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Stroke Survivor - male
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About ehgriffith

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  • Birthday 10/02/1962

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  1. ehgriffith

    I had two strokes about 14 weeks ago, described as a vertebral dissection. I have been recovering well during the time between the hospital, SNF, and then at home. I am now able to walk without a cane and have returned to a partial schedule at work. I consider myself very lucky to have done so well. What is not doing well is the numbness and lack of feeling on my left side. Since my stroke, my left hand has been freezing cold and it is moving up toward my elbow. Most of my left side is numb, especially my ankle and left foot. In the midsection, I feel numb also. The same applies to the right side of my face. My right nostril is always partially blocked, and there is numbness in side my mouth and on the eye. When certain parts of my left side are stimulated, it reacts in strange ways. For example, if you tough the bottom of my foot, my leg starts shaking. Although this was not especially painful, it gets worse each day. The coldness and numbness with my left had gets a little worse each day, and the coldness is painful. I sleep with a ski glove on. When you touch both my hands (someone else), they are the same temperature. . At first it was something I could ignore, but by this point is pretty painful, and it keeps getting worse. My Dr. put me on Gabapentin 300 at night, and said for me to try 600, but it does not really seem to help. The numbness in my leg is starting to negatively affect walking. I cannot feel when I kick or step on something. My biggest concern is that this keeps getting worse. Where will it be in a year or two? Does this sound like CPS to those of you who are more experienced with it?
  2. ehgriffith

    My first 10 weeks post-stroke update. I'm not posting this because of any specific interest in me, but more so just to pass along my experiences to other members who may in similar situations. It has been 10 weeks since my strokes on April 19. I spent 2 days in ICU, 2 in the hospital, 10 days at a SNF and was sent home after that. Did PT at home for 4 weeks after that, and now I am at a PT outpatient facility. Just today, I sent back my hospital bed and trapeze bar. My physical condition: I can walk almost unaided, but am still using a single point cane. Used a walker for 4 weeks, and a 4 prong cane for another 6. I just received (and like) my Hurrycane. At home, I really don't need a cane at all, and can walk from place to place just holding onto things. I have been going up stairs for about 6 weeks, and am able to bathe and dress myself unaided (although it can be pretty frustrating, and takes twice as long). I am working 3 days a week at my office. No problems driving. My main complaint now is still the weakness in my left side, that seems to be getting worse. It is not as much weakness, but an increasing sensation of numbness and tingling. I can't feel much on my left leg or foot, and my left hand is freezing all the time (it feels this way but isn't cold to the touch). I have a little difficulty typing with the left hand. The tingling/numbness and occasional spasms on the left side have been making sleep difficult. Tried taking some heavy duty pain killers, but this doesn't seem to help. The Dr. just gave me Gabapentin and I am waiting to see if this helps those sensations. I am ping-ponging between constipation and diarrhea and can't seem to find the right spot between the two. I get tired very easy, and things that used to be easy are now extremely difficult. Otherwise, I think I am in pretty good shape. No vision issues, no memory/mental problems, right side is still very strong. Eating well, and I can walk about 1/4 mile. Medical: Taking Warfrin 7.5mg a day to try and keep the INR between 2-3. Also take Metformin for blood sugar, Cozar, and Atenolol for BP, and Atorvastim for blood. Just started the Gabapentin. BP is about 145/80 on average and my sugar is running about 125. Seeing my Doc every 4 weeks, and my next Neurology appointment is in August. He said they will do a Catscan with dye to determine if the blood thinners are doing what they are supposed to. I think I have a lot to be grateful for. I am by no means where I was before my strokes, but I also know and see how much worse off I could have been. When people ask how I am doing, I have to compare it to just after my stroke, not before it happened. I am very grateful for where I am, and the progress I have made. I still get mad when I spend 10 minutes trying to put my shoes on, and I still have times where I feel sorry for myself, but more often have come to appreciate the life I have been able to reconstruct. I spent my first morning after my stroke explaining to my wife where all of my life insurance documents were and where I hid my emergency cash. I scared her, but I was scared myself. Those are rough times, and I didn't picture I would ever be where I am today. There wasn't much help available mentally at the hospital either. All I can say to everyone is to keep hoping and giving it 110%. Don't give up on yourself. Thank all of you who gave me advice and encouragement on this board and in chat.
  3. ehgriffith

