Neuro Parlor Games

Or, how I spent my Thanksgiving Vacation.

Not my idea of a good time

Hey peeps! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! Did you miss me? I’ve missed you. As you might guess, this has not been my favorite Thanksgiving holiday. I spent a week in the hospital after spending two weeks at home feeling extremely sick, and not knowing why.

That was the scary part. The good news is, I’m in Boston, where if you have to get sick, at least you’re in the right place. The other good news is that the syndrome that I have, while very scary, debilitating, and in rare cases potentially life-threatening, usually resolves completely over time. In my case, the treatment involved a week in the hospital, five IV transfusions, and one blood transfusion.

On top of all that, I’m a statistical outlier! This syndrome affects one in 2 million people every year, so I was a celebrity on the neurological floor at Tufts Medical Center. <sarcasm> Forget mundane things like stroke, brain cancer, aneurysm – this one walks in maybe once a year, and on Match Day, no less! </sarcasm>

Seriously, everyone wanted to see me. I think they were drawing straws outside my room to see which medical students would get to come in with the attending. They even wanted me to be the test subject for a Match Day neurological conference headed by one of the top doctors in the field. All I could think of was the medical lecture scene from Young Frankenstein (yeah… no).

I have tried to move my eyes, wiggle my toes, hold my hands up, stick my tongue out, and other fun things that test my central neurological system so many times, I’ve lost count. We took to calling them Neuro Parlor Games, hence the title of this post. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to the staff and especially the nurses that took such great care of me. And after two weeks of not knowing what was happening and why, it was a great relief to have a diagnosis and prognosis put to my condition.

And as you know from when I was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, I tend to make fun of things that scare me, which held me in good stead while I was in the hospital. The nurses and I had lots of fun, if you can believe it. Eevery time I’d get up to move around in my hospital johnny, I’d say to the nurse “Oh, you’re getting to see the better side of me!” Or threatening to do walker marathons around the floor. Or telling my nurse, when he said he was going straight to hell, that I’d save him a seat at the bar. And hey – I lost 11 lbs. thanks to this, so I have running room for the holidays! Look for the positives, right?

In all earnestness, the greatest gift through this entire ordeal was my husband and my family. Larry was there for me at every step and I can’t ever express my gratitude enough to him. I know this was even more frightening for him than it was for me. He brought me the stuffed bear, Belle, that my father gave to me when I was a teenager to cuddle with.

My hospital companion, Belle (thanks, Dad!)

Needless to say, I haven’t been able to do any sewing for the past several weeks. Once my vision resolves (double vision was my fist symptom), I hope to get back into the sewing room and start working on a jacket from the bouclé that I bought in Paris.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. Sorry to have gone off grid for so long. But I will get back to normal! And I will be sewing soon. There’s lots of exciting stuff that’s happening right now outside of all of my adventures. I’ll fill you in on that in the next blog post. In the meantime…

Happy sewing!

35 thoughts on “Neuro Parlor Games”

  1. Karen says:

    Oh no, Ann, so sorry you’re ill but your positive attitude will greatly aid your recovery. Hope you can get back to sewing soon as we now what great therapy it can bring.

  2. Lesley Scott says:

    Pleased to hear you’re on the mend Ann, get well won’t you, the sewing can wait. It’ll always be there!! X

  3. Theresa in Tucson says:

    Oh you poor dear. Hope you are mending fast. Had to giggle about the Neuro Parlor Games title. I was hospitalized once for an unknown illness (still unknown) in an Army hospital that was going through an influx of Reservists in for their two week annual training. Saw all of one rotation of departing Reservists on Saturday and started all over again with a fresh rotation on Sunday. Your sense of humor held up better than mine.
    And I hear you have a Knits class on Craftsy that I must check out.

  4. Laurie says:

    Good grief, Ann. Next time, try doing things with a little less flair.

    So glad you’re home and feeling better. All the best of the season to you and yours.

  5. KS Sews says:

    Oh brother! Life sure loves it’s curveballs, doesn’t it? I don’t have to tell you that your good attitude goes a long way towards your recovery! Hang in there, and make it speedy 🙂 Best wishes.

  6. Barbara Christensen says:

    Sending lots and lots of positive vibes for a speedy recovery. Miss your wit and sewing talent on the blog. You always inspire me. And you can quote Young Frankenstein!!! Just about the best. movie. ever.

  7. sewsy says:

    Ann, so sorry to see that you’ve been ill. Glad to see that you’re doing better and are on the mend. I’m watching your Craftsy class and loving it. Best to you and yours.

