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a struggling stroke survivor but a survivor nonetheless
Interests: stroke recovery, life, peace and balance
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really loved that. thanks so much :o)
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2011 on A Lifetime in Chalk at Whatever Works
So I almost lot it this morning... I don't even know why exactky. I mean, I know the trigger but why it triggered me.. . no clue. I'm driving to work this morning. It's raining and a pale bright white gray that reaches from the heavens and touches my car. EEVERYTHING IS BLEACHED WHITE/GRAY AND IT'S NIPPY and wet. I'm praying as I drive and somewhere deep inside I can feel it. Sadness is there, waiting to get out. I decided long ago to not cry while driving. It's just too much of a distraction. So I focus in on NPR TO DISTRACT MYSELF AND i CONTINUE TO PRAY. fIRST THANKING gOD FOR ALL THE MANY WONDERFUL THINGS IN MY LIFE BUT i FEEL MYSELF SLIPPING... I think, I'll be at my office soon where I will e able to kneel by one of the windows and pray again, like I do every morning and I'm satisfied for a moment but then something pulls at my ankle... despair. "God, Father if I could just have my arm and hand back now I will patiently wait for my hand and arm. And by the way, thanlks for the great therapy sessions I had yesterday. I manage to get to work without crying on the highway and I pray once I get t my office. there's something about kneeling as I pray that feels really right and is a great comfort to me so I kneel and I pray but it's stil lhere I'm sad and I'm tired and this bleak weather isn't helping. I'm grateful for the rin because it literally gives us life but the gray is making me evem more sad. Oh wait, forgot to tell you about the near flip out moment. I take the garage elevator to the first floor which will enable me to stay dry as I walk underground fromn the garage to my office building. I'm approaching te first door and I swipe my id card to unlock it. now I have to reposition quickly o I can grab the door, pull it open but before I get the chance I hear some lady on the phone saying "oh hang on a sec, I've go t to help this lady with something.' I thought what lady?" " You don;t mean me do you...?" I'm rushing now no no it;s ok Ive got it but thank you very much inside Im boiling and I knoew that response is unreasonable she was just trying to help. I contain myself and walk through. So now we'tre inside the first door and I have to swipe my ID to unlock the second door. what do you want, we're in Newark.. there's security. She's racing too. Im thinking cruel things and I stop myself,"Ory, she has no idea. She's just trying to be hekpful." Inside Im thinking look lady I work here which neans I come here everydsay and we've never met before so you think maybe I camn h ande two doors on my own. Im angry that I still look so helpless to people. Im angry that I still care and mostly Im angry Im not healed yet. I know people that are worse off than me and I know people that recovered almost immediately after ther strokes.I'm still here. still typing oe-handed and Im still the pitied and I hate it I thought about getting a shirt that says I can oprn my own doo! Now fuck Off but I of course would never wear it if it even existed. I know she meant well and she couldn't know how her actions made me feel so I woudn't bring myself to saying something so hurtful to someone who was really trying to br kind. I guess the road to hell is really paved with... So after I almost verbally abused the lady. I come up to my office, pray and adk God to forgive me for my cruel thought. I explain,"Im just really tired. Im tired of being unwell. Im tired of peple staring at me. Im tired of people asking me if I need something when I walk by. Im tired of feeling like a grumpy old lady. I'm tired of being unwell AAnd most important of all I am frickin sick and tired of stroke and recovery. Im sick of thinking about it Im sick of talking about t. Im sick of crying about it. I just want to be delivered I don't wanrt to worry anymore. I worry about everything. Am I going to have a job in 2 onths?Am I goin g to hAVE HEALTH INSIURANCE FROM SAID JOB...? NO IDEA. Im so sick and tired of waiting. I wait and pray and wait then I pray some more and my life has some existential'hold' button pressed on it. I just ewat my life back. I don't want to be this person anymore I just want to work and do what I love and help people. Sounds cliche but its true. Us service industry folk really feel crummy when we can't work I met a fire ffighter on a support website. All he wanted in this whole world is to be able to go back to work. Doing a job that one values that much really impacts one's self perception. he said he felt like a loser because he wasn't helping NYBODY ANYMORE AND ITS ONLY COMPOUNDED WHEN PEOPLE FORCE HELP ON HIM... I can totally relate to that guyIt's hard and its not getting aNY EASIER AND iM FEELING DONE. iM JUST SO DONE... i DONT KNOW WHAT TO PRAY FOR ANYMORE. iN SO MUCH gOD HAS GIVEN ME EVERYTHING iVE REALLY DEEPLY ASKED FOR OR NEEDED BUT MY HEALING IS STUCK IN TRANSIT SOMEWHERE. i WONT BE MAD THOUGH I YOU WOUD UST HEAL ME NOW. i WILL SAY THANK YOU AND CONTINUE TO BE GRATEFUL i'M HERE AND i'LL BE ON THE RADIO LATER THIS MORING BUT i DON;T KNOW HOW GREAT ITS GONNA BE AS TODAY IS A HEAVY TEAR DAY...iTS ONE OF THOSE DAYS WHERE I CANT SEEM TO CRY HARD ENOUGH TO GET IT ALL OUT. iLL HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM nd try there because so far it's not happening here in my office. I just want to curl up an cru until I feel better.... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2011 at Ocornett's blog
