In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

February Signs Of Stroke

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I know.  It’s been forever since I posted….as someone just reminded me.

Lots of things have happened.  My life has been full lately in ways that are good and ways not so good.  That’s just how life works doesn’t it?

So for your reading pleasure I think I’ll alternate between things good and bad.  In fact, I am sure that’s the order anyways.  So, I shall start with February, a crazy month indeed.

The middle of February my brother had a mild stroke.  This was crazy shit as he’s super healthy, an avid bicyclist and he just turned 40 in October.  He had all 4 of his wisdom teeth pulled on a Friday and sometime over the weekend he stroked out.  We thought he was wigged out on pain meds.  He even drove himself to the ER the following Tuesday…and they said he checked out fine.  To make matters more frustrating he had just moved to Portland, Oregon in November for his job with Yakima so he didn’t have the close network of friends he left behind in Boulder.  And of course our family is spread between MO and FL, so we were feeling helpless.

He could text but it was difficult.  He could talk but he was slow and at times had a hard time finding words.  My brother is no low I.Q. kind of dude so this was scary.  He said that spelling was difficult but reading wasn’t so bad.  He said typing and texting was hard and when we asked him to spell the word difficulty – he said he couldn’t do it.  Jacked up for sure.  Between my mom, my sister and I we sought out friends on Facebook.  One of the few times I’ve truly been thankful that I have a Facebook acount for sure.  People started checking on him and connected with us.  It was a good thing.


One week to the day after he had his teeth out he found himself in a doctor’s office.  The doctor immediately sent him back to the ER that released him (scary I know) to have an MRI.  The MRI showed a stroke and he was hospitalized for a few days.  My folks were on the next flight to Portland.  Mind you they live in SW Florida, so a long journey for them it was.  My brother, Evan, was assigned the top neurologist in Portland so that was a good thing.  They ran test after test and found nothing wrong with the clotting of his blood, no high cholesterol or heart issues.  He wore a heart monitor home from the hospital for a week or so. 

He could identify words that say, would start with an S, but if you asked him to pull words out of his head that started with an S, he couldn’t do it.  He could read but he couldn’t spell worth a shit.  I can only imagine how frustrating that must’ve been.  Anyways, he went home and worked with a speech pathologist who gave him exercises and installed an app on his phone and worked with him on some math as well.  The part of his brain that was affected is receiving blood flow as tiny vessels are finding their way around the dead spot.  He is very lucky that this was so mild and none of his motor skills were affected.  But what caused it?  No one seems to know.  There seems to be no correlation between the stroke and the wisdom teeth removal.  I beg to differ because he was FINE until then.  But no one can prove anything. 

We are happy he’s doing so well.  He has almost made a full recovery.  He still has to think for words sometimes and he always apologizes for that.  We tell him not to worry and that we understand.  A stroke was one of the last things that we thought about that could’ve been wrong with him.  Boy were we wrong.  I know for sure if we would’ve been there with him we would’ve been able to figure it out sooner than later.  But we did what we could from afar. 

We love you Evan!  Keep believing because with that thought, anything is possible.

Author: Kirsten

Student of life, mother of one kid, 2 cats, and three dogs. I take and teach yoga, enjoy reading, movies, beaches, piddling in my yard and a good glass of wine with or without company.

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