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  1. #61
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you're doing better, Annie. I'm fully recovered from my last incident, so I guess there's still hope for us all.

  2. #62
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I am with you on this 100%, but great news!

    It's hard to grasp that what one normally does/did without thinking now requires focus and concentration, thereby reducing the psychological benefits of walking (in my case, the physical benefits are still there - I'm still not on blood pressure meds...). I still use my earphones, though with all the traffic on our local trails, it's probably not very wise.
    Pleased to hear you're getting out and listening to stuff. Not the best of weather for walking though, from what I've heard?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    Glad to hear you're doing better, Annie. I'm fully recovered from my last incident, so I guess there's still hope for us all.
    Excellent news!

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  4. #63
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I had another appointment at Johns Hopkins yesterday, so thought I would bring you up to date.

    I was getting frustrated that my vision did not seem to be improving, so was not surprised to hear that, in fact, there hasn't been any improvement since my last appointment on 2 February. They did determine, however, that my right eye movement is now at 95% of normal (up from about 90% last time) and that it is typical for vision recovery to lag behind eye movement improvements. For a point of reference, right after the stroke in December, my right eye appeared to friends as frozen in place - sort of a 'wandering eye/lazy eye' effect, which no longer is the case. In addition, yesterday, I aced the depth perception and color blindness ophthalomogic tests, which I've done poorly with since December, so that's good news (I no longer have to reach out carefully for hand rails when dealing with stairs). Doc also told me that I really am very lucky insofar as brain stem strokes like mine frequently are life altering with not a lot of hope for much recovery. He told me to closely follow Dr's orders. Right with ya on that!

    When I asked them about the 3 month recovery they originally had suggested, they elaborated by telling me that the 3 month recovery time is typical for most of their patients - a large percentage of whom suffer from diabetes and/or high blood pressure. Stroke damage, instead, can take a year or two. Considering how slow improvement has been of late, I already had begun to surmise that this was likely.

    One side effect of this whole experience is that I'm gradually beginning to learn patience.

    The good news is that I have another appointment scheduled at Hopkins on 11 April, this time to be fitted for temporary prism lenses. The lenses apparently will consist of some kind of film that fits over my current distance glasses. The benefit, which I am really looking forward to, is that I should be able to drive again!

    I also have a 2nd MRI brain scan scheduled for next Friday which was ordered by my neurologist here in Virginia. This should be the last big anxiety producing event I have to face. The MRI is to certify that what I'm dealing with is a stroke and not something worse. Hopkins Doc says that if it were something worse, I would not be showing the improvement I have so shouldn't worry about it...

  5. #64
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    ^ Well, on balance, this looks like very good news, albeit with some complications, but none too terrible once you are able to see straight and drive again. Lets hope the prognosis is accurate and conservative so that your recovery actually is completed quicker than they say.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

  6. #65
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I had another appointment at Johns Hopkins yesterday, so thought I would bring you up to date.

    I was getting frustrated that my vision did not seem to be improving, so was not surprised to hear that, in fact, there hasn't been any improvement since my last appointment on 2 February. They did determine, however, that my right eye movement is now at 95% of normal (up from about 90% last time) and that it is typical for vision recovery to lag behind eye movement improvements. For a point of reference, right after the stroke in December, my right eye appeared to friends as frozen in place - sort of a 'wandering eye/lazy eye' effect, which no longer is the case. In addition, yesterday, I aced the depth perception and color blindness ophthalomogic tests, which I've done poorly with since December, so that's good news (I no longer have to reach out carefully for hand rails when dealing with stairs). Doc also told me that I really am very lucky insofar as brain stem strokes like mine frequently are life altering with not a lot of hope for much recovery. He told me to closely follow Dr's orders. Right with ya on that!
    Oh my goodness! You must feel like you got the 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    When I asked them about the 3 month recovery they originally had suggested, they elaborated by telling me that the 3 month recovery time is typical for most of their patients - a large percentage of whom suffer from diabetes and/or high blood pressure. Stroke damage, instead, can take a year or two. Considering how slow improvement has been of late, I already had begun to surmise that this was likely.

    One side effect of this whole experience is that I'm gradually beginning to learn patience.

