All of a sudden, I really AM OLD!

Georgia NeSmith
5 min readJul 10, 2020

Recovering from a stroke that gave me about 20 seconds of short term memory.

Couldn’t find what I wanted…But the National Cancer Society has this beautiful photo of a cell that no doubt causes terrible things. But still, it’s beautiful. And ya always need to have a photo for your Medium story. To attract attention if nothing else.

Part I

Those of you who have followed me may have been wondering where the heck I’ve been. I’m kinda wondering that, too…

I had a stroke May 18. It was relatively mild in sensation and so I didn’t know what was happening. I just knew my brain was doing really weird things. My short term memory, always a problem because of my ADHD, seemed to be on steroids.

As luck would have it, I just so happened to be on a call / telemed video “visit” with my doc following up on other stuff. I have a kazillion serious health issues to follow up on, not the least of which involves figuring out why my blood platelets are so damnably low. Normal is 1500 or higher. Mine…mine varied from 74–90. What that means is I could easily bleed out with a bad cut. Your blood needs platelets for coagulation.

Thrombocytopenia is a major symptom of many serious hematologic malignancies, including leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. I’ve been tested for the first two, but there are multiple other conditions related to it that have a range from mild to super serious. I have been checked for leukemia and lymphoma, but there’s not been much diagnosis since.

My doc was following up with tests & we were talking about results and how I was feeling. After a bit she suggested I should go to the hospital. Well, I hate ambulance rides and I knew there was no way I was driving. So I balked. After a few minutes she turned into Super Doc and ORDERED me to go to the hospital because I could be having a stroke.

I was able to get my daughter to take me down, and meanwhile the doc ordered a bed for me at the hospital, so when I arrived they were ready for me. Much more pleasant than having to go thru the ED.

Meanwhile I’m shaking my head over this because I didn’t FEEL like I was having a stroke. I mean you see those things on TV and they are always so dramatic. Mine only manifested itself as forgetfulness (1 or more words per sentence…not an unknown experience of me with my ADHD, just not quite so intense.) The doc at the hospital explained to me later that a thalamic stroke is a stroke involving ALL the arteries at the base of the neck. So if it had been…

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Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.