Luke Perry’s massive stroke and later passing due to said stroke gives me goosebumps every time it’s mentioned on TV. Why? Because I suffer a stroke in 2016.
It wasn’t anything like what happened to Luke Perry, but you cannot have a true stroke without side effects. If you looked at me, you wouldn’t know this had ever happened. No physical changes in my walking, the way I look, none of it. However, if you listen to me, you catch a few things:
- One – I lose focus a lot faster. It’s really hard to maintain focus for extended periods of time, really hard. I keep working on retraining my brain by reading, and that helps. But it has not been easy.
- Two – if you pay attention to this blog, you’ll notice that I leave words out, that I use the wrong forms of words. Grammarly helps, but wow, have I ever learned the power of proofreading! And I’m reading right along in my head as I’m writing, but the word will be totally different.
- Three – I get hung up on words, blanking on the easiest of words. Of course, I cannot come up with an example right now, but I can describe what I want to say, but finding the word in my brain, not there. Usually, with the description, whomever I am with can help, but that’s embarrassing to say the least!
- Four – I used to pride myself on remembering students names or names in general. Not so much anymore. My wife is my handler with this because she’s very good with names. “Hey Melissa, who’s that over in the doorway?” This is a common occurrence, not that I want it to be, but it is. This, coupled with the fact I’m pretty spacey to begin with, is not a good combination.
No, my life hasn’t changed much since this happened, but the frustrations on usually more internal than external, which is hard. When I can’t come up with a word, I get the “are you an idiot” look from someone, not knowing that in my MRI, a small spot on my section of my brain that controls language is damaged.
So, take care of yourself. Know the signs. And don’t ignore them! I’m ridiculously lucky because I didn’t take the signs seriously. My doctor said it could have been much, much worse, so each day I wake up and thank my lucky stars I listened to my wife and went for the check up!
March 5, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Wow — thank you for sharing this personal story, so many details of your after effects, and helping me build a little empathy, too. I am sending you (and your wife!) kind thoughts as you bravely continue through recovery.
March 5, 2019 at 4:03 pm
Thanks! My brain is tired a lot, and according the neurologist, that’s a sign of healing or at least reprogramming to go around the damaged part. I found that pretty awesome! 🙂
March 5, 2019 at 3:29 pm
Thanks for sharing your story with us. It helps to learn what some of the signs are and to also know how one (in this case, YOU!) is coping a few years out. Seems like you’re doing an amazing job at making the new normal work for you. (Grammarly is great, isn’t it?)
March 5, 2019 at 4:04 pm
Grammarly and Ginger are life savers! I hate to picture what my writing (which is marginal at best) would be like without those tools! 🙂
March 5, 2019 at 7:13 pm
Thank you for sharing this very personal insight. I’m so glad you went and had a check up. I’m also really glad that your brain is working on healing itself. Stay patient and positive!
March 5, 2019 at 9:11 pm
> Stay patient and positive!<
That's the hardest part, to say patient. It's so frustrating when the dang word won't come out! 🙂
March 5, 2019 at 9:13 pm
My dad has a TBI and one part of his brain that’s affected is memory. When it first happened he was so frustrated and you could tell he knew what word he wanted but it just wouldn’t come out. Ì know it’s easier said than done to stay patient. Trust me that’s a virtue I lack in spades.
March 5, 2019 at 7:17 pm
Wow! Very powerful. You are a gifted and dedicated writer. It must awful to lose words. One of my biggest fears. Thanks for your inspiration and hard work as a writer.
March 5, 2019 at 9:10 pm
> It must awful to lose words.<
It does not feel good! However, knowing what it could be, this isn't all bad. 🙂
March 5, 2019 at 7:19 pm
Thank you for sharing this. I lost my own father and all his siblings to stroke due to a genetic propensity for arterial placquing(?) And the unwillingness to heed advice. I am so happy it turned out so well for you. We need you in the world.
March 5, 2019 at 8:16 pm
>We need you in the world.<
Well, that just made my day! 🙂 My grandfather passed away by the same arterial plaque, so we'll see how the meds do keeping me here! 🙂
March 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm
I have to echo the other readers’ voices here, thank you for sharing! I learned so much for reading about your journey.
March 5, 2019 at 9:07 pm
🙂 Thanks! It’s always an adventure!
March 6, 2019 at 12:34 am
Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your experience. #hashtagannotations
March 6, 2019 at 12:33 pm
It had become easier as time has gone on. Between cancer and stroke, talking (and joking) about it makes it more real, but also easier to accept too.
March 6, 2019 at 2:38 pm
So appreciate the information here. You are an inspiration.
March 6, 2019 at 4:29 pm
Well, maybe not an inspiration, but I do my best to be me! 🙂
March 7, 2019 at 10:01 pm
Thanks for sharing your story! In another lifetime, before I was a teacher, I was an SLP who worked with stroke patients. I remember how frustrating the language loss you speak of can be! Hang in there… your writing is amazing!!
March 7, 2019 at 10:23 pm
I was lucky. My wife kicked my butt and got me to the doctor. Many are not! 😦
Thank you! I appreciate your comment! 🙂