Tag Archive for artery dissection

Retrograde filling anyone?

It’s no wonder my GP hasn’t got the letter from Dr3.  The copy arrived at my house today, but the original has been sent to a surgery near a place I lived for about 5 minutes, 5 years ago.  Helpful….

It also has jargon that I don’t understand.  It’s not surprising, I suppose, given it’s written for the GP, but it’s unusual these days.  A google search doesn’t even convince me that I’ve worked it out.  I get the bit about having a number of embolic lesions secondary to a left vertebral dissection.  I get the bit about the artery still being occluded.  But what is retrograde filling all about?  Do comment if you know. I can hazard a guess but guessing isn’t hugely wise in this case!

As a p.s. he’s written, “I will repeat the scan when I see her again in May”.  I’ve been emailing the outpatients people to ask when the scan is as, presumably I need that before I see him.  Kind of a waste of both our time to see him and then scan and then see him again, wouldn’t you have thought?  His secretary seems to think that he’ll arrange the scan after I’ve seen him.  I’m thinking I might drop him a note and mention the “new” GP address and ask about the scan timing.  I suppose I should also photocopy the letter for my actual GP, given I have no idea who “Dr South” is.

Still, at least it arrived in time for me to take it to Hospital Number 2 and Dr2 tomorrow… I know I’m supposed to tell him my case isn’t his any more and he’s not allowed to make any decisions, but I suspect he’ll have the answers.


Dr3 and Dr2

I’m due at Hospital Number 3 on Friday morning to see the consultant from there.

When I left that hospital, I think we all assumed I was and would remain under their care.  However, if you’ve been following carefully you will already know that the consultant at Hospital Number 2  (hereafter known as Dr3) has decided that he’ll take over the case again.  I saw him because of the Cadiss trial and, because they did a scan, he now knows more about me than Dr D at Hospital Number 3 (hereafter known as Dr2).  Dr2’s also a more senior doctor.  And they have the HASU at Hospital Number 2 so…

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Bouncing Forward

I think I’m a cup half full person.  I can’t decide when that came to be true, because it wasn’t always so.  But I think I definitely am.  It was possibly started by my bosses in my second ‘real’ job after university.  No problems, just challenges; no bad days, just ones that could have been better if…  So cup half full can be learned, i think.  And maybe I learned life was more fun, and there were infinitely more possibilities, if that was usually true.

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Cyprus, here we come

Two things happened this evening that have made me smile.

The first is that my birthday present from my dad arrived today.  It included a text book for my dissertation.  It’s called “Managing Through Turbulent Times“.*

The second is that, over a bottle of wine and a thai takeout we booked a holiday.  I’m making use of the new travel insurance.  It’s not for a few weeks yet, and we had to change plans after we were warned Marrakech might not be such a good idea this week.  So… Cyprus, here we come.

I’m so excited.  It’s worse than Christmas.

this is where we are staying - hooray!!!


* Edit November 2010: if you’re reading the edits, you may be reading this in a different light… at the time nobody knew that I was going to be leaving my job of nearly a decade and I couldn’t share that on a public blog.  But it’s so weird to be looking back at what I did share while this was all going on!


Just Sayin’

My facebook update last night says this:

As my cousin Abby would say, “Just saying“.


Answers on a postcard to…

My college has been brilliant.  I’m studying part-time for an MSc and trying to catch up whilst trying to go back to work is a bit of a challenge.

The faculty I work with are being massively supportive, and pitching for some things to be made a bit easier for me to do that.  For example, in December I was supposed to submit two essays and sit an exam.  Yep, that was never going to happen!  Instead they pitched for one essay to be double weighted so the exam could be skipped and for both essays to get extensions, with one extension being later than the usual overdue allowance.

But we have one more obstacle.

A somewhat surprise exam popped up a few weeks ago which would throw out my carefully planned proposal to catch up in time to do the dissertation on time.  So we’re again going to pitch that they double weight an essay so that I can skip the exam.  And I had to write the proposal myself!!! Luckily I could include my current doctor’s note which, incidentally, says my workdays have to be limited to 8 hours. (Yes, I know that’s normally what people are contracted to do anyway: I think it’s a deliberate reminder to me and anyone else who’s involved that it’s not quite over yet.).

