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Posted by Peter Brown
on March 19, 2000 at 06:22:28:
I would like to share my story in the hope that it will be of help to both stroke sufferers and carers. I am aged 44 and suffered my stroke on the 26/8/99. It started with me having a strong dizzy feeling whilst at work. I called for help and my workmates called for an ambulance. This put me in outpatients at hospital. I was there overnight before they worked out what was happening with a CTT scan the next morning. It was about this time that I lapse into a coma and was rushed into an emergency neuro operation. The stroke was identified as a 'bilateral cerebellar infarcts' complicated by a intracerebral bleed.
A stroke is a clot and/or bleed (haemorage) usually affecting a capillary in the brain area. My clot was in an artery feeding the brain. The haemorage was in a cavity between the cerebellum and brain stem (top of the spine). Prognosis, worst case I was not going to survive the operation (this is what was expected) and at best shoudn't be much better than a vegetable not being able to walk and having speech problems. A further complication in intensive care, I developed a large DVT (deep venous thrombosis). This was in my left leg between the ankle and knee. As a result I am now on Warfarin for the rest of my life.
My stay in hospital lasted 9 weeks. 4 weeks in an acute hospital, the first 5 days of 10 in intensive care in a coma. This was followed with 5 weeks in a rehabilitation hospital. On transfer to the rehab hospital I required two nurses to move me from bed to a chair beside. 5 weeks later I discharged independant walking under my own steam without aid and no known speech or memory problems. The only problem I had was diplopia (double vision). This condition has now almost cleared and I hope to be able to drive again in the next few weeks.
I have also recently returned to work part time, 3 mornings a week, working up to full time over the next few months.
What caused my stroke? Testing has revealed that I am heterozygous for factor V leiden mutation (hereditary). Transiently I was positive for lupis inhibitor and anticardiolipin lgG antibody. These three elements in my blood effected my clotting capability and gave me the big whammy.
Coping with the stoke. A positive forward looking attitude. Why reflect on why did I have a stroke and get depressed on it. The stroke has occured and I cannot change that but I can for what happens in the future. It does not mean that I don't think about the stroke. Physio has been a hard haul. I worked with the following, physiotherapist, occupation therapist, speech therapist, & clinical neuro phsyciatrist. They worked with me physically, orally and mentally. One aim might be to start walking again. This initially means walking a very short distance usually with lots of assistance, okay thats today, can I do the same distance tomorrow with less assistanceand so on day by day. When I can, increase the distance but do it in small chunks. By trying too much will only over-do-it and may push the recovery back. At the end of a few weeks it is amazing what can be achieved. Additionally the visits by my wife, family and friends whilst I was in hospital and recovering at home gave me the support and strength for me to achieve my independant state. It needs to be with care, understanding and patience. Whilst I achied in a relatively short time others may take longer. Doctors still tell me that I should not be walking at all nor talking normally. But do it I have. firstname.lastname@example.org
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