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Apr 13, 2011
what a difference a year makes :o) This time last year I was totally normal... i was normal and happy. All of my many years of medical study were finally about to pay off. You see unlike most of my friends I chose my career in medicine based on the field I loved the most, neurology. I fell in love with it. then during residency, at the tail end last few weeks of residency a time when everybody is finishing up their fellowship applications I fell in like with stroke. I still remember it like it was yesterday. One o my favorite attendings, who was almost universally disliked by everyone else excep me. was attending for our team that month and he asked me the common question; the uestion that was on everybody's mind.'what are you going to do next year?' which is him asking what fellowship are you applying for or are you taking a job as a general neuro...? I said,'I'm not sure... maybe neuromuscular...? and I really said it as a question as if he were supposed to tell me... I dont know why I was so inactive and disinterested in fellowshipbut I was. My entire class had chosen their future fields and were well underway in the application process. I just wasn't in love with anything so I flubbed at mybe neuromuscular ut even as I said it I thought ' if I have to treat carpal tunnel for the rest of my life I might stick my EMG needles in my eyes. So he said,'why don't you go to Brooklyn to be Danny's stroke fellow?" I thought to myself," yeah stroke is cool. I kinda like stroke." So he said well come on lets go to his office. I followed him to Danny's office and we entered he said, with ll the pride of a proud papa; 'Hey Danny OHow would you like to have Oriana as your stroke fellow?" Danny's eyes grew wide and instanty became pereptibly brighter an with a huge sile he said,"are you serious?" He looked at me like he thought he was being punked like I couldn't possibly really be available and interestedso I said."I'm serious I've always liked stroke and I thought again about needling myself if I had to teat carpal tunnel forecver... He said," If I had the contract with me I'd make you ign it right now. Again he seemed to ot believe I was really available and really interested. I assured him I was and tht's how I ound up doing stroke. During my year of caring for stroke patints I met my first mentor, Sophia and I fell in love with something else. Sophia is a pretty and short stature unimposing Pakistani woman who grew up in Texas and as such is quite Americanized.She was the baddest chick in medicin I ever came across. When I met her I knew I wanted to be a lot like her in my new career choice, endovasclular neurosurgery. She took me under wing and taught me what she could with the little time we had. I knew then hat I was in love with the field and I wanted badly o get a fellowship so I could study it. I chose y medical path based on what I loved first neurology then stroke but endovascular was where I was always supposed to be. Once I got into it I was completely enamored with it. It had everything I ever wanted. In medical school I wanted to be a surgeon ut surgical residencies are super tough and I was a single mom so I ruled it out as an option. My second choice was to be an OBGYN because they aso operate but I was bummed at the thought of never having male patients. I loved neurology biu I t knew that the sickest patients are what really stimulated me. Not in a saddistic way, they just got my mind all revved up and it was a pleasure to research and read i hopes to find ways to help the sickest of them. Being hyped by really sick people sounds weird but they made me eager to read and to teach myself new things.Endovascular had it all I could scrub in like a surgeon my patients would be sick as dirt. In short, I was in heaven. When I got into the two year fellowship I was overjoyed and then last April I was about to graduate and I was offered a job with the guys that trained me I was going to make really good money too. That was a super gift because I never chose the field because of the money . I chose it because I loved the work. My girlfriends asked me if I wouldstill work if I won the lottery.I said, "Of course I would I love what I do." they thought I was crazy :o) iThe money was a huge bonus. Kind of like the fairy tales where a good girl falls for a nice guy and in