Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tale of a Head Banging...Part II

Well, it's Trevor here, to share a recent tale of Brenda's life.  In fact, it was just
a week ago Sunday, that Brenda once again banged her head.  The first incident
was several years before her brain surgery, when she bumped it inside the fridge,
as she was looking for something.  This was long before I came along and you
can read all about that, in her previous blog post, "How It All Began."

This time she treated the situation much differently, as she ended up going to the
ER this time and not waiting. 

Again she was looking for something, but this time it was her cubic freezer.  She
didn't realize that the lid was not pushed all the way back and when she put her
head in, it whacked her pretty good right down the middle of her head, below where
the scars for her craniotomy are. 

It hurt quite a bit and she just thought, she would ice it and take Tylenol and see how
things were in the morning.  The next morning she went to work, but it really started
hurting, so she contacted her nurse, got a recording and left a message.

After lunch she had a message stating, that her doctor was out of the office and that she
should contact another doctor on call and make an appointment.  She decided to tough
it out for the remainder of the day.

She got home and did a few things and it was really getting bad now.  She decided to
maybe think about going to the ER and perhaps they would at least do a CT scan, to
make sure there was no brain bleed or something else going on.

She called her friend Nyla, and explained what had happened and she said she could
take her in.  This was around 5:30 p.m. on a Monday evening, so they both figured it
would be a long night, but more on that later.

She got to the ER filled out a paper and Nyla sat with her until she was called back,
which turned out to be a little after 6:00 p.m. 

She was taken to the nurses station where they asked her questions, etc.  One being
all of her surgeries.  She knows she forgot some, but she was there for a head injury,
so that is life.

She was taken back to a room, where she had to put on a gown.  At least she was told
how to wear it, so no guessing.

She was there for maybe less than an hour before the ER doctor came in.  She was
really nice and extended her hand towards Brenda and that impressed her right off.
She asked her questions about if she had blurred vision, was dizzy, did her neck hurt, did
she pass out, etc.  Everything was negative except, that she was starting to feel nauseous
and her head really hurt.  She rated it a 7 when she came in.

The doctor was pretty sure it was probably a mild concussion, but to be on the safe side
and knew Brenda probably wanted this too, a CT scan was ordered. 

So she waited not too long before a technician came in and took her to the imaging room.
She doesn't mind having these, because they are open and no feeling of being trapped in
a cone, etc. 

She got her results back in about 10 minutes, when the doctor came back again to report
all was well.  It was most likely a mild concussion with bruising, which would not show
up on a CT scan.

She was told to go home and rest probably, not to go to work the next day.  She ended up
taking the next 2 days off, as she was actually feeling worse on Wednesday and just
slept a lot.

She is doing much better and I know she did the right thing this time.  The first time as
you know, she did not go to the ER.  It was much later that her pain returned and a
brain tumor was found.  It was not related, but it was a wake up call and so was this
time also, to be more proactive.

She is really going to be much more careful when it comes to having to bend her head
and making sure, nothing will be banging it in the future.

Being a hard rock fan, songs were coming into Brenda's head all week. "Bang Your Head"
being at the top of the list. 

She also said at the ER, that her brain tumor friends would have her head, if she wouldn't
have had this checked out. 

The funny thing about this recovery time, was that her RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) was
fairly quiet.  I guess the body really does know what the weakest point is at any given
time.  Maybe, that is why Brenda was able to get more sleep. 

So here we are one week later and Brenda is doing much better head wise, but the RA
has once again kicked into full force. 

I saw how Brenda handled all of this like a trouper.  She came home Friday night from
work and just sobbed.  It had been quite the week. 

She also was dealing with her fridge not working and she was nervous about her Enbrel
being in there.  So her cousin was kind enough to store it for her, until she got that problem
solved.  She ended up getting a new fridge.  It is working out beautifully.

Her friend Nyla, really helped out a lot, by taking her to the ER and they kept in touch
several times while she was there, as she had to leave.

