I’ve been writing this blog for over a year…it’s about time I did this post. I had a stroke in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the “little brain.” It’s the baseball sized thing located at the back of and under the big brain. Actually, the size of it varies a lot. This kind of stroke is…..well kinda different. This is called a posterior stroke, in the back of the brain. While anterior strokes I think are more common, posterior strokes – if severe enough – are more lethal and can have worse consequences like Locked-In Syndrome. So I guess I’m “lucky.” Most strokes will cause some kind of movement issue. Now, I have movement issues but they have to do with coordinating and controlling my movements rather than my ability to do certain movements. The cerebellum fine tunes movements, the initiation of movements is controlled elsewhere in the brain. So I can do any movement at all, it just takes a while and a lot of it looks bad – it’s uncoordinated and shaky. And my balance is off. It used to be way, way off but now it’s just off. My fine motor control is pure crap. Well no it’s not, it used to be pure crap but now it’s better, now it’s just crap. A lot of strokes will cause difficulty with word finding and speaking. I have speech issues but again they involve the coordination of the muscles that produce my speech rather than an inability to speak or find a word. Some strokes affect personality and emotions – mine did not. Some strokes will cause sensation issues such as pain, numbness, or tingling – mine did not. But this can happen with cerebellar strokes and I have met some people who had posterior strokes who have sensation issues. I was at a stroke support group recently and I commented that most people who have had a stroke seem to be right side affected and a woman said “and that means that the left side of our brain was injured.” In most cases, yes, but not in my case. Generally, the body is controlled by the opposite side of the brain, but not the cerebellum. The stuff that the cerebellum controls is on the same side of the body.
No matter where in the brain you had a stroke, it’s all brain damage. There really is no difference between me and my friend who had a stroke in her left frontal lobe – we both have brain damage. We may have different effects from our strokes and her and I have to work on different things but it’s all brain damage.