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Old 05-27-2020, 07:30 AM   #1
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Airstream Life, after a stroke

Well, the title says it all. I had a stroke.

I'm wondering if others out there have survived this "inconvenient" and how it has affected your travels. I consider myself lucky. I'm alive. I just came back from a six-month road trip that would have been devastating if we were out boondocking in the desert. No ambulance could have got to me there, and the care I would have received would have been marginal.

I woke up on May 1st and could not make myself get out of bed. After many attempts to get up, I finally got to my feet and went to the bathroom. I was on the toilet, and I had urinated and could not think of what to do next. I was confused. It is then I knew I had a stoke. I got up and went back to the bedroom and told my wife I had a stoke.

I spent 12 days in the hospital. The last week was in Acute Therapy. My condition improved from day one, and by the first week, my speech had come back, and the use of my right arm and leg has also come back. Not perfect, but it encouraged me to work on them. I had to learn to walk again.

That was then, and this is now. I have come back. My right leg has come back 95%, and although my right arm is doing better, it seems to be lagging behind me (spacial thing), and I've knocked over and broken a few glasses! But it is getting better. I've dreaded picking up my guitar and trying to play, but I tried it the first day out of the hospital. Not perfect, but it gave me much joy that I haven't lost the one thing I enjoy (next to Airstreaming), and it gave me hope and the ability to work on it.

So it has been a month since I had the stroke. My wife has taken over the outside chores. Our Airstream is in our driveway. I've lost 15 pounds (hospital food!), and I feel good. I start occupational therapy today and speech therapy tomorrow.

I expect my doctor will release me to be able to drive at my next appointment on June 6th.

So what are your experiences with having a stoke? Can you still pull the trailer? Are there things to watch out for? How is your decision making on the road? Do I need to train my wife on how to drive?

This is all new to me but I'm anxious to get going!
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:46 AM   #2
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Wow. Sorry to hear of your health problem, but your progress seems to be fairly rapid. Prayers for continued success.
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Old 05-27-2020, 07:55 AM   #3
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Glad to hear you are doing so well, and making a good recovery.

You were very lucky, it sounds like, but don’t be in a hurry to resume driving if that right arm and leg are still a bit wonky.

I had a small stroke, a brain bleed, about 2 1/2 years ago, and because I had atypical symptoms I did not realize I was having a stroke, did not call 911 and showered/changed clothes before calling my son to take me to the Prompt Care...for what I thought was an injury to my left eye that was causing vision and equilibrium issues, nausea and vomiting.

Give yourself time to heal from the assault on your brain, and don’t be in a rush to take on everything you used to do.

It may be quite awhile before everything is 100%.

Good luck to you,

Maggie
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:21 AM   #4
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Oh my Turk! I was wondering why we haven't seen you on the forum for awhile. I've so much enjoyed your travel logs and pictures.

Very glad to hear you are doing better and the stroke has not left you debilitated. And like you said you are indeed fortunate that it happened at home and not it the desert southwest.

Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery!

Best regards!
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:43 AM   #5
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I too had a stroke. Three blocks on one side of my brain two on the other. I was very blessed that my wife was able to detect my problem and called 911 immediately. No lingering impact to my day to day. I forget words but that is getting better. I have had some issues with trailering, mostly picking up anything heavy. But that too is going away. So my advice is try and if it is hard or hurts, wait and try again. I would encourage every spouse to learn to drive the TV and AS. We did boating for a long time with a group of Sea Ray’s and had a club like WBCCI. Every year or so we would get the Coast Guard Auxiliary to give us a “skipper saver” class. INVALUABLE! If you think help is far away in the SW, try it in the middle of the water. I wish you continued healing and smooth roads.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:50 AM   #6
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That is a good caution, all spouses knowing how to hitch up, drive and tow in an emergency, and basic life saving skills.

Things tend to go bad in the least opportune times and places.

You might have to save your spouses life.

Maggie
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:51 AM   #7
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Given your progress to-date, you will probably recover well IMO. You might, however, want to train your spell-checker here to distinguish between "stroke" and "stoke" . . .

Rest up . . . do the PT . . . follow orders . . . be patient . . . and let Grace in . . .



The Force is with you . . .

