Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Mini Stroke" or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Just thought I would bring some information to light that some people might not be aware of (up until yesterday, this included me). I got this information from WebMd, and I think it's a very good thing to know. AND, for future reference, if for some reason someone I care about (like a parent, for example) were to have a TIA, I would like to know. Please contact me...and not a week later.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - Topic Overview

What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

Some people call a transient ischemic attack (TIA) a mini-stroke, because the symptoms are like those of a stroke but do not last long. A TIA happens when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked or reduced, often by a blood clot. After a short time, blood flows again and the symptoms go away. With a stroke, the blood flow stays blocked, and the brain has permanent damage.

A TIA is a warning: It means you are likely to have a stroke in the future. If you think you are having a TIA, call 911. Early treatment can help prevent a stroke. If you think you have had a TIA but your symptoms have gone away, you still need to call your doctor right away.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of a TIA come on suddenly.
· One side of your body may feel numb, tingly, or heavy.
· You may not be able to move your arm, your leg, or your face on one side of your body.
· Things may look blurry or dim. You may have double vision or not be able to see.
· It may be hard to speak. You may slur or mix up your words.
· It may be hard to understand words.
· You may feel unsteady, dizzy, or clumsy. You may have trouble walking.

What causes a transient ischemic attack?

A blood clot is the most common cause of a TIA. Blood clots can be the result of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis, heart attack, or abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia). Brain cells are affected within seconds of the blockage. That causes symptoms in the parts of the body controlled by those cells. Once the clot dissolves, blood flow returns, and the symptoms go away.

Sometimes a TIA is caused by a sharp drop in blood pressure that reduces blood flow to the brain. This is called a "low-flow" TIA. It is not as common as other types.

What tests do I need after a TIA?

Your doctor will do tests to look at your heart and blood vessels. You may need:
· Tests that show pictures of your brain and blood vessels, such as a CT scan, MRI, magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA), or a cardiac catheterization and coronary angiogram.
· A test that uses sound to check your blood flow (doppler ultrasound).
· An echocardiogram to check your heart's shape and its blood flow.
· An electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) to measure your heart rhythm.
Your doctor will also check to see if something else is causing your symptoms.

How is it treated?

Your doctor will start you on medicines to help prevent a stroke. You may need to take several medicines. If tests show that the blood vessels in your neck are too narrow, you may need surgery to open them up (carotid endarterectomy). This can help prevent blood clots that block blood flow to your brain. Another type of surgery is carotid artery stenting. During this surgery, the doctor puts a small tube called a stent inside your carotid artery. This helps keep the artery open. Carotid artery stenting is not as common as endarterectomy.

You can do a lot to reduce your chance of having another TIA or a stroke. Medicines can help, but you may need to make lifestyle changes too. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
· If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible.
· Take a daily aspirin or other medicines, if your doctor advises it.
· Take your medicines just as your doctor says to.
· Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, high-fiber grains and breads, and olive oil.
· Get some exercise on most, preferably all, days of the week.
· Stay at a healthy weight.
· If you smoke, quit. Avoid secondhand smoke too.
· Limit alcohol. Having more than 2 drinks a day raises the risk of stroke.
· Avoid getting sick from the flu. Get a flu shot every year.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What A NIGHT!!!! (Friday night that is.....)

If you're REALLY attentive and happened to notice what time I'm blogging this, you're probably wondering what in the world I'm doing up at this hour. And if you know me really well, you KNOW that I'm not a night owl. Well, there's a GOOD reason I'm up right now. I picked up Jordan from work around 1:30 and drove home (which takes about 10 minutes). Well, we turned on Barkley Street and noticed the headlights of a car coming towards us (no big deal, it happens all the time)...BUT...what's that sound? The horn constantly blaring? So, my first thought is a flashback to Lorne working in Boise and telling me how he rigged his boss's horn up to the brakes so that every time he touched the brakes the horn would go off. It was funny for about 1/2 a second, until I realized the guy was accelerating, and NOT stepping on his brakes. We continued on, then turned onto Barkley Circle. Well, horn guy turned and started following us. By this time, I started to wonder what in the world was going on, and was starting to worry a little bit. We kept watching him in the rear view mirror to make sure he wasn't following us ALL THE WAY home, but he pulled off to the side of the road and parked. I continued on and then we parked and went inside. We heard that the horn was still going, so Jordan grabbed a flashlight and a pair of pliers and headed out the door.

