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One Decade Since My Hemorrhagic Stroke

February 1, 2018 Featured, Steve Patterson Comments Off on One Decade Since My Hemorrhagic Stroke
Steve Patterson a week after his stroke.

Ten years ago today I thought I was going to die on my cold concrete bedroom floor. It was the afternoon and I thought I suddenly got a headache. I laid down on the bed then decided to go into the bathroom and take an aspirin. That’s when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to remain standing, so I lowered myself to the floor. I thought I should call 911 but I couldn’t think of where my phone was. I began vomiting…a lot. I pulled the comforter off the bed for some warmth.

I heard my phone ringing, it was in the kitchen. I couldn’t move.

I began realizing that I was likely to die — one month to the day after my dad. I thought about loose ends I hadn’t taken care of. Then I must’ve blacked out. The next morning my close friend Marcia used the emergency key I gave her to check on me. Apparently I was conscious and told her to grab my phone so she could call my brothers.

It was Saturday February 2nd — the big Mardi Gras parade meant the emergency room was busy. Marcia and other friends waited amongst the ill party goers. I was at St. Louis University hospital for more than 3 weeks. In that time I had many visitors, though I was sedated most of the time.

My friends Rich & Andrew, from Seattle & Kansas City, respectively, arrived a week after my stroke. Thankfully Rich documented his visit and my condition.

This is a good place to discuss the types of strokes:

All types have one thing in common: a loss of blood to part of your brain. That causes big problems.

Your brain cells need the oxygen that’s carried by your blood. So when a stroke cuts the supply, some of the cells start to die. And that sets off trouble like memory loss, confusion, and numbness on one side your body.

There are two main types of stroke:

  • Ischemic
  • Hemorrhagic

If you have signs of any of them, call 911 right away. The sooner you get treated, the less likely you are to have long-term effects. (webMD)

Ischemic, caused by a blood clot, is far more common than the type I had, hemorrhagic.

My first memory after February 1st is of waking up on February 25th. I’d been transported to St. Mary’s on Clayton Rd to begin therapy, a cousin and one if my brothers was there. Two trips in an ambulance and I have no memory of either!

On the 25th I had a trachea (voice box) in my throat, initially I thought it was permanent. Even once I knew it was only temporary I would pull it out — nurses had to restrain my right arm to prevent me from interfering. No need for them to strain my left side — I had zero movement. After nearly 41 years as a leftie I would need to become right-handed.

By the 28th I was allowed to eat foods and drink liquids — I had to pass a swallow test first.

Therapy (physical/occupational/speech) should begin within hours/days after a stroke — but it was several weeks in my case. Before leaving St. Mary’s on March 21, 2008 friend Antonio French stopped by to document my progress.

On March 21, 2008 one of my brothers drove me to a now-closed state rehabilitation facility in Mt. Vernon MO. There I continued to work on physical, occupational, and speech therapy. On April 30, 2008 myself and a few others from the St. Louis region were taken to our respective residences.

During these first three months after my stroke I wasn’t sure what my future would be like. I didn’t know I’d be able to live well on a fraction of my prior income. I didn’t know just 5 years later I’d find love. I didn’t know I’d be forced to narrow my focus and rethink my priorities.

Ten years ago today I thought I was going to die — but it was the day I really began to live!

— Steve Patterson

 

13th Anniversary Of UrbanReviewSTL

October 31, 2017 Featured, Steve Patterson Comments Off on 13th Anniversary Of UrbanReviewSTL
Last Friday: Pre-surgery splint on my broken left wrist.

Today is Halloween…which means it’s also the anniversary of this blog. The 13th anniversary!

Last year I ended comments on blog posts…best decision ever. You can still comment via Facebook & Twitter.

No major changes this time as the 14th year starts, posting 4 days per week will continue:

  • Sundays 8am: poll
  • Mondays 5:45am: topic varies
  • Wednesdays 5:45am: poll topic, results
  • Fridays 5:45am: Board of Aldermen in session, varies out of session

I’d originally planned to post about the anniversary yesterday, but my fall Thursday, Friday surgery, and Saturday afternoon postponed my writing schedule. It also gave me insight into a post I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now.

Happy Halloween!

— Steve Patterson

 

Tonight: My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St Louis, 4pm-7pm

February 27, 2017 Featured, Steve Patterson Comments Off on Tonight: My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St Louis, 4pm-7pm

Tomorrow I turn 50 years old, but tonight I invite all of you to stop by 360’s happy hour as I celebrate my last night in my 40s.

I hope to be seated in the sofa area in the northwest corner, look for the guy with the shaved head in jeans and a blue shirt.

If you’ve never been to 360 before, this is a good chance to see it and the views. Their current Monday-Thursdsay happy hours specials end on March 31st, as the weather warms up.

  • $4 drafts
  • $5 select Wines
  • $7 specialty cocktails
  • $5 Burgers (Monday)

The full menu is also available, everyone will be responsible for their own items — order as little or as much as you care to pay for.

