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!