I took the dogs out back to potty and was out there 5 or so minutes and when I came in I looked for Jordan, but he wasn't there. He was still outside. I finally went into our bedroom to put away the laundry that we had on our bed, and while I was doing that Jordan finally came in and told me how the guy down the road REAKED of alcohol. When Jordan (and the neighbor) went over to figure out what was gong on, they noticed the front of the guys truck was smashed like he'd hit something, the guy was OBVIOUSLY intoxicated, and both airbags had deployed. The guy started to give them a line about how he'd just hit a curb and was just going to park his truck and go in his house (the one he parked in front of), which turned into a friend's house, and then might have just been a stranger.... Then the guy mentioned how his airbags had been deployed all night, and it wasn't a recent thing and on and on and on, and Jordan could tell the guy was full of crap and his story was constantly changing. The one constant that stayed the same, was the part about how he was supposed to graduate from OU in December and so he didn't need a DUI and if the cops came he would "have to run". Jordan mentioned that the cops WOULD find him since they would have two witnesses to what the guy looked like, what he was wearing and which direction he took off on foot (because he obviously couldn't drive). The guy kept saying that if Jordan called the cops JORDAN was going to get him in trouble and it was going to be JORDAN'S FAULT he got into trouble. Well, since the guy had obviously hit something other than a curb, and they had no idea if it was a car, house, a PERSON or just what, Jordan KNEW he had to call the police. Once the police showed up, that's when Jordan came into the house.

So, Jordan and I finish sorting and putting away the laundry while he filled me in on all of the details. By this time, we're pretty much awake, so Jordan decided to play a game on the Xbox 360, and I thought I would sit there and watch him for a little while (being the supportive wife that I am). Well, while we're sitting there, all is fine and normal, when all of a sudden, we hear what sounds like could have been something LARGE thrown at our living room windows, or something exploded, or ??????? We have no idea, but it was LOUD and it was VERY close by. So, my mind immediately goes to horn guy (Jordan and I were apparently thinking the same thing--we found this out later) and Jordan opens the blinds and says that there's something on FIRE outside. So we're both thinking that horn guy for some reason DID NOT go to jail, is ticked off, and is vandalizing the house and/or our possessions on the back patio. Well, we open the door and go out there to see a HUGE fire behind our back fence.

There was a pile of weeds/brush back there that someone had been cutting down the past month or so, and apparently someone lit it on fire. WAIT, it gets better. They decided that they really wanted it to start on fire, so they were lighting it with an AEROSOL can. Yes folks, that's how smart these college kids are around here at 3 am and beers have happened.

Of course they don't want to get in trouble, so they are out there hosing it down as fast as they can. Jordan went back to find out just what as going on, and I was trying to kennel the dogs so I could go see too. Well, after I finally get 3 in their kennels (Molly DID NOT want to be caught) I went out to the back and I hear a couple of neighbors yelling over their fences asking what in the world is going on, etc. Jerry (our next door neighbor) was out in his yard talking to Jordan and investigating as well, when he noticed a fire truck up front driving around looking for the fire. So Jerry and I ran up to the front and I shined my flashlight at the firemen (by the time I got there they were about 4 houses down talking to some people that had gathered outside). We told them the fire was behind our houses and the 2 firemen followed me into the backyard where Jordan filled them in on what he knew, and the guys went over our fence to see what the deal was. We heard the firemen asking the guy what was going on and the guy was of course downplaying it. The fireman asking the questions mentioned that SOMETHING was definitely going on, and it was more than just lighting some weeds because they were having calls coming in from a SIX BLOCK radius complaining about the explosion they heard.

At this point, Jordan and I figured that they didn't need us for anything else, and headed back inside. Of course, neither one of us were all that sleepy now, so Jordan started playing his game again, and I decided to share our wild night with YOU!!! Crazy Stuff people!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Family Reunion

Okay, so I'm finally getting around to posting something. Hopefully I'll catch you all up with everything in the next few posts. This attempt, as noted in the title, will be to update you on my family reunion.

The Thomas family reunion was scheduled for a campground in Idaho City (Idaho) this year. Jordan and I both wanted to attend, but since we're driving a Camry, have 4 dogs, and not enough room for 4 dogs, 2 adults and 4 dog kennels in our car (no, we're not going to show up without our dog kennels) we pretty much knew that there was no way that we were going to be able to drive up for the reunion. (We also found out that the campground does not allow dogs, and we didn't want the family to incur any additional penalties for us bringing them there.) So, Jordan stayed home with all the kids and I flew off to Idaho. I headed out of Oklahoma City and flew into Denver then on to Idaho.

Here's a couple pics just after my take-off in Oklahoma City.

Notice all the red? It's the dirt! Oklahoma dirt is mostly red!

Here's a couple I took when I was soaring above the clouds...
(literally above the clouds.....................I wasn't on drugs)

Denver has brown dirt...

Denver again...

I got in to Boise on Sunday the 10th. My little sister Jamie and her family came and picked me up. It was really cool to see them all since it's been just about 14 months since I'd seen them. My little sister and her husband were pretty much the same (not that many adults change THAT much in a year). Her little girl was a lot bigger, cuter and sweeter, so that was nice to get to see her. She is absolutely adorable. AND, she seemed really helpful with her little brother (who was not quite 2 weeks old when we moved out to Oklahoma).

Here's Jamie's baby boy Keegan with my oldest brother Robbie's youngest son Seth
(Hopefully that made sense to you....)

Here's Kali...she'd been running and playing with Keegan and was gracious enough to pause for a moment to say cheese and let me take her picture. -She totally hams it up for the camera. I love it!

Jamie trying to keep her sanity while chasing after 2 kids (waiting on Dad, Mom and I to arrive a couple hours after we said we would) and also being 6 months pregnant I might add. I think she looks pretty dang good! What a sweet little mommy my baby sister has become.

Cell phone pic of Jamie's husband Jeff...
(I told him to smile so I had a pic of him that came up when he called me.... This is what I got.... Not that Jeff ever calls, but still!)

Baby Keegan again

Applesauce faced Keegan

Keegan likes corn on the cob....

Anyhoo, they took me to Parma to my parent's house where I was able to see my younger brother Brandon, my older brother Lorne and his family (wife Amy and kids Bodhi and Taylor), my older brother Robbie and his kids Jake, Matison and Seth. My dad showed up later that night too (he's been working and living in Wyoming--he's an electrician for a company out of Utah and that's where they had a contract at, so that's where they sent my dad).

The newest look of my parent's house (front view)

My oldest brother Robbie

Robbie's youngest, Seth

Robbie's only daughter, Matison (aka Mattie)

My dad

My mom

Amy (at Red Robin)

The family reunion was Monday thru Thursday. Since dad had just gotten home, mom and dad did errands and stuff on Monday, and I pretty much just hung out around my parents and was happy to just do whatever. Tuesday we went up to the reunion and spent a couple hours, Wednesday we drove back up there and stayed the night since we were in charge of breakfast Thursday morning. Thursday morning dad got up and made breakfast before mom and I got up to do anything, so we were pretty much just there for moral support. -I didn't mind.

Here are a couple of pics I took on the way back to Boise after we left the campground in Idaho City.

Thursday night I stayed with my in-laws and had dinner with everyone there, which again, was nice to see everyone since Jordan's brother & his wife had a baby about a month before we moved down here and she was a whopping 6 pounds. She's gotten a lot bigger, cuter and sweeter (I think all the kids did) as well as Jordan's sister's 2 boys as well. It was a fun night being able to visit, and the two boys stayed with Gram and Grandpa (and thus me as well). It was nice being able to reconnect with the boys, but wish I could've spent more time with Ruby. I really miss all of them.




Jimmy, Kai, Allissa and Beckett

Me, Jimmy, Kai, Allissa and Beckett


Here is the picture that Beckett decided he needed to take of me.....

Grandpa Thiel (Grandma was running around taking care of stuff like normal)


Ruby and her Daddy Mike

Ruby and Mike again

Mom Karen, Ruby and Daddy Mike

Me, Ruby, Karen and Mike

Friday I had a meeting to go to, but after that I met up with my mom Diane. We had breakfast around 9:30 with Lorne, Amy, Bodhi, Taylor and Amy's mom and stepdad (Tina & Ron) because Lorne and his family were going to head back to San Diego. We ate and had a nice meal visiting, then went out in the parking lot and talked for another 20 or so minutes while we took a bunch of pictures.
Speaking of pictures.....

Here's Taylor at Breakfast.

And Bodhi at Breakfast

And Lorne at Breakfast (I didn't have one of Amy at Breakfast because she was sitting right next to me and I was busy talking to her the whole time....)