the end he turns out to be a prince :o) I was in heaven right before the ish hit the fan...So last year this time I was rejoicing in the path that life/God/the universe took me down. I was exactly where I wanted to be and then... Just before I was to graduate I was allowed to do some cases solo, mostly.My new mentor,Charlie, trained my first mentor so I was following in her shoes like I wanted to from the day I met her :o) Super happy.So my mentor Charlie gets a call that Oriana has a stroke he of course thought they meant I was taking a stroke patient to the suite to pull the clot out so he said,"Im sure she can handle it." We fall into the habit of refering to our patients as their disease which i wont do anymore. It's not uncommon to hear things like Charlie'sa taking an aneurysm to the O.R. Or Ory is taking a stroke to the angio suite. I glow at knowing he felt comfortable in my abilities to let me take an acute stroke patient to the angio suite witout him :o) I wish that was the cae. I had 'done a stroke case about 2 weeks before I became a stroke case... She was only 31 but it didn't end well for her. The case went fine Im proud to say that letting me take a person to our angio suite and pull a clot out of an artery in their brai n. He didn't say tell her to wait for me ormy other suprvisor he said Im sure h=she can handle it.:o)Wat he didn't immediately realize was that the person calling was saying that I was hving a stroke myself.He didn't get it because it made no sense and it still only kid of makes sense to me cosmically... but Im dealing with it the best I can. This time last year I was the happiest I'd ever been in my life.This year, I'm happy to be alive but Im still kind of pissed to still be recovering instead of recovered. Im ready to put this whole thing behind me although I know it wil always be there in front of me and it will colour the interactions I have with all of my patients here forward, i a good way.. I had a stroke. no matter how much time passes I'll always know this. It has changed me profoundy but Im not worse for it. Somehow becoming physically weak helped me see how strong I am in so many ways. I dont hide from the world. I'm out there in the open, sometimes even crying and always limping but I don't hide and that's srength to me . I remember thinking I can't go through a whole year 'like this' which is unable to use my left arm or hand and using a cane and leg brace to walk. I thouhgt there's no way I'll survive it .I knew that the thing that could have easily killed me. The patient I treated just before my stroke was only 31. When things turned south for her I cried like a baby in the middle of the ICU Her mom thanked me for talking wit them the first day and or giving them hope. She wasn't even mad that in the end we could't save her. She hugged me tight and we cried in the middle of the ICU. that was before my stroke so I can only imagine how things will be now but Iwant my arm and hand back so I can find out. The stroke failed to kill me and in the end that made me feel a little less destructable. As lomng as I didn't lose it and take myself out wasn't going anywhere and I wasn't that sad so I knew I'd ultimately survive the year. I mean what choice did I have? I wan't ready to kill myself and the stroke didnt kill me soevn though I didn't know how I knew I'd survive the year but I kept thinking I'm sure i'll be worlds better in 3 6 or 9 months. ( always in 3 month intervals tough I don't know why...)then when 6 months came I thought I probably wont even need the cane by 12 months... Well,it's about 2 weeks away from twelve months and i still cannot use my left arm or hand and I still using the cane and the brace so.... I'm thinking maybe by 15 months post stroke....? and the other day I thought probably by two years I'll be golden but I thougt can I really survive another year like this...? Of course I can. What choice do have? The people that came to see me in the hospital and those who love me would be devatated if I left the earth, especially by my own hand so I never considered that a real option. I thouhgt well I'm still here might as well work to get myself back on my feet literally, and that's how I've spent this year.What I need intemittintely are other things to look forward to. I need other milestones or life events so I can stop thnbking about how will I be at this time... or at that point... I just ned to think about other stuff than this year and what it means to my recovery In lot of ways the stroke has made me exactly the kind of doctor I always wanted to be I was the med student that didn't complain when our instructors made us check our fingersticks and inject our bellies with saline using an insulin needle.I had the feeling that if I'm going to be asking my patients to do these things shouldn't I kinda know what it's like..? My girlfriend was pissed bout that and didn't inject her belly But I did without hesitation. In fact ,my first trip into the angio suite with Sophia was so that hen I referred my patients for angio I wanted to be able to tell them what to expect. I've always been that kid of doctor... Now that I've had the stroke I'm primed to be the best stroke doctor ever but I need my frickin left hand to play ball or not only will Ii not be able to help patients, I wont have a job, patients, or much of anything and I don't want to be there... Wonder what difference this next year will make? I just don't know if I can maintain my sanity and my joy if I have to wait that much longer Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2011 at Ocornett's blog