So what I keep saying is true.  The hardest thing about a stroke isn’t about having a stroke, it’s about all the things one missed and all the things one has to do next!

One of the things I included was a link to the statement below.  Those of you who actually know me may know a close relative had some serious problems with depression and I’ve always had a fear of it!   Thus I’m determined that this won’t be me.

So I give you the statement below and ask you to view it with a question in mind… why?  And why are younger stroke patients more likely to succumb?  Answers on a postcard to…

Do most stroke sufferers end up suffering depression? Approximately 50 percent will become depressed at some time during the first two years after the stroke. The majority of patients, approximately 40 percent, will develop depression within the first one to two months after the stroke. There is another number of 10 to 20 percent of patients who will develop depression at some later time during the first two years.


Travel Insurance: Tick

So I have an annual travel insurance policy with an insurance company that costs me about £40 a year.  I suspected it wouldn’t cover me for what is now a pre-existing condition – i.e. a left vertebral dissection that led to a stroke.  I was right.

The insurance company got a nurse to ring, where upon it took an age to answer her questions because the answers aren’t straightforward when you’re trying to not withhold any detail they can later claim that you withheld.  So questions like, “When did you last see a consultant and when will you next see a consultant?” involve explaining that I’m on the Cadiss trial so I see consultants more than I would’ve if I hadn’t volunteered for that.  Obviously it’ll be held against me as she then has to record the frequency is actually more than it would have been if I hadn’t volunteered. I know it has other benefits, but so much for karma!

She ended by saying my current policy wouldn’t cover “the condition” so the insurance company has to ring me back.  I pretty much knew that they would want a premium on top of the standard, but I can’t imagine what that might be, particularly when explaining it all took about 30 minutes.

On the other hand, on the recommendation of a nice man called George, who is on one of many the dissection/young stroke Facebook forums to which I now belong, I called a company called Able2Travel.  In about 5 minutes flat they offered me two options on annual policies, one for £155 and one for £185.  The latter seemed to have a few more benefits so I’ve put a reserve on it.

When the original company comes back, if it costs more than £185, I’ll simply take up Able2Travel’s offer, which seems more than reasonable under the circumstances.  Which is exactly what George told me it would be, bless his helpful cotton socks.  It’s rare I come across a service company that does exactly what it says on the tin.

So, while I have no idea how useful they are if one claims for something, for sorting out a policy that covers my “existing condition” with minimal fuss, it’s certainly beat my current company HANDS DOWN on customer service and, I kind of suspect it’ll do better on the price too.  We shall see…


Hope and Optimism

Well, my morning started with an email from Perry.  It said this:

OPEN ONLY IN THE MORNING: Present Number 1: Happy birthday my friend. Virtual morning chocolate.  It’s great for celebrations and this particular type of chocolate has no calories or weightwatcher points at all!!! Lots and lots of love, Perry xxx p.s. The rest of your present will arrive over the course of the day..

Organic Chilli and Lime Bar

This could be fun!

As I’ve hinted in the past, as I phase out this blog, I’ve started a new one that will run alongside my MSc dissertation.  It’s called Gold or Dust and it’s now up and running, though it won’t heat up properly for a few weeks yet.

This morning I was editing one of the essays I wrote last year to post on that blog – in an entry called Personal Resilience for Organisational Resilience.  I was struck by the following paragraph, which I wrote in that essay last year.

“Closely linked to optimism, the ability to find the positive in situations is widely recognized as a key resilience trait (Jackson, Firtko, & Edenborough, 2007). It is generally demonstrated in two ways.  Firstly by literally being able to identify positive gains/learning during or following an event and secondly by display of coping strategies designed to elicit positive emotion from self and others (Tugade & Fredrickson, 2004). One coping strategy commonly employed to this end is the use of humour (Frederickson, 2004) that, particularly in cases where those involved have previous experience in related situations, can often be very black. Coutu (2003) describes this as placing a ‘plastic shield’ around the harsh reality of the situation. Frankl (2004) explains his concurring experience of being in Nazi prison camps far more poetically: “Humour was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation.”

Obviously it was written in a different and academic context, but I but it strikes me that either I was like that before and wrote what I knew, or possibly I learned something?

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