Our oldest has been down in bed, sick, since Monday night. Today is an intensive school day to get back on track.
I survived my transportation interview. In fact I was a little too optimistic in my application, over-estimating my own capabilities. The therapist said, based on my in-person interview, she wanted to recommend me for long-term ACCESS approval, but based on my answers for potential abilities on the written application, she was referring me over to training for the regular public bus system. In a few weeks, I should have a six-month approval for ACCESS and will get a call to set up my bus training. If the normal bus is more than I can handle, I am to call back and come in for another interview. Either way, I am to come back for another evaluation in 6 months, as she wants me to maintain at least limited qualification for their program, so I have that as a back up for harder seasons, even if I generally end up able to ride the city bus. So at least two more transportation interviews in the next six months, but at least I have shown myself that it's survivable now.
I may also be getting my driver's license in the mail soon. My neurologist and neuro-ophthalmologist have both given approval. Practically speaking, this doesn't mean much in lifestyle change for me other than just self-limiting, rather than having the government dictate my ability based an faulty medical information. (The one seizure or "pseudo-seizue" I had at the onset of the first two strokes was a direct result as the brain bleed and not a recurrent issue, though the government doesn't differentiate driving ability based on cause of seizure. My neurologist was sadly surprised that I had ever officially lost my license at all. You don't typically loose your license with a stroke, even though the capabilities may not be there.)
Based on our own decisions, I will not be driving with any passengers for the foreseeable future and several other careful limitations for a long time to come. Cognitively, I feel mostly ready to drive again, it's just the physical lack and response that scares me. To a certain extent there's the whole "getting back on the horse" mindset that needs to be overcome, so from that standpoint the sooner I start trying again the better. Then there's the whole reality of new limitations thing to balance too. As far as how getting my license back may impact my daily life, for all practical purposes, I still will not be driving, I just won't have the government telling me I can't anymore. This, to me, is a huge moral victory! ;) Because I'm still not ready/able to drive, this makes the ACCESS approval that much more treasured.
I had my first interview for the research program yesterday. They are checking on a couple issues to see if I fit within the program qualifications, since it is unclear in some areas, such as the single seizure question. If I am cleared to join, I have my official screening (blood draw, physical exam, walking evaluation, etc.) in a week and then plan to start with a placebo or the actual medication in one or two weeks after that (after all test results are back). Oh, my physical therapist that I just lost at rehab (because of his promotion) is the lead evaluation local therapist for this study (God-incidence as he had nothing to do with trying to recruit me), so if I qualify, I get to work with him in study evaluations again!
A student that had once followed me in the rehab hospital (I don't even remember her, but my memories from the entire first months are sketchy) said she recognized my voice over the phone and remembered me. She confirmed this when we met again in person, yesterday, saying she was amazed to see me walking with a cane since I couldn't even manage a walker when she last say me. The lady in charge of the local program said I must have made quite an impression on her if she remembered me all these months after meeting me once. She told the head lady that she hoped they could work with me because I was "so sweet." It's encouraging to hear that Christ's Light kept shining when I was SO broken and had nothing of my own to offer! God is good.
The end of next week I have my next appointment with my ear doctor. Hopefully he will clear me from surgery recovery and I can start getting my ear wet again. I am so tired of cotton balls in petroleum jelly, stuffed in my ear for each shower, any time I get in the pool, or any other time there is potential of the ear getting wet - ewwww! I am sure I am hearing better than before surgery, as I am hearing some tones I couldn't pick up at all before, but in general conversation, I still miss a lot.
The weather finally feels fall-ish here today. I love it! Hard to believe that at this time last year, I was still so clueless of all that was to come!
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.