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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Here's Something I Haven't Told You

It has been said that I am brutally honest. I try to be truthful, but not mean or condescending in anything I say or do. But I haven't been completely out in the open about my personal life beyond homesteading. Yes, you guys know many non-homesteading things about my life, and my medical issues. I threw a hissy fit this morning, and that is way I hadn't posted, until now.

Why the hissy fit? I was starting to sound like Steven King in this morning's blog post. No, not the gory, but the way he will take 2 paragraphs just to tell you that someone was wearing a purple hat, or a bumble bee had entered the scene. I don't like speaking in that way, long descriptive, that's why all my novels are sent back by publishers, their only gritch. . .too short.

But now I have gotten off subject, and rambling about nonsense. My problem stems from having migraines for 30 years. As many of my readers know, I was born with them. It turns out that migraines, over a long period of time, will do the same damage as a good old fashion head injury will in one instant. The side effects have been showing their ugly head for a few years now. I am losing words.

This is devastating for me. I live by the word. Ever since I said my first word, have I loved to tell stories. And now, now I feel like I am stuck in a twilight zone episode, Time enough to read, time enough for me.

Now it might not seem that bad to most people, but when you stare at a dish cloth, knowing full well what it is, unable to find the right word because it is gone, it brings me to tears. I have my good days, and my worst days. And it will not get better, and there are no medications that will help.

I have a rare type of migraine. One that I am suppose to go to the er when I have them for fear of permanent blindness. I do not go to the er. I have had them like I said, for 30 years, without regular visits to the er. These migraines or the ones that cause my "side effects". They will also cause me to have a stroke. There is no question about that one. I will have a stroke, possible die because of it, and my doctor has no idea when. It is not something that can be prevented. I am trying to live life to it's fullest, as I fear I will not be around to see my boys to grow up. But my fears tend to get in the way.

This post is not meant for you to poor Phelan me. I am a big girl now. Potty all by myself. This post is to inform you of what is happening to me. I am sure some have noticed that my posts are not always brilliant, like they should be. ok,ok, not as clear. On my worse days, I still try to write to you, because it helps me and it is a joy to have you guys around. On those days I have to write around the words that I know should be there but are not.

I do hope this makes sense. My words are not failing me, they have disappeared.


MeadowLark said...

Continue to post, for communication is one of the most important things we have. When we read someone's blog, it's for them as a person, not simply for wit and incitefulness, but also for oh-crud-what-was-that-wordfulness. You are YOU.

Thanks for sharing.

And you have a piece of toilet paper tucked into your skirt. :)

(Um, the joke was about you being able to potty... well, ok, it wasn't that funny, except to me)

Gina said...

Phelan, I think you make perfect sense, really! I think your posts have gotten shorter and fewer between, but you always have brilliant things to say. Don't give up!

Matriarchy said...

I can't think of anything to say that isn't sappy. I think you are doing the right thing - you just move forward every day, doing the best you can. With whatever words you have.

I think we all do, on some level. I am slowly losing the use of my hands, and that scares me. My kids are at risk for Huntington's Disease when they are adults, from their estranged father, who has it. I can't think about that every day, not if I want to be functional. But sometimes, I just need to say, "Cut me some slack - I have a lot of sh*t on my plate!"

Frankly, I didn't notice the words disappearing. I figured you were just canning your a** off. Maybe some words will come back when you are spending less time over a pot of boiling water. Stress steals our words, too. I call my kids the wrong names.

dana said...

you're doing what you love and being with your family, and thats what living life to the fullest is about. i love the bravery of your candidness, and your entries make perfect sense. keep going, girl.

LivingSimply47 said...

I haven't been reading for that long, but what is presented is always enjoyable. I appreciate your openness, your courage, and the tenacity that you seem to have regarding your situation. Just keep writing, and keep doing what you love.
You are in my thoughts,

lisa said...

As long as you write, I will read!I came to get to know a person enjoying a lifestyle I can only dream of, not to be entertained (happens anyway), not to sneak a peek at her family/private life (happens anyway), and not even to care about somebody I've never met (happened anyway!). You just relax and enjoy your life as much as you can...just because I don't know the name of my reaper doesn't mean he's not out there. We're all living with uncertanty to one degree or another, you're just brave enough to talk about it!

Country Girl said...

I think you do a great job Phelan and I always enjoy reading what you have to say! ~Kim

FancyHorse said...

I haven't noticed any loss of words, but I'm sorry. That can be very frustrating, and worrying.
I wonder if that's why my mother has trouble finding a word sometimes. She gets migraines occasionally - just a partial blindness without pain. I thought it was old age.

My son has epilepsy from a head injury and he has trouble remembering the word he wants to use, too.

