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Anyone with stroke problems more than 1 yr ago?
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to stroke, rehabilitation, ability to eat/swallow, alertness, bowel/bladder control, depression, motor skills, nutrition, orthotics/braces, pain, prevention, senses, and spasticity.

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Anyone with stroke problems more than 1 yr ago?

Anyone functioning well enough to answer, to discuss your coping with stroke deficits that have remained for a year ago or longer.  My stroke was more than 3.5 years ago and I still have some resentment about everything that I can't do.  I would like to get a better attitude about it.  But either way you are handling it, it would be helpful for me to hear about anyone else who still struggles with problems.

I feel that hearing from someone who is in the same position as I am, would be the best therapy for me.
Thanks in advance to anyone who answers this.

Sara
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Sara ..my name is George and I had a terrible stroke sep 1 2008....I had not received any physiotherapy and am paralyzed on the left side.Because the nurse made a mistake and wasn t watching over me, I had to have an emergency surgery to just get rid of the pressure in my brain...It left me with a very weak trunk control.and therefore I can t even transfer let alone walk....I m in a long term care facility in Quebec Canada where the only care I get is  wiping my bum when they have time and not when I need it . They don t give me any therapy and leave me in my bed days in and days out.....They put me  in a closed ward for dangerous people who have Alzheimers because they do not understand my symptoms as a Stroke victim. I suffer tremendous pain which they don t really manage and sometimes I wish I died from my stroke because of it.I will never loose hope of getting better.I found a therapist now and am doing physio once a week..I m making progress ..as little as it is I feel that with perseverance I will get well enough to go home...So don t despair just have hope ,work hard and give yourself small goals and don t beat yourself up if it doesn t go as fast as you would like it to go
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Avatar_f_tn
George,
I'm so sorry to hear about your situation--far worse than mine.  I can't believe that you never had any physical therapy or physiotherapy until now.  And also can't believe that you got put in such an inadequate facility.  It says terrible things about the medical care in Canada.  Too bad that no one that you knew couldn't have gotten you transferred somewhere else.   You obviously would have limited capabilities to get adequate care for yourself.

I have difficulty functioning on my right side (which was paraylzed) and still pain on that side, especially when I'm sleeping.  I also had aphasia which means you have difficulty speaking where you can't think of the words and also problems understanding others.  Still some difficulty with that.  Also I've had swallowing difficulties and I've had little appetite since the stroke, so it's been difficult to keep even a low end BMI.  Also 3 years later, my vocal chord has forgotten how to work which the ENT doctor says he sees a lot with strokes even with the long time gap.  And I got kidney failure from the CT scans taken at the time of the stroke.

If it's difficult for you to type, don't worry about answering this, but I wondered what the nurse was supposed to be checking to watch for your brain pressure.

The therapy will help not only your functioning, but also the pain.  You have such a great attitude now with the advice that you gave to me.  It is slow progress to get the stroke affected side to improve, but the more exercises that you do on your own, the faster you will make progress.

I truly wish you the best and am really sorry to hear about your terrible care.

Sara  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Sara! I hope this comment, finds you well.  

I had the same exact stroke you described.  Totally forgot the english language (all of it)  my right side was dead to the world, paraliyzed. (works better these days though) &   I suffer MORE pain and chronic fatigue now on my right side than ever before.,  

But when I sit down and think about what "could" be my life, or the lack there of any life, I have to smile.  The fact that Im sitting here, posting a comment on a stroke survivor page speaks volumes of what is, and of what could had been.

Will I ever be back to 100%....no most likly not.  However, I am leaps and bounds beyond my starting point, and even if I didnt improve at all, I still gave my recovery my best...refused to give up.  no matter what.  A lot of those days weren't pretty, stuck up on a physical or mental plateau but thats life right? Make the best out of what you've got! Certain days it was re-learning a new sound or a word..or laughing off the fact I couldnt for the life of me learn words that with S, or Ch sounds.

Remember, if you look at something long enough, you can of course find the short comings of it....I try my best to look forward, unhindered by my ailment, and be happy even over small trivial things.  Im sure your cant do everything you used to...but take a look at all the things you can still do, or new things that you can now do...like YOU giving ME a moment of happiness by reading your comment, posting a reply, reassured that I am NOT alone.


Thank you Sara, and I wish you and george all the goodness in this world!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there,

You have such a marvelous attitude.

I can't believe that I didn't list my major stroke disability--a severe 24/7 migraine caused by my stroke.  But I guess I was trying to appeal to the symptoms that more people have after a stroke.  

My migraines are not severe 24/7 anymore, but have suddenly gotten worse since my Botox injections didn't work for the first time in over 2 years.  I can barely get out of the house to do much of anything.  They say that the migraines are extremely difficult to treat due to it being caused by a stroke and that I might have the pain for the rest of my life.

You said that you are suffering more pain.  Is that from the increased functioning?  I have found that the more exercising I do, the worse the pain, but the better the functioning.  Now I am trying to get back the functioning that I did have before my mother went into hospice for the last 2 years and took every bit of energy that I had after needing to sleep at least 24 hours a night since my stroke, or my migraines get terrible.

Pain is something that can get to people more than disability.  A certain percentage of people in chronic pain do commit suicide.  At one point when I was so depressed, my doctor told me later that she thought that the pain had finally gotten to me.  Now I'm better with the depression.  

But nevertheless, I am so impressed by your attitude, especially for someone as young as you are.   It's really incredible.  Perhaps that's because you are continuing to make improvements, which I am not.

But I do remind myself of others that are much worse than I am and thank God for what I do have.   It's a challenge though some days.

By the way, my stroke was a carotid artery dissection stroke which is far more common in younger people.  Was your stroke this type?

I really appreciate you responding back to me and reminding me of the good.   I'm sure that you will keep making gains.  There is a lot of good ahead for you.

Sara
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello Sara,
               Yes I had a carotid artery dissection stroke.  Its kind of...funny?(cant think of a better, describing word atm) I guess of how similar the side effects of the stroke were for us both.  

I had same migraines..and I am sooooo sorry that you have them to.  They are HELL!  The first year was the worste.  atleast 5 days a week  I was bed ridden in a dark room, no sound, eating ibprofin by the hand-fulls, and still the weight of the air around my head was enough to make it ping pain right through my skull.   Over time they faded, but recently Ive been getting more frequent migrain type pain.  Not as severe but it stays with me for a day or two...and yes the thought of chronic mirgraines coming back is enough to make me puke.  I wish I had a solution for your head aches, but I dont.   During that first year I tried multiple once-a-day medication, that did nothing at all for my head.  One made me so dizzy, another put me to sleep, but all of them just didnt treat the migraine.  Tried hyrdocodone, as an emergency fix for the pain (which worked a little bit, for a little bit), but how do you determine an emergency when 5-7 days a week I felt like I was going to die.