thank you gp :o) It means a lot that you found something of value in what I wrote. That really makes me hppy so I thank you for saying such a nice thing :o) I'm alo trying to use my left more so I can get it back My problem is spasticity but Im working on that too, specifically Im workingon opening my hand and extending my arm. I think once I can do those things I'll be able to really start using it. As it stands now my hand stays fisted so even idf I can extend my arm to get my hand near a door handle I cannot grab and twist thehandle but i know I never will if I don't keep trying... It so incredibly frustrating but I'm going to keep at it :o) Be well :o)
I absolutely adore the Metropolitan museum of Art right on Manhattans' 5th avenue in the 80's I havent been there in a while but I'll get back there soon. I used to go there alone to just enjoy the pieces and read about them at my own pace. the only person i seem to be able to enjoy a museum with is mu husband Tim. he and i have a similar pace at which we like to mpve through the exhibits. If you go with the wrong person you're either dragging at their too slow pace or you're racing theough without even reading all the information on the placards and what's the point o that i want to know how that textile was dyed, that's why I'm here it's nice t just see stuff ut don't you want to learn about what you're seeing too. I just drove passed the museum i the back of a cab the other day I was tempted to dscream 'PULL OVER!" so I could go to the museum but I was on my way to therapy and I wouldn't miss PT for anything because I know it's the key to making ewverything I do get easier. I remember when the long row of stps one has to ascend in order to enter the museum would have deterred me bt hose days are over steps are no longer an unsurmontable barrier, they're just steps no and i'll clim those useum steps again before very long so that I can get lost in the imprssionists wing and Africa again Met, I'm coming for you and I'll b there before you know it without my cane and needing no escort . i'll be back
In life there are major and minor victories. Sometimes which one you get depends only on your perspective, sometimes it depends on your history, especially your recent history. My daily victories used to be over things like stroke because it was my job and something i did regularly to pull a clot out of the blood vessel it was blocking so blood flow could be reastored hopefully preventing the person on my table from having a massive strokeor dying. At the end of those day's I'd drive home , call my mom and say." hey mom, I really helped somebody today." I'd drive in the warm glow of a good day and a good victory. Then as the weirdness that is life would have it i had a stroke and my victories changed drastically. I remember my first victories after the stroke were things like putting on a bra one-handed which if you imagine trying to do, you'll quickly see is no easy task. well I got my bra on after much ado. I sat on my bed in my underwearand sent my om a text message saying, " Mom! I did it! i put on my bra all by myself!" and yes there were that many exclamation marks, it was a victory afterall; Why whisper success? :o)Now i'm moving through my life and the world with persistent left sided weakness and a left arm and hand that I can't use yet so, my victories are different, smaller, more personal as i can't help people the way I used to yet. Now opening my own door is a victory that I have to fight to keep. /you see, people in their kindness and eager desire to be of help will often race me to any door handle i'm approacjhing. I always stealthily scan around to see if there's anybody near the door I'm about to pass through I even walk as though I'm not goingto the door at all, element of surprise HA! not only am I going through that door, I'm going to open and close it after! When your vixctories are so much smaller, you cling to them and cherish each one, if you're the right kind of person that is. Some people don't see or claim any victories' it's no wonder they get depressed and think of themselves as useless.I get upset when the opportunity to be victorious over a door is taken from me are taken from you so now I sneak up to doors so no one is the wiser. You see 'normal ' peopl are being kind and trying to behelpful but they also stealing from me and the fact that they are unaware does nothing to make me whole from the victory they just took from me. i vow everytime I approach a doorthat when I'm well I will