the great plains. What if we had the year 12 something and what if there were no hospitals and stuff. You would say, hey, I think I just had a minor stroke and we would say you need to see the medicine man. And you would say you don't wanna see the medicine man because you don't like him and he's incompetent.

I guess your situtation is a normal one so hang tight.

Yes, a minor stroke is often followed by a major one. I don't know what kinf od treatment the modern hospitals give but my neighbor across the street has had at least three minor strokes over the last five or so years. The last one made it difficult for him to speak but he's working on it.

I'm off to see the medicine man. Get some rest while I'm gone.

I'll bet your neighbor went to the doctor every time.

And you've still got real doctors in Germany.

No, the ambulance came every time

...because minor strokes ARE emergencies. If not treated within 24 hours, well, you know.

Aspirin to thin the blood. If you don't have it, get it from your neighbor.

It has been more than 24 hours already.

 

Well, in Germany even people without money can get basic health care and your neighbor is probably a solid citizen. I'm a freak and I don't have money, so I get treated differently.

Just took two aspirin.

 

1st step - take a blood thinner

aspirin e.g.

"......researchers in Oxford, England, found in a study of 1,278 stroke patients that even the mildest strokes need to be treated quickly with blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering drugs to avoid a recurrence."

See a Dr.

now

Impossible.

The busses aren't running this late at night, and there's no point taking a cab to an emergency room (if I could find an emergency room that accepts Medi-Cal because I can't afford a few hundred in cash) only to have to sit around and wait to be seen for at least six or eight hours. And as I explained below, I'm already stabilized, so they wouldn't do anything anyway, because all they're allowed to do is stabilize people--if emergency rooms were to treat people they'd be infringing on the profits of physicians. So they'd refer me to a doctor, who won't be in until Monday anyway. And while in the emergency room I could pick up an even worse staph infection than the one I already have.

This isn't a joke, rossi. The stroke is on the side of my mouth where the only two bottom teeth I have left are, so it made it difficult to eat. If there had been any chance of being seen by a doctor, I'd have given it a shot, but I've been through this routine many times. The only place I can go is an emergency room (many no longer take Medi-Cal, so some would turn me away and the rest would be overcrowded), and since I haven't been shot or stabbed, I'd be low priority. But since I'm already stabilized (the Vitamin E has done everything their medication would do, if they gave me any), there's nothing they would do for me except give me a referral to a doctor I could call for an appointment on Monday. And their lists of doctors who accept Medi-Cal are rarely up to date and I usually have to call six or seven before I can find one who will see me in a month or two.

Health care is a for-profit industry here and they don't mess around with people who don't have lots of money or private insurance.

I'll try to on Monday, but it might not be possible.

I'm in the US, remember?

I have Medicare and Medi-Cal, but only the worst possible doctors and clinics accept it because the payments are so low, so long in coming, and involve so much paperwork.

Going to a doctor is humiliating for me because they don't respect my privacy (I have to fill out their intake forms truthfully, so the receptionist will usually glance at the form, note that I'm female, and say something that reveals my genital status to the entire waiting room), and even if I can get in, all they'll do is subject me to a series of tests that are required for all Medi-Cal payments before a doctor or nurse practitioner will even talk to me for the required three to five minutes.

Plus, if I'm truthful and tell them that I have a staph infection, they'll want to hospitalize me, which would probably kill me. And they always want to prescribe drugs, since their real job is killing rather than healing people, and properly prescribed prescription drugs taken exactly as prescribed, particularly in hospitals, are one of the leading causes of death in the US.

To sum it up:

1. Because I don't have private insurance or cash, I might not be able to see a doctor at all.

2. If I do get to see a doctor, it will be one of the least competent ones possible who had no choice but to accept Medi-Cal, and they are more likely to hurt me than help me.

I might try putting it off until Wednesday. Tuesday is my birthday and I'll be 72 years old. If I go to a doctor on Monday, I might not live until Tuesday.

We don't actually have doctors in the US any more. They are all either employed by health care corporations or self-incorporated as private practitioners who don't take Medi-Cal. Anyway, they're not doctors, they're health care professionals, meaning corporations or corporate employees, and their first obligation is to maximize profits to the corporation, not to help patients.

