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Walter Steinlauf


On September 14, 2005, I suffered a dual brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage (a hemorrhagic stroke; my neurosurgeon referred to it as a massive bleed.) I may have been predisposed to stroke; my father had an Ischemic stroke in 1979. I suffered a major skull fracture in 1962 that was never really acknowledged as TBI. In those days, no one knew (or cared about) the comprehensive effects - emotional, physical, and spiritual - of serious head injuries.


On the date of the massive bleed, I was employed by a large public agency as a payroll and personnel specialist. I was assigned to a work site that I really loved because I felt and saw that I could make a difference in people s lives. This is some of the most rewarding activities people can be involved in helping others with no thought of a return, no conditions, no expectations. This is more precious to me than any money, prestige, position, or material enrichment. It was no small wonder that I was willing to devote considerable overtime and free time to this position. Typically, my days consisted of at least ten hours of work and whatever else I could pack into a 24-hour period; I was burning my proverbial candle at every available end.



On the night of September 14, 2005, I came home and started to cook dinner. I reached under the stove for a pan and was hit with severe dizziness, kind of like the feeling prior to fainting; I said, oh my God! and blacked out. In my unconsciousness, I felt as if my head had been thrust into a bucket of ice water, and I saw (brain hallucination / vision?) dark red blood flooding before my eyes.


Some time later, I returned to consciousness on the kitchen floor with EMT personnel all over me trying to get me onto a gurney. I was drenched in sweat; I had no feeling from my chest down; I could barely speak; I could not move any part of my body no matter how hard I tried.


EMT took me by ambulance to the local trauma center (UCD Medical Center, Sacramento). That is the last of my memory of that night and of my memory until about February 2006, a period of approximately 6 months.


At the hospital, I underwent two brain surgeries. The first surgery was for clipping of the ruptured aneurysms. Next, the doctors installed a shunt to remove blood and cerebral-spinal fluid from the inside of my skull. The brain treats free blood inside the brain cavity as a foreign substance; it kills brain cells and must be removed to prevent death.


I remained in Neuro ICU for about three weeks, part of which time I was comatose. After ICU, I moved to the neuro "floor" and the hospital eventually discharged me in October 2005. I do not remember anything (or very, very little) from September 14, 2005 up to about New Years 2006. This must have been Divine, merciful intervention since I was delirious and in extreme pain for quite some time.


After a few months at home and not aware of what was going on (amnesia & sequencing issues), I began in-home rehabilitation; the areas of focus were physical rehab, speech and cognitive rehab (executive functioning), and occupational therapy. Following in-home rehab, I obtained a driver s license recertification and was able

to drive myself to the main hospital for rehabilitation.


I attempted to return to work, at first part-time and then full time. That was a mistake! I crashed and burned in that pursuit. Full time work in my occupation (Payroll & Personnel Specialist) did not work out. The stress drove my blood pressure and dizzy spells "through the roof." I also suffered (and continue to suffer) major memory and sequencing deficits.


It is difficult getting non-survivors (aka normies, civilians, earth people) to understand the gravity of stroke and TBI. Even professionals are at a loss most of the time.


Much has changed because of my stroke. Prior to the massive bleed, I was a 110%, in your face, Type A personality. I was a highly skilled specialist with considerable historical and institutional perspective on my employer

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Your post said exactly what I have been trying to make everyone understand for 5 years.

Boy I wish I had read that 5 years ago. :)