Even if we’ve met before it’s likely I may not immediately recall your name or the context in how we know each other. But once I hear your name, or the context, I may quickly remember. My stroke 9+ years ago did a number on my  memory…age doesn’t help.

I got a big wheel for my 5th birthday, my mom’s 1967 Plymouth Fury III is in the background
ABOVE: A 2012 photo of mw on a MetroBus

My 40s started off very bad but are ending better than I ever could have anticipated a decade ago. Looking forward to my 50s…

— Steve Patterson

 

February 27th: Please Join Me For My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St. Louis

January 23, 2017 Featured, Steve Patterson Comments Off on February 27th: Please Join Me For My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St. Louis

The last day of February is my birthday, but this year is a special one: the big 5-0.

I wasn’t born on a leap year, but I was born on a cousin’s 13th birthday. Interestingly, another cousin was born on my oldest brother’s 13th birthday.

Three-Sixty St. Louis was built 5+ on the roof of a decades-old hotel at Broadway & Market.
Three-Sixty St. Louis was built 5+ on the roof of a decades-old hotel at Broadway & Market.

A 50th birthday is special, especially considering I came close to not reaching my 41st. To celebrate my last night in my 40s I’ll be at 360’s happy hour 4pm-7pm talking to whomever stops by to say hello, No cards or presents please.

If you’ve not been to 360 before, this is your excuse to check it out. The design is brilliant — a steel & glass box on a new 26th floor with views in all directions.

Through the end of March they have great happy hour specials — on Tuesdays the fish tacos are $2 each 4pm-7pm.

View of the East area from the South patio
View of the East area from the South patio
One of several fire pits among several outdoor areas
One of several fire pits among several outdoor areas
One of two kitchens in the central area
One of two kitchens in the central area
A variety of seating is first come first serve
A variety of seating is first come first serve
View looking West
View looking West

This is one of the best examples of adapting an old building for modern uses…though the building is slightly younger than I am. Anyway,  I hope you can stop by to say hello on Monday February 27th.

Note that everyone is responsible for their own food & beverage.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

12th Anniversary of UrbanReviewSTL.com, No More Comments Section

October 31, 2016 Featured, Site Info, Steve Patterson Comments Off on 12th Anniversary of UrbanReviewSTL.com, No More Comments Section
Me pre-stroke in the December 2006 issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat
Me pre-stroke in the December 2006 issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat

Twelve years ago today I registered the domain UrbanReviewSTL.com and began writing. I stopped only when I was sedated for a few weeks following my February 2008 stroke. I originally started the blog as a distraction to my father’s recovery from a heart attack a month earlier. It worked — turns out it was just what I needed at that point in my life.

This blog has always been a way to help me express myself. I really enjoyed the first decade, but the last two years not so much.

I’ve blogged for 12 of my 26+ years living in St. Louis, Missouri. It has been a long time coming, but I’ve become very disillusioned with St. Louis — the entire region. My optimism has been replaced with skepticism. More than a century of doing the wrong thing has permeated the culture to the point of no return. A few months ago I stopped trying to convince the region to become more urban, more pedestrian-friendly. Harland Bartholomew did irreparable damage to the city & region.

My husband and I would like to move to another region, Chicago is our top pick at this point. However, financial reality may not enable us to do so. While a new mayor in 2017 is a reason to be hopeful, it’s not enough to get us to give up relocating elsewhere. Again, the region has been so mislead for decades — whomever is in room 200 isn’t going to change the region’s culture.

At the same time, the number of people commenting on the blog has decreased. Those who do comment frequently express the very views that represent the reasons why St. Louis won’t recover. I’ve argued with them before, but I’ve realized I’m just wasting my time doing so. However, I hate seeing their narrow views go unchallenged. Those who used to challenge them have also given up.

For a while I considered ending this blog today, I am spending more time working on writing fiction. Ending the blog completely would allow me to devote all my time to the various novels I have outlined. However, as we’ll still be living here until we can afford to move, I’ve decided to keep posting but to turn off the comments. They’ve increasingly gotten under my skin, distracting me.

Only a tiny percentage of viewers actually comment. Granted, some may come here to read the comments, but that’s also a small percentage. Besides, I haven’t checked my traffic in years — yes, years. Like that day 12 years ago, I’m writing for myself. I’m doing what I think is best for me. If others want to read what I write, great. If some are upset they can’t comment, they’re free to start their own blog where they can share differing views.

For the next two months, at least, I’ll continue posting four times per week:

  • Sunday 8am: new poll
  • Monday 5:45am: new post
  • Wednesday 5:45am: results, discussion of recent poll
  • Friday 5:45am: new board bills, other topics if no bills

I do hope the young people here will continue to fight for change. but I’ll be 50 in February — I’m tired of fighting for what I consider fundamentals.

— Steve Patterson

 

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