Once Upon a Time





Some people might think our family is unusual. We work together. We vacation together.  We celebrate together.  Some of us even live together.  All of that is normal for me.



One of the great things about being around each other so much is that when one of us is out of balance or out of sync– it’s easy to see.  But, just because it’s easy to see, does not mean it is so easy to do anything about it.  Especially, if you do not know what a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) looks like or even means.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – Symptoms (from WebMD)

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a warning: It means you are likely to have a stroke in the future. If you think you are having a TIA, call 911 or other emergency services right away. Early treatment can help prevent a stroke. If you think you had a TIA but your symptoms went away, you still need to call your doctor right away.

Symptoms of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) occur suddenly and are always temporary. They usually go away in 10 to 20 minutes. TIA symptoms are just like stroke symptoms. They vary depending on which part of the brain is affected.

Common symptoms of TIA may include:

  • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
  • Sudden vision changes.
  • Sudden trouble speaking.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
  • Sudden problems with walking or balance.


On Sunday December 13, 2015, our family went to brunch to celebrate both my older sister Aellyn’s birthday (December 14th) and my mom Alberta’s (December 15th) birthday (85th!) at a new restaurant in town.  It was great.  In this photo, my mom is wearing the sweater I gave her.  My mom was in a particularly good mood.  She is a party animal!


By Christmas, I started to get a little worried about my mom.  We went to the movies and I noticed her stumbling up the stairs to the seats.  Her left leg was wobbly and she seemed to be dragging her left foot.  I stopped her and asked if she was ok.  She said she was fine.  Several hours later–by the time we were leaving the movie theater, my mom was walking normally again.  But her speech was a little slurred and her smile was noticeably crooked. When asked if everything was alright, my mom said, “I’m just a little tired.  That’s all.”  By the time we got home, her speech was back to normal and her smile was broad and wide.  But I knew something was wrong.   I just did not know what.