Archives for the Month of December, 2010

Contest! Bra!

Lingerie Model 1949 / Library of Congress

Lingerie Model 1949 / Library of Congress

Contest!

How do you put on a bra with one hand?

Lonely

Lonely / Wellcome Images

Lonely / Wellcome Images

After my brain surgery, I said good-bye to all my friends. I gave up my job. I gave up my apartment. I went to live with my parents, in a different town, in a different state, far away. I did not know people there.

I stayed with my parents for almost two years.

Halibut

Fish story / Wellcome Images

Fish story / Wellcome Images

Right after my stroke, I said lots of bloopers. I called my friend Helen “Halibut.”

When the words coming out of your mouth are not what you intend, who is talking?

Poison

Another kind of poison / Wellcome Images

Another kind of poison / Wellcome Images

    Today I had some poison.
    After a stroke, some muscles may become unable to relax. Biceps (arm muscle) might always be “on,” always bent up. The arm cannot straighten. Not only is it annoying to have an arm bent all the time, it gets really sore.
    One solution: make it harder for a messed-up nervous system to boss muscles around. For me, doctors do this by temporarily killing off the junctions where the nerves talk to the muscles, in this case wrongly. The poison is Botox. Botox is famous for petrifying celebrities’ faces. It is a poison that makes it hard for celebrities to frown. On me, it makes my arm harder to bend. (more…)

Mr. Tucker

Flora 1919 / Library of Congress

Flora 1919 / Library of Congress

I use voice-activated software to “type.” If you have only one usable hand, talking to your computer is better than poking at it with one finger.

    The software deliberately comes with no swear words in its vocabulary. This is to avoid mishearing the name of your boss, Mr. Tucker.

      However, you can teach it any new word you want. I had an amusing morning swearing at my computer, repetitively.

      Hospital I.

      Hospital / Wellcome Images

      Hospital / Wellcome Images

      After my stroke had stabilized, I was transferred to a rehab hospital, to mend. In the neuro ward there were all kinds of patients, evidence of calamities: car accidents, strokes, aneurysms, etc.

      My first roommate there was a teenage girl who had tried to shoot herself dead, but missed. She had had brain surgery and had to wear a helmet to protect her skull afterward. While I was there, she was discharged to a nursing home, stuck in a wheelchair for life. There was a pause…