The Sharp Senior clinic around the corner is my best bet, but they don't do much more than prescribe pills. If they see I've had a minor stroke, they'll probably send me to a charity hospital (if those still exist in this area) emergency room, where I might not be seen for days anyway because they're so overcrowded. And emergency rooms don't treat patients either--all they do is the sort of emergency stuff that paramedics do in emergencies (stabilize the patient) and refer you to a specialist. And the clinic, the emergency room, and the specialist will all have worked out costs that aren't covered by Medi-Cal, so even if I don't get any treatment at all, they will charge me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. They can't touch my Social Security, so I don't have to pay, but they'll continue harassing me for years and it will prevent me from seeing doctors in the future.

I did do some googling and it does say to see a doctor immediately, as a small stroke could be a precursor to a massive stroke, sort of like a small tremor being a precursor to a big earthquake, I guess. But I'm in the wrong place and don't have the right resources to see a doctor immediately, and whoever I do see, if I ever get to see anyone, won't be a doctor in the sense of the word that you use in Germany, rossi.

I lost all my teeth to incompetent Medi-CAl "dentists," and I really don't want to lose my life to incompetent Medi-Cal "doctors."

Update:

I did some more googling and one natural cure health site says that Vitamin E has proven just as effective as the medications usually prescribed for minor strokes. So I just took some Vitamin E.

 

 

 

 

 

The Vitamin E seems to have helped.

I probably didn't take it quickly enough. Anyway, I'm feeling better and it only looks bad when I try smile. The left side of my mouth smiles, but the right side doesn't.

Fortunately, I don't have much to smile about at the moment.

The Israelis are bombing Gaza again, the US wants to invade Uganda, and our school district, like most in this country, is laying off teachers. Big march today of students and teachers protecting the cuts, but the government has to send billions of dollars worth of weapons to Israel so it can bomb civilians in Gaza, and needs billions more to recolonize Africa. Plus the states are having primaries, so I have to be really careful about sticking my head out of my apartment, or I get bombarded with election campaign propaganda. Voters are very concerned about who is going to be the next chief puppet for capitalist imperialism, as if it would make the slightest difference.

But the pain in my eye is gone. I'd thought I'd had an eye infection, but apparently it was part of the stroke--same side of my face.

The problem started at least 24 hours before I posted about it. Maybe two days before. I thought it was an eye infection and I don't think that there was a problem with my mouth. It was only when I saw the problem with my mouth that I recognized that I'd had a minor stroke. By then it was already to late for "quick treatment." Maybe there were two strokes, one that hurt my eye, and since I didn't recognize and treat it, a second one that messed up my mouth.

Whatever.

I set my wristwatch an hour forward for daily savings time and my computer says it will reset my computer clock in about a half hour. First day of Spring isn't until the 20th.

Have you been able to take your bike out yet?

 

3 hour window for use of tPA

The medicine man (google) said;

* a TIA (minor stroke) is an emergency. Call 911 (strange number)

* IF done right, a brain scan is done right away. This helps localize the spot where blood couldn't get through to the brain. Useful information for further treatment IF any is needed.

* Your ER would ideally administer three things straight away:

 - oxygen (brains like ours need it to function best)

 - a blood thinner (I mentioned aspirin but ERs have the shit in fluid form)

 - a relaxant so cramps go away and your body is set to ease

And if they suspect a clot, tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) would be administered BUT ONLY within the first 3 hours after the TIA. So we can forget that. tPA desolves blood clots ...or so the medicine man said. But he's reluctant about using it.

So this leaves us with two medicines we can get without the ER :

 1) aspirin. If there is a clot, aspirin in the right dosage might cut the edges off it and help it get through without getting stuck again.

2) oxygen. Let frash air in and don't smoke unless you think it will help. Tobacco is a medicine when used in the right dosages at the right frequencies - like only a little and not very often.

So as soon as you've taken a reasonable amount of aspirin and you've inhaled a shitload of fresh air (oxygen from the tank would be best but you don't have any), relax and see if your telephone is still working. The number to call if need be is 911. You might want to write a note for the ambulance. Write the word STROKE on a piece of paper and clutch it in your hand.

Health Care systems in the UK & the US lack the correct response kits for TIAs. And many patients are unwilling to call 911.

 

It's only gonna get up to 10° today and no sun so I doubt I'll do anything on the bike. But soon, for sure. I'm in no hurry to get run over.

 

"many patients are unwilling to call 911"

Gee, I wonder why......

No I don't, I KNOW why.

How many bad experiences do you need before you become reluctant to have another one?

