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DaveC

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Hello all,

Just found this site this morning and happy to have found it. 

 

After reading so many stories from others on here, I realize how lucky I am that my stroke was no worse than it was. To me it was bad enough but easier than so many others.

 

My problems actually started on 03/10/2018, which was on a Saturday. From the time I got up in the morning, my equilibrium was in bad shape. My wife noticed that I was walking around like a drunk and asked me why, but I just figured I was tired. I made it through most of the day, but in the afternoon I fell in the hall. The cold air return for the AC is in the wall and when I fell, my arm slid down that and did a bad skin tear which did a  lot of bleeding which scared my wife so bad that she called the ambulance. They brought me to the ER where they fixed my arm, did some tests and sent me home. I made it through Sunday alright and on Monday my wife went to work as usual. 

 

By Monday afternoon I was talking to my daughter on the phone. She lives in New Hampshire and I live in Florida. She said I was slurring my words but I disagreed with her and told her not to worry, but she did not listen to me and within a few minutes, a firetruck and an ambulance pulled up in front of my house. I argued that I was alright,and they said no, I was having a stroke so back to the hospital I went. The paramedics steadied me walking down three steps off my porch to the ambulance.

 

I was admitted to the stroke ward and by the next day I could not move my left arm or leg. An MRI showed a clot in the PONS of my brain. Never heard of it. That was on March 13th. March 15th was my 70th birthday. The hospital would not even let me have any birthday cake. How rude.

 

On the 18th, I was transferred to rehab where they did a great job of getting my arm and leg working again.

 

I was released from rehab on April 11th. When I left they said the insurance would pay for either a walker or wheelchair so which did I want. I told them I would be alright with just a cane and that is what I use. While in the house I forget where I left it most of the time and do not use it. When I go outside I take it with me as a precaution.

 

I have good days and bad with my left leg. I can walk but not 100%. The left arm and hand are getting there and I can now scratch my left ear without putting my right eye out which I look at as a plus. The one problem that I really hate is being so jumpy now. I have always been easily startled but is about 3 times worse since the stroke. Drinking hot coffee during these bad Florida thunder storms is a real treat.

 

I still count my blessings as I know it could have been a whole lot worse.

                                                                                                          Dave

    

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My stroke was also in the Pons. It was in May of 2014. My main defecit is that I walk with a stagger and going up or down stairs is slow and wobbly. I still have periods of fatigue in the afternoon. I also have a heightened startle response that does not seem to improve. I find that a pair of hiking poles helps a lot when walking on uneven ground or when I am in  crowd. Good luck with your recovery. I am back to work part time as a upholsterer. I can do about four hours and then I am done. I am self-employed so the boss is understanding. Roger

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Dave, Roger-Strokes in the Pons can be much worse, but  a stroke is a stroke in that no matter how it affected you, it was still a trauma. You're both welcome here, no matter how bad, or not bad your stroke was.   Becky  

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Yes consider yourself lucky, I am a year in and still struggling with left arm and leg.

The whole lifestyle I have had to adapt to is different. Lots I can't do but enough I can do to enjoy each day. I muss the left arm more than anything else as I am a lifelong  guitar player and loved to tinker with cars. do now those are memories and goals too. I think positive, work out a lot and try hard to accomplish more and more each day. My walking is better but still gimpy. So you sound like you are doing well.

Welcome here and share whatever you would like.

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On ‎8‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 11:20 PM, DaveC said:

 

By Monday afternoon I was talking to my daughter on the phone. She lives in New Hampshire and I live in Florida. She said I was slurring my words but I disagreed with her and told her not to worry, but she did not listen to me and within a few minutes, a firetruck and an ambulance pulled up in front of my house. I argued that I was alright,and they said no, I was having a stroke so back to the hospital I went. The paramedics steadied me walking down three steps off my porch to the ambulance.

 

 

I was released from rehab on April 11th. When I left they said the insurance would pay for either a walker or wheelchair so which did I want. I told them I would be alright with just a cane and that is what I use. While in the house I forget where I left it most of the time and do not use it. When I go outside I take it with me as a precaution.

 

Your daughter is a miracle worker. I'm sending her all my happiness and love to her.  I'm a daddy's girl so it warms my heart she called for you.

 

As for your cane... I hardly ever used mine inside but like you, always took it out side .