Here's a bunch of the pics that we took outside the restaurant.

Bodhi and I
(That little sneak gave me bunny ears!!!!)

Lorne and I

Lorne and I again


Me, Mom and Lorne

Lorne, Amy, Bodhi, and Taylor

Lorne and Amy

Taylor and I

Amy and I

(Taylor took this photo...pretty good, eh?)

Tina, Ron, Bodhi and Taylor

Tina, Amy, Ron, Bodhi and Taylor

Me, Mom, Lorne, Taylor and Bodhi

Me, Mom and Lorne

Bodhi and Taylor

Bodhi and Taylor again
(Bodhi NOT inadvertantly covering Taylor's face this time)

Bodhi and I

Taylor, Me and Bodhi

Bodhi, Grandma Diane and Taylor

After breakfast mom and I did some shopping then went back to her house so she could perm my hair. -Yes, I'm THAT cheap that I waited until I was in Idaho so I could have my mom perm my hair and I only had to spend $10 (my hair is long so I had to buy 2 perms to do all of it).

Here's the cell phone picture of me that I had my mom take so I could send it to Jordan (I wanted him to be the first one to see my new hair).

One thing that was out of the ordinary that happened while I was home, was that after I got to Parma on Sunday, I got to see my younger brother Brandon for about 10 minutes before he went to the ER and was admitted because he had severe abdominal pain, was running a fever and hadn't eaten much in the week prior to my arrival. While in the hospital, they scanned and prodded and poked and questioned Brandon, and finally arrived at the conclusion that Brandon had a pin-sized hole in his intestine/colon that had developed from all of the antibiotics and medicines that he has to take. So, needless to say, Brandon had to have surgery, and was in the hospital the entire time I was in Idaho (except for those first 10 minutes). Brandon was doing SO MUCH better before I got back home, so don't worry about him. (And don't you just love his wife Nykki's new haircut??? -She's so cute!!)

Brandon just chillin' at St. Luke's

The Cute Couple....

Gotta have one with big sis!

And one with mom too!
(And no, mom wasn't mad, I just caught her during a blink)

Dr. Brandon
(Had the mask on so he could walk around without getting some infection)

I feel like I should also mention that while Brandon was in the hospital, and Nykki was still in California working, their sweet little dog Lucky was staying at my parent's house. And, since I obviously love dogs, and I was missing mine terribly, and Lucky's mommy and daddy weren't around, he was my pal the whole time I was there. -I even let him sleep on the bed with me and bought him some toys. He really is a sweet, well behaved, fun-loving dog.

Here's Lucky in the car


Lucky again

I flew back to Oklahoma on Monday the 18th (and I'm half retarded, in case you didn't know, so when I was booking my flight back home I didn't pay attention to where the flight left Boise around 6:00 P.M., which then didn't get me flying back into OKC until just after midnight!!!) Anyhoo, I flew out of Boise around 6:00, then into Denver around 8:00 and then on to OKC.

Here's a little bit of Boise as I was flying back to Denver.

These were taken between Boise and Denver, but I'm not exactly sure where we were. Irregardless, we weren't in FLAT ol' Oklahoma yet...

Here's the beginning of a Denver sunset. -For all of you Oklahoman's out there, that's what we like to call a MOUNTAIN that's peeking through the clouds.... he he he.....

And here's the Denver sunset that greeted me as I arrived.

When the plane was about 45-50 minutes outside of Oklahoma City we started getting into some turbulance. When we were about 30 minutes away from landing there was enough turbulance (rain and lightning too) that the pilot turned on the seatbelt sign and made everyone (including the flight attendants) buckle in for the rest of the flight. The girl sitting next to me was kinda freaking out, and was getting a little sick too. She just kept telling me how she felt sick to her stomach cuz she hadn't really eaten anything. I offered her some pretzels (from an earlier flight), but get this....she didn't want to eat any because once she got off the plane she was headed straight for a Braum's! (It's kinda-sorta like a Dairy Queen but with a little store in it for those of you back home...)

Anyhoo, we only got in about 10 minutes late, and my husband was waiting for me there. AND, he brought the babies to see me too (Jack & Jill have been dubbed "the babies" at the house since they're the little guys). All in all, it was nice to come back home to my family, but I sure do miss Idaho!

Sorry it took me so long to post about my Idaho trip (I only typed the message and added pictures in no less than six sittings) so hopefully the gobs of pictures made up for it!!!