So the ERs here don't have the correct response kit anyway. And the average cost of a trip to the emergency room here is over a thousand dollars. Medi-Cal would pay most of it, so I'd only get billed a few hundred.

Suppose I had a note clutched in my hand that said "STROKE." The paramedics would read it. But they don't let patients self-diagnose. They would probably be able to see that I'd had a stroke. And if they got me to a hospital, they'd tell a doctor or nurse or have it written on my admission papers. But the doctor in a charity hospital is probably an intern who has been awake and overworked for 48 hours. Unless there's a bed available, they couldn't admit me. They'd probably try to stabilize me like the emergency room would do, make sure I'm breathing, heart beating, etc., order a few tests so that the hospital has something it can bill for, and send me home.

Many public hospitals have closed down because the payments from Medicare & Medi-Cal are so low they couldn't afford to stay open. The ones still open are overcrowded.

I'm taking aspirin, Vitamin E, fresh air, and trying not to smoke too much. But I do know that doctors here are likely to make things worse instead of better. Public hospitals have to try to make money. If you're unconscious and there's no next of kin around, they'll make the decisions for you, like a guy I knew who went in for an angioplasty and woke up with a quadruple bypass. So heaven help the person who goes to a hospital for a stroke and gets there unconscious when the hospital has just signed a contract with a drug company to test a new experimental stroke medication. Remember, they're corporations, and corporations here have to do whatever makes them the most money, which isn't necessarily what might be best for the patient.

Now that the clock sprung forward, I suddenly find it is after 4 a.m. and I'm going to sleep.  'Nite, rossi!

A referral will cost the state over a thousand dollars.

Since I don't have a regular doctor and the senior clinic won't see me, I'd have to go to the emergency room for a referral.

That means waiting around six to eight hours or so, if I'm lucky, to get a referral to the stroke clinic.

The stroke clinic won't see me without a referral.

The emergency room will charge the state of California over a thousand dollars for the referral.

Fuck 'em.

I'm not really keen on having a massive stroke and spending the rest of my days drooling in a wheelchair.

But then I'm also not really keen on anything else, either.

Somehow, silly me, I thought I could just call the stroke clinic and make an appointment. Not in a capitalist society, I can't.

I just emailed the Senior Center. Their public health nurse might know somebody who could give me a referral.

So, nothing happening today after all.

 

Boy am I an idiot.

I sent an email to the Senior Center asking when the public health nurse will be there, as sometimes she can give a referral to a doctor who can give a referral to a specialist.

They forwarded my email to the public health nurse who tried to phone me. Since my phone is never plugged in, nobody answered, so she called the paramedics.

Luckily, I was out with a neighbor, having lunch and picking up a bottle of unexpired aspirin.

That doesn't mean the paramedics won't charge the State of California a thousand dollars anyway.

Today was a flat-out failure on all fronts.

The stroke clinic won't see me without a referral. The senior clinic won't give me a referral--they won't even let me in the door. My neighbor thought that they'd have to, so we walked over and tried. They didn't and they won't. My neighbor said she'd been wondering why they kept their door locked and only buzzed people in who they knew had appointments. They've probably ruined the lives of so many local seniors that they don't dare leave their front door open. As I don't have a personal physician, that leaves only the emergency room, which means a minimum six to eight hour wait to be seen, just to get a referral.

I don't feel like spending my birthday (tomorrow) in the emergency room, so let's see if I manage to survive until Wednesday, and then I'll take a thick book with me and give it a shot.

I've got some pre-paid phone cards, so if I should find myself being involuntarily held at the hospital, I might be able to use a phone to contact a friend who has rossi's email addy and will pass along any news. I'll take an indelible marker and write the phone card local access number, PIN number, & my friend's number on my arm, the way Occupiers write the National Lawyers Guild hotline numbers before marches, so if the hospital takes my wallet, which they will, I'll still be able to call.  ;)

There doesn't seem to be much more I can do at the moment, so I'm going to take two more aspirin and go back to bed.

Later!


 

Hi Folkie

How are you feeling today?  Sounds like you have done alot of investigating of what your options for care are.  I don't know what to tell you.  I hope you are feeling better though.  I am almost certain that paramedics can only charge if they give you a ride in their buggy.   And before they put you in their buggy they do BP's and all that vital sign stuff.  Then they are supposed to ask you do you want to go to ER and which one.  If you are unable to respond to their questions, then they'll load you up and take you to the hospital...not sure how much medicare and/or medical pays for the ride.  But...it is almost 48 hours since you woke up to some facial drooping.  Are you able to make an appt with your family Doctor? Is half of your smile still upside down?  Have you checked your BP today?  Do have any sensation loss in fingers or toes, arms or legs?  Are you moving about ok?