 

I believe your daughter saved your life and in doing so, she prevented even more horrible things from happening.  On a lighter note: I second drinking hot coffee during Florida thunderstorms.. But we had them almost like clock work in the afternoon   

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   Thanks all,

After reading some of the stories here I am almost ashamed to say I had a stroke. It has only been 5 month since the stroke and but for the gimpy feeling leg and the startle response I do not feel that much different. I do get tired easily, but I do not have many other problems. I can walk up and down stairs with no problem, dress myself, cook for the wife and myself while she works. The lucky thing is that my wife is a home health aide, and I believe a really good one, so she knows my needs. She drives a Jeep Liberty which is somewhat difficult to to climb up into and I have a Jaguar which is difficult to climb down into But I still drive. I did not lose any memories and I do not think I lost any of the little mind I had. At first I could not move my left arm and left leg, but after three weeks in rehab I could get around with a cane.

And yes, I think probably I owe a lot to my daughter for her response in a crisis. She used to be a nurse  so that may have helped with her knowing what was going on.

I hope this does not come off as sounding like bragging but I do believe I have been blessed for everything to have gone so well. I also know that I still have a long ways to go, and pray for all who had it so bad. Thanks again and I will be around.

                                                                                                                                                          Dave

 

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You never have to allow any guilt for yourself due to others experiences. I know for a fact that the other stroke survivors here are so grateful to know and hear that another survivor is doing great. We second your blessings. We only pray for your happy recovery and we are glad you are here. I feel confident enough to say we. :you-rock:

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Absolutely Tracy!  There is no point comparing one stroke with another or one survivor with another. We all learn from each others experiences whether they are "good" or "bad".

 

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Dave, Welcome to the forum. I sympathise with you risking putting your eye out. In the early days my right eye was very painful and this was not helped by the fact that I would regularly hit it with the toothbrush when trying to clean my teeth. Even trying to blow my nose could end up with my thumb in my eye. 

I had completely forgotten about that problem and it was only reading you lettter that reminded me!

Deigh

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Dave, Having a part of your body suddenly unable to do what it has always done is a mind-blowing experience. And when you realize that you're going to have to teach it how to do things it has been doing on its own for years, it's a staggering realization. It takes a while to comprehend. And it's part of what unites us. So we're glad for you if you dodged the bullet, and if you want to share your experiences with us, we're happy to listen.  We also listen to rants and raves and frustrations because we've been there, done that.Welcome aboard!   Becky

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Hi Dave

 

Welcome to the club that no-one wants to join.  It's exclusive, the cost of membership is high, but it has some of the nicest people you will ever meet as members.

 

[ disclaimer -- I am (was?) an engineer, and am useless at "touchy-feely" ]

 

I had similar experience about 2 1/2 years ago.  I won't bore you with the details, suffice to say that however "mild" your stroke my be compared to others, it is still a stroke and is still a massive insult to your brain and your self.

 

From my experience:  give yourself lots of time and leeway to recover, push yourself to try to overcome deficits (and keep pushing, improvement mostly takes time and repetition).

 

The good news is that things can and do improve.  The biggest factors, as far as I can tell, is time and repeatedly trying to do stuff.  My left leg used to drag and turn outwards (proprioception rather than motor issues), so I had to remind myself to glance down and see what my foot was doing.  After a month or two it started to behave, and is OK now unless I get very tired.  I walk and run as much as I can, and keep taking quick peeks to make sure that it is still working properly.

 

Some issues take far longer to improve.  My memory is still atrocious (like 5th percentile), but is better than it was two years ago.  However, over time one can learn compensation strategies -- I keep copious notes, use my phone calendar and to-do lists a lot, explain to people I meet that I'm unlikely to remember them and why that is that case, so that they are not insulted the next time I bump into them.  Again, I try to remember stuff before i dig through my notes ad diaries.  I think that it is helping a bit, but cannot measure easily.

 

And some will never improve.  I am partially blind, and the visual fields have remained rock-solid constant since my stroke (I have to get them done every year for my driver's license).  I have learned to compensate, and flick my eyes around more so that I don't bump into things.

 

Take care of yourself.  Take lots of rest breaks, or snooze during the early afternoon.  Try not to be to hard on yourself, buy do keep pushing.

 

And feel free to vent, ask for help, or anything else.  That's what makes this place what it is.

 

       paul

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I think I would have been in a better situation had the ER doctor nor drastically lowered my bp after the tia. But no wish to tell, I am living as well as I can and making to most of every day. Gotta keep on keeping on. For sure.

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