Thank you for bringing it all home. :) ATM

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my name is angel and on jan. 16,2010 my dad who is 55 yrs old, had a hemorrhagic stroke. i will never forget that day ever. when we got to hospital they told us (my family) that dad had had a stroke but that was about all they could tell us at that point. we were all so very scared my dad is our bestfriend. it was just devastating seeing our dad with a tube down his throat and hooked to all these machines. then they told us that we had to send him to another hospital because they were better equipped to handle and treat dad. the hospital that we first took dad to was very good to dad and our family and when we got him to kettering hospital they too were wonderful to our dad. they took wonderful care of dad there. but we got very heartbreaking news, the doctors did a cat scan of dads head and dad had a huge bloodclot in the middle of his brain right by the brainstem. dad also had sweeling so they had to put a drain in to relieve the pressure and when they did that they told us that dad was very critical and they we needed to pray because they had done everything medically possible to help him that it was in gods hands. so we all did just that we prayed for dad and so did dads doctors they were so wonderful and caring doctors. and dad started to wake up finally but it wasnt a normal awake it was like a foggy awake but dad could see us and he could squeeze our hands with his right hand, dad had full movement of his right side but not the left, and let me tell you it was like we had won the lottery we were able to communicate with dad some it was a joyous moment and all thanks to god. slowly we were able to get dad to answer yes and no questions by blinking his eyes because dad has a trache and resporator and has a feeding tube in. even the doctors and staff at kettering couldnt believe how well dad was recovering and we all knew that it was because of gods grace. they had even started trying to wean dad off the resporator and dad was doing great but then he got a clog in his tube and he started tochoke and the staff told us that it was a bad clog and that it had stressed dad out so they put him back on the resporator to help calm him. and we all never stopped praying for dad. but i dont know what happened but that eposide seem to be a mager set back for dad he started not responding to us stopped tolerating being weaned off the resporator and he stopped moving his right side as well. we were all devastated but the doctors told us that we just have to be patient and wait. again everyone who has had a part in caring for dad have been very wonderful to him and us and we thank god for that. but it is so hard to see my dad like this but we have all been steadfast in our prayers and being here everyday to set with dad and talk to him and stimulate him and most of all love him. i sit here and i watch my mom shes so caring and loving when it comes to dad shes by his side from sun up to sun down no matter what. she is also very steadfast in her prayers to god. she tries to be so strong for us kids and for dad but i see it in her eyes shes hetting tired and its wearing on her but she hasnt given up on dad and she never will. she says that dad is her life her soulmate and that when she married him she married him in sickness and health. me and my 2 sisters, missy and amanda, are here for mom and dad everyday. my sister missy hs a husband and 2 wonderful kids but she is here everytime that she can be and my sister amanda is pregnant and aslo has a husband but she too is also here when she can be also. i too am here whenever its possible but its been my poor mom who has been her every single day and night. i hope that one day im as strong as she is. my sister in law is also here with their dad and moms grandkids whenever they can be. our family is very close now and my dad is the center of it all. our family has had a really rough couple of years 2 years ago on aug.24,2008 we lost my brother he was killed at ak steel it was a terrible loss. mikey, thats my brother name, was my dads bestfriend they did everything together and he was the only son mom and dad had. mikey was my moms pride and joy ,as all her kids are, loosing mikey was hard for us all and then 2 weeks later dad became very ill and we almost lost him but the lord healed him and gave him back to us. i can never understand what mom and dad went through, loosing a child, and i pray i never have to but i know it was really really hard but we all pulled together as a family and we all got through it and we still have mikeys wife and two kids in our life so its like a little bit of mikey lives on here on earth. so thats why its so hard for us right now. dadno longerbmoves hisright side at all but he has started moving his left side a little and he also rarely communicates with us anymore but i do know that gods mercy is new everyday and that with god all things are possible. we are staying steadfast in our prayers but its so hard to see dad like this i just wish i could trade places with him im younger and stronger and mom and dad have been through enough. please i would love to hear some stories of people who have had a hemorrhagic stroke and survived it.and from the family members who have had to go through dealing with a loved one who has had a stroke. i would love to hear from people who have had a stroke and have them tell me what they were thinking as they laid there in bed probably trapped in their body being able hear and know whatwas going on around them and not being able to communicate your needs. i would also love to know what helped them to stay strong and fight to come back and pull through. any information will be greatly appericated not just for me but for mom because no matter how us kids feel mom has to be feeling it 10x more and going through 10x more than we are. i know that dad is still here with us because when i look at him i see him inside there and i know godis working on dad because everyone says that we they come in here to see dad that they thought he would look much worse tahn he does. i will continue praying for my dad and my mom and i know that no matter what is too come that god will be there right next to us carrying us through it all but it is always wonderful hearing from some who has been in our shoes. so please let me know what u have experienced with this and god bless you all and i will be praying for everyone who has had to or are going through what we are right now



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