Saturday, April 10, 2010


It's been a while since I posted. For the last couple of weeks I haven't felt right and haven't felt at all rested. Before the stroke I usually existed on four or five hours of sleep, which may have contributed, and now I don't feel right with less than seven or eight continuous hours. It has been a big change but I need it. And if I don't get it things go right to hell. Any combination of things have been causing this, from the days getting longer and the weather being warmer. But my sleep has suffered and I get miserable.

Maria becomes the unfortunate target. It is hard, this isn't exactly what she bargained for. Neither of us did, but I am sadly stuck with my situation. The lack of sleep has me trying to nap unsuccessfully, exhausted by little thing and wiped out by big things. And frustrated by all the little things that were just natural before.

So this week brought a few big things and some interesting results. A visit in February to a physical rehabilitation neurologist recommended a vocational retraining program called VESID. I have mixed feelings on this but I have been game. I don't really want to flip burgers or change the fryer oil, but I do want to reenter the workforce. I am also not sure I can or want to do what I did. Because of the physical fatigue I can't just put my tool belt back on. I have joke that if anyone want to pay me 60 or so thousand to work for 4 hours a day they are more than welcome to. But they aren't sending many offers.

So Thursday I found myself at VESID orientation and sadly I could just think of Arlo Guthrie and "Alice's Restaurant" sitting in jail with the "mother rapers and the father rapers". There is a section on the application about rehab, and it isn't physical therapy. I still want to see where it goes, and since the woman who was "High of VESID" said it could pay for college if there is an end goal in sight I may ask to apply to law or med school. Why not go for it.

I came back pretty depressed, so got on the bike and headed out for a good long ride. Little did I know the weather was about to change. I got on the canal trail and headed for Pittsford hoping to get further than I had before and get some mileage in. A little over 5 miles out I decided to turn around and head back, the wind was picking up and the sky was getting a little darker. At some point on the ride back I stopped to flick bees off my clothes, they were taking advantage of me for a ride. In Fairport village I have to walk though a small tunnel under Route 250 and the thunder started, the wind picked up and it was suddenly dark and much cooler. I toyed with continuing but decided to wait out the rain under a shelter next to the Box Factory.

Then I noticed the front tire was flat too. I don't have a repair kit yet, it is coming, but thankfully the bike shop was around the corner. More thankfully Mulconnery's Irish Pub was across from the shelter. When the rain subsided some I headed in for a pint and something to eat. I called Maria to come and join me and she was just getting home but came down. Fed, I got the bike to the bike shop and went home to put something warmer on, and then crash. I had clocked 8 miles, not that much, but the furthest I have been since the stroke.

Friday brought a doctors appointment. When I don't sleep, my blood pressure also goes right up despite the medication. I have also felt dizzy at time and have had a ringing in my ears. I guess I live in constant fear of another stroke, even though I am in very different shape now. I don't think the fear will ever go.

Of course the blood pressure reading which were pre-stroke levels had returned to nice and normal. But there were the other issues. Maria came and stated that I was more congested than usual and we got into a discussion about my allergies, breathing problems and what speech therapy I had been given. This is only a shot, but I am trying some allergy medications to see if they clear some things up and help me sleep. This was my first spring in 30 or more years without smoking and with a myriad of other breathing problems.

Sadly I am still at the stage where each time something is fixed or eliminated two other things they masked show up. Hopefully that will change soon. Until then I'll try the allergy medication. I would actually like to smoke again, but we won't go there. Then I would suffer gunshot wounds.

A sunny, cool day out and time to be out there.

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