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Stroke Survivor - male
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About PaulNash
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  • Birthday 05/18/1958
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  • Stroke Anniversary (second stroke)
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  1. PaulNash

    Hi Tarina I get the same sort of thing from time to time, having to scour the entire house to look for something that is in its normal place, which place I know well. It usually happens when I am tired, or stressed, or feeling upset. It happens less often now, but it still happens. Your situation may be very different, but I find that if I just stop for a minute or two and clear my mind, it often helps. If it does not help, I try to take a break, lie down and rest for 1/2 hour to get back to normal. YMMV
  2. PaulNash

    Hi Mark My stroke was a while back (about 3 years), but I still remember quite clearly how long it took before thing settled. Expect to see improvement in many areas over time. My resilience to fatigue overall has improved over the entire time. However, there are times when I feel some or other function affected more than others (legs, an arm, cognition, vision ...). This comes and goes depending on what I have been doing, how tired I am, what parts of my brain have been working hard. My left leg felt really weak when I was in rehab. Measured by the OT, it was marginally stronger than my right. Now, whenever my left leg start to feel week, I know that its time to take a break and preferably a nap. Bottom line, expect on-going improvement, and learn to recognize the signals that your brain is giving you -- they are likely to be confused. Good luck, and welcome paul
  3. PaulNash

    Interesting. In Ontario, licenses are automatically suspended after a stroke (ER has to report them), MTO has to review medical records before you get it back, minimum 3 month wait. Visual field test is also mandatory. In my case, I did not meet the visual standard, had to wait another three months, have the test repeated. Results were stable, so I was able to apply for a vision waiver and take an hour-long test with instructor, inspector and OT in a dual-control car with me. I got the license back, but have to submit visual fields even year, and if they deteriorate I'll have to repeat the test or just lose the license.
  4. PaulNash

    Tarina I feel for you. It is really horrible to run out of steam and stop functioning properly, to have to depend on children to do things for you that you should do for them. Hugs. The flip-side is that it gives the kids a sense of control to be able to help, makes your stroke less frightening because they can do something, and empowers them for their lives in general. But it really does suck.
  5. PaulNash

    Well, we're trying. We have had a "full and frank discussion" (sorry, South African expat humour -- when the police had a "full and frank discussion" with someone, they usually ended up dead). We're going to have a "date night" on Friday, no talk about work, household stuff, just the two of us talking about how we feel and trying actively to rebuild intimacy. I don't think that it will be easy -- I feel broken, worthless and withdrawn, plus I now have difficulty with small talk; Linda is tired and resentful after bearing the emotional and logistical brunt. We are also trying to get to see a psychiatrist at the local stroke centre who specializes in couples therapy. And I am working on being more assertive, more definite, and trying to ignore the deficits. The most important part is that we have talked about the issues, and come up with a plan of sorts. I'm not expecting miracles, but it is progress, and Linda appreciates that I am taking the initiative in this. 90% of the battle is just showing up.
  6. PaulNash

    Is there something like "March of Dimes" nearby where you can find some assistance? I have never needed to use outside help (my wife is super-organized), but there have to be public service groups around who can help you. You could even try sometime like a local old-age home (they'll be used to sorting out paperwork for people who are overwhelmed) or a school
  7. PaulNash

    My father (who used to travel on business a lot) used to say that you should never pass a toilet without taking a pee. Because you never know when you'll pass another one.
  8. Hi Tarina I have something similar (I remember things erratically). Since my stroke three years ago, my memory has been improving. Still not as good as it was before the stroke, but better than it was a year ago. In may case, emotionally-loaded thinks tend to stick, facts less so. But I am discovering techniques to remember things, for example I find it hard/impossible to memorize the numeric combination of a door lock, but I can remember the locations of the buttons to push, and what order. Voila! That problem solved. This birthday will probably be lost (unless you have some externalized memory, like photos), but the ability to remember will probably improve over time. As will your ability to compensate (photo albums, diaries, to-do lists, calendars). Good luck. We're with you. paul
  9. PaulNash

    Thank you, everyone, for the support and suggestions. We have started a full and frank discussion, and are making a plan to bring thongs back together. Linda is (understandably) quite tired of doing the heavy lifting in this regard, so is leading the bulk of the work to me, but that's OK as long as she is understanding about the slips that I'm going to make. It seems a bit clinical, but I think that it is a necessary step to fix the damage and regain as much as we can of what we had. I'm mostly relieved that things are still salvageable. It's a very easy slope to slip down, and I'm not expecting it to be very easy to climb back up.
  10. PaulNash

    >> is a lawyer necessary from the get go? or just wait for the first denial and get one then? My experience was that we sent in the application, and the insurance company declined the permanent disability on very dubious grounds. I was all set to go the legal route, but my wife just contacted all the medics that I had seen (family doc, neurologist, stroke neurologist, radiologist, cognitive psychologist, neuro-optometrist, MTO) and sent in all of their reports. Insurance then decided that they I was actually disabled and paid out. They wanted a whole pile of updates after year 1, now just ask for a "nothing has changed" from the various medics. Apart from anything else there was enough in the original documentation (and the stuff after year 1) that they could see that they would lose any sort of legal battle. So my advice would be to keep lawyers out of it for now, just bombard them with overwhelming evidence of your disability. If they want more, send it. Only bring in the lawyers when yo've exhausted all other battles -- apart from anything else, they'll cost you money one way or another *and* the insurers have more and more experienced lawyers than you. Good luck!
  11. PaulNash

