When I was 25, I had a TIA. And then a brain hemorrhage. And then another TIA. I eventually lost my ability to swallow and spent six weeks with a NG tube and seven weeks with a G tube to get nutrition, plus I carried around a little paper cup that I had to spit all my saliva into - I couldn't even swallow that.
We knew the cause of the TIAs (dissected vertebral artery) and the brain hemhorrage (bad reaction to Coumadin), but never really could pinpoint what was going on with my swallow. The PT I saw three times a week definitely had some moments when she thought that if I could just CHILL and RELAX, it would get better. Thankfully, she presented it in a way that made sense to me, not in a way that made me feel like she thought I was crazy.
It did eventually get better and I now officially have a "textbook swallow." The only residual issues I have are a slightly weak and wonky right hand (and I'm a lefty, so that's okay), the need for blood pressure medication (they think some hypertension contributed to the risk for the TIAs), and being categorized as a "high risk pregnancy" (my first pregnancy was fine and my second - KNOCK WOOD - is also going great so far).
BASICALLY WHAT I AM SAYING is that thank you for this. There was so much I could related to in here - it sounds sexy and all, but it really is no fun to feel like an episode of House.
And I'm so glad, Laura, you had (have!) a supportive partner. My illness happened a few months before I was due to get married, and this guy spent weeks hooking up my feeding tubes, handing me spit cups, driving me to doctor's appointments, and just generally being amazing. It makes all the difference in the world.
@FlufferNutter We had a family friend die at 22 because of this. She was in nursing school and went in to the hospital with what she thought was meningitis. They sent her home, telling her it was...I don't remember what, something that obviously WASN'T meningitis, and she died that night.
Her parents ended up suing the hospital and settling, which brought its own issues. But it was awful.
@melis YES. WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW THAT ISN'T WATCHING NOW AND THEN?
@Emmettalie Snow White, and I LOVE it.
@Roxy Throatpunch A juvenile delinquent sneaks into your room and convinces you and your brothers to run away. You end up somewhere with no adults and some racism, being terrorized by a disabled military veteran. The juvenile delinquent also has a bitchy, jealous female companion, who almost dies. Everyone goes home, and the juvenile delinquent eventually sneaks into your daughter's room decades later.
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Oh man, I was totally going to say Peter Pan, but the croc isn't actually Hook's pet. Is he?
I've been trying to come up with something good for Peter Pan and can't get past "You are the oldest of three children with emotionally absent and neglectful parents who leave the dog in charge when they go out."
@all How is Fantastia not part of this discussion?
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Best.