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MJS1963

Greetings from a New Member

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Hello good people,

 

My name is Mike, my pleasure to meet you.

 

Here is my story.

 

On November 16th of this year, 2018 I suffered a stroke. I noticed something was off with my right hand as I kept missing the gear shift in the truck I was driving. Missing meaning I would grab for the knob and miss it. I have been driving this vehicle for 5 years and know where it is with my eyes closed. My hand also felt funny, not numb but not normal. Now, I have had problems with my neck for years and assumed it was related to that. After finishing my shift, I realized something was wrong as I could not unbutton my shirt.

 

I went to the ER right then. After 2 CT scans and an MRI, it was determined I had a stroke. That had to be the most difficult thing I have ever had to hear. I was admitted, and thought my life was over at that point. The stroke was an Ischemic Embolic Stroke of the Left Cerebral Artery. One tiny little clot.  Again, in my mind, I was never leaving the hospital

 

Now, the good news.

I was admitted at 630 AM on Friday the 16th. I was released Sunday Morning at 11 AM. I suffered no lasting issues. The weakness in my right had that was there on admission, is gone. Occupational therapy saw me on that sunday morning, and my hand strength and coordination fell in the 90th percentile range. I suffer from no leg, foot, or balance issues. No cognitive issues, no positioning issues or shaking, numbness or pain or tingling in my right extremities. As of right now, it is as if none of it ever happened. My doctor said I missed a very big bullet.

 

I have since then, changed my habits of diet and physical activity. I did smoke. Quit. Never drank much, but quit that too. My diet has gone from quick foods to organic as possible, and very close to a vegan diet as I can get. I like chicken, so that has to stay.

 

Right now, my biggest fear is that there is another bullet out there with my name on it. I am recently divorced, and live for the most part alone. Every tingle causes my to freeze in fear. I slept funny this past friday, and woke up with my right hand numb, and almost had a complete breakdown until I realized I slept on it for hours, and the feeling cam e back in a minute or two. My Doctor has cleared me to go back to work full time with no restrictions, and that will be a big help in clearing my mind. He does not know where the clot came from, but thinks maybe it was afib, but cannot tell for sure. I am on BP meds, a statin, and aspirin daily.

 

I thank God that I am where I am right now and things could have been catastrophic. How can an average man move past the fear and anxiety.? 

 

Thanks for listening.

 

Mike.

 

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Welcome to the group Mike. Sorry you experienced this but so glad you "missed a very big bullet" as your doc put it. You mention having the fear another bullet may be out there with your name on it and ask how can an average man move past the fear and anxiety.

 

For the first few weeks following my stroke every headache terrified me. Once I got back to my regular routine I simply became too busy to worry about it plus I became confident that I was doing what was in my control; namely reduced stress and blood pressure and taking the medication recommended by the doc to thin my blood. At some point you have to choose to rest in the confidence you are doing the things within your control and try not to be anxious about things outside your control, "the unknowns". Another thing in your favor: you recognized this the first time around and took appropriate action. You are in tune with your body and know when and where to go if something is not right. Give the psychological part a little time and return to your routine. If the anxiety continues discuss it with your doctor when you can to get advice. Hopefully, time will help alleviate the anxiety.

 

Blessings to you my friend.  Don't hesitate to ask other questions as you have them and jump into the conversations when possible.

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Mike

You did dodge a bullet so don't sweat the small stuff, no more smoking and drinking and enjoy your life

Ed 

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Thank you for your kind reply.

I have to say that this is the most trying time I have ever had to endure, bar none. Yes, as strokes go, this has been nothing more than a mild inconvenience as I have known a few people who have had strokes and are forever changed both physically and emotionally, so I get on my knees nightly and thank God for going easy on me.

 

It's the uncertainty that I have the hardest time with. I am used to being in control over most aspects of my life, and this is out of my control. Being a commercial driver, i find out Wednesday if I will be able renew my medical card to continue driving. My doctor says yes, he feels I am safe to do so, with no risk of seizure, very little chance of a reoccurence, and mild drugs for BP, A Statin, and Aspirin. That sounds good on paper, but after the separation with my wife, and the divorce, I lost myself in work to make it through, and now, work is all I have, and is in jeopardy.