You know, several years ago, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, had a Bell's Palsy "attack" where cranial nerve 7 went bonkers...and I don't know if she took any time off her show or not, but I remember that she talked and talked her way through it until it was better.  And now you would not even know she had that condition before.  So apparently it can get better.  And also, people recover pretty well from strokes also.  It can take a while...but they can and do recover. 

I'm with Rossi too though...I want you to see a Doc that is current on their treatment of CVA's.  I wouldn't want you to miss out on any window of opportunity to have something available to you that prevents something worse.  So...if you wake up and experience anything like that again, think less and call for help MORE.  Damnit.

 Mojo Hug for You.

 

 

 

Thanks, mojo.

 

I'm not feeling better or worse. But it is good to hear about Amy Goodman.

I do not have a family doctor. I haven't seen a doctor in years. I'm not sure how many years, fewer than ten years, I'd guess, but probably more than five or six years since I've seen a doctor, if my memory is correct.

My previous Medicare Part D plan had assigned a doctor to me, the memorably named Dr. Ho, but I never did get to see him and now I have a different plan because they raised the premium for that plan even though I'd never used it. This plan hasn't assigned me a doctor because it only covers prescriptions.

If I had a family doctor, I'd certainly make an appointment with him or her.

My best bet for finding one would be in June, when there is a new class of graduating physicians, some of whom will want to go into private practice and will therefore be accepting Medi-Cal patients for a while, until they can build their practice up and drop us. Yes, they're allowed to do that. I had a doctor when I lived aboard my boat who just stopped seeing Medi-Cal patients. Even if you've been with them a long time, if you don't have private insurance, they can stop seeing you.

I am on a crusade to get an appointment at the UCSD stroke clinic, and I'm sure that I will, somehow, eventually, whatever it takes, get that appointment. Knowing that there is competent health care available in my area, I will do everything in my power to try to access it. I might or might not succeed, but nobody will be able to say that I didn't try.

 

Thinking about it some more.

What will probably happen in the ER is that after waiting 6 to 8 hours to be seen, they'll tell me that I have to be admitted to the hospital. They will NOT give me a referral to the stroke clinic. If I refuse to be admitted, they'll just tell me to get out. If I am admitted, I probably won't come out alive. They're bound to discover that I have staph and arthritis (and maybe some other conditions I'm ot aware of), and the drugs they use for those can have fatal side effects even when not used in combination with other potentially deadly drugs. You don't get a choice about anything. It is like being in the military--you either obey orders or they kick you out. Leave without permission and you can't come back again.

I was even thinking about trying to get to see a doctor in Mexico, but I don't want to go through the body scanner and likely strip searches at the border.  The minute they see that my appearance doesn't match the sex it says on my passport, they'll fuck with me for sure, just because they're bored, sadistic, and feel like it.

So far my morale is still high and I've maintained my sense of humor, but since I have no options that include anything like personal dignity, respect, human and civil rights, etc., it is a very depressing subject.

Okay, it is almost 4:00 a.m. I'm going to sleep. When I wake up, I'll try calling the Family Health Center, some other clinics, and maybe even some doctors to see if I can find somebody who can give me a referral to the stroke clinic. Maybe this is a stroke or maybe not, but they'll know for sure and I need to know. If I can find that out without giving up my life or my freedom, then maybe I can make further decisions. One step at a time. No, I'll do better than that. I'll go to the Family Health Center. They can't keep me there against my will and they're not a hospital so they wouldn't try. Okay, got a plan. ;)

 

 

Bell's Palsy, not stroke or TIA

mojo is right, this has to be Bell's Palsy. If was a stroke or TIA it would have been over by now. Instead it is just getting worse.

So I guess I don't need a referral to the stroke clinic. And I might not need anything, as it says that most BP cases get better on their own and there isn't much in the way of treatment anyway.

I can get eyedrops to keep my eye moist.

I've cut out salt, so that should bring my blood pressure down.

Big panic over nothing?

I'll do some more googling about Bell's Palsy. Right now I can't sleep.

 

ROFL @ cures.