Second of all, I dont want you to think that I am the ultimate chipper stroke victim...because that is far from the truth.  The attitude I have, some days is the only thing that keeps me going, so I am afraid to lose it.   I went through a severe bout of depression as well...so much to digest after a stroke and the effects of such.  "Will I stroke again?  Will I heal from this? Will I be able to talk, and/or understand written or spoken information? Will I be able to walk/use my arm? will the head aches go away? How will I support my family? Will people that love me, not love me, because I am now some one else..different from the person they have come to love?" etc etc  were like a broken record in my head for quite a while.  Some of those questions, ended up being ok...others just didnt pan out.   but Im still here kicking, and I take that to be a good sign =D

As far as the pain, Im not really sure.  I hit a platue (I think I have healed as much as I am able to) about two years ago.  There were days that I felt way under the weather, but not enough for me to search of suggestions on the web, However; Last few months, in my stroke effected limbs,  the pain and fatigue  is increasing by a lot, and the frequency is chronic - non-stop.
Pain/fatigue is effecting everything though.  Cant even sleep, even when Im exhausted due to the aches, and throbbing pain deep in/around joints and bones.  

Bottom line, its a hard road.  There are times, I sit here with my head in my hands, and asking myself, "will this ever end??"  ..and to be honest with you, Im not sure if it will ever end...but I have to be here, with a postive mind so that if it does end, I'll notice =D

My heart goes out to you.  Its hard to talk to people that just dont know what its like to go from perfect to unable to walk or make a sound and chronic head/body pain.  Keep your head up, and know you will (as long as Im still kicking) have a ear (or eye in  this case)   I hope you can get some relieve wether it be with your migraine, or with the mental warfare that goes on inside your head.  Take care Sara!

   -Luke


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Avatar_m_tn
I am needing any feedback, as to whether anyone else seems to have or have had recurring stroke like symptoms, 3years after a small stroke.
8years ago, att 39 yrs old I was a senior manager at a large uk ftse company, I had a massive nervous breakdown.
This was due to 20years of 15hour day 6days a weeks workaholic lifestyle, in business management and also running my own parttime business as well as working for private and public companies.

I suffered with hypertension, high cholesterol, and abnormal electrical QT wave diagnosed when I was 24years old, due to constantly having heart pain, I underwent stress tests which I couldnt complete and after having an angiogram,it was found that under stress, my heart arteries and blood vessels constrict severely causing me pain.

All this eventually with my high work ethic, caused me to have a breakdown, I then was unable to work and fell into severe depression.


3years ago whilst having a nice stroll near the beach at cleethorpes,with my wife i experienced loss of feeeling in my left leg for approx 10minutes and then the same thing in the left arm. My wife and I laughed it off, wondering what was going off, I also felt unwell and dizzy so we decided to drive back home to Doncaster.

My left side felt weak, so after having a couple of drinks he went to bed early.
The next morning I was unable to get up properly, so my wife came upstairs and noticed i had the drooped mouth and eye on the left side of my face.
I was unsteady and weak on my left leg and left arm, and I had a severe pain behind my left eye socket and was very slurring and unsteady due to dizziness.
Luckily my 24year old daughter who had popped in stated that this looked like a stroke, and the paramedics were called and came out and confirmed hospital treatement.

I was treated for a stroke and subsequent scans and consultant reports within the next 48hrs states scans have shown white changes on the left hand side of my brain, which should have affected the right hand side, and I had no changes on the right hemisphere to cause the left side issues.
A conundrum as one specialist called it.

I am on treatment, for the above confirmed illnesses, but ive been told that the stroke type symptoms are due to stress and called functional symptoms and I have been recommended for psychotherapy,but will not be allowed down this road until my depressions stabilises.
My grown up children, aged 30, 24 and 21 and myself and wife are getting exccedingly worried, as I am having more of these episodes especially over the last 8-10months.

These episodes are now as frequent as three times a day and sometimes 7days a week, where I suffer episodes of stroke type symptoms, during my sleep, and twice during the day.

These attacks which can be from light to severe attacks are as follows, a light attack is like an electrical current going through my head to a bad one sometimes precedes with a tingle initially in lefthand side of my face, which then ends with me displaying the symptoms as already described on numerous occasions and literally ends with me sleeping,and my leg and arm feeling like a lead weight, these have been seen by many medical professionals within Royal Hallamshire Sheffield Hospital, Doncaster Hospital, the nurses at the local GP and local CMHT.

Once i have recovered ie woken up after a sleep from 2 to 4hrs, i feels sometimes like I am drunk and hungover for a day or two, and i am unable to walk once these attacks happen and i am very weak on my left side leg and arm continuously.

A heavy attack has the following symptoms, dizziness, pain in my head, a drooped mouth and left eye and left handside face, weakness in left arm and left leg, unable to walk, slurred speech, tingling in the lefthand side of face, blurry vision.
These attacks whether light, medium or heavy, always ends up with myself being completely fatigued and then my brain forces me to sleep, from 2 to 4 hrs or so.

These attacks happen during my sleep, as my wife is unable to wake me up in the morning and when i do finally wake up, i have the telltale left sided face droop etc, they can happen anytime of the day, whilst im sat watching tv etc. sometimes 2 to 3 times a day for upto 7days.
My memory is terrible, i am unable to concentrate for long periods,i also lose my balance a lot, its a nitemare.

Ive been tested for bells palsy, ms, but no joy..does anyone have these effects or symptoms after 3 yrs after a stroke?

Im under a neurologists at Sheffield Royal, but theyve put it down to functional symptoms due to stress,..we need help or any info from stroke survivors, has anyone suffered or experienced anything like this...ps excuse the length of this.

I have also been experiencing in addition to the other symptoms, pain in my bones on my left side and back, especially when i retires to bed at night, to the point where we have had to obtain a loan to purchase, a £3000 hospital type adjustable bed, which has not really alleviated the pain.

I have never ever regained the strength in my left leg or arm, this was only a small stroke, due to furred up carotid artery the consultants have informed me.

I am constantly in turmoil over this, feeling very depressed and very suicidal on a daily basis, I just need some answers or other experiences and how they have coped or resolved.

This is affecting my whole family too, in a depressive way.

