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Hello my name is Russ. I had a massive cerebellar stroke due to arterial dissection from a neck massage in November of 2015. I am father to a 24 year-old daughter and 18 year-old quadruplets. I have been married for nearly 30 years. I have ongoing nausea and motion sickness two years after the stroke, and I'm getting quite frustrated. Sometimes my moods are really horrid, and I get quite rude to people. I find it hard to control. I am also swearing 20 times more than I ever used to.  Support and ideas on how to manage my situation are appreciated. Today I got on an exercise bike and tried to get more blood flow to my brain For The first Time in forever.

 

 My loyal dog, Oliver, helped me through the dark, early days of my stroke, and I am quite an animal lover. I also love music and in particular portable audio with both headphones and digital audio players.

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Russ, I can't give you any answers but had to reply to your mail just to offer my sympathy.  My stroke left me with similar problems but not with your severity. It will be interesting to see if your exercise bike does any good. I find myself on the point of anger a lot of times and have to some rapid changes of thought direction to combat it. Music is my great solace and can lose myself quite easily in it .

Welcome to the forum.

Deigh

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Hi Russ, nice to meet you. I also had an arterial dissection, although the cause of it was never identified.  Most of my damage is in the right frontal lobe my deficits are mostly muscular although I also had/have emotional lability and some minor speech patterning issues.  So I can't offer advice on the motion sickness etc. although there are others here who can and I'm sure will.

 

Have you considered mood stabilising drugs? I take daily low dose lexapro which is a great help with my emotional lability. I opted for the short cut as I wanted to go back to work and crying for "no reason" is not socially acceptable in the workplace. Other than drugs you can work on rebuilding the control circuits that you lost just like I work on rebuilding nerve/muscle connections to my left side. Are you aware that you are going to swear and can you stop it with conscious thought?

 

Keep working on it, animals are great therapy

-Heather

 

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10 minutes ago, Deigh said:

Russ, I can't give you any answers but had to reply to your mail just to offer my sympathy.  My stroke left me with similar problems but not with your severity. It will be interesting to see if your exercise bike does any good. I find myself on the point of anger a lot of times and have to some rapid changes of thought direction to combat it. Music is my great solace and can lose myself quite easily in it .

Welcome to the forum.

Deigh

Thank you so much for being out there! Once I figure out how to insert media maybe I'll have some pictures up...

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11 minutes ago, Deigh said:

Russ, I can't give you any answers but had to reply to your mail just to offer my sympathy.  My stroke left me with similar problems but not with your severity. It will be interesting to see if your exercise bike does any good. I find myself on the point of anger a lot of times and have to some rapid changes of thought direction to combat it. Music is my great solace and can lose myself quite easily in it .

Welcome to the forum.

Deigh

Well, I kept my head still and the nausea is better but now I have a slight headache. I really appreciate the encouragement. Thank you for being out there.

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5 minutes ago, heathber said:

Hi Russ, nice to meet you. I also had an arterial dissection, although the cause of it was never identified.  Most of my damage is in the right frontal lobe my deficits are mostly muscular although I also had/have emotional lability and some minor speech patterning issues.  So I can't offer advice on the motion sickness etc. although there are others here who can and I'm sure will.

 

Have you considered mood stabilising drugs? I take daily low dose lexapro which is a great help with my emotional lability. I opted for the short cut as I wanted to go back to work and crying for "no reason" is not socially acceptable in the workplace. Other than drugs you can work on rebuilding the control circuits that you lost just like I work on rebuilding nerve/muscle connections to my left side. Are you aware that you are going to swear and can you stop it with conscious thought?

 

Keep working on it, animals are great therapy

-Heather

 

I tried Lexapro and had a very ugly incident which required my boss calling 911 at work to have me removed. Thank you for being out there. I am trying to do it cognitively at the moment. I always seem to have bad reactions to Pharmaceuticals. I can't get a medical card because I work for a government agency.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, heathber said:

Hi Russ, nice to meet you. I also had an arterial dissection, although the cause of it was never identified.  Most of my damage is in the right frontal lobe my deficits are mostly muscular although I also had/have emotional lability and some minor speech patterning issues.  So I can't offer advice on the motion sickness etc. although there are others here who can and I'm sure will.

 

Have you considered mood stabilising drugs? I take daily low dose lexapro which is a great help with my emotional lability. I opted for the short cut as I wanted to go back to work and crying for "no reason" is not socially acceptable in the workplace. Other than drugs you can work on rebuilding the control circuits that you lost just like I work on rebuilding nerve/muscle connections to my left side. Are you aware that you are going to swear and can you stop it with conscious thought?

 

Keep working on it, animals are great therapy

-Heather

 

I usually do that when I'm alone in terms of swearing. I just find it odd that I do it so much. I am usually able to control it with conscious thought, unless I lose my temper then it just comes out.  Some of my co-workers were very rude and condescending when I came back. They accused me of milking my situation. I have a lot of built-up animosity and I am rude to many of them right back.  One of the my rudest co-workers threw his back out last week and I just laughed hysterically right at him.  He looked at me like he wanted to kill me and I got supreme satisfaction out of it.  Unfortunately my work place is filled with gossiping kindergarten-like adults who mistreat each other.

