"The Stroke Flattened Me. Palpitations are Grievous. Now What?"
A stroke happened, with no warning, no foreboding, no admonition. The stroke leveled me with palpitations, right-sided damage and aphasia.
I love the Laurel mountains, the ambling footpaths and the night music of katydids just before sunset. No more.
Walking my dog, Johann is joyfully scaring a poor chipmunk. He's a German shepherd, a half-a-year old and completely psychotic. Turning on the gravel driveway, the steep hill of my cabin looked inviting, toasty warm and kicked of my boots and fleetingly dozed. I was an excellent fire-builder, too. Johann was depleted chasing squirrels and settled himself for snoozing. Suddenly, I can't feel my legs.
I'm 52 and never smoked, keep fit and sprinted on the mountain trails every day without fail. I had a massive cerebral vascular accident in 1999. I'm 64. I couldn't speak and I couldn't walk, confined to a wheelchair and five hospitals (count 'em) for seven months. And palpitations; heart-stopping, violent, hammering-in-my-chest palpitations for at least twenty years. Yes, I had myriad physicians.
It's tabula rasa, a blank slate. It shows no mercy. To the profoundly disabled to a transient ischemic attack; it's still a stroke. The carotid duplex revealed that the proximal left internal carotid artery, astoundingly, is 80-99%, occluded and stenosed. It's an ischemic stroke. A clot. Hey, who knew?
I'm better now; remarkably better, albeit the right side is corpselike. I'm a little bit aphasic. The palpitations are gone, thanks to a dentist in 2005. Walk Aide helps tremendously for my right leg. I write every day. I love words. Barring bad snowsqualls, (It's dubious... July to May- yes, I live in the hills) walk every day via cane or four-pronged walker. It helps for stability.
I have wealth of information about everything from eleven years (almost 12-Yikes!) of trial and error. In retrospect, mostly error.
Strokesurvivorswithsavvyideas.com is a primer, full of yucks, despair, mirthful snickers and to-down-right-bleak. Laugh at yourself every day.
Life's short. Let's go forward.
CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN AND DENTIST BEFORE ANYTHING. EVERY STROKE IS DIFFERENT. I KNOW.