Brenda's whole experience at the ER was less than 3 hours.  That was pretty amazing,
considering the fact that they had car accidents come in and she was told when she
was taken to her room, that they would get to her as soon as possible. 

Nobody likes these things to happen.  They are called accidents and there were some
people that were really concerned and Brenda really appreciated that.

Until next time, this is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, wishing you all great JOY! 


Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Tale of Focusing

Hey folks, it's Trevor here once again, to share another inspiring tale of Brenda's
life. 

Before we go on I would like to congratulate her on 25 years of full time work, at
the clinic she is employed with.  This is truly inspiring, because Brenda has lived
with RA for 22 years and has managed to keep working full time, despite living
with this inflammatory disease. 

She even is treating herself to a beautiful piece of jewelry for the occasion.  I
can't wait to see it on her.  It is going to be quite flashy according to her report
to me. 

Now on to our tale.  These stories are always from true life experiences.  Last
Saturday afternoon she spent some time with her friend, Nyla and they had a
great time as always.  She enjoys being with her because not only is she a great
friend, but they always manage to have a laugh or two.  Just as a point of reference,
Nyla was also the one, in our tale about the lamp.  She said it would be alright to
mention her name, so we are.  I have met her and she is one cool lady.

So they went out to lunch and Nyla mentioned to Brenda that she had just purchased
some binoculars and needed help with adjusting them.  She was just sure that Brenda
would be able to help with this.  Well folks, this story really entails more than meets
the eye.  I crack myself up. 

Truth be told, Brenda really didn't know all that much about binoculars, but she was
willing to try to help her at least adjust them. 

So they got to her place and she showed them to Brenda.  They really were quite
a nice pair.  She basically got them, so she could watch the birds out in her back yard.
Kind of reminded me of Miss Jane Hathaway from that show The Beverly Hillbillies,
that I watch on MeTV.  She always liked to watch the birds and remember that outfit
she would wear? 

Anyway, so Brenda managed to get them adjusted somewhat.  Here is the funny part.
On with our tale.  They decided they should probably go back to the store where
she purchased them and get step by step instructions on how to use them.  So they
went and found a nice man who was kind enough to help them out.  She really
thought she had made a mistake by getting these as she just couldn't see anything
out of them.  The reason being, they were being held the wrong way.  The only
way you can properly focus on something is doing it the right way, same with
binoculars.  They all had a big laugh about it all. 

Now she was excited to use them and see some birds.  So they headed to the park,
after they first stopped to get a Starbucks.  What is it with you and your coffee?
Anyway, off to the park.  They didn't actually see any birds, but it was definitely
a lot more fun using the binoculars now.

It's a lot like that in life.  If we are not completely focused on what we are doing, things
will remain fuzzy and just not be that much fun.  It's only when we are willing to make
things better, which really begins with our attitude and our willingness to move forward,
than that is when things will change and become clearer.

Adjusting to changes in life can be hard.  Trust me folks, it only gets easier to focus,
if we are willing to fight and remain vigilant. 

We recently got another addition to our Golden family, which now makes 5.  His
name is Riley which means "Courageous"...look at this little guy and you will see
what I mean. 
                                                                               Riley

Brenda wrote a wonderful poem about courage.  Here is it and we will leave you with
it.  Until next time, this is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, asking you to focus on your
dreams and never give up! 

The Grey Badge of Courage
 
2 burr holes remain
as a constant reminder...
of the day
I became a brain tumor survivor.
 
My skull was drilled open
it’s been almost 5 years now...
with everything that’s happened,
all I can say is WOW!
 
My Grey Badge of Courage
has brought me some tears...
not really knowing it had been lurking
for all of those years.
 
20 years they said at least
that “Mini” was living...
rent free as a beast!
 
She may be gone, but
her memory remains...
my Grey Badge of Courage,
hurts when it rains...
 
06/08/2013
 
Brenda Kleinsasser