Edited by Russ
Left something out.

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Hi, Russ. I don't have any of the stroke affects that you have,  so I have no ideas to share, except one: Maybe a neuropsychiatrist can help you find a solution. Neurpsychs are experts in how neurology can affect behavior.If there is another drug or technique that you can try, a neuropsychiatrist may know about it since this is something that's up their alley, so to speak. Problem is, they're rare, and hard to find. Ask your doc, look in areas where there is a large university or medical center. Good luck, and welcome!   Becky  

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14 minutes ago, becky1 said:

Hi, Russ. I don't have any of the stroke affects that you have,  so I have no ideas to share, except one: Maybe a neuropsychiatrist can help you find a solution. Neurpsychs are experts in how neurology can affect behavior.If there is another drug or technique that you can try, a neuropsychiatrist may know about it since this is something that's up their alley, so to speak. Problem is, they're rare, and hard to find. Ask your doc, look in areas where there is a large university or medical center. Good luck, and welcome!   Becky  

Thanks.  I will do some research.

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Welcome to the group, Russ! :hi:

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Thank you.:humming:

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Hi Russ, I have been on lexapro for three months if helps me maintain a more neutral emotional  level. I can still break down sometimes and cry hard. But in general I am more even keeled. 20mgs. Once a day, at night because it makes me drowsy.

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I'm on a bunch,  one that truly helps  https://www.drugs.com/venlafaxine.html and extended release.  But it's not so much for the stroke but  for my ADD. I also take Xanax but that is mainly for my leg spams and a Beta Blockers that chills you out but that's for my Tachycardia ( hereditary) 

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Speaking of leg spasms, when I wake in the morning if I stretch my left leg go make it straight, it takes over and straightens itself all the way to the toes almost painfully, then it vibrates a bit before releasing. The calf often cramps during this which is painful. At the same time my same side hand flexes and reaches up. This is so weird to me as I don't control it. 

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Alan it's normal and yes it feels really weird, it's some sort of reflex, for a long time I could trigger it by yawning. that vibration is a form of clonis. It's all about poor signal connection and lack of good nerve feedback (apparently). It should reduce over time and as you get better connections happening.

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Same here -- yawning triggers my arm/hand to contract. I wake up every morning to my entire right side stretching, but not to the point of pain.

It used to be more often, during the day, but only mornings now.

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Hi Russ,

 

Your experience resonates with me. My stroke resulted from an arterial dissection in 2012.  I can walk (slowly) and drive but have zero functionality with my left arm and hand. My speaking ability was impacted also - all that said, temperament has been my biggest problem. I had terrible mood swings early on and exploded at people at home, in the workplace, and in generic public settings. Work place explosions were a big concern because I was in a director role with 20 direct reports, many of whom tested my patience severely when I returned to work. The generic public explosions were simply embarrassing, the at home explosions hurt the people I love most.

 

I've had a better handle on temperament the past two years. Here are the tactics that worked for me:

  1. After each incident I reflected on what happened discussing it with my wife - typical who, what, where, when, how, why, emphasis on determining root cause vs. immediate trigger.
  2. Developed strategies for dealing with stuff that happens in the workplace, at home, in public settings generally so I was prepared to deal with it when the situation recurs. 
  3. I focused daily on executing my rehab plan - completing scheduled exercises and setting new goals.
  4. I re-engaged with some favorite pre-stroke hobbies to lift my self-esteem

Ultimately, Russ, for me at least, mood is influenced by whether I feel good about myself at the moment of impact. Public blow-ups resulted from embarassment/frustrations over being handicapped and unable to compete for aisle space with the able-bodied people, or being unable to hold my own in contentious conversations, or sadness over lost abilities which feeds a victim mentality, which I had. There came a point where enough was enough. I function better interpersonally when I feel better about myself, so steps 1-4 above restored a sense of being back in control to me. As long as I do these things I'm reasonably content.

 

I need to add one more thing: I've learned when to disengage and be a passive participant in settings where I am simply out-gunned and be OK with that. For example, in family gatherings I am simply not able to participate in conversations with my girls - they talk too fast and they loud talk, so I just listen and smile, and live to fight another day. At work, if confronted by an angry/emotional employee, I scheduled a follow-up 1:1 which diffused the employee's emotions and gave me the opportunity to prepare for discussion instead of reacting to a blind-sided declaration.

 

Initially I tried mood assisting pharmaceuticals but gave them up because increased tone was a common side effect of the ones prescribed. Plus I prefer an approach where I can be in control of my destiny.

 

Best of luck to you Russ. This is a battle well worth fighting.

 

 

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Wayne, I really lliked your ideas, especially how to handle emotional emploees. I wish that we could use that one in non-workplace settings.I have a pretty profound hearing loss due to my stroke, and if an emotional person talks to me loud and fast, I cannot understand them at all. All I can hear is loud sounds. It would be so nice to tell them to come another day. Best, Becky 

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