Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Stroke

At the end of May this year Larry went to his cardiac rehab on Monday like he did every Monday. When he got home, he realized that he was having a hard time using his hand. He was trying to eat dinner with a spoon and he couldn't hold the spoon. And when they came to bring his medicine to the house and he went to sign the paper for the delivery, he couldn't sign it because he couldn't hold the pen. We immediately thought it was probably just a pinched nerve and the next morning he called our family Dr. and went in to see him on Wed. Dr. Roos wasn't sure what the problem with his hand was, so he sent Larry to a orthopedic Dr. On Thurs he started driving to the orthopedic dr. and realized that he felt very weak and fatigued. He was having a slight problem with his sight in his right eye, so he called me at work and I came to pick him up and bring him to the Dr. She wanted to send him to get an MRI the next day, however due to having a Pacemaker/difibrilator he couldn't have an MRI so they sent him for a CT Scan instead. He drove to get the CT scan since it was just a mile down the road from our house. They did the scan and he was on his way out to his car to leave and they ran out to get him. They immediately brought him in to the ER at the hospital and told him that he had a significant bleed in his brain (a stroke) and they would have to send him to the big Barnes downtown and see what those Dr's wanted to do. I drove as fast as I could to the hospital and as soon as I got there. When I saw him I immediately noticed that he was slurring his speech a bit and the right side of his face had started to droop a little bit as well. He also said he noticed his right leg was quite a bit weak as well. Within about 30 minutes of me arriving to the ER The ambulance showed up to bring him to the other hospital. They were nice enough to let me ride along. Once we got to Barnes Jewish, they sent in so many Dr's and nurses to get him set up in the ICU. They all talked to us and said they might have to do surgery but they wanted to wait through the night to see if they could control the bleed without having to do surgery. They gave him 4 units of plasma that night to thicken his blood because he was on blood thinners for the LVAD and gave him even more units with in the next few days. The next morning they came in and said they were going to keep him in the ICU and monitor him for a few more days but they didnt think surgery was necessary and The blood should reobsorb in the brain. About a week went by in the ICU and he had improved a little bit and his speech was better and you couldnt even notice the face drooping anymore so they moved him to a regular room. He stayed in the regular room for  2 more weeks and they were doing physical rehab for his are for about 30 minutes a day and it was improving slowly. They decided to send him to The Rehab Institute of St. Louis.

Larry's Version: I had a bad headache that saturday and it went away. This was one of the signs of a stroke. Well I never knew how it was or what a stroke was like. I had just heard of people having bad problems. Well after the work out and lifting weights that day, I got home and noticed my hand was not working as fast as the other hand. slowly my hand and arm were not working or like they were in slow motion. At about 12 am that night my hand and arm were flopping around like dead weight. I was so scared and was crying cause my arm was not working. The few days I waited was getting worse. After we found out it was a stroke and made it to barnes, they were very suprised I was talking and walking due to how bad the brain bleed was. I really think that constant working out and eating right helped me and my body to stay strong. You really never know how much you need your hands and arms till they do not work. I have been working very hard and attending rehab five days a week. I have gotten the strength back and we are working on the small motor skills. One thing I realized after going to my uncle's church was that I still had it good and was blessed because the guy infront of me had lost his arm and was still making it. If he was able to get dressed and shower, then I know I would be able to get back to my crazy self.

I just want to say that we should never take things for granted, and take things a day at a time cause things can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. One last thing, if you find your self saying you hate your life or life sucks, well trade places with a war vet that has lost their legs, or a cancer patient. I'm pretty sure if your walking and talking with out any health problems then things are going ok. There always someone worse off then you.

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