Monday, September 11, 2017

Strokie Joe Now Knows Mo - AVM

Some of my regulars would know that I had a stroke about a year and a half ago. That's why, especially when I'm being clumsy or dizzy or whatever, my family (myself included) calls me Strokie Joe. I still experience more fatigue and headaches than an un-stroked-out person, but otherwise I am back to normal. My bike rides are getting longer and more frequent; life in general is good.


The other Strokie Joe, in the Sno befo, but not no mo.


One thing that has always bugged us was that we had no clear reason for my stroke. Until now! The radiologists assigned to my case were not content to let clear MRIs even a year later dissuade them from looking harder, with an Angiogram. Wouldn't you know it, they found the cause of my stroke, an Ateriovenous Malformation, or AVM, in my cerebellum where the bleed causing my stroke was. An AVM is basically a congenital birth defect (not hereditary, thankfully) where you get Arteries dumping straight into Veins without the usual Capillaries in between. Sooner or later these things usually bleed, which was the cause of my stroke.

The bad news is that if left alone, my AVM could quite possibly bleed again and kill me. The good news is that it is quite operable and a neurosurgeon is going to take the sucker out. With a successful surgery, I will never have to worry about another stroke from this thing. The damage from my stroke will not be undone, but like I said, life is good so that's fine.

My surgery is currently scheduled for October 2. It is full blown day-long, knocked out, hole in yer skull kind of surgery involving a couple of months recovery time. Honestly, I can't wait. Just one hurdle and the Rantwick family can leave all this behind. The way I see it, I was lucky to live through my stroke, lucky to recover very well and now I'm lucky to have a permanent fix on the near horizon. Since I'm writing for an audience largely based in the States, I am also incredibly lucky to live in Canada, where questions of who's going to pay for this don't really come up. I'm scared, for sure, but feel way more lucky than anything else.

As I've stated before, I don't want this blog to be about stroke or AVMs, so my next post will be cycling related for sure. Cycling, particularly those longer rides when you fall into the joyjoy rhythm of the bike and feel like you could pedal forever, remains the best brain tonic available



When I stop posting for a bit come October, cross your fingers, say a prayer, howl at the moon or whatever the hell you like if you think it will help, and I will update everyone as soon as I am able. 

Yer Pal,



R A N T W I C K

PS - Yes, that is a heavily modified Homer head and yes, I am fully aware this gag is stolen.

12 comments:

Jon said...

My thoughts are with you. Here's to a successful surgery and a long happy life, after!

RANTWICK said...

Hey thanks Jon, I'll toast to that!

cafiend said...

Wishing you the best.

RANTWICK said...

Thanks man.

doug rogers said...

Hey. Be well.

RANTWICK said...

Thanks Doug, I'm confident I will.

Pondero said...

Best wishes from the north Texas prairie! I guess the surgery is like pushing up a climb, but the descent is going to be a blast! Happy you have a good path forward.

Bonniellama said...

Good news for sure!!! Best wishes for a speedy recovery my friend and we really hope to see you in the very near future!!

RANTWICK said...

Thanks Pondero and Llama!

Steve A said...

It's good to hear you won't replicate Oldfool's experience. Of course, while death and taxes are inevitable, at least the former will only occur once and won't constantly increase.

RANTWICK said...

I feel bad; I've not been following Oldfool and don't know/remember his experience...

John said...

Warm wishes, healing thoughts and prayers.

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