Feels like……..

I was recently watching an old rerun of Friends and someone made a mess or something and Monica said “So this is what a stroke feels like.”  I have a thing or two to say about that.  I know what having a stroke feels like because I had one.  Actually I had a few.  Damn, that was a bad week.  For me, having a stroke meant extreme, extreme, severe dizziness.  I collapsed and even though I was laying on the floor it still felt like I was falling and I literally did not know which way was up.  The world was spinning – oh and I puked.  A lot.  The only thing that made me feel somewhat better was lying perfectly still and closing my eyes.  But I was afraid to close my eyes because I thought if I let myself fall asleep I would die.  I didn’t have a choice a few minutes later because I passed out.  I was in and out of consciousness in the ambulance.  I remember bits and pieces of the ambulance ride.  Then I really passed out, the doctors did shit for me, and I woke up 3 days later in the ICU with a bald head and a giant scar on the back of my head. Fun times.

I can talk about it, but I cannot talk about my experiences without crying.  I have zero control over that but expressing emotion is very, very good.  What is very, very bad is not expressing emotion and keeping everything bottled up inside.  That’s very very very very bad.  Just because you see tears doesn’t necessarily mean the person producing those tears is really sad or upset.

Categories: Brain stuff, Health, Stroke stuff

Tags: ,

27 replies

  1. Wow, mine was inconsequential, got carried down the steps in a chair, asked if I wanted tPA, ‘Yes’, then didn’t sleep for the next three days due to all the commotion in the ICU and step-down units. I’d be willing to bet 90% of my dead brain is because nothing was done post-tPA.

    • They asked you if you wanted tPA?

    • Dean, mine was like yours … Conscious throughout.

      Amy, as for bottling it up, I think that’s ok … I never cried in rehab even though I was shattered. And I think my emotional state is healthy now, given what happened to me.

      • Oh my God. We’re gonna have to agree to disagree on that one. I strongly strongly disagree that bottling up emotions is ok.

        • Ah well, I’m a guy so I’m very good at bottling up emotions, except for now – anger.

          • I forgot to comment on the emotional part. When I started therapy, I asked if I will ever be able to tell my story without tears. She said yes and when you do you’ll know you have processed it. Two years later I told my story the for the first time without tears and I smiled afterwards. I knew then I had processed my event finally. Most times now I don’t cry, but occasionally I do. I guess it’s a work in process. I have always been very emotional and now I’m even more so. So tears are normal for me and do not always mean sadness many times they mean gratitude and appreciation.

  2. Very similar experience for me also. Two years later and I am still experiencing nausea and a weird “wooziness” feeling. Hope that goes away so I can concentrate on learning how to walk again.

  3. I got a book reviewed by a reader who said reading it was like I had a stroke or something. That really struck me the same way. If they’d had a stroke they wouldn’t be commenting like that. It’s a long way back to normal.

  4. Mine was a result of a planned surgery. The doctors made a calculated decision to cut a blood vessel in my brain…giving me a stroke..justifying that cutting the blood vesssel to rach my “tumor” was better than leaving the bleeding, growing cavernous angioma. Since I was so lucky in my recovery, I’d agree that the doctor’s decision was the best for me. Despite my current deficits, I am better now than the day I went into surgery…and I got to have another baby which was not an option without a successful surgery. I wouldn’t wish this shit on anyone, but in a sick twisted way I’m thankful for the journey. I think I learned more in the past four years than most “normals” learn in a lifetime.

    • Oh wow, so the surgery was a planned stroke? Wow I didn’t know that.

      • The surgery was planned, not the stroke….that was a bonus :0 once they cut my head open and tried to reach my angioma, there were a bunch of blood vessels in the way, so they cut one. I’m never sure if that makes mine a hemorrhagic or ischaemic type. Technically its neither. When I woke up from the surgery and I couldn’t move anything on my left side, I knew things hadn’t gone as planned. While I knew stroke was a risk, I never thought it would happen…I had zero risk factors. I thought I would be just rehabbing from a deep brain surgery. I got much more than that.

  5. I never got dizzy. My head hurt like hell – I thought I’d worked myself into a migraine at first, but when my neck and shoulders started to hurt, and I started throwing up, I immediately thought, “I’ve got meningitis!” and called an ambulance.

    That was the little stroke. I remember everything about it. The only thing I remember about the big stroke was seeing my hand start to move, and then I had a seizure, apparently, and then everything is blank for a couple of days.

    I don’t remember that line from Friends…

    • I never had seizures. I can’t believe I never had seizures given all the meds I was on.

      • I wasn’t on any meds, and I had a seizure exactly 6 months after the stroke. I was home prepping for a centennial celebration for our house – you know how we love our house.

        • Thank God I wasn’t driving or swimming or going up/down the stairs.

        • Seizures are caus d by tons of stuff…I US d to have lots of seizures before my surgery, and luckily haven’t had any since even though instill have lots of reasons to have them. For those with hemorrhagic strokes its usually either the iron from the old blood(hemosiderin), or the scar tissue causing the seizures…or from ishemic just scar tissue. Those that had surgery, scar tissue is a huge risk factor…and can take years to trigger seizures. And lots of medications lower the seizure threshold, especially certain anibiotics and antidepressants. I have both hemosiderin and scar tissue so I am very lucky to not be having seizures, but I am very careful in avoiding triggers too. I do not ever want to need keppra again.. .it was hell.

  6. I was on keppra for a while after an idiotic shrink overdosed me on zoloft which gave me seizures. So antidepressants are to be avoided at all costs. And occasional seizures are preferable to keppra which is an absolutely awful medication. It turned me into a zombie.

    • My husband has been on keppra for over two years, he had a seizure one year after his stroke and for the first month he has like zombie. He is ok now but I do wonder when he can be out of it? It is like his family dislike me because I want him out of medications. So do you have seizures Julia? How do you deal with them?

    • The one seizure I had (grand mal), while it had no long-term consequences, was a terrifying experience, unlike the stroke I had. If I had been anywhere else other than home when it happened, I could easily be dead or even more damaged than I already am. I would give up an awful lot to not have even one more. The consequences could be fatal for me and/or others. I can’t speak about keppra, but there are other choices for preventing seizures.

      • Yep, Barb. I completely agree. While my experience with Keppra was nothing short of miserable, while I needed it I took it religiously and thankfully it prevented a grand mal. I had simple partial seizures, all the time 20-30 a day before keppra. Had that activity continued I could have had a grand mal. Keppra pretty much eliminated my seizures, but at a fairly high price. If I needed an antiepileptic long term, I would have tried others, but once I was weaned off, I was fine…and that allowed me to consider another pregnancy. All anti-seizure meds are highly toxic when pregnant, so that was important to me to come off safely. If I was having grand mals, I’m not sure I would have pushed so aggressively to stop the keppra. Grand mals can be very dangerous, while what I was having were just scary and exhausting. I still wear a medic alert bracelet just in case something happens when I’m out with my kids. Once they’re older I probably will not feel the need anymore.

        • I havent heard of the grand mal so I better google it, I’m always learning something from all of you, so as I have said before thank you for sharing.

  7. I was placed on Keppra for a year even though I had not had any seizures. I asked my doctor to wean me off last year. My head is MUCH clear. Just have the “wooziness” now.

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