 

I just read through a long, long discussion of natural cures for Bell's Palsy. Now it says right at the beginning that most cases recover all by themselves within a couple of weeks. But sometimes it can last for years. Anyway, there were at least a dozen different people who posted about their remarkable success curing BP with (insert miracle cure, such as castor oil, calcium, acupuncture, B12, colloidal silver, etc., here)--and in all cases the cure worked within two weeks.

ROFLMAO!  :alien:

 

Anyway, now I think I get it. You can do whatever you want, or do nothing at all, and either it will go away within two weeks, or it won't.

Is there a Dr. in the house?

Oh, and by the way....:occasion4::occasion6::wave::wav::pottytrain2:

I stayed home sick today and will be with my Dr. in an hour or so. I'm going to see him because he's the Dr., not I. Know what I'm sayin'?

Living with pain in the rib cage area is nothing new to me after a real bad fall a few years ago. But seeing as I spend just over 15% of my income on health insurance, I'd be an idiot not to see a Dr.

I didn't fall or bump against anything that I know of and the symptoms resemble what I read about Pleurisy or Pancreatitis. Ain't shit compared to what folkie's going through and I'm glad we have a half decent health care system here.

So folkie, keep up the good spirit! Positive thinking is never a bad thing to carry with you, along with a big stick or a hammer :violent1:.

 

:salute:Here's to you!:salute:

 

 

Thanks ever so much, rossi.

 

Went and got some eyedrops to keep my eye moist and an eye patch to relieve the strain, and that's taken most of the pain in my eye away.

But it makes it harder to read and type. So, do I want to keep up with the news, or get rid of the pain? Silly question. Fuck the news. If there's something I need to know, like what your doctor has to say, please post it in big print.

Hi Folkie Hi Rossi

How are you, Folkie?  And Rossi, I'm happy to hear you are getting the care you need.  Hell...we ALL need care!!  Thats the whole deal...we all need care.

 

Rossi, I just had a 3 night stay at a hospital here..and got the bill today.  I have no insurance since I was unemployed and the cost of cobra is very expensive.  I could not have afforded cobra insurance when I was working let alone be able to afford it when I was receiving unemployment compensation.  So I got the bill today.  For hospital only...not the Doctors or lab or ambulance...just the hospital...3 nights..20 thousand dollars.  20 thousand.  So...er...um...what to say...I wish we had universal health coverage.  

 

Folkie, did you say your symptoms are getting worse?  I think I went to bed before you posted last night...but am just now seeing your post.  Now I am worried about you and I really think you need to be seen.  Planned parenthood?  Any free clinics in your area?  

 

I know the information you gave about Docs leaving behind the medical patients is accurate.  I've known many Docs that have said no to the state and even fed programs.  And I've also known Docs to give time at free clinics too.  

 

Anyway..Folkie..I'm thinking about you and sending all the "get well" energy that I can muster.  If I could be as much support to you as you were to me recently and are today...you would be well on your way to a full recovery.  Please keep us posted on how things are developing.  

I finally saw a doctor!

Thanks for the good wishes, good advice, and the big print, mojo.

I spent most of the day today at the Family Health Center. My doctor, actually a Nurse Practitioner, is very good. She confirmed that I do have Bell's Palsy, don't have high blood pressure (if there is anything likely to raise my blood pressure, it would be seeing a doctor), and sent me home with an appointment to come back in 2 weeks.

Best news of all, she said she can prescribe Prednisone if I want it, but that if I choose not to take it I can still come back and be seen there anyway. Hallelujah!

She also told me not to wear the eye patch, but to tape my eye shut at night so that it will stay closed when I sleep, and to use the moisturizing eye drops that I bought every hour. I'd had no idea that I could or should use them that frequently.

So, apart from some difficulty chewing, my biggest problem at the moment is smoking. My mouth won't hold a cigarette long enough for me to light it. So I have to sort of hold it with one hand, light it with the other, and try to inhale when my lips won't close properly around the cigarette. That means that I can't smoke very much or very often, which I'm sure that everyone but me thinks is great news.

Yeah, twenty thousand dollars seems very reasonable for a three-day hospital stay these days. Considering that being seen for five minutes in an emergency room costs between one and two thousand dollars, that's not bad. The bills for the doctors, labs, and ambulance could double that. Of course it is impossible for anyone working for a salary to pay, but all they really care about is ruining your credit, costing you your job, and if they're really lucky, making you homeless. That's called capitalism.

