Your job description is not unusual and having an existing medical condition is not an "excuse". A plan is a good idea. I found that I can make alterations to my life and still achieve what I want. I'm a geology professor, so I make classroom presentations every day 30 weeks per year. In between, I do research in relatively remote areas. The week before my stroke I was doing a research project where I was 5 miles cross country from the nearest dirt road and and 4 hours by car from the nearest hospital. My companion was a 19 year old undergraduate student. This was normal, "safe" operating procedures for me.
As a result of the stroke, I now realize that I can't put some 19 year old in that position again - the trauma that would cause them is just as scarring. So, I've found places relatively more accessible and I make anyone who's accompanying me aware of what I now consider safety procedures. I need to empower them them to act.
You're right - there's always the unknown. My doctor once said that my problem could have been a lingering birth defect in my vertebral artery. And you're taking the right approach - work on the risk factors you can control - blood pressure, weight, exercise, gum disease, etc.
One other experiential tale. Not being able to do what I thought I always could do is depressing. There's no two ways around it. I too felt that I can make no excuses and I want to do an outstanding job, not just a good job. Consequently, in the wake of the stroke, I have sought counseling that helps me to realize that I do my job well - even at what I would have considered a reduced level 4 years ago. Seeking a neutral party out to discuss various issues is not seeking excuses.
Go see a doctor. I look at it this way - every time I walk into the doctor's office: I make his day. My condition is challenging and after an entire day of treating cough due to cold, I think that my condition makes him think and put all those years of medical school to work. If I didn't come in, he'd wonder why he did all of that. Basically, - I'm doing him a favor, giving him an ego boost and affirming his choice of profession.
Go to the doctor -- who knows, it may be something simple and the doctor would feel good making you feel better and possibly saving your life! It's a win-win.View Thread
I wasn't sure from your description, but it sounds like you've not told your co-workers that you had a TIA. Based on what you've described of your day, it would be in your best interest to inform your colleagues that you've had a TIA. If you have another TIA or more substantive stroke, you'll want them to recognize the signs and get you to a hospital and save your life.
I used to supervise construction crews and every 6 months I had them do first aid and CPR. They thought it was a waste of time and told me so. My reply was always "You don't understand - I have you do this because I want you to save MY life." After that, for some reason they insisted that I go to the training as well - and they didn't complain.
It's funny that you say you had none of the risk factors, I felt the same way; however, I came to find that the chronic tooth ache I'd had for years is a risk factor - and just before I had my first TIA, I'd inhaled strong exhaust fumes - another cause - as I rode my bike. It's not a knock on your lifestyle, you may be completely healthy, but I found that even though I didn't have the typical risk factors (high blood pressure, overweight, diabetes, etc.) I had to learn about secondary risk factors (gum disease, fumes, overall diet).
Below are references to two recent articles I found at the library regarding infections and stroke.
Grau, A. , & Brandt, T. (2010). Do multiple chronic infections increase the risk of stroke? the infectious burden concept. Archives of Neurology, 67(1), 16-17.
Ionita, C. , Siddiqui, A. , Levy, E. , Hopkins, L. , Snyder, K. , et al. (2010). Acute ischemic stroke and infections. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis, We present an overview of multiple infections in relation to acute ischemic stroke and the therapeutic options available. Conditions that are a direct cause of stroke (infectious endocarditis, meningoencephalitides, and human immunodeficiency virus infection), the pathophysiologic mechanism responsible for stroke, and treatment dilemmas are presented. Independently or in conjunction with conventional risk factors, chronic and acute infections can trigger an acute ischemic stroke through an accelerated process of atherosclerosis and immunohematologic alterations. Acute ischemic stroke has a negative impact on the antibacterial immune response, leading to stroke-induced immunodepression and infections, the most common poststroke medical complications. Poststroke infections are independent predictors of poor outcome. Antibiotic trials for poststroke infection prevention are reviewed. Although antibiotic prophylaxis is not the standard of care in acute stroke, current guidelines support prompt treatment of stroke-related infections.View Thread
My recommendation is to keep a daily log of symptoms or complaints and bring that to the doctor. It may be something as simple as "felt dizzy" or you observing that he sat in a chair staring out the window for 2 hours. Having an "agenda" or check list when you're at the neurologist will make the appointment go faster for your husband and assist the doctor with diagnosis and treatment.
I'm not sure anyone out there enjoys going to the doctor. Inherently, it means you're not feeling well. Maybe you can inspire your husband with the caveat that him going to the doctor and getting better makes your life easier.
I've read My Stroke of Insight, which was helpful regarding helping the people around me to understand my stroke. I think if you read it, you'd gain some insights as well. Good luck.View Thread
In my own experience, I found the neurologist to be much more helpful than the cardiologist. Once I was diagnosed with a stroke, the neurologist became the primary doctor. I like to think of it this way: you wouldn't call a plumber to fix your electrical problem. So, I would call a neurologist to fix my brain rather than a cardologist. Doctors have specialties too.View Thread
I'm not sure what you mean. Confusion, including memory loss and emotional changes, is a pretty standard symptom for a stroke listed on the American Heart Association and Stroke Association web sites. You still may have had a TIA even though you may not have all the other symptoms (e.g., headache). Since you did not describe any symptoms - is it safe to assume that you have no lingering effects? If so, congratulations on the early warning.
Also, because strokes may be the result of reduced blood flow to the brain, ask your neurologist if imaging includes arteries to the brain as well. In my case, the original MRIs were too focused on the brain itself and the arterial problem was not seen.
Lucky guy, buy a lottery ticket, but just in case, get in the habit of calling 911 first and then call your wife.View Thread
It seems prudent to get a second opinion. If you've had 3 of these episodes and you don't want any more, then you need some sort of diagnosis. Personally, I wouldn't wait 10 minutes to see if the symptoms persist - go to the ER, that's why they get the bucks. Good luck.View Thread
I had the tingling feeling, but it has subsided after about 3 years. I don't think I did anything specific to help it along unfortunately. My only thought is to tell your doctor it wasn't there before the stroke, it began after the stroke and it persists -- therefore it's related to the stroke. If your doctor doesn't address the issue, go to another doctor. I wish I could give you a silver therapy and best of luck with this.View Thread