It’s been 10 days and I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post.

Image from MedicineNet

Last November I had a TIA (“mini stroke”) that I wrote about here. At that time, the most exciting thing was the ride in the ambulance. I knew that once you have one, you are almost guaranteed to have others and it’s often the indication of a major stroke to come.

Since then, life has gone on. My doctors’ appointments and labs have gone well although, as part of life as we know it, I’ve developed some other issues that don’t warrant mentioning here. There’s been a six-month process of moving my husband’s architecture business to a home office. The pandemic is still very much present in Texas (where our governor and his anti-masking policies haven’t helped). You know, life.

Death is also part of life and last May we lost my amazing SIL to a totally unexpected brain hemorrhage. She was a heart thread in her community where she touched lives of thousands working in the school for decades.

So about 10 days ago, also unexpectedly, I had another TIA. Sitting there eating dinner with my husband and suddenly I couldn’t speak. Another trip to the emergency room. More tests. This one was also mild, but it was (just slightly) more severe than the last one. And while I’ve had a bit of a lingering headache, I haven’t had any after effects. I’ve been able to find a good neurologist (with a capable staff). I’ve had an MRI of my brain (results pending), I’m on blood thinners for 30 days, and when I see my cardiologist next week for my regular stress test, I’m supposed to discuss some heart monitoring in case there are any intermittent Afib or other issues that might be contributing to the problem.

The major difference between this incident and the previous one is that at one point, I really thought I was going to die.

After the initial shock of being diagnosed with RA more than a decade (and five replaced joints) ago, living with the disease became just another one of the daily challenges. In my mind, RA was just adding to the potholes in the long road of life ahead of me. While no cure, there were treatments and a certain amount of control (diet, exercise, lifestyle changes) that I could employ. This is not RA. If life is a road, and RA is a pothole, then strokes are what washes the bridge out from under you car when you’re going somewhere else.

I feel like I’ve lost my footing. A control freak, I’m doing what I can and when tests are back and a plan is made, I’ll do more. But there’s no question this latest incident has given me a new perception of things.

I hope whatever sudden events in your life have been happy ones. Thanks for checking in.