Showing posts with label stroke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stroke. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Strokie Joe No Go

For anyone who's been seeing me post recently who thought, hey wait, I thought he was gonna be in brain surgery, my operation has been postponed until October 26. One feature of Canada's health system is that those in greater need can bump others. I'm sure this is a feature of even more privately funded systems, since triage is a fundamental principle in all health care as far as I know.

I was not given a reason; I'm assuming somebody with a more urgent need for a neurosurgeon got my spot; although I'm disappointed, if that person had been someone I loved I would have said, "hell yeah, bump that rantwick guy".

Anyway, October 26 is the new date to expect this blog to go silent for a bit.

Yer Pal,


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,


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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Catching Up

July 18? That can't be the last time I posted here! Holy crap, man! I mean, like, I stopped posting for a while and Donald Fucking Trump got elected President of the United States of America. W T F. PREVIOUSLY POSTED POLITICAL RANT REDACTED.

When I originally posted this I was a little more judgy and ranty than usual. There's plenty of bad vibe political stuff out there and I really don't need to be piling on like that, so sorry. More than ever, I think I need to revert to my usual cycle joy joy ways. Also, I will try to remember that a few beers go a lot further than they used to with me these days, if you catch my drift.

Speaking of things we don't speak of, however, I had a stroke about eight months ago that I swore I wouldn't mention again. I remain committed to not making this blog about stroke, but as many of my readers may have figured at the time, I won't be able to talk about myself (the single most important human ever) without talking about stroke. Mine was a hemorrhagic, not ischemic, which makes me a stroke weirdo, really. Anything I have to say doesn't apply to most stroke victims.

When I went into rehab, my singlemost important goal was riding again. I'm doing it on a regular basis now and have been since mid summer, but it drains me in a way it never did before. That said, I still love it and continue to ride as much as I can, usually to work and back on my new super duper bike of sick obsessive buildy love.

I've got some overdue pics of The King and some video I hope to post soon, but for now I hope it is enough that I've touched base. If you're reading this, I Love  You. If you're reading this and have read this blog before, I Love You Even More

Yer Pal,

Friday, April 22, 2016

We Shall Not Speak Of This Again

Hi all! I have the BEST excuse for not writing ever. I had a stroke! Honest to god, yer pal RANTWICK had a scary incident involving a brain hemorrhage in his cerebellum. Your cerebellum is at the bottom, right behind the brain stem, which in my case was in danger from the bleed; I was super lucky to live through it. I am even luckier that a full recovery is likely, although it may take some time.

One reason things look good is that I'm 46 years old, which is young for a Strokie Joe. Strokie Joe is my new nickname around the house. My balance and motor skills with my arms have been affected such that cycling as a rehab goal may be possible by late summer. We shall see. At first my speech was halting and slurred, but it is almost back to normal now, so who knows, maybe it'll be sooner.

I had my stroke on March 29 under the best of circumstances. My wife and I were together at home and an ambulance took me to the best hospital in the COUNTRY for strokes, University Hospital at Western University in London Ontario. The level of competent care and compassion I got there still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. I was there for 9 days. There was no findable cause for any of this. Scary, right?

I wasn't kidding with the title of this post. I wanted my online friends to know what happened, but I don't want this blog to be about this stuff at all. There are plenty of good online sources of online information and discussion about brain and rehab stuff. If you want to engage on those topics I recommend you try those. If, on the other hand, you have an appetite for the random ravings of an affable bike freak, I'm still yer man. My faculties, while still "special" as ever, have not been affected.

You can expect the next post to be a return to form. It may be about wheels or video or headsets, but definitely not heads. Well, I guess it could be about heads; I never really know. But not my head. Nuh-uh.

Yer Pal,