always ask a disabled person if I can help rather than assume they need it because as the disabled person in the equation when people race to do things for me it sends the message that I look like I can't do these things for myself and true i'm notthe fleet footed woman I once was but I can do a bunch of stuff for myself. Once you get sivk and are in a place where you can't do anything for yourself like hold your head up , sit in a chair or walk you appreciate any recovered ability to be ibdependant These days when I open a door and walk through the threshold I have a moment of quiet joy :o) I stand there on the other side of the barrier that was trying to blovk my way as the victor in that matchup because I conquered the door. Therer's no moment when the door s opened for me there's just me walking which is great but not as great as me walking and opening my door or better still holdfing the door open for someone behind me... oh the joy I walk througmy day rejoicing in these smnall victories because untilI'm well enough to have the bigone's again, they're all I have and I'm grateful for each and every one I talk to doors now. not that I'm crazy becuse of the stroke or any crazier than I was before it I talk to them not expecting or reciving a reply. It's s very onwe-sided conversation that'd brief and goes like the: me" you thought you were going to blovvk my weay huh?" " well I guess you know better now :o)" I put the smiley face in becauser that's where I smile to myself for talking to a door who's A$$ I judt kicked but I'm happy so I smile I smile a lot so smiley faces litter much of my text messages and emails . the people that know me realize they're meant to show thatr I'd be smiling iff we were face to face. So while I appreciate the sentiment pleae think twice as opening a door for a disabled person without their sking for help might be you stealing someone's victory and what if that's the best, hardest thing they do? than you will have inadvertantly stolen something of great value rom that person. I alway say," no thank uou I've got it but I appreciate your offer to heklp it's very kindof youm thanx" then I kick the doors A$$ and smile :o) Doors nand my brawere among my early life after stroke victories now I dress myself fuully with no help and even showewr alone Showering alone doesn't sound so impressive but trust mwe when you've been institutionalized and not allowed to do such things because if the risk oyou'd fall and get impled on the tub spigot you begin to believe that such things asre beyond your ability to do spo when you regain that small piece of independence trust me you smile and kich the shower's ass :o) Doors, showers abd even driving I've slowly relerned to conquer them all Sure I'm not saving anybody's life yet but that's coming and how much sweeter will it be after having to rejoice in my minor victories to have a major one again .that's what I'mlooking forwad to. The ig one it's coming I don't know when but I can feel it it's coming :o) Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2011 at Ocornett's blog
So glad you are blogging. I'm new to this world but happy to be here.Just read the turkey burger blog and they sound yummy i'm certrainly going to try ur recipe next time i make themand your husband's cheating was a great lead in... entirely too funny :o) thanks
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2011 on Southwest Turkey Burgers... at Pots and Pins
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Jan 13, 2011
I really liked that quote i too have heard it before but don't know who said it first but who cares. we're not blogging to make millions off of these words so... here['s another stolen annymous quote: To the world i am someone. To someone I am the world,
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Jan 13, 2011
thanks Jamie :o) I really identified with so many things you've written in your blogs so twin...? yeah I'd buy that :o) It was a really good idea for me to do thisthanx
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2011 on the Gummy worm years of my life at Ocornett's blog
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Jan 10, 2011
I had just finished reading blogs by my writer friend Jamie aka MS tripper and I wrote this she encouraged me to start my own blog so I'm posting my commemt or first real blog here: well I'm taking in sniffley sucks of air while lowering my lower eyelids so... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2011 at Ocornett's blog
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Jan 10, 2011
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Jan 10, 2011
First things first; I'm not a writer and I've never blogged. I'm feeling a little vulnerable at the thought of letting people into the world that goes on inside my head. I'm here because after reading the blog of a real writer MSTRipper I got inspired and was encouraged by... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2011 at Ocornett's blog
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Jan 7, 2011