Dark Days

“Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight,
Red is grey and yellow white,
But we decide which is right,
and which is an illusion.”

Quote is from the poem “Late Lament” by Graeme Edge, drummer of the Moody Blues. 

~

That little stroke stole the light, removed colours from my sight. I am, hopefully just temporarily, blind in my right eye. There are some other weird things going on, like spatial relationship issues and I’m still dealing with a sprained lateral collateral ligament in my right knee, but to see nothing but a black sky from that eye, dotted with tiny twinkling specks like very distant stars, really messes me up. I’m a visual artist… I play with color interactions, I need to see with both eyes.

The sight came back, not 100% but it cleared up enough within the first 24 hours so it was like looking out through a frosted windshield on a cold wintry morn. There was like some cool crystallization patterns that I could see through, and patchy areas of pale gray clouds. Then, while I was in hospital, dark clouds blocked most of my sight for awhile and then slowly faded back to how it was. Clouds would come and go.

That’s why I wasn’t so alarmed when it blacked out again on Saturday. Now, here it is Monday and that eye is still blind.

I have an appointment with a retinal specialist on the 5th, so maybe he can fix it. Also have appointments with other docs… still need MRI of head, neck, and brain and some kind of echo done on my heart. They let me out of the hospital before tests were complete due to the holiday weekend, made me promise to follow up, get it done via out-patient ASAP.

Here’s an “at home” selfie snapped on Sunday… looks a little better than the hospital version, still a la natural (no makeup) but oh well… just posting to say, “See? I”m okay… still here.”

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Please do not think that I am in a whiny mood… I am acutely aware of how lucky I am as strokes can steal a hell of a lot more than the sight from one eye. This experience also made me acutely aware that next time, I might not be so lucky. If I want to continue breathing on this planet, I need to make some serious life changes, follow through on the usual request from docs: quit smoking, lose weight, take pills, &c.

~

Damn this harvest year.

As I was writing this, I got a text to let me know that an old Italian guy that I always enjoyed talking to at the apartment building has died. They found his body today. Not the Italian guy I call old goat… he is too stubborn to die. This one put me in mind of an old school mafia dude, with a little smile like he was secretly amused, always watching and paying attention to everything. I think he respected me as one of the few people who never hit him up for cash.  I should go light a candle for him.

~

If you love someone, tell them.
Life is temporary.

Thanksgiving in a Harvest Year

I’m blogging by phone, typing precariously with one finger as I lay in the stroke unit of St. E’s hospital with an IV stuck into my elbow. It is a soft, flexible needle, but it tends to jab when I bend the arm too much.

It was only a wee little stroke… happened Monday night while I was doing dishes. I kind of knew it, but didn’t want to… only symptom was a sudden loss of vision in my right eye. That could just be an eye problem, right? So, I went to the eye doc on Tuesday. She examined my eyes and told me to go straight to the ER. So that’s how I ended up here, still in the hospital stroke unit, on Thanksgiving Day.

My sister Jai reminded me of a family saying while texting to say I love you, “if you make it past thanksgiving, you get a whole another year” which may sound a bit morbid, but a lot of our relatives tend to die before the holidays. My grandma Goldie and her mother both died right on Thanksgiving Days.

I told Jai not to worry… I have absolutely no intention of staging a grand exit this year. And who knows? Maybe being right here, with the blood thinners and all, will prevent my untimely demise. All I’ve got to do is make it through today… and the same goes for everyone else… survive today and be okay. Thanks for reading!

Bird in the Bush

What’s that saying… a bird in the bush is worth two in the hand?

No… it’s the other way around, something about one in the hand is better than two in the bush. Unless, of course, you look at it from the bird’s perspective.  I assume that birds value freedom and try to avoid captivity.

I spotted a red bird, a cardinal, land on a branch of this red leafed bush; then it blended right in. I tried to keep my eye on it as I quietly cracked open the screen door just wide enough to slide my phone out to snap this photo, but I must have startled it as I don’t see it there… do you see it anywhere?

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That sad spider plant is slowly making a come back… I tried my damnedest to kill it (not on purpose, Jai). It’s been accidentally knocked off stands by grandchildren, dumped out and everything; but, it is still hanging on.  M takes full credit for nursing it this far back to health, gleefully reporting on the slightest progress, but I think it likes hanging out in the fresh air within the security of a jute hanger.

My leg is slowly mending. It is easier to rise up from a seated position, but that knee is still weak and muscles above and below are tender, tight, and sore. I have to watch how I move it, every step is precarious.  I have a doc appointment later in the week so it will, eventually, be examined. Odds are that I will be referred to a specialist and/or signed up for physical therapy again.

It still blows my mind that the X-ray tech was the ONLY person at the ER who actually saw my knee or touched my leg. I was wearing jeans. I also realized something else… since no one else bothered to even look at my leg, that ER doc prescribed medications without examining the patient.

Two in hand, hand in hand, I’m thinking about that red bird.