This was first posted to All Things Nonsense on Sept 29, 2010.

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On Thursday, June 24, 2010, I woke up late with a morning call and I left it go to voicemail. After that I picked up my phone to listen the it but everything felt weird and far away. Not knowing what how to get my voicemail, I accidentally called the customer. He answered, said his problem, but it felt weird again and far away. I couldn’t think. He realized he must have awoken me and answered to come up when I can.

The day was fuzzy and out to touch. Like again, it felt weird and far away. I got up, made some coffee and I took a shower. I got dressed to go and by the time I got to the car someone else called me with an urgent message but I left it go to voice mail. They called again about the time arrived at the first place and the two guys talking to made sense but didn’t made sense either. I couldn’t answer the question but told them I could be there soon.

I went the second job after and was finally able to discuss the problem and was resolved it. The manager there was concerned by me. She talked about the having a stroke and talked me having other things that can be causing the mind chatter and the chaos. We decided for me to relax of the rest of the day and he get out for awhile.

While that was making sense, it made me worse. Later that day I went out to the beach but by the time I got back I’ve swooning in heat and need to the air going NOW! I turned it on. Later that day another customer called and wanted to go back to her own house tomorrow morning around noon.

I was afraid to get over there. I felt that it would it make everything worse, like I need to take time away.  I went over there and my voice held up, but finally dwindled until it become nothing.  But I resolved the problem though.  Later the woman call me about 30 minutes later and she was concerned about me and talked about having a stroke. This time I knew it. She gave me a hospital to – Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.  I called Diana, a friend of mine living in Alabama, immediately and told her about it.  She panicked and told me to go the hospital NOW!  I turned off of the computer, went out the door and made way over to Hoag.

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That was the first of the three strokes I had in two weeks. My mechanical aortic heart valve, turning 20 years on June 10, decided to break down and cause the strokes.  I had gotten cardiobacterium hominis which gave away to endocarditis, the swelling of the inside lining of the heart chambers and the heart valves, which gave away to the embolus, migration from one part of the body (through circulation) and causes a blockage (occlusion) of a blood vessel in another part of the body and hitting some portions of my brain – the stroke.

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The first stroke was almost gone when the second stroke hit on June 29.  That stroke was almost gone until the next week on July 6 for the third stroke and the time of the new valve was put in.  It took nine hours to put the valve in and I was out for three days.  I would rise for a little while but my brain would swell in my head. The doctor asked Cindy (my sister) if she would authorize by pulling some of my right brain to bypass the effect; she said no and I was put to sleep again. I was in the Hoag Hospital for five weeks for June 25 through July 30.  I also had a acute gangrenous cholecystitis and the gangrenous gallbladder was removed.

My sister Cindy came in from Atlanta and was a god-blessing for me.  She stayed here is from June 28 through August 12.  All of my friends were there for me, including my online friends and through Facebook.

After being let out for two weeks I went back in to Hoag for a Clostridium difficile (C. diff) for August 16-21.  All I can say about that is YUK. It is a species of gram-positive bacteria of the genus Clostridium that causes diarrhea and other intestinal disease when competing bacteria are wiped out by antibiotics.

The third stroke was and is the longest of the three.  I couldn’t speak for several weeks (aphasia) and had a G-Tube (gastrostomy tube) for feeding (dysphagia).  The G-Tube has been pulled out three weeks ago and I have been eating normally. At first I would bite a little food and about after three little bites I would hack and cough.  Also the right foot and right arm are a little weak, and I drool some in the bottom right of my mouth when I speak.  The aphasia, the lack of speaking, is the hardest to go away but it is disappearing.  I have to speak very s-l-o-w-l-y for everyone to understand me.  That will eventually go away (I hope so!)

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I have been working again and I work for myself, but I don’t have insurance and make very little money.  Fortunately Orange County, CA has a Medical Services Initiative (MSI) responsible for the provision of medical care to Orange County’s medically indigent adults.  That’s me.  It has covered over a $500,000 hospital bill and continuously supports me for the next six months, or maybe more.  Also with a MSI I have food stamp benefits as well.

This is an unusually experience for me and I’m still recovering from it.

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