In order to maximize profits, capitalist industries pay labor as little as possible, while charging consumers (yup, the same people called "labor" when they're trying to earn enough money to buy what they produce) as much as possible. That doesn't even make sense to fascists--Henry Ford won Hitler's highest honors, but always paid his workers enough to ensure that they would be able to buy the cars they made. Capitalists aren't as smart as fascists, they're less humane, and they're a hell of a lot worse at simple arithmetic--adding two and two to get four seems to be beyond the capacity of even the most brilliant capitalist economists.

You're really in a bind, mojo. Since you have to work, you have to pay, or else they'll take the money right out of your paychecks. There's a limit to how much they can take, I think, but it won't leave you much. They've changed the bankruptcy laws, so I have no idea if that is possible. There's a book about how to Do-It-Yourself Bankruptcy by NOLO Press that your library should have. Check it out. It might solve several problems all at once. The best time to file is when you're unemployed, but if your income isn't steady and secure, that should be just as good. Anyway, do check out the book and see what they say.

I used it before they changed the bankruptcy laws, and one interesting thing that I learned is that although they say that you can't get credit again for seven to ten years after a bankruptcy, the banks will start offering you credit cards again a year or two later. Not a good idea to accept them, but just so you know that they're lying, the same way they lie about everything else.

You, on the other hand, have to be absolutely truthful, or they can put you in prison. With the new bankruptcy law, federal officers can question you, and if they ask what you had for supper the previous night, you have forgotten and say spaghetti when you actually had macaroni and cheese, and they go through your garbage and find out, they can put you in prison for the felony of lying to a federal officer. Absolute truth. If you're not certain of something, say so and just keep repeating it, even if they torture you. No lies allowed on your part, any lies they wish are permissible on their part. In fact they can even say you lied when you didn't, and the judge is more likely to believe them than to believe you. There's probably a system somewhere more fucked up than this one, but I don't know where.

Please excuse any typos. And you can go back to ordinary size print. I've remembered how to zoom my computer and how to enlarge the view in any of several ways. If I hadn't been distracted, I'd have thought of that immediately.

We don't know how fortunate we are. A friend's wife had a sleepwalking incident, he called 911, and she has been in jail and in mental hospitals ever since. The poor thing will come out of this with PTSD for sure.

I know that being an anarchist doesn't mean wanting to blow anything up, but I'm afraid that becoming an anarchist has not made me feel any less convinced than before that a lot of things really do deserve to be blown up. It's not that I don't understand the theory, and I'm certainly not tempted to try to blow anything up myself, it's just that I happen to be surrounded by a lot of things that shouldn't exist. There are good things too, but they're few and far between, and usually very hard to find. I guess blowing up the bad things would make the good things even harder to find, so that's an argument for nonviolence. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Not gonna take Prednisone

I googled it, read about it on Wikipedia, and there's definitely not enough proven benefit to risk the side effects. Since this thing isn't going to go away much quicker if treated than if not treated, and according to what the natural health user blogs say, you can treat it with miracle drugs or fortune cookies and get the same results, I ain't gonna take the drug. And if I try fortune cookies, I'll make sure to buy the kind that are guaranteed to have only very positive fortunes in 'em. 

The benefit of being stubborn is that I now have a doctor who won't force drugs on me. And that being the case, I'm going to be a lot more willing to see a doctor in the future.

This is fucking serious. Everyone knows for a fact, or should know because it is common knowledge and widely publicized, that properly prescribed medications, taken exactly as prescribed, are, due to their toxic side effects, a leading cause of death in this country. Yet most people will go to the doctor and take any drugs the doctor gives them. What more proof do I need that most people have very poor judgment? :dontknow:

 

REALLY?

Folkie, Really?  Bells Palsy?  Gosh...well I am so glad it was not a stroke or a TIA!  Very good!  I think what struck me the most is you had no complaint in regards to your typing or walking.  And also, you were very coherent and cognizant of what was happening, not only with yourself but in all other world events...so to me, with Strokes, the complaints are usually more than just facial drooping.  Certainly facial drooping can be the only outward symptom of a stroke...but usually there is more.  And certainly it could be a pre-cursor to a larger event, so again....get to the Doctor faster.  Yet, because your only complaint was the facial drooping...I suspected something a little different than a stroke.  Yes, Bells Palsy, you can talk talk talk your way to a regular Folkie smile and a regular Folkie hold the cigarette with your lips in a matter of days/weeks....

