Healing after a Stroke
On May 9, 2011 a life-changing event happened in my life. Two blood vessels burst at the base of my skull on either side of the brain stem. In other words I had a massive stroke. The type of stroke I had is called the Wallenberg syndrome. This type of stroke is rare because it affects both sides of the body and there is only a 13% chance of survival.
My prognosis was grim and I was not expected to survive this event. (Most people are not aware that brain cells, once injured or destroyed, do not regenerate themselves. They’re just dead. Your brain needs to create new routes to do what it used to do.)
I’ve had quite the journey since this event. I spent the first 3 weeks (in an unconscious state) in the critical care unit at Palomar hospital. I was moved from there to Villa Pomerado residential care facility and it was there where I woke up. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes my body was pretty much “broken”. My entire body was in a state ranging from semi to complete paralysis. My left eye had to be taped shut because it wouldn’t close and was drying out my cornea. My right eye was “frozen” pointing towards my nose. The left side of my throat was completely paralyzed. The right side of my tongue was completely paralyzed.
The left side of my face was completely paralyzed and had “fallen” while the right side of my face was semi-paralyzed. Both of my ears were affected and I can’t even begin to describe how strange my hearing was. I did not have the use of either of my arms or my legs. As you can imagine, I was quite the mess.
Some physical therapist came in and started working with my arms and legs and the left side of my body responded fairly quickly but was by no means even close to “normal”. I spent 3 weeks in this facility before being transferred to Sharp hospital inpatient rehab.
I had extensive physical rehabilitation and after three weeks was sent home with the ability to stand up from a wheelchair and transfer to another chair (or toilet as the case may be) by myself. I was not however; able to live alone and care for my other needs let alone my home. I went to 11 weeks of outpatient rehab at the Sharp in their program called “Community Re-Entry Program” (CREP). It was there, with a lot of work, that I was able to get out of the wheelchair for good. When my 11 weeks was through, I was then home and living alone and wondering “now what?”
As much intensive therapy as I had, when the time was up it was pretty much “okay, you go home now-this is the best you’re gonna get for now. A little bit may come back later, but doubtful… Don’t get your hopes up.” Not exact words, but definitely the feeling conveyed. You need to accept your “new life” and get over grieving for your old life because it’s gone.
So, I came up with the routine because I was determined to get back what I had before. I was on a number of medications to reduce my blood pressure and cholesterol levels and was told if I didn’t take these I would end up with another stroke. Honestly, 1 major life event is plenty thank you very much, so I took them. I quickly realized that unless I was in a state of crisis the doctors simply were unequipped to deal with what was going on with me.
In all fairness I think it’s more likely they didn’t have time to deal with what was going on with me. I knew a prescription wasn’t gonna cut it and unfortunately that was about the only thing freely given if I had wanted it.
So now here I am, almost 2 full years after this life changing event…
— My eyes NEVER stop moving. They bounce around ALL the time- they are so dry at times that no amount of drops will ease the pain in them and it makes you want to go insane at times. My face has a partial paralysis and is numb and tingly (the feeling you might get if you hand falls asleep) ALL the time. There is constant pressure in my sinuses. I will get migraine type of headaches. My blood pressure is elevated. My hearing is like someone is covering your ears – muffled. My lips are partially paralyzed . The right side of my tongue is partially paralyzed . 3/4 of the gums inside my mouth are partially paralyzed . The right side of my neck is stiff. My shoulders are stiff and achy . My arms are sore and achy all the time. I have NO FEELING in my fingertips (NO SENSE OF TOUCH) in BOTH hands . I have limited feeling in my left hand . My right hand is partially paralyzed . My back hurts all the time. My hips ache all the time . My left knee has pain . My right knee tend to “give out” on me periodically .My right leg is partially paralyzed . My right foot is partially/mostly paralyzed . My vestibular system (balance) is out the door and it’s hard to maintain an upright position without hanging on to something . I have a hard time sleeping though the night because of pain and breathing problems. I have bouts of anxiety . My energy level is extremely low and I’m tired all the time.
I look at this list and truly am overwhelmed by it. Until I started listing it all out, I thought I had been doing pretty well. I suppose in the scope of things, I WAS doing pretty good considering where I was 2 years ago. I tried to make myself be happy and have some kind of life…but (selfish as it might be) it just wasn’t enough. I knew that there was a way…an answer…someplace out there. There just had to be.
It is amazing the way things present themselves at what seems like the perfect time. A friend of mine sent me an e-mail that indicated she would like to go see medical intuitive. I was, actually, quite surprised that I had never thought about that. So, I went online and started searching. I have no intention of “knocking” anyone. But the term “long term client” was strewn about most of the sites and it just did not sit well with me. I did not want to be a “long-term client”.
I was feeling rather discouraged until I came upon your website. You are very straightforward in what you can and cannot do. I found your blunt manner rather humorous and definitely refreshing and I felt that you were definitely the one who could help me.
I had expected some type of change…some type of improvement but I don’t think I was truly prepared for what happened. I had notions that if perhaps my eyes could stop moving or I could get some feeling back that I would be happy with that. But I quickly realized that no, I wouldn’t. I wanted it all. I wanted to be completely healed from this life event and move on from it. You made me see – to believe that it WAS possible.
So here I am, three short weeks later:
— The movement in my eyes has been drastically reduced and there are moments when they stop moving altogether. — My eyes become slightly dry now and again and just a few drops will ease that — The paralysis and numbness in my face is all but gone. I’d say that from 100% feeling of numbness is down to about 5% and the tingling is barely noticeable. — The pressure in my sinuses has been reduced by approximately 80%. — I have not had a headache in days — My blood pressure has been reduced — I am hearing more clearly-no more muffled sounds — the paralysis in my lips is down to about 5% — the paralysis in my tongue is completely gone — the paralysis in my the gums of my mouth is 95% gone — the stiffness in my neck is periodic at best — the shoulders are only periodically stiff and achy — the arms are only periodically sore and achy — the feeling in my fingertips as improved slightly — the feeling in my left hand as improved by at about 25% — my right hand is much more pliable and flexible and the paralysis has improved by about 25% — my back hurts only now and again — my hips hurt only now and again — the pain in my left knee is periodic at best — the paralysis in my right leg has improved by about 65% — the paralysis in my foot as improved by about 65% — my balance has improved by about 75% and I am able to walk in and upright position without fear of falling — I am sleeping through the night and feeling rested when I wake up — I have not had any bouts of anxiety — my energy level is now extremely high and I get a lot accomplished each day.
When I met you, I was living a life of pain. Getting out of bed was an ordeal as well as painful. When I would walk it was painful and I would have to use extreme caution for fear I would fall over. When I met you, putting on my shoes each day was an ordeal that, when done, would leave me exhausted.
Now, I can easily put my shoes on. I can easily bend over and pick up things. I wake up each morning with a smile on my face knowing my body continues to heal itself and it’s going to be a good day. Actually, the good day was when I went to your website and click on the “schedule your free initial consultation” link.
You are not only a gifted human being and healer but you are an incredibly kind and loving person with so much empathy for others. Your goal to assist people in healing themselves is such an incredible service. From the moment I said “hello” my life has never been the same and I truly could NEVER express my gratitude enough.
“Thank you” seems so insignificant, but it’s about all I have. So I do, Brian – thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am honored to know you.
With Love, Respect and Gratitude,
Brenda C., California