I went to see my neurologist yesterday. He 100% agreed with and supported our decision not to go into the ER and try to explain my medical history to staff Tuesday night. In fact, he rolled his eyes and nodded his head while I was explaining our though process about the matter. When he heard what was going on, he readily offered me a prescription for anti-nausea medication before I could even ask! About 6 last night, just before Rick got home with the medicine, my dramatically improved, like a light switch, so I never had to take any pills, but am glad to have it on hand now.
We now have the official diagnosis of what I have long-suspected, Pseudobulbar affect (PBA), also known as pathological laughing and crying or emotional incontinence. "The phenomenon of laughing and crying out of proportion to the underlying feelings of sadness or happiness was recognized by clinicians in the late 19th century as a common manifestation of acquired brain damage, especially stroke." (Wilson SAK. Some problems in neurology. Ii: Pathological laughing and crying. J Neurol Psychopathol. 1923;4:299-333.)
I've been complaining about a few melt-downs per day, or sometimes even per week. Reading information, I am thankful to have it so "easy" as some people deal with these episodes over 100 times per day. :( Still, it is not fun. I would say the emotional fall-out of PBA has been MUCH harder to deal with than even the frustration over the inability to walk all these months. PBA happens, depending on what statics you read, in about 20-60% of strokes. It has been a major part of what I have perceived to be fractures in our marriage. My husband is a saint to walk with me through this exhausting and constant, endless process!
Note to self: I still forgot to talk with the doctor about blood flow and my purple foot, about 40 pounds of weight gain since my strokes and about far-from-pre-stroke-normal acne, especially to my chin, neck and shoulders. If this doesn't make it onto a list, I won't remember to talk to anyone, since my short-term memory is shot!
Of the 8 things I did have on a list, only Tuesday's surgery and the resulting suggested change to my medications, the nausea, PBA and contingent plans in the absence of access to physical therapy (no, still no final decision yet) seemed to excite him any. It is so nice to be stable enough to actually seem half way "boring" to my doctor! I really don't want to be an "interesting learning case" any more. I go back in three months.
Monday I should get the tube in my ear and hopefully improve my hearing almost instantly. I think how one procedure would have been intense before. Now it is just another issue to check off a monster-list. No wonder we are stressed!
The kids come home this afternoon and are home for about 2 weeks this time. Much depends on their school progress over the next two weeks to determine if they stay home for good or go back to Fallon after their visit home. Either way, I think we are getting close. :) I will feel so much more stable to have our whole family home together, full time, when this school year ever ends!
I may need to call on several local friends for childcare or driving in the days to come, especially in June, when my parents are out of town for much of the month. Thank you.
Update: Stroke of Grace has become In Darkness Sing and has moved to JenniferSaake.com.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder, Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes via vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office, including brain stem and cerebellum bleeds, in Oct. 2011. Jenni remained hospitalized for nearly 2 months and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care. At 5 years, 7 months God showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.
Jenni is currently writing more books and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Stroke of Grace became In Darkness Sing in early 2018 and has moved, along with all five of Jennifer's active blogs, to one location at JenniferSaake.com.
Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.