Moving slowly thru time and space

Good day to everyone.

I haven’t got an entry mapped out in my head, so this is just an update on the patient.

In the last episode, we saw Paul have concussion, get checked out with CT Scan and then into Boston for a much more expensive MRI of the brain/head. Apparently, anytime they can send you into Boston for tests like this, they will, if they can get away with it. Paul puts up no protests. If it were me, I would not have gone. I would have insisted on it being done here locally. But he didn’t know and he just went along with the flow.

He was feeling quite rotten for a long time once he came home. He was on that Keppra, which is an anti-seizure medication, but for only 7 days, not permanently. Those 7 days ended yesterday morning. He went to see his PCP here in Salem yesterday who just listened to him and said “take it easy… do only what you feel you can do…” for which he was probably charged hundreds of dollars.

I am in the wrong profession (which is none at the moment) but I could have given him THAT advice!

I believe he’s felt so crappy because of the Keppra. The list of side effects for that drug was staggering. They include:

Side Effects of Keppra

from WWW dot Drugs dot Com

More common

Aggressive or angry


change in personality


cough or hoarseness




dry mouth



general feeling of discomfort or illness



irregular heartbeats


joint pain

loss of appetite

lower back or side pain

mental depression

muscle aches and pains


painful or difficult urination


quick to react or overreact emotionally

rapidly changing moods




shortness of breath

sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

sore throat

stuffy or runny nose


trouble sleeping

unusual tiredness or weakness


Less common

Bloody nose

burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings

clumsiness or unsteadiness


dizziness or lightheadedness

double vision


feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings

feeling sad or empty

increase in body movements

loss of bladder control

loss of memory

mood or mental changes

outburst of anger

pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones

problems with memory

redness or swelling in the ear


sensation of spinning

shakiness and unsteady walk

shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet

tightness of the chest


trembling or shaking of the hands or feet

trouble concentrating

unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination

Incidence not known

Attempts at killing oneself

being forgetful

bleeding gums

blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin


blood in the urine or stools

bloody, black, or tarry stools

blurred vision

changes in vision

chest pain


dark urine

difficulty with moving

fast heartbeat

general feeling of tiredness or weakness

high fever

increase in body movements



light-colored stools

muscle pains or stiffness

painful or difficult urination

pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back

pale skin

pinpoint red spots on the skin

red skin lesions, often with a purple center

red, irritated eyes

sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth

stomach pain, continuing

swollen glands

swollen joints

thoughts or attempts at killing oneself

trouble with balance

twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs

uncontrolled jerking or twisting movements of the hands, arms, or legs

uncontrolled movements of the lips, tongue, or cheeks

unexplained bleeding or bruising

unusual bleeding or bruising

upper right abdominal or stomach pain

weight loss

yellow eyes or skin

Some of the side effects that can occur with levetiracetam(Keppra) may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common

Loss of strength or energy

muscle pain or weakness


tender, swollen glands in the neck

trouble swallowing

unusual weak feeling

voice changes

Less common

Body aches or pain

burning, dry, or itching eyes

change in the color of the skin


cough increased



Incidence not known

Hair loss or thinning of the hair

skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing

So, there you have it. What I’ve been watching out for this past week! Not to mention the checking on him all thru the night to make sure he’s still alive… which does wonders for MY sleep, which I never get much of anyway!

Enough of me complaining. I feel for the guy. He’s had to cancel going to work, earning money, dealing with lobsterman stuff, being out on the ocean (which is his favorite place to be), selling his lobsters at the Farmers’ Market and also by himself at the harbor on the weekends. His friends have all contacted us asking about him. But the nicest thing so far (and they were ALL nice), but this one touched me and, I think, Paul… he has this friend he’s known most of his life (and he’ll be 70 soon!). This friend is married and lives down near the harbor, very near where Paul used to sell his lobsters to the public at Fort Sewell in Marblehead. This friend, we’ll call him Andrew, called him the other day asking about lobsters for the holiday, as have lots of other people, and Paul told him the abbreviated version of this whole long saga with the concussion, etc. So that was that.

Last night the phone rang while we were watching our British show on DVD and it was Andrew. Just listening to Paul’s end of the conversation, I could not figure out what he wanted! Once he hung up, Paul was almost in tears, touched by the generosity of this lifelong friend. What Andrew wanted to know was if Paul would like him and his wife to take his lobsters and go to the Farmer’s Market and sell them for him.

This is not something you just do… without planning. It takes Paul a couple of hours before he is ready to do this every Saturday morning, running round, getting everything in place, getting the scales all ready, the lobsters up out of the ocean and into the coolers, the ice from the grocery store, the bags (now we have to use paper, no more plastic!), etc. etc. But Andrew and his wife were willing to go ahead and do it for Paul, and more than likely they had plans for the 4th of July themselves which they apparently were willing to put on hold, if Paul had accepted.

Of course, he did not accept, but was very grateful. He has no lobsters to sell! He hasn’t worked in a couple of weeks.

I am choking up just writing this. So with that, I will say it’s been a struggle. Paul is far from “recovered” yet. The grass had grown a lot out front where the dogs do their business, and they were shunning it because they don’t like wading knee-deep in grass… they are so spoiled! So Paul did a poop-patrol yesterday out there and this morning he started up the lawn mower and did the inside portion of the grass where they go. It’s not huge and it only took him about 20 minutes… but he was very tired out by the end of that, and went right up to bed when he came in. That was about 4 hours ago and he’s still up there. If I could have pushed that mower around I would have. Just going out there to fill the bird baths each morning is all I can handle these days…

So we are alive and taking it all one hour, one day at a time.