Happy trails,

Peter

PS -- Looking forward to your continued insights and suggestions on all matters Airstream!
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:53 AM   #8
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
That is a good caution, all spouses knowing how to hitch up, drive and tow in an emergency, and basic life saving skills.

Things tend to go bad in the least opportune times and places.

You might have to save your spouses life.

Maggie
Well said, Maggie!

Peter
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:54 AM   #9
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Turk,

Just wishing you a speedy recovery and keep the guitar thing going.

Regards,

Gary
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Given your progress to-date, you will probably recover well IMO. You might, however, want to train your spell-checker here to distinguish between "stroke" and "stoke" . . .
Noted!
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:03 AM   #11
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Had a stroke 2014. I did not realize it was a stroke: Left side paralyzed and when I got out of bed I fell over. I just thought it was a pinched nerve. I did not mention it to my wife. The week before I had a physical and all was ok. The morning of the stoke, about 2 or 3 hours later, I was checking on the results of my physical on line and casually mentioned it in an email to my doctors office, more as a joke. Fifteen minutes later I get a phone call telling me to call an ambulance or get to an ER asap. My first thought was the nurse was joking, but after I called and talked to her on the phone my wife drove me to the ER.

As far as I can tell I have fully recovered, so it can happen.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:21 AM   #12
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I had a stroke but it was much milder than yours.
It was a little over a year ago and Dr said no driving for 3 months ��
After that I pulled my AS across the country 2x to enjoy it while I could. No wife just me and the dog but we did fine.
Cognitive abilities have come back ok but focus wanders
and I only drive 4-5 hours stopping frequently. Recently I have repacked my bearings and replaced my AS brakes but it took me several days for each side . Standing is a challenge from a prone or kneeling position due to pressure change so there is a slowdown to compensate. I notice my grip and stamina are changing as well; however, life is wonderful and every moment is savored. Keep moving ! Best of luck!
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:12 PM   #13
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Turk:
So sorry to learn of your health issues. But good to hear that you are in "recovery mode." Hard work ahead so keep the faith!


Just a note to say Thank You for all your contributions, advice and wisdom added to these forums. All are indebted to you.



Best regards.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:06 AM   #14
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Noted!
Stoked that you are posting again! [and feeling better presumably?]
.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:25 AM   #15
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I am feeling better. Most of my function has come back (right side) and I am really coming back! Therapy is helping a lot and I have regained almost all of the use of my right hand. That was a little scary because after the stroke I had very little function in that arm, and I am right-handed!

Posting here is also good therapy for me. Putting my thoughts in good order is definitely a help in my speech therapy. I thank all of you that have contacted me and were concerned about my health. I just want everyone to know, I am seeing improvements every day. The brain is a remarkable thing.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:51 AM   #16
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Good to hear. Had shoulder surgery on the right, which seriously impacted the most important, and moving, task of a typical morning . . .


.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:18 AM   #17
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Turk123,

Though not a stroke, over an 18 month period, I had three heart attacks, open heart, double-bypass (one has failed), four caths and three stents (one in each art of the heart). Last go round back in May 2016.

Like others have said, do the rehab, etc.. but you may find that you don't have the same level of strength as before, same level of go, etc.. and that's Ok, because you can find ways to offset those issues. Example: Lifting heavy things into the back of the truck (get a lift-gate, I know, I've got one).

Depending on the meds you might be on going forward, understand they all have side effects and are different for everyone.

It's not the end of the world, but the way you look at things and interact with it, may be different than before.

Stay Healthy,
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:53 AM   #18
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Hey Turk.... I don't have any answers for you, but just wanted to pass along my well wishes for a speedy recovery. The fact that you are able to put such a complete and detailed post says to me you are clearly on the right path!


Be well!!
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:25 AM   #19
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I've already offered my best wishes to Turk. Thanks to Rzrbrn, Roy, & Paul for your words of encouragement after what you've been through. What positive attitudes! Best wishes for your contiunued health as well.
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:57 AM   #20
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Turk 123,
As one of the throng who have enjoyed your travel stories, please know you have my best wishes for recovery. Strokes come in a variety of flavors and from your progress so far, you should have an excellent chance for more years of Airstreaming.

Being at high risk of stroke myself, your regaining of skills and strength is of personal interest. Pease keep your many Air Forums friends posted.
Jim
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