Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This weekend was a perfect example of the duality of my life. For many people this is common. For me, this was an extreme circumstance that illustrated the differences.

We had a four day weekend. The kids were off Friday and Monday. Looking forward, we decided to visit a college with my oldest daughter. Due to her college preferences and scheduled visitation days, Ohio University was first on the list. My Alma Mater. We did the trip in one day and spent several hours touring campus. We also spent a good hour with an admissions adviser in her desired field.

Overall a productive day spent with a highschool junior and campus of college kids.

Today, was my youngest son's big birthday party. The kids are allowed one big party in elementary school. This was the big one. We scheduled it at Pump It Up, a large inflatable party center. 25 eight year old kids from school and the neighborhood. I have over 300 pictures from three different cameras and most of them are a blur. We had a fantastic time.

Overall a great day spent with first graders.

Hence, the duality of two lives. My head is spinning.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I don't know Ingrid but my mother died from a stroke. I clearly remember her first stroke. We were coming down for the weekend and when we arrived I was struck by her flat, expressionless face. She insisted she was fine and my father seemed unfazed. We had dinner and went to bed. My mother contributed a little but seemed distant and quiet. The next morning, the same and worse. Right after breakfast, I insisted that we go to the hospital and we found she had had a stroke. If only I asked her to smile and follow the STR strategy. We may have saved her. Less than two years she laid down for a nap and had a massive and final stroke. I knew the signs of a heart attack but I never the signs of a stroke. If only if only . . ..


lood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue

Remember the 1st Three Letters....S.T.R.


During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) .she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening

Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized; diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *
Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *
Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today.)

R *
Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other
, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Week of Exhausting Fun

We spent an unusual week over New Years. We went to Washington DC. For many people this may be a weekend trip or a pass through on the way to somewhere else. We spent five full days there and still only scratched the tip.

What a great week! We toured the capital, Library of Congress, Archives, Smithsonians, monuments, and much more. Each of us had a list of what we wanted to see and made time for each other. At every location there was more to see than intended. Never ending exhibits, interactive computer stations, docents and on and on.

The best part was that almost all of it was free. We did pay a small processing fee for tour the Washington Monument and pass the line at the Archives. My husband was able to find a great room at a Residence Inn on the metro line. We parked the car and only used it once. The rest of the time we rode the metro. Breakfast was included. For three days, they served dinner as well. A great savings for all of us. We had a large breakfast and didn't need to eat until dinner.

The only down fall was the walking. Oh did we walk. Miles and miles every day up and down corridors, building to building. Oiy, what tired feet! We did notice a real lack of benches and garbage cans. Must be new security issues.

I have come back a real respect for our country. I am so proud to be an American!