Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stroke and Sleep

Some sleep problems can lead to I've been reading. I'm pretty worried about this since my dog has had insomnia for the past month. I'm not sure why she's having such an issue and neither is the vet. All I know is, now I'm stuck with a dog on Prozac (which doesn't seem to be helping).

In the meantime, I am suffering from sleep deprivation. I don't get more than 3 hours of sleep and my head has been hurting every day. In doing a little research without trying to scare myself, I've found that there is a connection between sleep and stroke. Some strokes are caused by lack of sleep and some sleep issues are caused by stroke. You already know by now that I am terrified of having another stroke and sometimes am a little too crazy with the research and end up freaking myself out but this seems to be something I should pay attention to.

Webmd says that getting too much sleep makes you at risk for a stroke! Another website says if you snore you can get a stroke, I mean come on. It seems like no matter what you do, you're at risk of a stroke! I think I'll call the doctor this week and go in and just hear straight from the horse's mouth what I am and am not at risk of. This could partly be why I can't fall asleep...well that and the Dumbo eared cutie in the picture above.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guest Stroke Blogger: Meet Heidi

Meet Heidi, a 21 year old stroke survivor. Heidi has been kind enough to share her story in the hopes of helping others like herself. I am blown away by her bravery.

Heidi suffered her stroke in September 2011.

Below is her story.

I was home alone when it happened. After losing the ability to control my arms and legs, I was somehow able to call my parents (who live 5 miles from my house) and they called 911. All my vitals were fine so the EMTs said I could stay with my parents and have them watch over me that night. My parents said “No, you’re taking her to the ER.”. After several hours at the ER the doctor told me I had a severe case of vertigo and to check with my general practitioner in a couple days. I saw my doctor 3 days later, told him I wanted an MRI, and waited some more. 2 days after I had the doctor visit I had my MRI, they detained me there while they read the results then sent my straight to the hospital to get on a blood thinner. I was admitted for 3 days while they did tests on my to try and figure out why I had a stroke.

They found the issue; a hole between the two upper chambers of my heart (Atrial Septal Defect) and decided I needed open heart surgery. I had surgery December 1st and am still trying to get back on my feet. The doctors are confident the problem is fixed and I don’t have to worry about a thing. I still worry; I think that’s natural.

I wasn’t on medication. I am not unnaturally overweight. I have always been active; I was on a recreational soccer team when it all happened. There is no family history of this. I have never had health issues. I am young! BUT I am so grateful this happened to me; it saved my life. The hole in my heart, if it had gone undetected, could have done major damage and maybe killed me. I get a second chance. I am going to take full advantage of this as soon as I am recovered from surgery.

Now I feel so-so. For how much trauma my body has been through in a very short amount of time, I feel great! When I get tired everything gets a little funky; my speech gets twisted, my coordination is a little worse, I can't make numbers make sense when people tell them to me, I just have some silly little quirks now (trying to stay positive!). I'm just super lucky; my stroke affected both sides of my brain so if it had been any bigger it could have done some very serious, life altering, damage.

Heidi, I'm so happy this was found before like you said, it could have gotten worse. Recovery time is slow but rewarding. Remember to celebrate everything! Small victories! Second chances are the best chances. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daddy Therapy

My mother has a habit of closing things really tightly as if there is poison inside the jar or flowing from the faucet of everything she seals. Since my right side is not as strong as my left from the stroke, it is often very frustrating to not be able to open these things.

Today I once again explained that I can't open faucets when she does this. I truly believe that sometimes she forgets I went through what I did which is kind of nice sometimes, I guess. This creeps in when I am tired and slur and she asks me if I'm drunk and I have to again remind her of what happens when I just can't focus on sounding proper when I'm too sleepy to care.

This morning I spoke to my father and vented my frustrations to him. It was only after I got off the phone that I realized that he too must have gone through this having his stroke a little over 10 years ago. Just as my mom forgets I went through this at moments, I forget my Dad did too. It's always interesting to speak to him about my troubles or frustrations with recovery because he almost never puts his own experiences into the conversation. He takes the Daddy card and listens intently and tries to make me feel better which he almost always does. Next time I have one of these moments, I have to remember to ask him if this ever happened to him and remember, I have my own little support group right in front of me.