 

Just one microscopic clot, and a few seconds have altered my life in ways I cannot imagine.

 

Thank you again for the words of encouragement.

It is much appreciated.

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I understand the fear and worry, and I am right there with you on this one. My stroke was October 28th, so I am new here too.  I do have many deficits, but feel grateful to be alive and be a mom to my kids.  I too live alone, except for the little ones, and there have been times when the panic overtakes me,  especially when I get the spinning vision and feel like I am on a tea cup roller coaster ride again, just like I did when the stroke first hit me.  All I can say is make sure your phone has the emergency button on the front page, even when its off and always keep it near you (I wear mine in a oh-so-sexy fanny pack that I sling over my shoulder like a harness), for the "just in case" fall or second stroke.......and then MARCH ON SOLDIER, keep you head high, and get back to your life.  If it does happen, you'll have a way to get help, and your doing everything you can to prevent another one. Kuddos for quitting smoking and getting serious about your health.

There's a country song out there....don't remember by who...but it says something to the effect of "I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying".  Meaning go out there and do all the things that you love, and that you've always wanted to do, and really REALLY LIVE.

Good luck and I hope you stay in touch here, and that your medical review goes well and you can continue to drive.  I know what its like to lose your spouse and then be scared of losing your income and all that you identify with. Keep us updated.

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Hi Mike, I'm Tracy, I can really relate to your anxiety about it happening again. Especially too that your doctor isn't sure why. They never found the reason for my stroke either. This type of anxiety after a stroke is very common for many survivors. So hearing you experience this doesn't alarm me. I do, however, understand how not having the "answer" can and many times does add to this anxiety. It sounds like you have made several life choices that are helpful in preventing another stroke, you are up to date on your healthcare and keeping up on your meds. You have a huge advantage doing so. It's weird when you don't have a bullseye to zero in on then you have to take everything into consideration. I will tell you that over time this fear lessens. It's also helpful to know you are doing your best to control the "controllable risk factors" of a recurring stroke. Beyond that, we have no control over other risk factors. It's hard to accept that truth but if you can it relieves even more stress. A stroke support group is a great way to connect with others. Hearing how others have overcome this anxiety helps too. Exercise, coping skills, mindfulness, meditation can all be beneficial too. I like what Tarina said...live... really REALLY live. So so glad the "big bullet" missed you. I look forward to seeing you around. 🙂 Welcome.

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Hi Mike!

I'm glad to meet you. I'm also very glad that you missed the big bullet. I wouldn't wish this on anyone and I don't have it nearly as bad as a lot of stroke survivors. 

I do worry some about the possibility of having another stroke, but not excessively. I can't drink anymore because of some of the meds I'm on. I only used to have a few beers on Friday nights anyway. I've lost enough weight to come off my insulin and I'm still losing. I call it the stroke diet lol. I try a lot harder to eat healthier. I still smoke, though. I know it's the worst thing I could possibly do besides put a gun to my head. The problem is that I love smoking and I've got a hard core addiction. The stupidest thing I ever did was start smoking.  I'm so glad that you were able to quit.

I wish you the best!

Nicole

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Hey Mike

My dad was a 'truckie', so I can picture you sitting in the cab very clearly, missing the gear stick.

 

I think you learn to accept the fear and anxiety,  more than move past it.

 

But that's ok. We are all here to listen,  to vent with and laugh with. 

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Thank you all ( you know who you are ) for all of your kind and supportive replies. Although it's an odd thing to say, I feel comforted I am not alone on this boat. Not that I am comforted in the knowledge you all have had strokes, but... meh never mind, you know what I mean. [ Hang on, removing foot from mouth]

 

I did fail my DOT Medical Card renewal. Just a stroke alone, with a doctors medical opinion, could and probably would have been approved. But with the addition now of Xarelto, that's a red flag. So I am disqualified for at least 1 year. I bring this up as I mentioned it earlier, so now you know. What a kick in the teeth. The stroke was bad enough as an event, even though I have zero after effects and zero deficiencies, which I thank GOD for, but now unemployed. My employer is going to try and see if there is any other work I can do besides driving, and I will find out tomorrow. Even part time would be preferable to unemployment or long term disability. I do not deal with sitting around well.