    The good news is that I have another appointment scheduled at Hopkins on 11 April, this time to be fitted for temporary prism lenses. The lenses apparently will consist of some kind of film that fits over my current distance glasses. The benefit, which I am really looking forward to, is that I should be able to drive again!

    I also have a 2nd MRI brain scan scheduled for next Friday which was ordered by my neurologist here in Virginia. This should be the last big anxiety producing event I have to face. The MRI is to certify that what I'm dealing with is a stroke and not something worse. Hopkins Doc says that if it were something worse, I would not be showing the improvement I have so shouldn't worry about it...
    I can understand your impatience but very pleased for you that you're making progress albeit slowly.

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  8. #66
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness! You must feel like you got the 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card.

    Yes, that's exactly right.

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  10. #67
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I'm glad things still look hopeful, even if the timetable must be frustrating. You know what they say about "slow and steady."

  11. #68
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Sounds like good news on the whole, albeit frustrating as to the speed!
    Natalie

  12. #69
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    Chronic illness requires both great patience and perserverance, with no guarantees at the end. But overall it is the most likely regimen to succeed. Continued best wishes to the afflicted. Been there more than once ...

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  14. #70
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Oh, sorry to hear all these troubles. Though I'm also glad to hear there is good recovery too. Everyone please get well soon!

    In the meantime, I have some medicine for all those feeling poorly.

    Warning: contains extreme cuteness.

    https://twitter.com/festivalanimal1

  15. #71
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Warning: contains extreme cuteness.

    https://twitter.com/festivalanimal1
    Do you think the person with the baby "pig" on a lead knows it's going to grow into this?

    Natalie

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  17. #72
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Keep going to the Pomeranian and the puppy about to fall asleep in the bath...

  18. #73
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Some good news and, I hope, now looking toward wrapping up this whole ordeal.

    I had an appointment with my neurologist yesterday who told me that analysis of the recent MRI shows there is no evidence of a tumor or mass - which he and the radiologist thought unlikely, but wouldn't eliminate as a possibility. It was nice of them to tell me it was 'unlikely', but that possibility was quite unnerving. He also said that the stroke is breaking up and there is a return to situation normal. I will continue, of course, to continue followup to ensure everything is in order toward preventing a future stroke.

    Further, in the couple of weeks since my last appointment at Johns Hopkins, I've noticed some significant improvement in my vision. I generally have mostly clear vision when I get up in the morning and have had several incidents of clear vision during the day. Vision is clear enough that I have started driving again - short drives around town at this point, but probably will be a while longer before I can do the 9 hours to Cape Cod.

    I am very thankful for your kind words and support along the way - I hesitated in dropping my little soap opera on you, but was feeling a little at sea in trying to deal with the situation. I am happy that I can start putting this thing behind me and start thinking about fun things in the future.

    Lesson Learned #1: I will no longer take my good health for granted.

    Lesson Learned #2: If I think I probably need to go to the emergency room, I will go to the emergency room and won't stop and wait for the problem to go away.


  19. #74
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    That is great news about your stroke breaking up and the ultimate return to good health and eyesight.

    I have good news too. After twice postponing my second cataract surgery (once for a big project at work and once the big wind storm took the surgery center's power out) I finally got my new lens implant last Thursday morning. I can see much better now and don't even need to wear glasses except to drive. For those not squeamish, here is how it is done (after the old clouded lens is cut up and the pieces removed):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOd4vUE0-yQ

    Now if I could once and for all get rid of these heart palpitations (atrial fibrillation) I would be very happy. They are more a nuisance but if going strong at bed time can keep one awake.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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  21. #75
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    That is great news about your stroke breaking up and the ultimate return to good health and eyesight.

    I have good news too. After twice postponing my second cataract surgery (once for a big project at work and once the big wind storm took the surgery center's power out) I finally got my new lens implant last Thursday morning. I can see much better now and don't even need to wear glasses except to drive. For those not squeamish, here is how it is done (after the old clouded lens is cut up and the pieces removed):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOd4vUE0-yQ

    Now if I could once and for all get rid of these heart palpitations (atrial fibrillation) I would be very happy. They are more a nuisance but if going strong at bed time can keep one awake.
    Thanks, Florestan. Glad to hear that your cataract surgery went well. Eyesight problems are no fun. Afib also is no fun - my dad struggled with it and I have numerous friends who continue to struggle with it.

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