My journey in a new direction

Has your world ever been turned up-side down?

Posted by BarbaraZ on December 13, 2011

Not Always What It Seems

Down becomes up and up becomes down. Sure wish I had a bit of a warning. At thing moment, I will be turning to the wisdom I have found through the numerous bloggers on the web. I was trying to be a good net-worker, but have dropped off.

I have learned a bit about my middle ear and the importance it plays in my life, my physical balance. I even wrote an article for Helium about the vestibular system of which it is a part of.The body is an amazing thing and at times various parts are injured, become diseased, have to be removed etc.

Well, some where withing my semicircular canals, a problem has developed. I underwent a most fascinating test, where I had to wear these space aged goggles and by means of a computer, the tech did different things with lights, asking me to look at, or follow the lights etc. I then had the cold water treatment, where they put cold water in your ear and watch via the goggles how your eyes react.

Now the fancy words regarding the final Impressions.

There is evidence of significant peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Unilateral weakness denotes a lesion involving the horizontal semicircular canal or its afferent pathways on the side of the weaker response.

There is evidence of a significant central vestibular dysfunction. Defective pursuit denotes a CNS lesion. Bilateral or symmetric defective pursuits imply  dysfunction of the cerebellum, striate cortex or brainstem. Asymmetric or reduced optokinetic nystagmus in the context of either abnormal pursuits or saccades denotes a central vestibular lesion. This may be consistent with an oculomotor disturbance.

Now what I want to know, what is it that can cause a lesion in an area so far in. How did these things happen on the inside of the head? Anatomy fascinates me and I am truly puzzled!

On to the next discovery

The doctor ordered an MRI of the brain, with and without contrast. Even the music could not drown out the rhythm of that machine. The noise never bothered me any way. The results of the MRI showed the following (in their language):

There is a small 2 x 4 mm focus of decreased T1 and increased T2 FLAIR signal within the posterior midline of the pons. This does not show suspicious enhancement or restricted diffusion. This is suggestive for a small chronic pontine lacunar infarct. In plain English there are signs of small TIA also known as transient ischemic attack and even more simply put… mini strokes!

How can I have a stroke, no matter how small and not be aware of it, much less several.

What do I do now?

Well, I have to take all that I have learned and put it into perspective.

I visited Han of Harmony and his post: How to Manage the Tao of a Situation.

1. Define Goals: become aware, I need to see things clearly.
2. Identify Challenges, seeing what may become an obstacle. Know my strengths and weaknesses. I must learn to focus my efforts according to their priority.
3. Create Solutions: Look closely and seek solutions, become aware of the choices out there. Look to others for help if needed.
4. Execution of Plan:j Do more than just think about it! Put it all in motion!

I found some more wisdom by Mary Jaksch on her site, Goodlife Zen

When we see a wilting plant, we know what to do. We water it.

But when we are exhausted and stressed, it’s often difficult to recover.

The problem is that the exhaustion many of us suffer from can’t be fixed by a holiday at the beach, or a visit to a day-spa. Because it’s not just our body that’s exhausted, it’s our soul.

Then I visited Christopher Foster.

Aging does bring challenges, but it is how we approach them that makes a difference.
I find in my own experience that a “childlike” attitude toward aging helps me approach this rite of passage that comes to us all with an open mind and heart.

It helps me discover that rather than being a negative experience, aging can be a door to greater meaning and happiness, a greater experience of my true potential.  Who’d have thought it?

I got the next quote from UnLock the Door written by Stuart Mills

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And Today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” – Babatunde Olatunji

This quote is the beginning of my new journey. I cannot change what has happened, but I sure can do something about how I face the future. It will unfold as it comes. I plan on being aware of all that happens, deciding on priorities,  looking for solutions, and keeping my spirit childlike. I will take great care to nourish the both my body and spirit.

Irene’s waves for Florida

I will set myself down by the ocean and listen to the music of the waves as they come ashore. Coming in, they bring me new energy and on their way out, they take away the frustrations, the pain I feel.

12 Responses to “Has your world ever been turned up-side down?”

  1. Guess said

    Lots and lots of people have mini strokes and don’t notice at all. Do not waste time worrying about that. Instead, I advise you to continue what you are doing – finding meaning, and, hopefully following the doctor’s instructions regarding coping with current issues and preventing future occurrences. :) You are an AMAZING person and I am glad I know you.

