I am a retired female veteran who served her country in the United States
Air Force. I had a career with them, made the rank of Chief Master Sergeant
(E-9), which by law may only be attained by 1% of the enlisted force,
served 30 years, and was a Bioenvironmental Engineer. I retired in 2008.
months later I had a stroke which affected my right side. It was ischemic
and lacunar. I have still not recovered from the effects of this stroke,
although I have been in Physical and Occupational Therapy for the last 6
years. To challenge myself I attended Columbia Southern University online
and got a Bachelor’s in Science, specializing in Environmental Management
with a 3.4 GPA, after the stroke.
Prior to my stroke I had been diagnosed with Subclavian Steal syndrome on
my right side – a condition in which the main artery feeding the arm is
occluded, leading to weakness and discomfort in the arm. In order to
strengthen my right arm, I underwent surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center
in San Antonio, Texas in June 2011. Because of complications that arose
during and after surgery, I found myself in their ICU, apoxic and eventually
intubated. I lost part of my frontal lobe, leading to loss of critical
thinking skills, poor impulse control, inability to concentrate and aphasia.
I have made some progress in regaining my cognitive abilities. I now live in
I am not able to use the phone so if you would just use my email I would
I have been trying Veterans Administration but have gotten nowhere.
I did find a resource at Baylor Rehabilitation located in Dallas Tx for both
my stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury.
I really need this and I have tried the Veterans Administration without any
Your help in this matter would really be appreciated.
I have suffered child abuse and sexual abuse from my Dad and his father.
The abuse will be addressed at Baylor also.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases Support Group.
It is good to hear that you know that the opposite of 10% is 90%. Not everyone figures out that if we are told that we have a 50% chance of rain today that we also have a 50% chance of not having rain. Have you noticed a difference in your stride after using your Fitbit? When I am rested, in the morning, I have a longer stride than at night when I am tired. I hope your experience with a neurologist is better than the one I had. Neurologist try to prevent strokes not work with those of us with strokes. If you can find someone who works with post-stroke victims please share what you can. When you said that you "feel light headed most of the time" is that the same as dizzy? Half of the meds I take can cause dizziness. I had the choice of taking an antidepressant or talk therapy. I would rather talk with someone than take another pill. My insurance covered both.
I knew when I was in the hospital that once I was sent to rehab if I did not take over my own care that I would not fully recover. Before my strokes I had purchased a copy of "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. and knew what I had to do to recover from my strokes. As soon as I was able to reread the book I did.
The only person I know with a stroke is not "high functioning". He has given up, never tried doing things and does not appear as if he wants to. When I knew him before his stroke he was not very active, so I guess he has not changed. The first thing I wanted to do once I was in rehab was knit. I knew that knitting would get my right hand, arm and body back to working together. I did lots of knitting and all the knitting that I did helped with my keyboard skills. The keyboard skills helped with spelling, spelling helped with writing, writing helped with reading and…. I am progressing forward and ageing backward, at least I feel I am going backwards in somethings. Like forgetting things as my friends are forgetting them, it has gotten to the point I cannot blame things on my stroke anymore, when it is my age.
Thank you for letting me blow off a little steam.
Thanks for your comments. Still working on that 90%.
I experienced a Hemmorhaggic Stroke at age 40; 7 and1/4 months after my Mother's unexpected death! It has been 17 years since my Stroke, yet it is still difficult! However, I also suffer from PTSD and know I am NOT alone and neither are yourself! We must take each day as it comes and celebrate our living in the present moment! I applaud and appreciate and thank you for both your service and bravery! Just remember that no matter what happened it wasn't your fault!
Working on your 90% is much better than working on the 10%. That could change it to 91% and 9%.
Several of you have talked about experiencing one or more strokes, and I am wondering how things are going. I think that others in the discussion will be interested and benefit from hearing about what you've gone through.
@thomaslmason – wondering how it's going with the lightheadedness you mentioned? Are you having any side effects with the antidepressant you are taking?
@kristibrennan – I'm sorry to hear you had a stroke three years ago. You mentioned something about resulting brain damage, and I wondered if you'd share more about what you've experienced with that?
@mkf1 – how is the rehabilitation going at Baylor? I also wanted to mention, since you talked about experiencing abuse in your past, that you might consider looking at and participating in one of these discussions on Connect:
– about whether to reveal a trauma, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/reveal-trauma
– about PTSD, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anyone-else-with-ptsd
– this is about dissociative identity disorder, but many here have experienced past abuse, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/dissociative-identity-disorders-d-i-d
Yes, I am a high functioning stroke victim. I had my stroke about 1 1/2 years ago. I was also born with Cerebral Palsy. If you need daily assistance, contact your local United Way information and referral service, call a local In Hpme Assistance Agency, or ask your doctor for a referral. Assuming that you have insurance, contact your insurance company and ask for an evaluation for personal assistance.
I know that there are high functioning stroke victims, I knew there just had to be. Thank you for being one. I must have found a very determined person who not only had a stroke but was also born with CP. If you were determined to function with Cerebral Palsy you would also be determined to function with a stroke and CP. Congratulations! Now if more people would not give up on themselves when they heard someone say "You had a stroke" or if the staff would not give up on then either. That way more people would become high functioning stroke victims and not chair bound, or bed, for the rest of their lives.
As long as I do not qualify for physical therapy anymore, sometimes I find it hard to leave my chair. My body reminds me to stretch in the morning, or sitting in front of the computer as I am reading something. I am still having trouble with my balance, not the kind where I might trip and fall – because my inner balance is very, very good. The balance I have trouble with, is when I am walking on carpet with lots of people or things in my way. My home is stroke friendly, I have areas that I do not go into very often so my walker goes with me. Walking on sidewalks with bumps and cracks requires a walker or an escort. Getting in and out of cars is very challenging. Some cars are very low then some are very high and some are just right. I have even gotten in and out of trucks. When you depend on others (wonderful friends) to drive, you take what you get. Today it was a low car, when her husband drives me it is a high car. Getting in the passenger side, or the back seat, is nothing like getting in the drivers side. On the drivers side you have the steering wheel to help, there is nothing on the passenger side or back seat to help. Even the seatbelt is on a different side. Between age and two strokes I do not plan on driving again, I've give away my car.
The insurance I have is one I wish everyone could have. It is only in limited places but very popular where it is. If a doctor request something for you, you get it. Cosmetic surgery is not covered, unless it is for medical reasons. Breast reductions they might do if it causes your back pain but if you want to have your breast enlarged you have to go off sight and pay for it.
As far as helping you to get in and out of cars, look on the internet for car swivel cushions. You can even do a car seat swivel cushion rating and reviews search so you can compare the cushions and see which one might work best for you. They mostly cost less than $30 and are portable so you can move them from car to car. For your husband's car, it can be modified with a handle to help you get in or there are automatic car seats that will extend out from the car and retract once you are seated. They are expensive but your insurance may pay for the modification. I would also contact your local Center For Independent Living and see if they can provide assistance.
Thank you for your suggestions about the swivel cushions. I will consider what you said.
@jenniferhunter Hello Jennifer:
I just now read your post and did look up a Pete Huttlinger Youtube video about his recovery from his stroke. He really had an amazing attitude and recovery. Here is a link to one of his last interviews before he passed,