Thanks

Kind Regards

Dave and Nicola
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Dave and Nicola,
I am so sorry to hear about your attacks.  I have not heard of anything like this after a stroke with the attacks.  I've always heard of stroke symptoms being more steady.  So do you have full strength in your limbs, no head pain, no dizziness or slurred speech outside of your attacks?  If so, you have a gift compared to everyone else that I know of, who has continous symptoms.    

It sounds totally bizarre that psychotherapy could alleviate all or even some of your symptoms.  You should have psychotherapy NOW to help you with all the adjustments in your life.  Also you need more aggressive treatment for your depression.  Have you been seeing a psychaitrist who is trying different anti-depressants and raising them high enough to work.  Also you may need a combination of medications?

If you do in fact have continuous head pain or frequent head pain, there are many medications and other treatments for it.  Have the doctors treated your head pain?  

Also, it would seem that you could use physical therapy to help with the weakness in your limbs, but if the weakness only happens when you have an attack, that would probably explain why it won't help you.

Hopefully someone else will respond who has the same experience that you've had.  People do make some very slow progress years after a stroke, so there is still hope for you and all of us.  

I have a lot of questions about what treatments you have been given for all of your stroke symptoms.  If you could feel that you are making some progress, then I think it would relieve some of your depression.  Please let me know what treatments you are getting.  If you're not, then you need your family to push very hard for you getting the treatments.

So don't give up yet.  My prayers will be with you.

Sara
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Luke,
Thanks for your last posting which does detail your headache problems, which amazingly got far better.  And also appreciate your detailing of your thoughts.

I do think that you should contact your doctors about your increased pain in your stroke affected limbs.  One of my doctors told me that e.g. sometimes leg pain can get worse years later and then Botox can help the cramping in your legs.  Or perhaps you could use physical therapy again.  Don't just put up with the pain.

I wake up about every 2 hours from the leg pain.  Then it takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to get comfortable in a different position because I also have fibromyalgia which has gotten a lot worse.  My neurologist says that once (if ever) my migraine gets better, then a lot of my other medical problems will improve.  He has seen it with a lot of pain patients.

And when I said that I was not experiencing any gains, that's not really true, but the gains are very slow.  I saw a friend who had her stroke 7 years ago.  She lives far away, so I only see her and talk to her every couple years and her language had so improved from 2 years ago!

So we do have things to look forward to.  I wonder if you're married with a family, but you don't have to give that information.  

Thanks again for your responses which meant a lot to me.

Sara
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Avatar_f_tn
As a P.S. to my posting above, yes, it interesting that we both had the exact same stroke.  It only occurs in 5% of the total strokes.  

But we are both very fortunate because the recurrence of eschemic strokes which we had is about 25%, but with the dissection type, we only have a "1 percent risk of recurrence per year over the next 10 years. Risk of recurrence is higher in younger patients than older patients, but younger patients also respond better to treatment and have a better outlook. Some patients have reported persistent headache after carotid artery dissection, lasting years after the event."  The quoted material is from Cleveland Clinic--very respected.

Was your stroke caused by a trauma of some kind or was it spontaneous?  I believe that mine was probably from trauma because I bumped my head into the doorway weeks before my stroke, but that was about the time that I suddenly had a distinctly different migraine which my neurologist thought was the start of my stroke.   Those who have the stroke from trauma usually have worse symptoms.

Also I am so cued in to my body's condition, but when I woke up paralyzed on my right side and then not being able to speak properly, in fact I heard gibberish, I had not a clue that anything was wrong with me!!  My judgment was totally gone. Did you have this experience?

Also tPa which removes most of the stroke symptoms if given as early as possible within 3 hours of the stroke would have killed us if we had been given it.  

Just a few tidbits that I have picked up through the years.

Sara

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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Sara,

I thank you deeply and appreciate your reply.

Just to confirm Sara, my stroke was not a bleed, it was a mild stroke, possibly caused by a clot from the diagnosed furred up carotid artery in my neck. My mri scans show white matter changes in the brain left hemisphere and i have been diagnosed as having cerebral vascular disease,hypertension, angina, diabetes type2, reflux, glaucoma, asthma, depression.
I am medication for my issues as follows,clopidogrel 75mg, amlodopine 10mg, montelukast 10mg, atorvastatin 40mg, irbesartan 300mg,bendroflumethaizide 2.5mg,pregabalin 600mg, metformin 500mg, isosorbide mononitrate 60mg, lansoprazole 30mg. salbutamol and seretide inhalers. Glyceryl nitrate GTN spray for angina. Cocodamol and paracetamol for pain.

Sara, In answer to your question above, the odd times,when im not suffering with these attacks, my left hand side arm and leg are weak, but not as weak as when i have the attack. However after an attack, my limbs are weak for a day after.
In addition i still get the pain in the head or pain just behind my left eye socket, during an attack and also when im not suffering an attack that day.I take painkillers but unfortunately the doctors are unable to give me anything else for the pain, due to my medication, which could cause internal bleeding.
I do get dizzy spells when i have attack and also when im not having an attack.
However im only slurring,or mumbling during an attack, my speach is clear when im not suffering attacks however my wife and children have stated that sometimes i say the wrong words or speak sometimes putting the wrong words that im trying to say, in the wrong part of a sentence, which they find amusing, and i find frustrating and angry with myself for doing that, but i dont have slurred speech outside an attack.
My memory short term is terrible and i struggle to concentrate ie watch a full football match.
My vision has deteriorated since the stroke, and my left eyesight is terrible, i have just been diagnosed with glaucoma and diabetes, and they are looking into my eyesight issues with no joy.

I am under a psychiatrist for depression, but nothing seems to be working for me, im on medication, ive been tried on different medication over the 8years and im currently on 40mg of fluoxetine a day. My depression seems deeper since the stroke and i am struggling daily.

I feel like im a pain to the medical profession, and as a previous management and business troubleshooter and consultant who has worked in performance and productive environments and with working knowledge of performance measures within the national health service, i feel im a problem to performance and productivity figures as i am still on the consultants caseload. However these are just my feelings.
I believe the medics feel that the current issues are all in my head and they have called it functional symptoms caused by stress. My wife and children and finally myself is starting to think theyre wrong on this, as my attacks are increasing and they seem to take something out of me each time the attacks happen.

