My Stroke Story - Beatrice.


: Cedar Falls, Iowa

: I had a cerebellar stroke almost 3 years ago at 32 (I will be 35 years old at the end of this month). I had a brain aneurysm that caused me to have a hemmoraghic (bleeding) stroke as a result of the blood vessel breaking, caused by the aneurysm. I was in the van already when this happened (we were headed home from shopping), but my husband, not me, was driving (luckily). My eyes crossed, I heard a ''whooshing bang", slumped to one side & vomited. I was a nurse, so I knew it was something neurological & my husband headed straight for the hospital. The stroke affected my physical abilities, but not my cognitive abilities: I have trouble with coordination & balance, so I'm mostly in a wheelchair (although sometimes I use a walker if the environment is a safe one). A tracheostomy paralyzed my vocal cords-so compounding that with the effects of the stroke, causes others to have difficulty understanding my speech, which can be quite frustrating (before my stroke, I was the "life of the party", so it's frustrating when someone says something that I used to make a joke at, I refrain from doing it because I know my speech can't be understood). It's also frustrating when I say something to my husband or kids (I have two, 11 & 14 years old), & they have difficulty understanding my speech. My handwriting is illegible-it looks like a young child's writing-big & sloppy. I sometimes have hand ataxia, which makes some things difficult (typing & pouring liquid, as a couple of examples) but I do the best that I can. I have physical therapy every month, & occupational & speech therapy every 3 months. Plus, I do work on my own at home almost every day. I adapt to my physical limitations, but have trouble dealing with emotional ones, related & unrelated to my stroke. For example, I think the kids seeing me as having less physical ability as them, has affected their views of me and, thus, don't pay me as much respect to me. Any suggestions?

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