Stroke Update: The Saga Continues


In April I had a bit of a set back. A planned surgery didn’t really go as planned. If you remember, the cause of my stroke in 2015 was because of a tear in the lining of my carotid artery (the cause of that is unknown). The hope was that this tear would heal itself over time. It didn’t. So into surgery I went. The idea was to fill in the leftover aneurysm in my carotid artery with some metal coils and then let it heal by itself. Once the surgeon got in there he realized that the aneurysm had ripped open more and he would have to go to plan B. This involved placing a stent in order to “bridge the gap” and seal off the aneurysm. Not what I had hoped for. Unfortunately during the delicate placement of the stent a few blood clots were released and I suffered another stroke. So that unfortunate stroke, that I should never have had, has become two. Thankfully this second one was a bit milder but it has still been quite devastating for family life, and of course It has been a big set back in my recovery. One month before the surgery I had finally started working full time again. Now I am back to half time. Hopefully I’ll be able to work full time by the end of the year.

Now let’s get back to blogging…. again.

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The original plan


2015 was penciled in as my return to brewing. The past few years have been chaotic… birth of a second child, fixing up our old house, selling our old house, finding a new house, moving, working, and keeping sane all while trying to be a good husband and daddy. Sure I probably could have scheduled in a brew session here and there, but it just seemed too selfish to block out that much time for something that no one else in the house gets any enjoyment from. I am the type of person that obsesses over details and data so I am completely unavailable while I’m brewing, plus all the planning, transfers, bottling/kegging etc. Then, as life seemed to be smoothing itself out, I started planning my next brew when something unexpected happened. At the not so ripe age of 36, I had a stroke. More precisely a Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection that caused a stroke. That put a stop to many things.

What I found really sad was that there was no reason why it happened to me. I did not live a “risky” lifestyle. It was just a bit of bad luck. Part of my carotid artery just decided it would be funny to fail. I’m more or less OK now, but It’s still recovery at the moment. My big problems now are the lack of concentration, patience, and tasks such as writing (It took quite a while to write this short post). Now I just want to get back a little control of my life. Of course there are many things in life more important than grilling and brewing, but this blog is not about those. It is my outlet for all things brewing and grilling related. The situation has made me think about what aspects I like the most about my life, work, and hobbies as well as how they can or can not be combined. Outdoor cooking can continue just as it always has. It’s something that the whole family can enjoy, and it generally doesn’t take too much time. Brewing is different. It takes more planning, more time, and more concentration. Thankfully, the kids are growing up (now 4 and 6) and I know I will be able to find some time to brew. However, I also know it won’t be as often as I’d like. I really need to find some ways to either shorten my brew days or make the process more automated so I am more available while I do it. Something like how my BBQ Guru PartyQ gives me some precious time with my family when I’m smoking a pork shoulder for 15 hours. Any good suggestions will be embraced with open arms.

If you read this post hoping for some sort of amazing conclusion or revelation, you will be disappointed. I didn’t really have a goal for this blog post. It was really just a way of me trying to get back at it. A bit of therapy for myself. Now that I got that out of the way, perhaps I can post something more interesting next time.

… now I really need to spend some time bringing this old ugly blog up to date. I never liked the way it looked.