Happy Independence Day to our fellow Americans, Happy Canada Day (belated) to those of you up North, and Happy Tennis to anyone who is enjoying Wimbledon this weekend.

We are not soccer fans, but congrats to the U.S. Women’s Soccer team for making it to the final… I don’t know when that will be played, maybe it already has been played… just not sure… but good luck to them!


Bex & Co.

I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals…

They are so placid and self-contained,

I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,

Not one is dissatisfied… not one is demented with the mania of owning things,

Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,

Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

~ [Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass, No. 32”] ~

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10 Responses to Moving slowly thru time and space

  1. crochetlady says:

    Glad Paul is making the slow recovery back. And glad he knows not to push and overdo it. Take care of yourself to,Bex. You both are in my prayers. Sorry for posting late, but no good service in hospital-made one of my trips this weekend. Home now. And doing much better.


  2. nina says:

    It’s quite the saga, but I’m glad Paul’s on an upswing!

    On the soccer front — I am not a sports enthusiast, but this women’s soccer thing is a big deal. Those women are great role models. I hear they have tremendous team spirit and are generous and good people. So many of our sports heroes (well, not mine, but in general) are not that way so it makes my heart swell to see them do well. I never watch the stuff, but just maybe this time I’ll take a peek (though we dont have cable so probably I wont be able to…). The finals are on tonight.

    Best of luck to the two of you. I’ve been there with a head injury. It’s slow, but the direction is what matters and it’s clear that Paul is getting better.


  3. TopsyTurvy says:

    Good for Paul in figuring out a way to take a step forward while still not straining himself! I’m glad to see he’s not pushing things too fast.

    When you think about it, it all might be quite frightening for him – and for you as well, Bex. Having a robust knight in shining armor like Paul come across some hard times is no doubt quite startling.

    I like Maggie’s idea of teen helpers for the lawn and such. Here in Ontario the high school kids have to put in X hours of community service in order to get their diplomas. I wonder if there are organizations out there that could help you?


  4. Bex,
    You and Paul have been in my thoughts daily. I’m glad he is over with taking the med from hell. I hope it helped. All those side effects are startling. One day at a time.

    How kind and generous of his friends to offer helping with the business. Sounds to me you live in a solid community.

    Hoping each day goes more smoothly and Paul rests and recovers 100%. I also hope you are able to rest and recover as well. I know it is hard on the caretaker!



  5. Bex says:

    Paul called his cousin, who owns a boatyard in M’head, to ask if they would haul out his boat next week and scrape and paint the bottom etc… a job he usually does around this time of year… saying he knew he could not handle a job like that just now. So with the boat out of the water, no work for him which I am happy about. He is resting most of the time. He’s kind of like a dog in that respect who, when injured, just goes to ground and stays still in order for the body to heal itself. At least that’s what ours have always done. I am leaving him alone for the most part – he craves sleep and the buzzing in his head prevents sleep sometimes – the buzzing being from the orthostatic hypotension he got over the winter… which they told him will never go away.


  6. Happy Independence Day to you and Paul Bex!

    What a challenging time you are having. I appreciate that you are sharing your experience. It is wonderful how kind people can be, and I am glad you and Paul had that experience, when you needed it. Too bad there isn’t something local to assist people in your situation, with temporary help with things like lawn mowing. I often think it would be a fine thing for students to undertake, like the Candy Stripers at the hospitals, a great type of volunteer work.

    It does sound like Paul has begun his journey to recovery, good for him for attempting the lawn, and for resting when he needed to. It is important not to overdo things while recovering from an injury, as I am learning the hard way.


  7. TopsyTurvy says:

    It’s going to be tough on both of you. I have a feeling that you’ll both have to put clamps down on your needs and your emotions to give Paul the time he needs to recover. Every person is different and there really is no hurrying recovering from this kind of injury, not without the possibility of serious permanent injury to ones health.

    A few years ago a friend of SD14 fell and hit her head on a concrete floor. She got a concussion from it. She wasn’t able to go to school – I’m serious, she wasn’t shirking – for about 8 months. She couldn’t handle school, she couldn’t handle birthday parties, couldn’t go to the movies, nothing. After about 8 months she was able to go to a birthday party for about an hour. That’s how extreme concussions can be.

    After about a year and a half she was pretty much fully recovered, but you can see how long it can take to really become healthy again.

    Might want to take a hop over to Maggie’s “Genius” post on her blog. Like Maggie, Paul needs to be very careful to not ignore or block out symptoms in an attempt to get back to work way too soon.

    *hugs to you both*


  8. Eric Mayer says:

    Yeah that was a wonderful offer. There are some good people. You read the news and it seems like every person in the world is evil.

    I just mowed our lawn today. Power mower but not self-propelled. The day might be far off when I’m going to want a self-propelled mower. Just as well Paul did only a small portion of lawn.

    Glad he is doing better and off that scary drug. I guess it is important he doesn’t try to rush his recovery. My understanding is that the effect of concussions take quite a while to wear off.


  9. Susan Honthumb says:

    What a sweet gesture. Maybe once that foul drug workits its way out of his system, he’ll be back to normal.


  10. Sandy Freel says:

    WOW…what kind friends those are to offer to sell.
    I have been there also after the death of my mate…friends stepped up to help.
    I wish I was closer…I like to mow and would even poop duty before hand.
    I still have him on a prayer chain and wish the best for both of you


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