Thursday, May 30, 2013

I have an appointment for Botox on July 9, 2013. Yay.

I have an appointment on July 9, 2013 for Botox.  Just the right hand.  My leg has flexion, but it's too far gone. It's 13 years.  I have my WalkAide, four-pronged cane and I walk a lot. Two out of one ain't bad. I have flexion in my hand, just a little bit. No claw-hand, it bends and it's loose. The fingers are not rigid.

Dr. Marti Haykin fired some questions at me; the date and time and place. It's hard to think sometimes but I responded. The doctor had a bag of tricks, "and, if and but", it's hard as hell (pardon me).  I can't do this...I have a brain freeze.  The brain catches up, but, the thought process is skewed.  Stroke survivors? You know what I'm talking about. I'm little bit aphasic.  Well, a lot.

Good news, though. I breezed threw with flying colors, "and, if and but", with no problem at all. I'm a overachiever, have to, have to, have to do it.  In the comfort of my home, unconstrained, the words come. I'm excited, anticipation, you know?

The stethoscope revealed funky arteries in the neck, on my left side. I related Dr. William Weisel, family practice, noted obscure arteries for long, long time, faint arteries. I went to the hospital in Oct. '09 for a (magnetic resonance imaging) MRI and checked out fine, completely negative.  Ditto for the Doppler carotid in Oct., 2012, negative. In my opinion, (my humble opinion) look to the source of the problem. Is it the brain (Yikes.) or more? I dunno.

On a lighter note, I invested in a Mac Pro, Time Capsule and Pages. Now it's the hard part...I have no idea what I'm doing.  I have no back-up system and that's frightening. Pages is a plus. I'm a writer sort of; a poor writer, and I keep pluggin' away. MacBook is ancient, '08? Something is wrong with the Mail and Safari (internet).

Baby steps.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Take Two Botox and Call Me in the Morning. My claw-arm and my right knee are dead in the water, although WalkAide helps. I had a catastrophic massive stroke 13 years ago. Go figure.

I need Botox. Now.

My claw-arm and my right knee are dead in the water, although WalkAide helps. The peroneal nerve lifts the foot electronically. It's a cattle prod, essentially. The left hand does everything from cooking froot loops and deep-friedTwinkies and to open the mail for snarky politicians, one-handed yet. The left appendage goes for wood in the garage. I'm an excellent woodburner-fire-builder, again one-hand. My right-hand sits there, confused.

The right hand and foot has feeling. My fingers work, minimally. My brain knows fore and aft, back and forth; my hand has flexion. Ditto for my leg.  Watch the video.  Botox relaxes the muscles. A mini-Baclofen; simplistic I know, but you get the drift.

I'm 65, I had a catastrophic massive stroke 13 years ago. Aphasic and mute, my blood pressure was 68/23, my right arm and leg were non-existent and basically I didn't know my name. Not good. On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1999 in Allegheny General Hospital at Pittsburgh, I lay in supraventricular tachycardia as fast as 220 beats per minute and a stroke to boot. I believe it's mercury fillings, but that's a another story.

The doctors shipped me off to Allegheny General via Frick Hospital (Excela).  At the time of transfer, I took, among others, low-dose Dopamine. Dopamine controls the brain's reward and pleasures center, I took an IV Levaquin to fight bacterial the body and, hey, where's the heparin for thinning the blood? Nary a warfarin. And the blood pressure medications? Where is it? Mighty strange. But I'm no doctor.

In retrospect, Frick's OK. A stroke is a stroke is a stroke. Nothing changes that; it's done. Doom. My son, Jeffrey, transferred to Pittsburgh. He meant well, but I couldn't speak at all in Frick. Nada, nyet, tout. Frightening.

Before the stroke I ran, a non-smoker, I was a drinker (Chivas Regal and Absolut) and I detested medication. After the accident, a myriad of drugs existed from aspirin, Lopressor, Calan, the insidous warfarin (I'm off that), simivastatin (I'm off that) and a host meds.  Simivastatin (Zocor-cholesterol) makes me crazy...funky joint pains in my calf muscles and a general feeling of weakness. Side effects. My cholesterol is 275. No processed's Franken-food. (I'm kidding about loops and Twinkies.)

Today, I take aspirin (81 mg.), metaprolol (Lopressor), 25 mg. in the morning and evening, vitamin D-3 1000 mg, krill oil 300 mg, and Chlorella. It's a micro-algae for mercury.

I'm tired of my left hand and leg. Crib notes at the ready, I'm calling the neurologist. I'm a little bit aphasic, well, a lot aphasic. Crib notes are handy for words, phrases and sentences. After the stroke I was a blank slate, a one-word answers. For example: food, bathroom, mail, TV, etc. Slowly but surely I graduated to sentences. Hence, I have crib notes, a "coach", me, extracting words. Kind of a script. In the evening, when I'm tired, a revert back to the blank slate. Lights on, but nobody's home. Without question, I'm aphasic.

"I'm Mickie Roller. I want Botox."  The crib notes are succinct and effective; a script.

Louis W. Catalano, MD is an neurologist in Greensburg, PA and the three physicians, a man and two women, comprised the Neurological Institute of Western Pennsylvania. I had an appointment for May 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM, my doctor is Marti Haykin, MD.  She's board-certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

The manager informed me the package of information, the social security, where I live, and most important, the insurance. I have Keystone Blue and Medicare.  Medicare is murky, Medicare doesn't cover Botox. For example, hypothetically, I'm 30 years old. Keystone Blue covers Botox. Whoopie. End of story.

I'm 65. Medicare serves as an umbrella, a filter, as it were; bed pans, walkers, blood tests, specifically, Botox is not covered. Keystone Blue, in conjunction with Medicare, is not covered. Keystone Blue supersedes Medicare. I told you it's obscure. Ah, Medicare.

I called Botox. The Botox patient assistance program helps financially eligible patients receive the Botox treatment they need.  (1-800-44-BOTOX, Option 4, Mon.-Fri. 9 am to 8 pm ET) I looked on the internet; probably $1500 +/-.

Stay tuned for May 29 I'm ready. I'm excited.