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Oriented x 1, Where am I and why



I've got some time to kill, I'll continue if no one minds...


At this point,I'm documenting what I've been told happened with some 'snapshot' memories included.


I'm told I was posting on Facebook that night to calm down family who were excited about the event. I've seen the posts but this will be part of my memory that is lost to me.


Off to the OR, I'm told the nurses went ahhh when I said something to my wife about who owned my heart.

I'm in a white room on my back, can't move but there are voices, something about a tube...Then the choking starts, a voice says he isn't cooperating, another says he isn't out yet...fade to black. Free advice, never get intubated when you're awake if you can avoid it. I won't be awake again for 3 days. The doctors tell my wife to be prepared, I had a stroke and it looks bad.


A couple observations about being in a coma

1) Yes you can dream. They can be very vivid and scary as your mind tries to process what happened. Couple that with -

2) yes, you can hear sounds in your environment on some level. Your brain will attempt to integrate these into your dreams. I'm told by my wife that at one point the easy listening music in my ICU room switched to harps, I remember the harps and something about death in my dreams. My wife had words with the staff about the harps I'm told. She suggested AC/DC if they wanted me to wake up. LOL


I'm in a white room again, a woman's face appears and tells me to be calm, they'll remove the respirator soon. Respirator? where am I? must be a hospital...what happened?Was I in a sudden car accident?why can't I remember? My wife appears and tells me to relax, she talks to me and calms me down. The nurse returns and removes the breathing tube. Now I can ask what happened in barely a whisper. My wife explains there were complications during the surgery. I had surgery? Yes and she explains that I had a stroke during my bypass when some plaque broke loose and that I've been in a coma for 3 days. A stroke? I can move my left arm and leg a little but that's it. Can't feel my right side at all. We'll have this discussion several times as every time I sleep the recent memories get wiped. The kids come in for a bit and visit. The only question I can answer is my name.


My brain is all foggy, I'll discover in a couple weeks that this a part of my new normal. The fog is dense at times and all I have over the next week are snapshots in my memory and my dreams center around my inability to move. I remember the fall, they put me in a chair with a bunch of pillows, I fell out and landed on my face on the tile floor. Bad juju for the nurses. My wife hasn't left my side except to eat for days, she left to go talk with her therapist. The nurses call her to report the fall, the therapist gets to see my wife's wrath in action. Timing is everything.

In a week they'll transfer me to an acute rehab hospital. Until then I have babysitters and strange distorted memories. Just glimpses and some are bizarre like I get moved and for some reason wake up in a foreign hospital.

Friends come and go, some come often and are much appreciated. My wife stays all day and into the nights. One of our best friends is a doctor, a psychiatrist to be exact. She'll come with my wife often. In fact, she spent the first night of this adventure at our house with my wife. She'll be the one that helps us understand what is happening while learning first hand what happens to us. It finally hits home how messed up I am when they try to get me upright on my feet and I see my wifes and our doctor friend faces. They both look scared.


They get me somewhat stabilized and ship me off to rehab between Afib events.


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hey scott :


welcome to best online stroke support group. you got great sense of humor. I get scared just reading what you went through. looking forward to get to know you better through your blogs.


Asha(46 year old survivor)

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Wow Scott - as difficult as that was for you, thank you so much! Throughout this whole journey, the one thing Bruce has trouble with is trying to tell me what he is thinking. Any insight into the stroke-affected brain is much appreciated.


Yes, welcome and please keep us updated. Debbie, caregiver to husband Bruce, stroke March 2009

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You reminded me of my husband.   When he was able to try to communicate, he was pointing to his right side and saying 'this don't work'.   Everyday for 3 days I would ask him, 'do you know what happened to you?"  and he'd say no, and I'd say "you had a stroke".    He would sit there thinking, but it was not really going in.   When he was transferred to his rehab hospital, the nurse was asking all the questions they have to enter in, and asked what happened to him.   I said, "he had a stroke".    Bob looked at me totally dismayed, and said, "no, I didn't... I didn't have a stroke".   That was the first time he actually latched onto the word and understood it.   Oddly, he always has trouble saying he had a stroke - he can't remember the word and sometimes says "strike", but more often can't come up with it at all!   

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Welcome Scott great blog keep them coming.

Please tell your wife about this site and we have a caregivers chat on Tuesday nights at 8PM EST

Take care


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