 

So with that. I will close out this Newbie Introduction and move to other areas of this forum so I don't take up any time with other new members introducing themselves.

 

Your kindness is appreciated.

 

Mike in Wisconsin.

 

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Mike

That sucks but I understand there point.

I'm an electrical contractor and just stopped doing that for odious reasons. 

I did have my class A license to drive my motor home and trailer to the races but gave that up because its difficult, bet I could do it but don't feel conferrable doing it.

Had my Top Dragster / Super Comp license but was not conferrable at all going 190 mph, if I got hurt is one thing but if I hurt someone else I don't think I could live with my self.

Go to SS and start the process of disability, you have paid into it so time for them to help out, it does not happen so start as soon as possible.

Don't worry  because everything will work out and cross your fingers for 2020 and getting back behind the wheel of your rig

Everyone is here for you all you have to do is ask

Ed

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Mike, You dodged the very big bullet, and I'm so very glad you did. It could have been so much worse, but I know that you know that. I'm almost 12 years post-stroke, and the fear of having another stroke has never entirely left me. The fear has decreased over the years, until I can now say, "It's always there, in the back of my mind." BUT it's not at the forefront. Life happens and gets in the way. It will for you too.  Becky

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Mike I hate to hear your bad news. I'm am really happy for your outcome so far. It is great to see triumph around stroke. This is just a bump 🙂. I think you are in store for good things in 2020. Learn the you now. Look inward and believe in you. I look forward to seeing you around the forums and hearing new adventures ahead. 😀

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Mike.  I'm disheartened to hear the news that you might not be able to drive for a year.  I can't either, and though it wasn't my lively hood, I lost my job too.  Can you drive non-commercially, just for getting around, or did they restrict that too?  

But your experienced in your industry, maybe your employer can find something, or maybe another trucking company would love to have a driver doing some direction/routing and such from an office for a while.

That being said, all of this sucks! It does for all of us.  Listening to the other survivors here gives me hope that in the end, it will work out.  Meanwhile, lean into your friends, if you have kids, enjoy them more, you'll be working less so you'll have the time to pursue some of those dreams we all have and put on the back burner while we work our butts off.  Heal from your divorce, find joy....you'll have the time now to focus more on the internal than the external.

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On 12/5/2018 at 3:55 PM, edkel1 said:

Mike

That sucks but I understand there point.

I'm an electrical contractor and just stopped doing that for odious reasons. 

I did have my class A license to drive my motor home and trailer to the races but gave that up because its difficult, bet I could do it but don't feel conferrable doing it.

Had my Top Dragster / Super Comp license but was not conferrable at all going 190 mph, if I got hurt is one thing but if I hurt someone else I don't think I could live with my self.

Go to SS and start the process of disability, you have paid into it so time for them to help out, it does not happen so start as soon as possible.

Don't worry  because everything will work out and cross your fingers for 2020 and getting back behind the wheel of your rig

Everyone is here for you all you have to do is ask

Ed

Hey Ed,

 

Been driving my entire life Class A OTR since I was 20, local stuff these last 2 years . I was getting to the point of getting out of the drivers seat, but this was not the way I had envisioned. Although I have a hard time admitting it, I supposed the medical examiners decision to DQ my med card was correct. Pride is a sharp rock to swallow.

 

I used to hold an NHRA Class 4 Super Gas license, but as usual, money and life got in the way and had to put that all aside. But boy, I sure do miss it. Nothing like the smell of

nitromethane in the morning.

 

I am trying to workout something with my employer to stay working. We talk next week, so I have a glimmer of hope to not have to go on disability.

 

I know someway, somehow, it will all smooth out. It's all been so fast and hard, its been difficult. Im a stubborn, hard headed and prideful man. change s hard for me in any form.

 

thanks Ed.

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On 12/5/2018 at 5:26 AM, NikalPikal said:

Hi Mike!