Sara i thank you for your positive approach and genuine kindness, and may Jehovah bless your efforts..i need help and answers and im praying loads.. kind regards dave
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Avatar_f_tn
Dave,

I think that you and your family need to really push against this non-treatment plan for you--saying that it is all stress and that you can't get any psychotherapy until your depression subsides.  The medical profession or whoever is behind the bill paying is short cutting you big time.  Unfortunately I don't know about the UK's medical system, but you should find another medical team to treat you or file a lawsuit against your non-treatment.  It's terrible.

If you can't get any more medication to treat your headaches, in this country you would be given Botox injections which were approved for migraines by our FDA in October 2010.  It is generally approved for anyone who suffers from headaches at least 15 days a month and are not helped by the daily preventative migraine medications.  Or also what have also helped me are nerve block and trigger point injections.  Or they could possibly implant a stimulator to offset the nerves triggering your migraines.  

The glaucoma shouldn't be any problem as long as they diagnosed it early.  You will just have to put in eye drops every day.  All the relatives on my father's side have it and it is heriditary.

As to your other eye problems, I don't know except that the eyes can be affected by a stroke.

It's too bad that your language difficulties upset you.  In time, that will keep getting better.  My friend who I mentioned above has seen tremendous gains over the last 7 years with her speech.  I also will use the wrong words in a sentence or say the opposite of what I mean sometimes.  My husband and I just chuckle at it.  It is particularly bad when I am suffering from my migraines.  

And I have had months and months of physical therapy for my weakened limbs and hand.  Why haven't you had any?

BTW, at 60 years old, I am being treated for acid reflux, asthma, hypertension, osteoporosis, low thryoid, depression, low estrogen, myoclonus, high homocysteine and fibromyalgia.   The latter causes pain everywhere.  I cannot take any anti-inflammation meds because I got kidney failure from all the dye going through my kidneys from the CT scans after my stroke.  But I am on two daily medications to prevent my migraines--an herbal medication called Petadolex and an opiate Butran patch.  

If you're not able to find different doctors that will try to help you, I would see an attorney to find out what your options could be.  By contrast I have 4 different neurologists at a major university all trying to help me as well as a headache specialist also at the same university.  Plus, I have a gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist, Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, gynecologist, rheumatologist, and internal medicine specialist all at the same university.  All but one of them except one who I have "fired", have all given me terrific care.  

I am very concerned about you and wish and pray for the best for you.

Sara
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Hi Luke,

I have been reading yours and Sara's post. My heart goes out to both of you and I am learning a lot from your experience. I had a stroke in 2009 but was lucky and I have come through it with just the migraines. The migraines did go away for almost a year but they came back last week. I need to know how you got through those questions you posted. Whenever something is off, or I have a pain in my head I can't help but think that this is the stroke that is going to kill me or paralyze me. How do you keep that question from surfacing? I am tired of waiting for the stroke to come.

Thanks,
Maggie
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Maggie,

I think that the best person to ask would be your doctor.  But from my limited grasp of the question, I think that when you get a migraine that comes on suddenly and it is very painful, that's when you are more likely to suspect another stroke.

And of course if you get any of the other typical stroke symptoms then you are facing another stroke.  You can look those up if you don't already know them.  

I would be sure that your family or anyone you live with know all those symptoms.  Sometimes the stroke destroys the part of the brain that rationalizes.   I had no judgment that anything was wrong with me even though I had waked up paralyzed and could barely talk.  A friend of mine also had a stroke.  She could not talk at all and never thought anything was wrong with her.  I judged her until the same thing happened to me.

Also if you get to the hospital immediately, they can determine what type of stroke that you are having (by CT scan), and then most of the time, they can give you tPa to undo all or most of the stroke problems.  But it must be within 3 hours and the sooner the better.

You must know that you are at increased risk of having another stroke having had one.  But the chances are mostly in your favor that you will NOT have another one.

So hope this all helps you to not worry so much.

Sara  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello folks, I have only just found this forum
my name is John, 65 years old, I experienced a series of Ischemic strokes (blood clot  approx 10 months ago, leaving me left side Hemiplegic now Hemiparesis, I have read your posts with interest and sympathy, as you have all pointed out anyone who has not experienced strokes cannot really comprehend how frustratingly complex and debilatating it all is,
Up until the time of my strokes I was a retired businessman living the "dream" aboard my own yacht on a very sedate tour/ circumnavigation  of the world (I spent 10 years just in the Caribbean
I apparently suffered a series Lacuna infract (blood clot) type strokes and have also had recently "re-occurring" symptoms that put me back
But my main reason for this post is to let you all know how much it helps simply knowing I am not alone in this, one of the most frightening things I have noticed is how over a short period of time we seem to just fall OFF THE RADAR as far as Medical practitioners are concerned ?
we seem to CEASE TO EXIST ??

@ Maggie - understood how you feel about the fear of "the next stroke" I was left in hospital for 4 days experiencing active strokes and knowing it - while the ASU did absolutely nothing ! NO MEDICATION - NO TESTS
My greatest fear was that if the BIG ONE hit - that I would not die, but be condemned to being "locked in" like that poor Mr Tony Nicholson ? (what a brave man)
Maggie all I can say to you is Live everyday to its fullest, share your love and thoughts with your nearest & dearest. that way and hopefully the worst NEVER happens,  you will have at least told them how much you love them and that can never be a bad thing.

@ Dave - my heart goes out to you, - I lay in Hospital under NHS care for 66 hours after my first episode I was taken to hospital by Ambulance after a 999 call -  whilst they "gave me reassurance" and said I was only having a functional or stress related TIA ??/ episodes - 9 months later I am still paralysed and extremely Tee'd off
Dave check the NICE Stroke Guidelines for Stroke, it is quite explicit ANYONE experiencing CONTINUED TIA type or UNEXPLAINED EPISODES/SYMPTOMS  MUST BE CONSIDERED HIGH RISK OF STROKE !!  

Txs to everyone on here

Keep the faith

John




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Hello Sara
my apologies I replied to "your post" yet did not actually address you.
thank you for starting this thread, I am no where near as far along the path as you biut I can certainly empathise with your thoughts and fears
Best wishes John
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Sara, & Schaap,

Hope your both doing well.  Im hurting a bit atm, so this will be short.  

Schaap, yes I have stroke-like side effects, and I feel them every day.  The first year I was a basket case, thinking I was stroking again.  Sadly enough, it was so over whelming that I had to really say to hell with it.  If I go down, I go down, but I cant waste the rest of my life, afraid of a stroke.  I figured if I let the fear of another stroke run my life, then Ive already lost to the strokes anyways, reguardless of  my status.  It is a long, and winding road to move from being a "stroke victim" to a "stroke survivor"  This is by NO MEANS an end game solve the problem solution.  Only a doctor and the scan they can do, can tell you wether or not your having additional strokes or not.  I called my doctor so many times in the beginning, (even when I couldnt really speak...oh what fun...) becuase I wanted to know.     ANYTIME you are concerned, call the doctors, make appointments, urge the scans, etc etc.  The doctors are there to help, and they serve the sick.. Your life is priceless so treat it like that.  If your roof had a leak, and you called a roofer to fix it, and you were concerned that it was still leaking, youd call the roofer back or call another roofer for another opinion right?  So why should we treat our bodies/brain any different?      

Sara
my stroke was 100% spontaneous, with no reasons found as to why it happened in the first place...or the mini strokes that happened after, or why they stopped happening as time went on.  Also to answer yoour question, yes I am married, and I have a son.  Timimg is never timed.  The first thing that my wife told me when I got out of ICU, ( was awake, and comprehended very limited english, but she always had a way of making me understand things) was "Im pregnant"  In the end it was the extra motivation I needed to become relentless towards my recovery.  His name is Jude, and he is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life.  He is my everything, and has shown me a love I never before knew.   I owe that little guy my life, and do my very best to serve him, as the best dad I can be for him.

The drug that you were speaking of, to reduce the stroke symptons, I by way of a bad hospital, didnt get it of course.  I was laying on the table for hours with the diagnosis of a broken back.  It was only when I got to burlington hospital that they realized what was going on.  Bad luck with good results I suppose =D

and THANK YOU! I thought I was going crazy, with the pain Ive been having.  I just figured the more time between me and a stroke should mean less pain/fatigue.  I cant really describe how much better i feel, just knowing that Im not just cracking up, and paranoia isnt getting the best of me.

A quick thanks you everyone who has posted here.  My weakness with a stroke and its effect, is feeling alone.  I have a loving , and supportive family, but sometimes even with all that, I feel like an out sider...like as much as I talk to them about it, they dont understand about the daily battles that I engage in....the mental warfare that is a constant fire burning in my head, just beneath the surface.  So again, thank you to everyone for making me feel like I am part of somthing...somthing so bleak when faced with only yourself,  becomes a little bit lighter when there are people in my corner that just "know"  how it feels to go through it, and to try to recover from it.
              

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Thank you John for your reply,
we will look at the NICe website thank you again..
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So sorry that you are still paralyzed.  Your experience is really appalling that no one did any tests or give you any medication.  You seem to clearly be blaming them for that.  So do you think that the tPa medication that takes away most of your stroke effects would have helped you?  If so, I would sue the hospital that just let you lie there.   Have you thought of that?  If you have a good case, a law firm would take your case and not charge you anything, except they take a good percentage of the winning amount.  Or you could pay a lawyer to fight your case and take all the winning amount.  If it is indeed the hospital's fault that you are paralyzed, I wouldn't hesitate.  There also is help for others that the same nightmare won't likely get repeated.

And you say that you feel you CEASE to exist with the medical people.  You don't mention any other disabilities besides the paralysis.  Was physical therapy ever an option for you?  Did they put you on blood thinners?  Did they do any follow-up with tests to see how your stroke damage was healing?  

By the way, what is the ASU?  Do you live in the U.S?

Don't think that I am so much further along the path than you are.  Don't think that I am any more mobile than you are with your paralysis. I can barely do anything without my migraines getting terrible.  For example, I can't travel in a car more than 2 hours.  I often am destroyed with my migraines by the time I get to the check out counter at a store.  I need at least 12 hours a night or my migraines get terrible.  (I see above that I stated 24 hours a night--must be a stroke slip.)  So I have very little time to do anything.  Plus I have pain on the side of my body that was paralyzed at the time of the stroke.  I wake up constantly all night long with the pain.  There's nothing that I can fault the medical system with my problems, but they are there.

I hope that you will consider my suggestion of a lawsuit if the medical place did neglect you.

I really feel for you on your yacht for your retirement and then having all this happen.  A stroke often stops your life as you once knew it, as it did for me and you and others who have responded to my posting.

Keep in touch.

Sara
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Hi Luke,

You are just plain inspiring.  I can understand how your little boy, Jude, is making you so whole and loving.  What a great gift for you.  

How could anyone think that you had a broken back?

It is helpful to know that others also feel like others can't really "GET" what is going on with us.  It is such an abrupt change that affects so much.  

But Luke, I know that you can still get better.  See a doctor about either getting some more physical therapy or the Botox injections for your increased pain.  Just like my voice failing several years after my stroke which the gap in time is commonly seen from a stroke.  And I had difficulty swallowing since my stroke and just found out that a simple speech therapy exercise could fix it.  So there are more solutions for you as well.  Is health insurance a problem for you?  Please let me know what you decide to do.    

Sara
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Im not sure if you will check this reply or not, but Im hopfull you will.  I finally found out what was/is wrong with me.  I have been diagnosed with Post stroke pain syndrome.  The condition is constanly growing, pain wise, and the effected areas.  I am happy that atleast I was able to talk to a doctor that has my health and welfare in his heart.  We are trying anything and everything that we can think of.  There has been nothing so far that gives me any releif what so ever, but from what I read the diagnosis for such pain is the hardest part.  I have tried lyrica, but I suffer from some pretty serious/life threatening side effects, so thats a no go.  Currently I am on an anti-depressent, which while it helps me sleep better, does nothing for the pain.  I try my best to remain positive, but its been almost a year that Ive been living with this pain, with no relief in sight.  

I count my blessings every night when I lay my head down, and  every morning when my eyes open.  I have a lot of people that  love me, and that I love.  I have to consider that those things are beyond medication, and treatment.  No doctor can prescribe love, and no pharmacy can fill it.  

I live every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every week, of every month with horrible pain (constant 8-10, with shooting pains that brings me to tears), yet still feel myself to be lucky.  To love, and to be loved are, in my opinion,  the most prescious things that any person can attain in this life.  

I hope that you (Sara) and anyone else reading this, that this day has been a good one, and your sleep is enjoyable and restfull.  Be good to your self, be good to those who are good to you, and pray for those whose are not good to you.

Sincerely  

Luke M.
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Hi Luke,
I'm so sorry to hear about your terrible pain.  Could you describe which areas are in pain?  If in your legs, does it feel like severe cramping?  If so, have you tried Botox injections?  And if you have migraines, again have you tried Botox which has helped my migraines a lot, but only for about 5 to 6 weeks out of 9 weeks.  But twice in the last 6 month+, the injections haven't worked well after being a Godsend for the 2 and half years previously.  But they could be greatly helpful to you.  

