Today marks my one year anniversary or surviving my pontine stroke. I truly do not believe a year has gone by already. It seems just yesterday, I was living at the hospital and attending PT/OT twice a day. I know that I have gained so much back in the past year, but some days it seems like I am still taking “baby steps” on this long road to recovery. For many of you, you really do not have any idea about what someone goes through when they suffer a stroke. That is not meant in a bad way, it is meant in that we really do not educate those about it. My Uncle (Dad’s brother) had two, and other then he had trouble walking and with the use of his side…I really NEVER knew.
So in reflecting on my own stroke, I am going to share details about myself. Remember…EACH stroke is different because it HITS everyone in different areas of their brain. No recovery is the same as well. That is one of things probably most frustrating because it is all a wait and see game.
I had what is known as a “pontine stroke” or a stroke that was in the brain stem. I feel very fortunate because doctors remind me all the time how lucky I am to be here still. They do not see many survive this type of stroke because the brain stem is “prime real estate”. I was also lucky that the stroke did not effect my memories severely as it does so many. I do have trouble remembering things more with short term memory then long term.
A little photo montage of this past year…
Most stroke patients are looking at a minimum of 2.5 years in recovery. If they gain back certain things the first few years, their outlook for regaining even more is said to be better (according to the doctors)
These are a few things I still struggle with daily:
My brain/upper forehead still feel numb. It feels like I was at the dentist and I had Novocaine injected in it. They don’t know if this feeling will go away or not.
My right hand is still numb, but my it is not freezing cold to the touch like it was. My right foot is also connecting better to the brain and is no longer always freezing cold. They do *occasionally* act up. The brain is reconnecting with all of this. I may get it back and I may not.
I still struggle with writing. I am not driving. I tire easily. I walk with a cane when I need balance. The stroke effects the vertigo and depth perception part of my brain.
My right leg (calf) spasms and tones constantly. I try to do stretching exercises as much as possible to elevate some of this pain.
My right shoulder (rotator cuff) is always in pain. Physical therapy has helped this, but this is a very common problem among survivors.
My right knee gives out often.
When it rains or snows the barometric pressure effects my motor skills greatly. I have trouble with just about anything.
Your chances of having a stroke increase when:
You are diabetic.
You have a family member that suffered one.
You have high blood pressure.
You suffer from migraines.
You eat crappy food as your main diet.
You are African American.
There are many other risk factors…you can find more here:
I thank each of you for being here and supporting me during my road to recovery! It still is a long and winding road,
but the first year is now behind me. Bless You! <3