I'm glad to meet you. I'm also very glad that you missed the big bullet. I wouldn't wish this on anyone and I don't have it nearly as bad as a lot of stroke survivors. 

I do worry some about the possibility of having another stroke, but not excessively. I can't drink anymore because of some of the meds I'm on. I only used to have a few beers on Friday nights anyway. I've lost enough weight to come off my insulin and I'm still losing. I call it the stroke diet lol. I try a lot harder to eat healthier. I still smoke, though. I know it's the worst thing I could possibly do besides put a gun to my head. The problem is that I love smoking and I've got a hard core addiction. The stupidest thing I ever did was start smoking.  I'm so glad that you were able to quit.

I wish you the best!

Nicole

The Stroke Diet.

Thats funny. I hope it does not turn into a fad deit everybody wants to try. Nothing will get done. But true, since my hospitalization, I went in at 233 pounds, as of today, I am 214 pounds. 19 pounds in 3 weeks.

 

I didnt smoke any when home, but once I got in the truck and out on the road, 2 packs a day. I quit cold turkey, got into vaping, and now, still vape, but with very little nicotine. Maybe you could try vaping to help you quit.

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21 hours ago, tmciriani said:

Mike I hate to hear your bad news. I'm am really happy for your outcome so far. It is great to see triumph around stroke. This is just a bump 🙂. I think you are in store for good things in 2020. Learn the you now. Look inward and believe in you. I look forward to seeing you around the forums and hearing new adventures ahead. 😀

Thank you for your kind words Tracy.  I know things will somehow turn out ok. i hate change f any size or type, thats my biggest problem I think.

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Hello Mike. Thanks for reaching out in the other post. Just went in to read more about you. Hope your employer was able to figure something out for you. Yes, it sucks to lose your job to something like that, especially something you enjoyed. I can understand your fear of reoccurrence. Definitely was a big fear of mine in year 1, but now over seven years in I can tell you that fear is long in the past. Glad to hear you are making different life choices. Keep it up. I changed some habits too, but not without a lot of hard work and commitment. Best decision I ever made and I'm probably in the best shape of my life at 50 than I've been in the last twenty-five years. Let me know when you're down in the area. Love to chat. Cheers!

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:24 AM, BadgerSteve said:

Hello Mike. Thanks for reaching out in the other post. Just went in to read more about you. Hope your employer was able to figure something out for you. Yes, it sucks to lose your job to something like that, especially something you enjoyed. I can understand your fear of reoccurrence. Definitely was a big fear of mine in year 1, but now over seven years in I can tell you that fear is long in the past. Glad to hear you are making different life choices. Keep it up. I changed some habits too, but not without a lot of hard work and commitment. Best decision I ever made and I'm probably in the best shape of my life at 50 than I've been in the last twenty-five years. Let me know when you're down in the area. Love to chat. Cheers!

Hello Steve,

Thanks you for the reply. I think my biggest fear or concern is there was no definitive diagnosis of where the tiny little clot came from. Dr thinks probably heart due to afib, but cannot of course be certain. All I can do is radically change my lifestyle and habits and pray hard this was just a shot across the bow looking to wake me up.

 

I'm awake!!

 

But there is more good news as I can keep my job. Not driving at this time, the company wants to wait for a month or two and see how I progress, and then look into it again. We found out the I am grandfathered in and do not need a Medical Card to drive, but they are a little cautious. Which I can understand. So in  the mean time, I will be doing other things. In shop work, office help, deliver lubricants in the pickup truck to customers [ I work for an oil company ], and anything else thats needed. That right there is the biggest weight off my shoulders since the "Incident".

 

I will defiantly let you know next time I am down in that area. Have a friend that lives east of Springfield Corners, and I get down there and visit once in awhile.

 

 

 

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:happy:S0 glad for you that the work issue was resolved!   BECKY

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I was wondering if your union.........you got another chance make the best of it

Ed

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16 minutes ago, edkel1 said:

I was wondering if your union.........you got another chance make the best of it

Ed

Hey Ed,

 

No union there, but the two brothers that own the company are very decent people, even though they wont admit it.

 

Thank You.

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