Posts Tagged "Stroke"

World Stroke Month – A New Perspective

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 1 comment

World Stroke Month – A New Perspective

If I had written last May about World Stroke Month, as a nurse of more than thirty years, I would have been able to share many facts, signs and symptoms, treatment options, preventative measures, and even some of the struggles patients and families will face after a stroke.   If I had written it last May.   But I didn’t write it last May, as a nurse of over thirty years. Instead I am writing it this May, as a daughter of a stroke patient.   Here are some of the statistics I would have shared last year: According to the CDC at cdc.gov “Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. In 2008 alone, more than 133,000 Americans died from stroke—or one person every four minutes—died from stroke, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, almost 800,000 strokes occur in the United States. Strokes often lead to serious, life-changing complications. . .”   Strokes don’t just happen to the elderly. It can happen to anyone. Some of the effects of stroke listed by the CDC are below: Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body. Problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Problems understanding or forming speech. Difficulty controlling or expressing emotions. Numbness or strange sensations. Pain in the hands and feet. Depression So, back to my story. Last May my Daddy suffered a stroke. It was determined that it was an embolic stroke, meaning that due to atrial fibrillation in his heart, he had formed tiny clots that had traveled to his brain and caused the damage. He miraculously recovered a great deal of function, but was left with some significant challenges in how his brain processed. But, for the most part we believed God had given us a miracle and we had dodged the bullet. The doctors put him on a medication to prevent further clots and strokes and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Until autumn, when he incredibly suffered a second stroke. I say incredibly because the doctors are still befuddled by how someone on that particular medication could have a stroke. But he did. And this time, he was left with damage to his speech center. We are still thankful. Grateful. Counting our blessings. Daddy is still with us, he is still wise, loving, funny, kind, and gentle. We count each day a blessing. But, it occurred to me. I’ve learned a few things through this experience so I thought I would share them here. A stroke will change your life forever – We can’t go back. It isn’t going to go away.  Daddy has said it over and over—“My brain just doesn’t work the same.” The damage requires rehab, exercises, medications, doctor’s visits, retirement, all lifestyle changes not only for my dad, but for my mom as well. And, despite the best care and an incredibly motivated and hard-working patient, the damage is still there.   It isn’t...

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How Sweet The Sound!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 4 comments

How Sweet The Sound!

It is a well-known fact that I am a hummer. (Not to be confused with a humdinger or the vehicle by that name, please.) The truth is I am almost always humming something. It is a humming habit. I don’t know where it came from; it has been a part of ME as long as I remember.   In addition to humming, I also am known for the ability to think of a song lyric for every situation. For instance, if I am having a difficult day, I might burst into song with “Smile, though your heart is breaking, smile, even if your faking. “ Yes, sometimes I change the lyrics. As I woke up this morning I thought of my trip to this beautiful mountain home in Boone where I am enjoying a writer’s retreat with friends. It was Saturday night. I had already been to Newberry, SC with my husband for Oktoberfest, then back home where I gathered up my things and jumped back in the car.   By the time I arrived in the Boone area it was dark. Pitch dark. My GPS failed me, not even recognizing the name of the road. But, I was confident. After all, we lived near here for a year and I drove this road back and forth to work many times. All I had to do was find the intersection.   Well, let’s just say that after several tries I was inordinately relieved to find an email from one of my friends with a phone number to call if I needed anything. So, I phoned a friend.   Deanna talked me in and when I couldn’t find the keypad to get into the gated community (we decided they made it impossible to find in the dark so those who don’t belong can’t get in—that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) Glenda drove down and let me through the gate. We laughed about “how many writers does it take to get into a gated community”?   But, this morning as I remembered this episode, a single line from a song drifted through my head. “I’ll be on your side forever more. . . That’s what friends are for. “ I smiled. Then, I thought of yesterday at our church in the mountains. When the choir sang an arrangement of “All The Way My Savior Leads Me,” I sat with my eyes shut and let the words wash over me. This is one of my favorite hymns and one particular line has comforted us more than once.   “For I know what e’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.”   I thought of my Daddy. Since June he has suffered two strokes. He is still alert, oriented, moves all of his extremities well, able to care for himself, but weak. And, he can’t talk. Oh, he gets a few words out. Sometimes an entire sentence pops out. But it is hard work. And frustrating. But, one of his first...

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