What about nerve block or trigger point injections?  The pills have been the least helpful for me, compared to the treatments above.  I still have terrible leg pain that wakes me up every 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours all night long.  And I still need at least 12 hours of sleep a night or my migraines get far worse.  

On Monday, I get a spinal tap, which I probably should have had 4 years ago when I had my stroke and the intense migraines started.  I have also had other disabilities occur attributed to my stroke 3 years after my stroke.  It's now been over 4 years since my stroke.  The specialist says that he often sees the disabilitites occur years later after a stroke.  So I can believe that your pain has gotten so much worse with time.  

I'm glad that you have love in your life.  I do too.  But when my pain was so terrible and I found my life extremely limited, I went into a severe depression.  My husband and doctor thought that I was suicidal even though I told them that I wasn't.  But with an increase in my Effexor, I came out of the depression completely within a month.  Still had the same horrible life, but that anti-depressant has helped me to accept my very limited life and pain.  

But it also took me hearing from another woman who had a disease with continuous strokes since age 43 and was losing memory with every stroke.  And she was going to die within the next 3 years with no memory of anything.  She had such great love and devotion to her 2 daughters.  It made me reconsider my own problems better than any psychological therapy was doing.

Many people do commit suicide, not being able to deal with their chronic pain.  So to you and everyone else with such pain, I give you my heartfelt compassion.  Let me know more about where your pain is and what non-medication treatments you have tried.  I look forward to hearing from you.
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That last paragraph is so true.  I have a constant 8-9 aching burn in my right leg (Starts about 6 inches above my knee, and surrounds my leg towards and around my foot.  Very hard to walk, been vomitting as of late from the pain)
and every 4 to 8 minutes I get shooting pain down my leg.  closest way to describe it would be, it feels like all the bones in my leg are decaying, and someone is sticking  metal probes right on the nerves... It is so painfull that I dont even bother to give it a number.  I have a constant 6-8 on my right arm.  The sensation is a little different but just the same it hurts non stop.  Feels like Ive got my hand in a light socket and getting zapped 24/7.  The shooting pains are pretty much same sensation though  

I have tried everything that is put in front of me, from Lyrica, to morphine, from acupuncture to low impact tai chi, and relaxation meditations.  Feels like Im losing grip on my life....it is so depressing..  I was in such better spirits even 6 months ago, but have to quit work, and limping around just to go from one room of my house to another...not being able to play with my Son.  I cant even handle the touch from my wife on the effected limbs.  
Basically right now, Im white knuckling it, just trying to hang on long enough for somthing to work, and remaining hopfull....That hopfullness is leaving me...its sand through my fingers.  I try my best to hang on to it, but the harder I grip it, the more that I lose between my fingers.   Not even 30 yet, and I feel old, useless, and pathetic....
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So sorry that I didn't see your response way back.  Sorry not to have gotten back to you sooner.  I've been especially disabled with bad migraines for over a month.  In bed mostly.  

It doesn't sound like you have tried the Botox injections.  Why not?  Are you resistant to injections?  But if they help, it could be great for you.  I was told by one of my one-time doctors to keep Botox in mind if I got pain in my legs, because Botox can help it.  And she said that the pain can show up years later.  

A 24/7 opiate patch has helped me some.  It's highly regulated and is called a Butrans patch.  It comes in 5, 10 and higher mcg levels.  I'm now on 15 mcg.  Or what about some other pain killers?.  You probably need to go to a pain management doctor to get those higher level pain medications, because regular doctors are afraid to give them because of the toughening regulations. Don't give up with getting help and I will check this site for your responses.  You need to be brutally honest and descriptive with your doctors about your pain.  Only then will you get something that will help your pain.  Forget about meditations and Tai Chi.  What a joke for someone in so much pain.  Please hang in there.  There is help with stronger pain killers and the Botox injections.
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Luke,
I am still very concerned about you.  Have you tried any of the stronger pain remedies that I mentioned above?  And are you on an anti-depressant?  If you're still feeling very depressed, get the doctor to either raise it or change it.  Please write back to me.  There is hope for you with better pain relief.  I'm hoping and praying for the best for you.
Sara
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So sorry you have so much pain. Can you please describe it for me as I dont understand it. My pain isnt really normal type pain. I've had 5 back pains and that pain I can relate to. Its hard to understand my stroke pain which is in my right side face and hand. Cold . numbing , tingling, intense like I'm stuck in a deep freezer. My ex Pt says she hasnt ever has a client with my effects. I quit going to Pt after I had to be hosp again on 2/16/13 thought another stroke, but after 3 days in hosp and 2 mri"s andothe ct scan said no . Just residulal symptoms which am told will get worseer before better. what a laugh!! Lyrica wasnt working so quit. No meds so far helps with the sensory cold except sleep and cover my body up !! I could be worse.
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I hope things get better for you. Wishing you well from the Upstate of South Carolina. Thoughts and prayers my friend, thoughts and prayers.

Gary
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So, I am currently 4 mo out of a severe brain stem stroke. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was very stupid about the whole thing. I am a busy 37 yr old mother, started to feel strange, numbness, nausea, slurred speech, etc, off and on for 3 days, then poof it was gone! It came back 3 days later. I kept telling my husband I thought I had pinched a nerve in my neck, stupid I know! So when syptoms (symptoms) return I brushed them off, got ready for my day, (difficult), and made a 3 hr car trip to watch my sons baseball game. I continued to get worse throughout the day. Still convinced I'm fine. When I get back, my husband goes on web md, and proceeds to have a massive freak out!

     I was preparing for another ball game my younger son was playing that eve and my husband refused and immediately took me to ER. They told me no stroke, see your Dr. I left and went to game, came home, went to bed. I woke 5 hrs later, couldn't move my rt arm or leg, and family could hardly understand me, my face had fallen, the whole nine. Dr tells me maybe MS, or migraine equivalence. Really didn't believe I'd had a stroke. Please know my dr is amazing and it made sense. Started testing immediately. It was 3 days later, July 3rd, after hrs I get a call from dr telling me the bad news. Being a holiday, he instructed my husband to keep me calm, cool, and settled till after. I won't say I complied very well.

     Within 2 wks I was almost back to normal, then a wk later, it hit me again. Slurring, paralysis, everything. But worse. Thought I was having another stroke. Back to the ER I go, they tried to send me home again, even though it was their hospital MRI guy (sorry loss for word) that diagnosed me. Finally, a Nero on call come in and admits me. 24 hrs, 24 vials of blood, and every test known to man, and they tell me yes you had a severe brain stem stroke, the reason for the 2nd set back is called stroke progression, and they can find no reason for me to have had it. No block, bleed, narrowing, nothing! It happens about 20% in patience my age, medical mystery! Yay! Not.

