The symptoms for my stroke were not like those of a typical stroke. It requires an MRI to see instead of a CAT scan to diagnose and does not present in the usual form. You will not see the droopy face or slurred speech you see with any other strokes, instead the presentation is vertigo, vomiting, headache, and difficulty walking. Yes, it sounds more like an intensely bad case of the flu or sinus issues. This is also the reason it is so fatal.
The stroke magnet I brought home from the hospital does have my signs of a stroke on it help people rush to the hospital. The location within the brain is the home to the central nervous system. If it crashes you crash. The heart will stop, breathing will stop, you either die or you may become locked in.
Locked in is a medical condition were the result of the stroke is that you can not speak or move. The stroke victim is “locked in” their body. They can hear what is going on around them and their eyes can open and see what is happening around them but they can not respond. I am lucky, both to be alive and to be able to take part in life directly. My issues do not measure to the severe magnitude of death. I put my feet on the ground each day and express my joy for life.
But joy for life and experiencing it with my post stroke challenges do not exist exclusive of each other. Surviving is not the same thing as having coming through without any disabilities. The disabilities will heal but healing to what level of my pre-stroke ability, I can’t say. It may be all, it may only be part, or the issues may stay with me and I will have to advocate for my well being. I am working to aid my healing process but that requires accommodations.
Accommodations are difficult to acquire for a disability that is hard to understand. It was not the type of stroke people recognize. People have not heard of it and can only relate it to what they know, which it are not the same thing. People often do not accept what the can not see directly so they question it, even with medical documentation. I feel it is important that people learn about this so they can take part in the healing and avoid the risk.
Read this story so you can under stand the side effects of just one person:
Recognizing a brain-stem stroke specifically:
Resources for aphasia: