As many of you know, my dad has been on quite a bumpy ride since this past Thanksgiving.
For new readers and those that maybe missed it, my father unexpectedly suffered a severe 6 mm intracranial brain hemorrhage. For normal, non-doctor folk, it is a bleed inside the brain. The build-up of blood in your head can lead to increases in intracranial pressure which can crush delicate brain tissue or limit its blood supply. Thus, memory is usually affected and depending on where the bleeding is, so can other bodily senses. I realize now that although I mentioned what happened on the blog, I never discussed the details of his condition.
Luckily, he was never in a coma and although the bleed was very large, they was no significant brain shift and he didn’t need an operation. He did suffer memory loss, mostly with names of nouns, and a little short term memory.
Although his bleeding went down significantly, we are not out of the woods yet. His memory improved since then, but its still not 100% and dont ask him to name any actors. Ever since this happened, I learned many family members from around the world started reading the blog to learn more about what happened. So I thought I’d do another interview with him (you may remember my first interview with him this past summer). Without further ado….
Me: So tell me what it first felt like when this whole story went down
Abba: I woke up, I didn’t feel well, and I had a pain on the left side of the head.
Me: How did you know it might be serious?
Abba: I didn’t think it was serious, I went to work
Me: So what convinced you to go to the emergency room?
Abba: Reyn (his collegue, who is a doctor), checked me and said we needed to go. I didn’t want to go at first.
Me: I know! It took us like a half an hour to convince you!
Abba: Really? I barely remember it.
Me: What was your first memory from the hospital?
Abba: When they told me I may have surgery.
Me: Did you understand what was going on?
Abba: Not really, they told me I have something in the brain that needs to be operated.
Me: What was it like being the ICU?
Abba: Its like you get full time treatment, nurse was their every hour.
Me: How have you changed?
Abba: I appreciate all the support I got, from you, close friends, everybody was really very supportive. People I barely know pitched in. I’m less specific now, more general. I’m at home most of the time. I still have difficulty reading and its difficult for me to concentrate.
Me: How do you want to change your lifestyle habits?
Abba: Lifestyle habits? I want to exercise, eat more organized, drink less, not like I [drank] before.
Me: What would you tell to someone who is going through a brain hemorrhage?
Abba: To think positively, think about the hope for healing. Fear takes you into the wrong direction.
There you have it. I can’t imagine what its like to have my memory be messed with. I’m sure its weird not feeling like yourself and irritating that you are not as strong and independent as you used to be. He had pains in his body which we are still try to figure out where its coming from and if its related to the hemorrhage. But mentally, he feels better. But he feels weak and “weird” (his words) and a little impatient about his recovery. I think he misses the old him and wants to be there right now. Maybe that’s why they call them “patience”. Sometimes, time is the best medicine. Second to laughter, of course.
Do you have any questions for my dad? Or for me about what happened? Maybe I’ll answer them in a future post.
And in case you didn’t get a whopping dose of chocolate yesterday, then this should cure your chocolate craving….
you will need:
1 cup all-purpose flour (or for a good gluten free version, try it with 1/2 c oatmeal with 1/2 c brown or white rice flour)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar or fake sugar substitute
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2/3 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons white chocolate chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°.Line cookie sheet with parchment or spray/grease the sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Lastly, add in cranberries and chocolate chips.
The dough is very play dough like so its easy to just roll it into a nice ball. Make a dough ball and set it about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven; cool on pans for 5 minutes. Its not too sweet with just the right amount of slight tartness from the cranberries and slight bitterness of the dark cocoa powder. Divine.