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Marilee J. Layman

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08:22 pm: No Family Today
Rick called and woke me up and said my sister-in-law pulled a muscle in her back, so they'll have to put off their weekend trip including lunch with me. I went back to sleep and PayPal called. Did I know how much money was in my account? I think she believed me about what was happening and I gave her "Making Light" for the donation page and told her Google would find it quickly.

I went ahead and got up and went to the ATM to get money for the next week, the library to pick up a book I got on InterLibrary Loan, and then on the way back down the same street, stopped for an ice cream cone. While I was sitting and licking, a couple came to sit at another table (this is outdoor seating, they close when it gets too cold for customers) and I noticed her right arm was bent and immobile and her right leg was immobile and she was lifting it with her back as she walked. After I finished, I went over and told her I'd had a stroke, and it looked like she had, too. She talked with some hesitancy and no rhythm, but her face was very mobile. I told her I had a friend in NYC who'd just had the same type of stroke and I wanted to be able to tell him that I'd seen someone outdoors doing stuff and she said "Yes! Tell him to be happy!" Her pupils were tiny, so they've got her on some form of speed to make her brain work better. The man with her was smiling fondly throughout.

Then I headed on down the road to Tony's (this road, Mathis, was the original store road from 80 years ago -- so convenient to do so much there) and had to have someone carry my tray with a slice of focaccia and iced tea. I'd wondered if I could do some simple computer work, but clearly not. I'm much weaker on my left side today and I'm making word mistakes not only in speaking, but in typing, and typing is usually much better.

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[User Picture]
From:marydell
Date:October 12th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
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My sister had a stroke at 19 and the after-effects for her are very much like the woman you met. She has some mobility on her right side--with effort she can bend her knee and stretch out her hand--and she talks more slowly than before the stroke. But she's done a lot in the 30+ years since the stroke, including having babies, raising them as a stay-at-home mom, helping her husband run his business, and now babysitting her grandkids. All that starting from a prognosis of "might die" and "will never walk or talk again." Oh, also, about 10 years back she learned to drive, after a long struggle with epilepsy (brought on by the stroke)--she finally got an anti-seizure med that worked for her and has been seizure-free for ages.

And although she searches for words when she's speaking, her writing is still clear and articulate.

Please feel free to pass all that on to Scraps.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:October 12th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
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I will! Thanks! I seized with my stroke (we know because I had it in the hospital because a doctor ordered a med that was standard practice but isn't used for that anymore because it gave people strokes) and took Dilantin for a while, but I was pretty sure the seizure just was part of the stroke, not real epilepsy, so I stopped taking it after a while. Told the doctor a month later. I know, bad Marilee. Your sister probably never took Dilantin (newer drugs now) and if she did, didn't have it IV. I'd like to find out if other people have grape popsicle taste when they get Dilantin IV.
[User Picture]
From:marydell
Date:October 13th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
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She may have taken Dilantin, since her stroke was a little over 30 years ago, and her adventures with seizure meds were during the decade or so after that. I'll ask her one of these times.

That sucks that you had a stroke because of a treatment...but I guess it's good that you had it in the hospital. My sister was in the hospital when she had her stroke (or strokes, there may have been two, one major and one minor) because hers was caused by endocarditis. So she'd checked in the day before with a 106 fever.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:October 13th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, my Evil Stepmother had come up to yell at me on behalf of my father (if anybody in the family was imperfect, it reflected on him, so I was supposed to get up and out of the hospital and forget about my kidneys), so my BP went up and the med they gave me was what was used everywhere for acute hypertension. Not anymore, of course. I had three "events" right away, while I was in the coma, but there's no way to tell whether they were minor new strokes or just follow-ons because the nephrologists only had one brain scan done, after the original stroke, and never called in a neurologist. I was supposed to die from the renal failure, so of course I would die from the stroke! Stupid doctors.

On the other hand, we both probably survived the strokes because we were in the hospital.

Oh, and I got email from Velma, she thanked us for the recovery stories.
[User Picture]
From:marydell
Date:October 14th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
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Yikes! Ain't family grand. My sister might have survived the stroke outside of a hospital, but not the endocarditis. And the standard medical notion at the time was "lie in bed for the rest of your life." Fortunately the Rehab Institute of Chicago did great work with her and she's had a good life since, although she struggles with energy and mobility, of course.

Can you pass this picture link along to Velma?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marydell/tags/anne/

These are pics of my sister and her children--she had the kids within a decade of having the stroke, no c-sections. And the pictures of her are from 15-20 years after the stroke. But she was walking again within a year, even with the not-great months of no rehab that started things off.

Edited at 2008-10-14 01:12 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:October 14th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
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Yes, I'll send those along to her, thanks!
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