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RTC3
Regrettable TAVI Conclusion Requiring Treatment at Clayponds (Replacing Thoughts on Crosswords)
This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

I've held off writing a blog entry for some time, in the hope that I might have something positive to report. And indeed up until yesterday, I was beginning to despair, because Janet seemed to be becoming more and more depressed. We'd seen a doctor on Monday about her depression, but he'd felt the need for blood tests to rule out some mineral deficiency (he mentioned calcium as an example) and, apart from that, could only tentatively suggest counselling. And although he said he wanted to see her again in ten days to two weeks, the earliest available appointment was in just over three weeks, thus potentially prolonging our misery still further.

But then yesterday (Tuesday) her mood suddenly improved, and she said she was feeling her old self again. She'd had her usual weekly visit to have her hair done in the morning, followed by the blood tests (there's a clinic that does NHS phlebotomy a few doors down from the hairdressers), and then a phone call from her elder son Simon in NYC in the afternoon, so perhaps it was this last that somehow did the trick. Or perhaps some random event nudged some part(s) of her mind back onto the rails. Apart from the lifting of her depression, there are no other obvious signs of improvement to her mental condition, so it's all a bit of a mystery - nevertheless a mystery that I'm very happy to live with. She's still OK today, so here's hoping that it continues.
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

This was a week when the downs contrasted rather too strongly with the ups. Janet had two very enjoyable outings: the first when an old friend and colleague of hers visited and I drove the three of us over to Osterley Park for lunch; and the second when two friends took her out for coffee at Cinnamon in Pitshanger Lane. However, there were times when she became quite depressed, and I've taken other people's advice and booked an appointment with her GP in the hope that anti-depressants might improve things.
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

Although there were still some downs, Janet definitely had a better week last week, which included a rapprochement with the dear friend I mentioned in the previous journal entry.

I'm managing to take Janet out for a walk nearly every day, and have been gradually increasing the length. A minor success is that when Janet is crossing a road, she is now stepping off the pavement more confidently, something which seemed to be bothering her previously - whereas stepping back onto the pavement from the road always seemed much less of a problem.

On two days each week, these walks usually take in visits to small social groups, one of which she'd belonged to before her stroke, and the other she's new to but is an old friend of one of the other members. I have a third group (one specifically for stroke victims) in my sights, so may give that a go this coming week. In addition to walking, the physiotherapist who's been visiting Janet has given her some daily exercises, and added two new ones last week.
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

A rather less happy week. Janet is becoming more aware of the extent of her "cogmitive impairment" and naturally finds it depressing - perhaps not helped by the medication she's on. I worry that I could be doing more to prevent this, but I'm not finding it easy.

An additional factor is that she's lost contact with a very dear friend. We don't know the reason for this, and I worry that it's something tactless I've done or said.

I wasn't expecting an easy ride, but I'm finding it quite bumpy at the moment. Still, KBO, as they say, and I'm hoping that next week will be better. At least Janet still has many kind, supportive friends - to whom we're both extremely grateful.
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

I'm trying to restore some of Janet's pre-stroke routine. Last week I took her to have her hair cut and set at her old hairdresser's, and I've arranged a regular morning when I will drop her off, do the weekly Waitrose shop (and visit Sainsbury's as well if she's having a longer session), and then pick her up again afterwards. The only difference is that I've changed the time from 9.00 a.m. on a Thursday (perhaps I can persuade her to listen to In Our Time with me :-) to rather later on a different day of the week.

And I can report another minor success: Janet had been having great difficulty reading people's handwriting, but there's been a sudden improvement and she can now read quite a lot of what she found completely illegible before.
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

As usual there were ups and downs last week, but I can report a few significant ups.

Janet had been doing pretty well with the stairs, but was still finding negotiating the 180° turn a bit tricky. However, Mark (her younger son) came and visited on Thursday and fixed a knotted rope to the newel for her to hang on to, and she's now doing even better.

I'm getting her set up with Eye-Search and Read-Right, which require her to use a computer mouse. Since Janet has managed to avoid using a mouse before, I've had her practising with a bubble popping game and (after a slow start) she's making progress.

And we visited Charing X Hospital on Tuesday to see a member of the "Stroke Medicine" team. The Outpatients Department is on the first floor, so I thought I'd see if Janet could manage the escalator, and I'm delighted to report that she could :-).

The doctor we saw at Charing X has invited her to take part in some new cognitive clinic that they're setting up, so we'll see how that goes.

On Monday we had a first visit from a community therapist, who spent the time doing an initial assessment. We've a couple of further visits this week: from a speech and language therapist on Wednesday and a physiotherapist on Friday.

And the mystery of why Janet is so tired has been solved: a doctor friend has pointed out that it's a very common side-effect of the anti-seizure drug that she's on. (D'oh! I should have read the notes that came in the box.)
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

Although Janet is back at home and the anti-seizure medication she's been prescribed should prevent any further episodes, she is, not surprisingly, very nervous about falling. I've removed the obvious hazards, particularly mats, but she nevertheless seems to be finding our house significantly more difficult to navigate than Charing X or Clayponds. I expect things will improve as time goes by, but perhaps more slowly than I'd hoped.

And now that I'm seeing more of her, some of her problems, particularly the visual ones, are becoming more obvious. I can't explain all of these by my (admittedly very limited) understanding of hemianopia, so perhaps there are other things going on as well.

And lastly (for the moment), although I expected her to be tired a lot of the time, she seems to suffer from tiredness to what feels like an almost pathological degree.

Still, I shall "keep buggering on", hoping for gradual improvement.

(Has my broadband connection returned? If I've managed to post this successfully, then it has.)
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

There's not a lot to report at the moment. Janet is settling back into our house again, and learning to negotiate some of its trickier features, such as a staircase which makes a quick 180° turn just before you reach the top. She enjoyed a visit from an old friend and colleague. And I'm pleased to say that she's getting plenty of sleep.
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

We had a long wait for Janet to receive her discharge letter and for her medication to arrive from the pharmacy, but I'm relieved to report that she is now home again and catching up on lost sleep.

Not surprisingly, given all she's been through, she hasn't been her usual cheerful self these past few days, but I'm hoping that she'll brighten up a little once she's less tired.
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This is the third incarnation of my RTC3 blog which started here, but for the moment is taking on a new life recording my darling Janet's recovery from an ischaemic stroke, the result of an unusually difficult TAVI (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). The entry here gives background information.

* * * * *

Janet had the "stairs assessment" this morning and did pretty well; and she saw a neurologist this afternoon. She was desperately tired and didn't acquit herself quite as well as she might have done in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), but they now feel (as I do) that the best thing would be for her to return home as soon as possible. They had planned to carry out another MRI scan before she was discharged, but they've decided that it will be OK for her to come in for the scan later as an outpatient, and I believe they plan to repeat the MoCA then, perhaps with some other tests thrown in.

So she should be returning home again tomorrow (Wednesday), and I'm hoping that things will go better this time. Watch this space.
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