    I took a much more pragmatic approach. I've been paying for disability insurance for many many years, and I am partially disabled (partially blind, significant memory issues). These don't prevent me from working AT ALL, but do affect my ability to work, ability to interact with my family, help kids with homework, interact with family and friends. So I put in a disability claim, with supporting documentation from Neurologist, Neuro-Psych and a cast of thousands more, and I get a partial disability payment. This lets me work a bit more slowly, rest a bit more. And that lets me be more engaged with my family. I'm still not bad where I was, but the disability payout helps me to focus my cognitive resources where they are important. I paid for the insurance cover, I fit their criteria, so I am entitled to it. To hell with the label -- it's just a word on a piece of paper, does not have to affect how you view yourself. My advice for anyone who is entitled to disability insurance (partial or total, is to reach put and grab it with both hands. It goes you some extra time to work on recovery, be present for those closest to you, and enables you to manage your cognitive reserves on your terms.
  12. PaulNash

    Hi Steve First of all, I do not think that there were are specific failings of the system in my case. As far as I can tell, everyone acted rationally and correctly, given what they knew. So here is how it unfolded: I took my son clothes-shopping early in the new year. Shopping centre was over-heated, it was snowing outside. Came outside, suddenly felt dizzy as I got to the car. Sat in the car for a few minutes, dizziness passed, felt OK. Drove home; on the way noticed that a stop-sign was missing at an intersection I drive through regularly. Turned to see whether it had been knocked over by a car, and there it was, in its usual place, Turned by head back, it was missing. I had lost my right half of my vision (both eyes). Thought nothing special of it, bit mentioned it to my wife when we got home. She rushed me off to a local hospital, where the triage nurse pushed me straight into emergency, jumping the line. The did a scan (not sure whether MRI, CT, whatever). Could not find anything, and shortly thereafter my vision was back to normal. Doctor told us to call an ambulance if anything similar happened. Sent me home, all was well. Skip forward two days. I was brushing snow off my wife's car before she left for work, felt a bit dizzy, put it down to not having had breakfast yet. She took me inside, quizzed me about details, call 911 and got an ambulance. The medics did a bunch of standard tests, decided to take me to hospital based on history. Walking to the ambulance, my vision went haywire (images from each eye rotated 90 degrees in opposite directions), felt like my head was being split it two. Ambulance made record time through the morning rush-hour. Same doctor was in emerg, still had my wife's phone number in her pocket. Sent me straight through for a scan, still could not find anything. Admitted me for observation. I went downhill during that day and night, and again the next day. Lost of repeated scans of every type known to man. The senior radiologist then spent a couple of hours going over my scans, found a dissection in one of my vertebral arteries, figured out where the clots would have gone, found the lesions and then all was clear. Not much that they could do in the way of treatment, they just kept me going until I was able to go home (about 10 days IIRC). After that, rehab at St Johns (mostly learning to balance and to cope with the permanent loss of one quadrant of my vision. A couple of take-aways for me: -- the system is not geared up for "rare" strokes, with damage in unusual places. -- the line between migraine and stroke symptoms is pretty much non-existent in many cases. -- medical diagnostics can be really difficult It *would* have been better had we gone to Sunnybrook initially (the major stroke hospital for Toronto), and also if the ambulance had insisted on taking us there. Apart from being the stroke centre, it is also closer than North York. That said, I now go to Sunnybrook for checkups, and have spoken to the boss of their stroke unit, who said that I would likely have had the same outcome had I go there instead of North York. They would probably also have battled to find anything and sent me home with a diagnosis of Migraine. The return trip would probably have received some more intensive diagnostics, more advanced imaging. It would probably have made no difference to the outcome.
  13. PaulNash

    Ed, I wish that I could help. Your story makes me somewhat ashamed. You have had a really unfair outcome, and I wish that I could help. I just hope that everything turns around for you. paul
  14. PaulNash

    That is one amazing journey that you are on. At least you made the move in time, and have a supportive partner. And you can pat yourself on your back for forcing your ex to get his life back. You are remarkable!
  15. PaulNash

    Hey Kelli Every time I read your story I get so angry when I get to the part " sent home with a warning to call an ambulance if *anything* felt funny." They thought that it might be a stroke. I *think* that they sent me for a scan and could not find anything (vertebral artery), but not sure (I was pretty out of it). The ER doc was about to call (still had my wife's phone number in her pocket) when I was admitted for the second time. It took another day or two to find the dissection. I am *beep* that they did not find the dissection. I am *beep* that it ever happened. But what has happened has happened. I try to move along; some days are easy, some days are impossible. But I guess that that applies to all of us -- some days are easy and some days are impossible. And the upside is that I got to meet a whole bunch of really really nice people. So maybe it was worth it 🙂