     I have very limited use of leg, arm is about 50%, as is hand.   My face is fine, speech is good except when I get tired I slurr a little, but everything is worse when I'm tired. I can't think of the words to use often, transpose them often, and just generally say things wrong. My son youngestgoes to virtual school, and I tried to help with math yesterday and learned I can't divide anymore, I have no control of my body tempature, don't ask me to remember anything longer than 12 hrs, blah, blah blah! The list goes on. Internally and works its way out

     I was a very active involved mother, school, community, sports. I did it all. Now I can't get off the couch to go to the bathroom without my husband or sons asking what I'm doing. It's from love I know, but is making me insane! They won't let me out of sight. And if not them, one of the high school kids or friends are here. I love them all, but can slowly feel my soul leaving my body as I lie here!

     I have PT 3 days a wk, do a lot of stuff at home to rehab, and play a lot of word, memory, or coordination games on my iPad. I have no control of my emotions. My arm and leg spaz out all the time, pain is constant. Tomorrow I'm botoxing my calf to help my leg, fingers crossed.

     So about a wk ago, sitting here feeling miserable, I decided that I could let this kill me off mentally or physically, or I could take what I've got and be happy I'm alive. I don't know about normal strokes, but with mine there's only a 15% chance of surviving. And I did, damn it! It didn't kill me June 25 , why let it kill me now? My youngest is 13, oldest 18. I've got a lot of games, homework and hugs left before I'm done with them, and I'm going to take every second of it! I'm not even 40! So I've decided pain and exhaustion can bring it! Pain is nothing new in my life, I've had several surgeries, and have been on a duragisic patch for 3 yrs anyway, so nothing new! So what I'm different, so what I'll never be the same, even if I get better, who cares!? My family loves me whether I say the wrong or right word, the kids still all come to me for advice, they don't love me less because I use a walker now, or can't write. I think they may all love me more.

     My point is, and I know I'm early into recovery compared, that I'm alive. And that's enough! That's all I need besides my family. I get embarrassed, say stupid stuff, and cry in pain, but at least I'm here to do so! If you've had a stroke, remember no matter how bad, someone somewhere had one too, and is worse off, might not even be around to tell their stories to help others survive. Please don't think I'm one of those happy all the time optimists either, I'm not! I'm a cranky *****, don't like most people, and am generally a pessimist.

     It has taken forever to type this, and try to make it read understandable. I had some help from an angel of a 13 yr old, but if it helps one person to have a better outlook, then it was worth it! And if it doesn't help anyone else, it helped to remind me!

     I am happy to discuss anything with anyone. Pain, syptoms (symptoms), anger, frustration, just to be an ear, for anyone who wants or needs.

Alicia M
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Alicia, It strains my imagination to think that twice you sought medical attention and were not immediately diagnosed with a stroke--especially the 2nd time.  Didn't they do a CT scan or an MRI?  Or is that not a way to diagnose the brain stem stroke which I don't know much about.  Why did it take 3 days to find out?  Although for most strokes you need to be diagnosed within 3 hours to get the tPa which takes care of most of the stroke disabilities.  I don't know if with your stroke that would have been possible.

I had a carotid artery stroke for no reason at all at a relatively young age as strokes go. Even though I am very tuned in to my body, I had no idea that anything was wrong with me even though I knew that I had waked up paralyzed and could barely talk.  I heard gibberish coming out of my mouth at one point.  The night before I saw a tiny red line in my peripheral vision (not a sign of stroke), and I looked up on the internet to find out if I should go to the ER.  Finding nothing I went to bed. That's how tuned in to my body I was.  Yes I knew the signs of a stroke.  But my judgment was impaired from the stroke which can happen.

You are very early on in your recovery and will make a fair amount of progress in the next few months.  But recovery keeps happening little by little as the years go by. I have continued to recover over the 5 years since I had my major stroke.  But then little surprises have happened over 3 years and over 5 years later, which are attributed to my stroke.  That is losing my voice, not able to swallow hardly, and severely clenched up toes.  Speech therapy and Botox have helped these new problems.  

I got severe 24/7 migraines caused by my stroke which has been the most disabling effect of my stroke on top of limited use of my r. arm, leg and hand.  But my speech is all the way back to normal when I could barely come up with words for months and still had difficulty for years afterwards.  I have a whole bunch of other medical problems which have also come up from my stroke.

After I treated my severe depression (described below) I still had some resentment and grief over my limited life until I met a woman on-line who has vascular dementia which means that in her 40s she has continuing small strokes which are robbing her of even her memories. And continued physical problems from it.  No cure for it.  And she wrote that she was grateful for every day that she had with her children.  That totally changed my attitude.

You remind me of her.  Such a good attitude on your part.  

I got severely depressed a couple years ago. I have needed at least 12 hours of sleep a night of my migraines get severe. Plus I can't do much in a day or they get severe, and sometimes they get severe for no reason at all.  I couldn't do my work without getting severe migraines.   A trip that I had looked forward to for a long time sent me to bed for the whole trip including going to the ER from the pain. I had no life at all.  If you get to that point, which it sounds like you are coping very well, take a tip from me.  My doctor said to increase my anti-depressant and to get therapy.  I told her that no drug could possibly help something so situational.  I didn't have time for therapy because I needed to visit my mother in hospice almost every day. My choice of course. A month later I still had the same terrible life, but the depression was completely gone.  

Now my migraines are far better from many treatments, but still need at least 12 hours of sleep a night.  Still have a lot of disabilities. But now together with my new attitude and my medication, I am truly happy for what I do have in my life--my husband, our land, and my cats.  And I am able to drive and do limited errands.