Everything you just wrote, really makes sense Folkie...regarding the hospital bill.  I will simply be paying on it for years and years.  I do not know if bankruptcy is in my future or not...but I do know that this current system of healthcare is outrageously unkind and unfair and inhumane.  If ONLY we had "Socialized" medicine....dream on.  

Well...I have to start my winding down process so that I don't sleepwalk tonight.  Your friend who sleptwalk, jail?  Why on earth jail?  Well, there are no spouses to commit me or commit to me...so, um...but I do have plenty of neighbors that would call 911 if they saw me outside walking in my sleep...

Yeah, it's almost 7:30...and I wake up at six...so If I can get to sleep by 8...then thats 10 hours and really just about the right amount for what I need...

I think I have lost over a decade of sleep in my almost 5 decades of life.  I'd have to do the math for how much sleep I have had versus how much I needed...but..I can tell when I wake up in the morning whether or not the quality of my sleep was good or not...and I have to say, most mornings I do not feel refreshed.  I wonder if and when I will ever feel refreshed?  Maybe If I felt refreshed I could do the math faster...HA!

 

 

Pain relief

 

Okay, I still have ear pain, but not as much since I cut down on smoking. However I found that if I soak a washcloth in hot water, wring it out, and put it over my ear, the heat takes away the pain. The problem is that the cloth doesn't stay hot for very long.

So I looked on amazon and found the perfect pain relief device. Expensive, and it will probably take a week or so to get here, but it is just the right size for my ear, and even looking at the picture tells me that it will be very effective:

http://www.amazon.com/Fashy-YELLOW-Fleece-Covered-Bottle/dp/B004S7IF2Q/ref=sr_1_10?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1333268144&sr=1-10

Made in Germany, of course.

Ear infection?

I know a good home remedy.

The doctors say no.

 

Two different doctors examined my ear on two different occasions and both said that it isn't infected.

But it sure feels exactly like an ear infection.

Maybe the infection is in the eustachian tube or someplace internal. Anyway, it sure feels like an ear infection.

At this point I don't care what it is, I just want my hot water bottle to arrive so that I can relieve the pain without repeatedly soaking a cloth.

Funny that pain pills don't help at all, but external heat works immediately.

Romanian Cure

1 Cotton Tea Towel (must be cotton)

Table Salt

-----------------------------

Put salt in pot, put pot on stove to heat salt up as best you can.

Put hot salt in Tea Towel and roll it up to make a ball.

Lay down on couch.

Put ball of salt on ear. But not if too hot.

Stay on couch with ball of salt on ear until salt cold.

Repeat very often.

------------------------------

I shit you not, this is a real cure for an ear infection. And I have it from a real Dr. from Romania.

P.S. same salt can be used over and over.

 

I hate ear infections...

They are incredibly painful.  I have suffered from several as an adult, always after swimming.  Except for my very last one, and was told by my Doc to stop using q-tips.  My q-tip habit was a real bugger to break...but I did stop and haven't had one since.  Knock on nearest hard wood...

Well, if your Doc insists its not an ear infection, then it well may not be.  Generally there would be some redness and swelling, so it would be easy to see with the little ear scope thingamajig.  Did your Doc say anything about residual effects from the Bells palsy, like latent nerve distortion or anything like that?  I would say if it is a residual misfiring of the nerve, and if the heat helps and it reduces pain, do the heat.  The heat is sending a stronger sensation than the pain sensation so the nerve involved is feeling the stronger of the sensations.   That's good until the nerve calms all the way down. 

But of course, take everything I say with a grain of salt, preferably the way Rossi has explained to use those grains of salt, because I am not a Doctor, I only like to play one on Fubar.  ;)

 

 

Unlike real doctors....

 

you don't push toxic drugs and you don't kill people, so please keep right on playing, Mojo.

Everything you say makes sense to me.

Yup, you called it right, mojo.

Yeah, get that NOLO Press book on bankruptcy and see if anything in it is useful. It might not be, but then again, you won't know for sure until you check it out.

Maybe you can put something noisy just inside your doors, so that if you tried to walk outside in your sleep, the noise would wake you up?

Hanging bells on the doorknobs, the way that shopkeepers used to do so they'd know if somebody came into the store, or something?

What tricks have you tried to get a better night's sleep? Did you try the sound machine thing? They have sounds like a forest, a running brook, and stuff like that. Or aromatherapy? Sometimes a pleasant scent can be relaxing. Have you tried different things?

 

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