Em said...

Remember that the brain is a muscle like everything else. It needs practice. More you use it, the better condition it stays. Even if you had a stroke, you'd be able to build back the neural links with time. I've seen people recovering from stroke, some lost their movements, some lost their memory, but it all comes back with training. Losing sight, however, can be more difficult thing if the very brain areas are messed up. In any case, we all have that risk, I guess most people just don't know about it, so they don't have to live with it each day.

I just want to say that you gotta keep fighting and training that brain if you have a feeling that something is changing. Play Scrabble and other games where fast recovery of words is needed. Ability to name things is one specialized function of the brain so you just have to keep working it to keep the system in condition. Brain problems can be scary but trust me, there's so many things you can do to keep you in shape. There are people who have recovered to be functional even when half of their brain has been shot off. Brain's capacity to rebuild neural networks is just amazing. Trust in that!

Also a visit to a proper neurologist wouldn't be a bad thing. Things have changed tremendously in just few years. There might not be medicine, but there might be ways of rehabilitation. New stuff about neurology is sprouting out all the time so don't give up your hope just yet!

Judy said...

I haven't been reading long, but have enjoyed it hence why I keep returning. I too have migraines. Thankfully I only get a handful of really bad ones each year but one did trigger a stroke last year. A week in the hospital, some PT and all parts work but the left arm is still weak. I had never heard about migraines making us lose words. I thought it was just me. I was trying to tell my friend I had to go to the bank and the word bank wouldn't come. I finally said "the place you put your $" While discussing this prob. with another friend whose husband had a brain aneurysm, she said they did therapy to trick his brain to circumvent the injured area. She wondered if it would also help me and now that the kdis have returned to school it is something I can look into. If nothing else researching will work that muscle a little so it doesn't turn to mush! Keep up the good work.

Taylor said...

I'm a brand-new reader, so I don't have much history with you, but I really admire your writing and your life.

I just want to let you know that even if you aren't always brilliant sounding(to yourself, at least!), we'll all still know you are.

Howling Hill said...

I lose words all the time but I thought it was just me getting old =).

Like yourself I have migraines but not on the level you have. Mine are fatigue oriented and most times connected to hunger.

Is there an herbal remedy which works for you?

Phelan said...

Meadowlark, I have been posting regularly through it. As I said, it has been happening for a few years. I was just so pissy over it yesterday. It can get tiring to write around simple words that you should know. And at least I know how to use toilet paper ;)

Gina, I still try to post every week day. It does help.

Matriarchy, I wish it was just because of canning season or stress. That would help things out a bit. But it isn't. ha! See I wasn't going to use the word but, I know what word I want to use instead of that one, but, it isn't there. Luckily that word will come back to me later. They do come back. I have to get super creative with things, so I am not umming through sentences. In a way it has helped my vocab, but at the sacrifice of simpler words. Fell free to tell me to get off your case, I know the stress can be overwhelming when it comes to things you can not prevent.

hugs dana!

Thank you living simple.

Lisa it is more about frustration then any type of bravery. Thank you.

Thank you country girl.

Fancy Horse, it could be with your mother. I don't remember the name of the condition though. Your son, that is how my Dr explained it to me, it is a similar brain issue.

Em, I have a neurologist and my physician is a migraine specialist. I have been on every drug, herb and other things they come up with for my migraines. I have a total of 4 types of migraines. What might work for one, will not work with another. My Dr. puts me on every new drug out there for them, every time they come out. Nada help. I do many brain exercises because I am high risk for alzheimer's. Missing words do come back, but the dissapperances are coming more frequent. This is a warning sign of an impending stroke. Thank you for your information. Believe me when I say, I am doing everything I can to help the situation,

Judy, I hadn't heard of it either until I brought it up with my Dr. I would take your friend's suggestion up, you never know what might work for you. (I have 4 types of migraines, and get them at least once a week. Preventatives don't work)

Taylor, you flatter me! And welcome to my odd little world. :D

Phelan said...

Howling Hill, nope. I have tried everything. Nothing but heavy narcotics work. And those only work because they knock me out until the migraine is over.

Nita said...

Please continue writing, if it helps you, if it doesn't feel free to quit. All your readers will understand.

My husbands migraines are not as bad as yours, but he has had them everyday since he broke his neck 25 years ago. Nothing works except narcotics - he has lost part of his life.

I always hope I die milking my cow or doing something I love, I hope you are doing what you want, it sounds like you are and living life the way you want.

Kathie said...

You have such great perservance about you and I know that you won't let this slow you down, it might change how things are done but I know it won't slow you down. In the meantime, however; I'll send good thoughts and healing vibes your direction (they may not heal the physical but I find they help the emotional).

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