Recognizing a Stroke FAST

I was a latch-key kid back in the seventh and eighth grade, my parents each working long hours to support our lifestyle. I’d catch the bus after school and come home to an empty house, which I had to myself for the next two to four hours. This was before the days of the internet and even though we had cable with every channel, that got pretty old pretty quickly.

So I did what any enterprising adolescent with entirely too much time on her hands does, I started getting off at the wrong bus stop. Specifically, the stop that was four stops after my own that just so happened to be a close friend’s stop. Her mom was a stay-at-home mom that always had something delicious to share although her dad worked, he worked odd hours and always enjoyed entertaining us when he was around. And he was a riot. You never knew what might happen next. I remember mentioning that the sugar cookies were rather mundane and so he laid them out directly on the kitchen counter and covered them in chocolate syrup. It was a mess! I couldn’t believe it.

One Sunday morning as the family was getting ready for church, he wasn’t feeling well and sent them on without him. Those were the last words he ever spoke to his family. They returned from the morning services to find him collapsed in the bathroom. They called the ambulance, and I got a frantic call from my friend.

We spent hours in that hospital waiting room. Doctor after somber faced doctor passing through with updates. He’d had a stroke. A big one. And he was gone. Just like that.

I stayed with my friend. Ate the seemingly never-ending casseroles that arrived that she couldn’t work up the appetite to eat. We were in the eighth grade. No one should lose their dad in the eighth grade.

Could that story have ended differently? Maybe, maybe not. Medical technology and knowledge has come a long way since then. Early intervention makes the biggest difference in the outcome for a stroke victim. But you can’t call in the pros unless you know what to look for. That’s where FAST comes in.

Graphic Provided by the American Recall Center

Graphic Provided by the American Recall Center

F-Face Drooping
A-Arm Weakness
S-Speech Difficulty
T-Time to Call 911

The American Recall Center reached out to me* to share this information as we are getting into the holidays. Hopefully, we will all be getting together with our families and friends that we may not see the rest of the year. This can be a wonderful time, but it can also be a stressful time. Stokes spike around this time of year and knowing the signs could make all the difference.

*The American Recall Center asked. They did not compensate me for this post in any way. I agreed that the information was important.

Teasing Death

Met this guy the other day.

Jen1

Evyl stood his ground

Michael1

The TeenBot sized him up. Besides, there was a bear in a sombrero there for back-up.

Isaac

Me? I did the only logical thing.

Jen2Brat

What? How would you react to meeting death in a gift shop? I knew he wasn’t there for me. When death comes for me, it’ll be random, hilarious, and earn me the lifetime achievement spot on the rubber knife award.

A Study in Hats

So what happens when the EvylEmpyre goes on a field trip?

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Contemplation

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Hmm

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Needs a hotdog

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Surely the silliness couldn’t be generational

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My goodness!

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So There’s This Book

It’s about a dog, but not just about a dog.

Really, it’s about life. And how dogs wriggle their way in and out and make a house a home. They are the children that never grow up. Never decide that their parents are totally lame. Never strike out on their own. They give us their lives. Every single day. They give us every ounce of devotion and quirk. And they give us this in far too little time. We need more years than they do to express our love and devotion.

And more than that again. Buy the book. You’ll understand. That link helps support this blog.

If you aren’t convinced, go read the archives over and Brigid’s place and buy it straight from her. I’m proud to call her a friend.

Sunday, Puppy Sunday

Yeah, totally stealing Phlegmfatale‘s schtick, but who could possibly resist that face?

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Besides, this was the divine Ms. Phlegmmy’s couch. I can prove it. Here’s Heidi chillin’ with one of the regular Sunday, Puppy Sunday Stars, the one-and-only Praline

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There exists a picture of all the dogs of the house, but since I’m obviously getting “the look” from the Alpha Dog Himself, I think I best keep that one to myself.

Best Thrift Store Find Ever

You know, I’ve made some pretty great thrift store finds, but my brother made the best one. And seeing as how there’s a no return policy, he married her yesterday. I even polished up my horns for the occasion. It’s not every day a girl gets a new sister, you know.

Congratulations, big brother. Here’s to many happy years!

Super BitCon: Cosplayers!

As my darling husband has mentioned, we’ve been dusting off the old video game consoles and blowing out the cartridges with TeenBot. The family that stomps enemies together, stays together, right?

Anyway. So we found ourselves at the local fairgrounds this weekend, not for the fun show, but for the inaugural Super BitCon. Yes, there was geeking (so much so that I made a verb). And cosplayers! I’m no EpBot, but I did capture a few for your enjoyment.

MarioLuigi

Can’t go wrong with the classics. Although, I have to admit to being partial to the next one.

Mario

Happiest Mario ever. He was so excited when I asked him if I could take his picture that he almost forgot his hat. His sister, on the other hand

CheetahMen

Jumped right up on the planter and gave me her fierce face.

vendors

Some of the vendors got in on the costume fun.

animegirls

I don’t know who these two are supposed to be, but they are adorable. Feel free to educate me in the comments.

Tetris1

Tetris2

This guy just really wants to fit in. (You see what I did there?)

Really though, this last kid stole the show. He’s my absolute favorite.

Ash1

I give you the winner of the cosplay contest!

Ash3

Just look at the proud dad! Proof positive that geek is inherited. (We actually represented 3 generations at the Con. My dad came along for the fun.)

ETA: Here’s EvylRobot with the rest of the Cheetahman story.

I Married a Redhead and Lost My Irish Name

Okay, so it was never Irish in the first place, but I’m certain when my teachers read through the rolls and found Jennifer Lynn Oclaray listed, they not only pondered the missing apostrophe, but they didn’t exactly expect the olive-skinned girl in the front row to answer to it. Or, at least the typically butchered pronunciation of it. (Oh-Clair-eee, if you’re curious.) And no, it does not include an apostrophe.

It’s not Irish; it’s Filipino, sort of. It’s at least what used to happen to immigrants names when they were imported. The intent was some melting pot blending effect, but I’m sure it wound up causing more than a little confusion in some cases. Like maybe in the case of a multi-lingual Pacific Islander with a decidedly diverse name*. Who also fell for a redhead, so I suppose I come by it honestly.

The rest of the heritage? Mutt. Fairly standard euro blend, good chunk of which is German (I look just like my mother if you can get past the fact that she’s a blue-eyed blond). I’m sure there’s some Irish in there somewhere, in spite of the lost non-Irish yet Irish sounding name.

See?

All that is really just to say Sláinte! To all my Irish, Irish-ish, and fake Irish friends and other internet denizens. And please, drink a real beer, not that swill with the green dye. Don’t worry, I’m not pinching.

*My grandfather, specifically