    Steve, I hope all goes well. You will be in my prayers.
  4. My strokes were 6 weeks ago, and I had my first visit today with a Neurologist in my health plan. This was a good visit. While I was in the ER/ICU there were 4 different neurologists that saw me, but none took the time to explain much, and I left without a good understanding of how my illness was being handled. This doctor spent about an hour with me, and I am now a lot more comfortable that I understand the treatment and plan. I had two strokes in Mid April. The official diagnosis is a right vertebral artery dissection and Hematoma that ended up with a Right vertical occlusion and meduallary stroke. Hemiplegia, hemiparesis, ataxia and late effect of ischemic stroke. Also, Wallenberg Syndrome. I copied this off the medical record, so sorry if it is cryptic to anyone (it is to me). The good news that I took away was that he felt the blood thinners were the right treatment for me at this time, and that I would continue to see improvement. He also addressed my concern that my right side seems to continue to become more numb. This is apparently a good sign that some feeling is returning. The plan is to re-run another CT scan and MRI in early August and see if the blood thinners have done their job. Also, to continue to manage my HBP, cholesterol and A1C. I can' tell you all how much better I feel now having someone that I trust and respect managing my case and care. I this that the doctors ate the ER/ICU were probably very talented as well, but didn't have the right communications skills to give me the comfort level I was looking for. I took the above as a shot of good news and am very encouraged going forward.
  5. ehgriffith

    Thank you all again for your responses and sharing your experiences. I am more interested at this point in paving my my to recovery than I am looking back. I don't doubt one bit that I was misdiagnosed, but it also sounds like that happens a lot. It seems to pursue this legally is futile, and will just cause more more lost time, with very little chance of a very limited reward. Ed, I am in Murrieta, CA, probably about 45 miles to the Southeast of you.
  6. ehgriffith

    Thanks for all the responses. Edkel1, in my hindsight, why indeed. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have gone to the urgent care, but straight to the ER. That was a major mistake on my part, but I also figured they would kick me straight to the ER if they were not sure. It it just seems like my symptoms were so obvious...but even more so for tmciriani. How can medical “professionals” be so blind to such an obvious list of such familiar symptoms. It is beyond my comprehension. But, as mentioned, it is probably better to put the effort into recovery than looking back to the past. I also found out that my HMO only does arbitration, so there is no option to sue them. Becky, I think that first one happened on Tuesday morning, followed by the more severe one Wednesday evening. If I hadn’t been so confident that I was okay after going to urgent care, I might have gone to the ER Wednesday night. As to why....I don’t know. I had HBP, was overweight, diabetic. I work a stressful job, but was in reasonably good health. I used to do yard work, workout on the treadmill, etc. i really never ever had a good understanding of what happened or my treatment until after leaving and seeing my normal doctor. I saw 5 different doctors in the hospital and got 5 somewhat conflicting stories. No one really to over the “management” of my case like I thought they would, probably partially because I am with an HMO.
  7. ehgriffith

    Thank you for the follow up and encouragement. One of the things that bothers me is if I should be concerned about the early care I received. My my scenario was as follows: Tuesday morning: was in a meeting, and felt a little strange. Went to go to lunch, and I was a little dizzy. 30 minutes later I was very dizzy and vomiting. Left work and made my way home after stopping twice during the one hour drive to vomit some more. Took it easy the rest of the day. Wednesday: Woke up still a little dizzy and had vomited during the night. My left arm felt like pins and needles, which concerned me. So I went right to urgent care. They did an EKG, Catscan (no dye), blood work. After reviewing, the PA who saw me diagnosed it as nausea and gave me a couple of prescriptions. I went home relieved and convinced I would just power through it. That evening I had a really bad headache, more tingling, and was so dizzy, I almost couln’t Make it upstairs. When I woke the next morning, I could no longer walk. Thursday: called 911 and went to the ER. They told me I had 2 strokes. My main concern is that I think urgent care mis-diagnosed me. They should have sent me to the ER right away when I presented with those symptoms. I am wondering if I should be speaking to a lawyer. I am now convinced that the first stroke probably happened Tuesday. If I had been treated sooner, I may not have even had the second one. How could an urgent care doctor/PA miss something that seems pretty obvious?
  8. I am a new member that just joined this forum. I had two strokes in mid April and was told I had a dissection of the vertebral artery. I was in the hospital for four days (2 in ICU), then 10 days at a nursing home and have been at home since then. I have trouble with my left side. My leg is week, and arm/hand have decreased sensation. I am getting around pretty good with my walker and have just started going upstairs. Fortunately, no memory loss or speech problems. I am impatient with the rate of recovery, but everyone is telling me I am doing great and was lucky to avoid worse problems. My left hand is constantly cold, but no one can sense a difference except for me. I am hoping to learn more about the recovery journey from this site, and how to best maximize my recovery time frame. Thank you for your time. Eric
  9. Welcome to StrokeNet. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.