You will keep getting better.  Just work on your PT with diligence.  And I didn't hear anything about you getting speech therapy which I had 2x a week for months.  Write back to me about anything that crosses your mind.  I think that you are truly amazing.
Sara
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Hi everyone

I am 37 year old female who also suffered a brain stem stroke.
I was checked thoroughly and was my lifestyle did not cause this. My birth control Yasmin is what caused it.
I suffer the same issues as Alicia and luke.
It's very painful attacks I have and the only thing that seems to relieve them is ice packs. So when I feel the onset of an attack starting I out one on the back of my neck and another one on the top of my head. I also will shake off any limb that goes numb. I force this on me even though my body says no.
I have yet to see a neuro doctor but I believe the only thing that will help me is learning what I can do for myself to help me.
So far the ice helps and plenty of fluids. When my arms fall asleep I often soak my hands in hot water so they move again. Then I work with my other parts of my body also.
I'm confused at times and emotionally drained but I continue to tell myself
Mind over Matter.
It's the only way I can deal with this daily.
Stay strong cause will fight through this!
Lynn
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You sound like you've got a great attitude and are coping very well.  If you're like me, which you may not be, you may have other medical problems that will come about in the years to come.  So don't give up on any help out there such as physical therapy or a neurologist if you can't find a way to deal with it.  Wish you well.  Sara
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hi sara i had my stroke back in january 2012, like george i had pressure on my brain, had the surgery which still hurts up to this day, i have made lots of improvements, but it is still hard, we just have to keep on pushing, knowing it wont always be like this, even this sickness has  an expriation date, it will end, just hold on while there is life there is hope, everyday that we wake up we are closer to our healing.
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george never refer to yourself as a stroke victim we are stroke survivors, did you have a crainotoctomy to relief the pressure off your brain, i had one two years ago now, but the site on my head still hurts, does yours hurt, please let me know.
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i had a stroke in 1994 an several mini strokes. i understand your being frustrated healing takes a long time. the best advice i can give is from my own experience. trial and error after i took matters into my own hands. the first mistake was going on a low fat diet the dr recommended. i died an 2 hours later they finely got me back to stable an put me in ccu. .. memory long and short term memory was effected was over a year before i learned what the potato masher was for in my kitchen drawer didn't know to use it or what it was for an my family yelled at me for repeatedly asking same questions over an over so i stopped asking what things was or how to use. i watched to learn and paralyses didn't last i was walking when i left the hospital... my best advice is to think positive and believe your body knows how to heal it's self same as if it was cut on the outside it heals it will do the same inside. give it what it needs in nutrition an you will see improvements my recent use of saturated fats incredible my memory is improving and my joints feel better i dont have the body pain like i did an all this thanks to saturated fats. this dont mean eat lard like ice cream... lol ... you can get these fats from meats coconut oil avacados so add your butter to ya veggies an so on think an cook like grandma... mine put bacon an pork fat an ham hocks in beans an veggies when she cooked them. gramps had bacon an eggs or sausage every morning for breakfast drank raw whole cows milk had a shot of whiskey before bed each night an a small slice of cheese then went to bed. they always had a garden to eat from luckily i asked one night why he ate the cheese he told me to protect his teeth. recently i learned about oil pooling in the mouth to prevent an cure cavities i guess he knew something bout it that didn't get passed on in main stream health practices. do your best good foods cant be beat add lots of fruits an veggies in smoothies.. the only supplement i'm on is cellfood DNA RNA  its the one that regenerates healthy cells. also i did post a summery of my stroke in a journal on my profile if you want to read or have questions you need a good few years to repair the damages but healing is something you can achieve over the years. cellfood research shows it ups the oxygen levels in the blood as well it's 78 minerals enzymes an amino acids there's several formulas to choose from that one also is cell repair is why i chose it. to me the less than $50 price for the month is cheap for the health benefits Ive received. research is easy now you have a subject.. so research natural healing try things log how you feel after a few months some changes happen fast in days some is over time even years so be patient with yourself you will get well.. eat well grow a garden if even just a few pots of salad greens or spinach greens loaded with chlorophyll excellent nutrition. hope this helps.
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what ages are some of you when you had your stroke if you dont mind i was 29 my first big one then mini's came after and to my knowledge it's been least 3 years since I've had any.
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Yes you were young, but people younger than you have strokes.  Mine was at age 56 and it was a major one.
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What an inspiring message from you. With your surgery, you could have died, or had paralysis or not been able to speak--right?  But it sounds like you had it a lot better than that.  I sincerely appreciate your good attitude.  Keep it up.
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hi Sara, how are you doing, how long ago did you have your stroke, I am curious to hear your accomplishments, to give me hope, I am a little over 2 years, had my stroke at 49, it is still a struggle, but I try to remain positive. my hand is not working yet, I can lift my arm up to a certain point, but my fingers are stiff and have no dexterity in them yet, also my leg is heavy, but I lift it up when I walk, I  do not drag my foot, please reply to me because i think you had your stroke before  me, just want to know your progress, thank you.
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Yes, I had my stroke almost 6 years ago  at age 58.  The neurologist told me that if my circulation hadn't been so good together with having the stroke as young as I was, that I would have ended up paralyzed and not able to speak.  My severe 24/7 migraines are mostly under control with a lot of treatments, but I need at least 12 hours of sleep a night and can't do much in a day or the migraines get terrible. That's my biggest disability.

From the stroke I also got myoclonus (involuntary jerking), now treated with medication, high blood pressure (treated with med), kidney failure which has not been a problem yet, cannot hand write because my dominant hand never came back all the way.  Am slightly disabled on my right side, but PT helped it a lot.  Also 5 years later after my stroke, I suddenly lost my true voice and also got severe clenching of my toes, caused by spasticity from my stroke.  Can you believe that that happened so long after my stroke??  

I am very fortunate that I didn't suffer so much worse.  But the hardships from my stroke plus other pain conditions can be trying, but I try to focus on what I do have to be grateful in my life.

If you didn't have physical therapy, you could still benefit from it at this point.  I got more physical therapy a year later after my stroke and gained more from it.

So keep your positive attitude.  You are remarkable.

Keep the faith.  Sara
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Alicia,  When I read about your brainstem stroke- ,I am sorry you have endured, but, I,too,had brain stem stroke- doc, wont put it down as diag. Insurance co. for work, stop check, sending me back to work at Walmart, but, I don't feel I can. No one sees inside our brain-what they see on outside ,especially for those who haven't been in our  way- neurologist put brain stem abnormality, small vessel disease, MRA head-AICA replaces PICA- - I have a lot of signs- but, the worse is headaches, and left eye pressure-another doc said- stress/anxiety- slurr speech, blurry vision, left eye droop- I have been on short term-but,I am not the same- and no meds- recently went to VA, and had major Bacterial Infection, and I am borderline Heart Disease,I want to be checked for MS, because,I had several white lesions on brain, with neuro symptoms wax & wan-Sorry for the mess with words-brain problems are the worse for me-I take Glaucoma drops, two  different meds a day-I am so glad to be able to read other stories, and I know I am not alone, God Bless-The Computer- Take care, lol,your friend,Tiger,Sheree
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