    Can’t keep a good woman down. 😉

  8. suzanne says:

    Oh Ann! I sure hope you get better soon. Nothing can be scarier than not knowing, I guess, so at least you have that. Thinking of you and hope you are allowed to do whatever you want for the holidays.

  9. Rhoda K says:

    Ann, so sorry to hear this but glad your on the mend. You said you received a diagnosis and prognosis so now you know what’s ahead. Wishing you the very best!!

  10. Alice says:

    Ann, take good care of yourself.

  11. Janee says:

    My lord, Ann – what an ordeal! So glad you’re on the mend, and they found the cause. I can just picture you clowning with the nurses….Please let me know if I can do anything to help!

  12. Annette Untalasco says:

    Ann, glad you are on the mend. I can hear those sewing machines calling your name. Take care and go easy on getting back in the swing.
    On another note living near a great medical center when you get sick is the best.

  13. Betsy Villaume says:

    Ann I’d no idea you were so ill. Glad to hear you are recovering! Enjoy the holidays and best to your boys.

  14. Yvonne says:

    Gave me a small fright there, lady! Please take care of you and I’ll look forward to hearing all your upcoming plans.

  15. Lisa says:

    Good to hear from you! Your Thanksgiving was far more exciting than mine. I am so grateful that you will be back home soon. You are one tough broad.

  16. Andi says:

    I’m glad you are on the mend Ann! I hear Boston really is the place to be for undiagnosable conditions, and it sounds like there are some smart folks there. Please take care!

  17. Liz says:

    Yikes! I hope they are taking good care of you. I work at Tufts and got my Ph.D. there so I think they are pretty good! Best of luck.

  18. Dawn says:

    Glad you hear you’ll be okay!! Get better!!!

  19. Elle says:

    Scary, scary, scary! So sorry you had to go through this. I hope it’s all behind you.

  20. AJW says:

    How frightening to be so ill and how fabulous that you are on the mend. Very best wishes for a speedy, uneventful recovery in this season of magic. Looking forward to many more posts and updates.

  21. Vicki says:

    Oh no you poor thing. Wishing you a very speedy recovery.

  22. Paula says:

    So glad you have a diagnosis and can now be on the mend! One in two million, hmm. We always knew that you were indeed special!

  23. KayDKSews says:

    I totally sympathize with you on being the outlier! I had some kind of thing called PUPPPS with my first pregnancy – and got tired of all the medical residents and students coming in while in labor just to get a load of my red rope like stretch marks that itched like a son-of-a-gun! Unfortunately that was my second time being a ‘teaching case’, fortunately for me the first time is more of a story my doctor uses to teach her students, and I didn’t have to be poked, prodded or stared at!

  24. Andrea says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this, but happy to hear you’re recovering. Not a fun way to spend a holiday.

    (And I think I came across at least of your bits of exciting online news yesterday, but I don’t want to spoil it for you/your other readers so I’ll just offer a very vague congrats for now.)

  25. Mardel says:

    I learned long ago that it is never a good thing when doctors get excited over your (pick one) test results, symptoms, diagnosis, etc. But cracking jokes always helps. Glad you are improving and equally glad you are up to checking in with us here. Hope progress continues apace.

    1. Barbara says:

      Yeah, it’s sort of a dubious distinction, being an “interesting case”. LOL.

  26. Patricia Keenan says:

    Ann, I’m so glad you are on the mend. I was just relaxing while watching your class on knits and appreciated your knowledge and came over to the blog and found this! My goodness! It’s true when they say ‘you can’t keep a good woman down!’ Get better and I can only hope that I would be that brave (or funny!) when life throws those curve balls at me. All the best, Ann.

  27. nalani says:

    Sending Light, love, and laughter!

  28. Reader says:

    Best of luck!

  29. BaMa says:

    Wishing you the best for your recovery! Maybe you can negotiate with the doctor if he wants to use your case as a seminar topic. Perhaps something along the lines of a trip to the fabric capital of your choice. 🙂

  30. Sheri says:

    Feel better soon! Sending healing thoughts your way xoxo

  31. ruth elliott says:

    So sorry to read that you have been poorly Ann – so glad that you are recovering.
    Best wishes to you, Larry and the boys – a terrible time for you all.


  32. Kathleen says:

    I’m so happy you’re feeling better.

  33. ritas says:

    Oh Ann – so sorry to hear that your holiday was hijacked! It sounds like you were a fantastic sport about “neuro parlor games.” My hope is that someone, somewhere in the future will benefit because a student / doc / nurse saw you. And that, along with your recovery, makes it a a *very* good day.

  34. Heidi says:

    I’m so glad you’re on the mend! Here’s hoping for no more sickness for a while!

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