Monday, May 4, 2009

From Michelle's cousin Steve--a stroke survivor!

Stroke Therapy --- what to expect

Ted and I have a lot in common. We both love my Cousin Michelle. We both love music. We were both born left handed. And we've both suffered a stroke. It is important to note that each person's recovery is unique so Ted's progress my differ from mine. Here is my story.

On the afternoon of February 1st, 2008 I had a hemorrhagic stroke, a rupture in a blood vessel. I was home alone and unable to get to my phone to call 911. A worried friend with a key found me 15 hours later. This was a month before my 41st birthday. I spent the next few weeks edated in ICU.

On February 25th I transfered to a rehab hospital to begin therapy. On the 28th I had a birthday party in my room (Michelle & I have the same birthday).

My left side was the side affected. The good news in that my long term memory was completely intact, as will Ted's. Besides the lack of movement in my left side my speech and short term memory were affected.

Therapy is broken into 3 segments --- physical therapy for the leg & walking, occupational therapy for the arm and ADL's --- activities of daily living (brushing teeth, dressing, etc..) and speech therapy for speech & memory exercises. This initial therapy is big picture stuff --- getting Ted walking and moving his arm.

During the week the schedule is full with therapy sessions. Still the sense of time when spending weeks & months in a hospital can be weird. Not sure if it is the change in routine or the drugs or both. I wanted to nap all the time. Finally a nurse told me I needed to work on staying up later so I'd sleep better so I'd be good the next day. That worked wonders.
So although I was not always fully awake I loved having visitors. Check with Marion Joy, but I loved getting food from the outside!

I also loved getting my iPhone & laptop so I could resume blogging (my blog,, is the #1 blog in St. Louis). I had to adjust to typing with one hand but communicating with the outside work was great. Ted already has his phone so once we get him set up with a laptop we'll start to hear from him.

Ted very likely has "left inattention" Therapy will help him pay attention to the left side. Little things like keeping track of his left arm and watching how he is steering the wheelchair so he doesn't hit stuff on the left. Games like bingo help with looking to the left to check for numbers. Over time this isn't an issue like it is at this stage.

In the coming weeks I'll share more about what to expect in the coming months as Ted finishes rehab, returns home, starts driving again and goes back to work.

1 comment:

  1. steve

    you have been such a positive factor in all this. i thank you and love you very much

    the mighty ted