    • BarbaraZ said

      You know, I am aware of this, having worked in the ER once upon a time, but when it suddenly is placed at your own doorstep, it sort of jumps up at you. I am on Christmas break and will be taking steps to regain energy, balance, etc. Now that I know what is what, it is easier to see the direction to go and what must be done. I love life, and have too much I want to accomplish yet…. Thanks for stopping by and cheering me on.

      PS… send the rain back your way, we have had enough!!

  2. ElleMarie said

    Barb, I admire the lovely way you view challenges. Your positive spin on life is contagious. I am blessed to have walked part of my journey with you and you continue to inspire me through your words, your photos and your soft, generous spirit. Sending you warm thoughts and prayers.

    • BarbaraZ said

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. I know the journey you are traveling is not the easiest. Keep me up to date! Take Care

  3. Nora said

    You know, I just read somewhere that sleep apnea can cause damage to the brain (of course, I couldn’t tell you where I read it since I myself have sleep apnea). I wonder if this had anything to do with it.

    You have a great response to such devestating news. I feel truly blessed to know you. Keep posting and learning despite all the trip-meisters life puts in your way.

    • BarbaraZ said

      Nora, strokes are one of the things sleep apnea can cause. Mine are mini and I will do my best to keep them that way, by faithfully using my CPAP etc. Got my numbers down, just not as much energy as I would like. Starting some exercise and balance exercises now that I am on Christmas break.

      Thanks for visiting and for the nice comments! Following everyone on FB.

  4. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for referring to me here, and leading me to what is a very intelligent post. Forgive me if I step out of line here, but I found this article to be incredibly fascinating, engrossing, and touching – all at the same time. This is a rare accomplishment for even a seasoned writer.

    I love learning more about how the human body and mind work. I’m currently reading a book called “The Introvert Advantage”, which explains in depth what introverts and extroverts truly are (in scientific terms), and how they and their brains operate in this world. I always knew I had introverted qualities, but I never thought of myself as an ‘introvert’, until I started reading this book. I’ve learned more about myself from this book than I could from 10 generic self-help books.

    In other words, our bodies and minds are fascinating works of art, and the more we know about ourselves, the more we know about life. Your journey will continue Barbara, as will mine – the fun is in finding out more and more :-)

    • BarbaraZ said

      I take your comment as a beautiful compliment, Stuart. I just write off the top of my head… what I feel, how I react to things. Yes, I do explore ideas to learn more. If I had not been so afraid of needles, I would have followed my mother into the nursing profession.

      “In other words, our bodies and minds are fascinating works of art, and the more we know about ourselves, the more we know about life.” Yes, and how we are most able to face life… knowing our skills, strengths and weaknesses.

      The body, the ever so exact balance that is needed for proper functioning, the structure, how it all moves in sync… is amazing. It is up to us to get to know our bodies, to listen to what it is saying to us, so we can understand the most efficient way to care for it and if needed to repair it.

  5. This was indeed a fascinating post on many levels. In my meditation training lately we have been focusing on the contemplation topic “Everything is impermanent.” That has certainly been true for me this year where everything got turned around and upside down, figuratively, that is. You have been dealing with this on the figurative and literal levels–double whammy. Thank you so much for sharing this story and for sharing the wisdom you found on other blogs.

    • BarbaraZ said

      Thank you for your response, Galen. It is important to find inner peace with meditation, but I am also aware of a turning inward. That is not good. I need to keep touch with the world around me, with friends etc. My problem is definitely not the worse there is, but it hit me by surprise and knocked my feet out from under me.

  6. some of those blogs you mentioned has also given me lots of inspiration for my own writing, and also recovering from major depression. my world turned upside down because of that. and I’m glad it did turn upside down. because now I finally remember that I LOVE writing, and instead of being stuck in a corporate (i dont regret that experience tho), i’m more equipped in my mental power to go for what I love doing instead :)
    Noch Noch

    • BarbaraZ said

      Noch Noch.. glad you have been able to turn your world around. Congrats on not using the
      blackberry for 300 days (visited your site) Technology can be great, but it can also take over our lives. I have a smartphone, but do not use it to its full potential.

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