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Hi Ron,
 
Sorry to hear about the stroke. It sucks, especially when it's not your fault. At least in my case, it was "earned". One can't live the way I was going without paying a health penalty of some sort. With you, there was nothing you did to cause it. Just an unfortunate side effect of a medical procedure, in the hospital no less. And that sucks worse.
 
Let me tell you about what has been the worst part of the stroke for me. (It's not the physical disability, though that's plenty bad enough.) It's the damage to the other areas of the brain the doctors and other "experts" don't tell you about. (Or at least not back when I had a massive stroke over 20 years ago.). As much as there is damage to the motor control switches, there is damage to the emotional control switches as well. And that really sucks.
 
In other words, the ability to control anger, irritation, depression, laughter, verbal articulation, frustration, tears, …, all the things that go into making up how one conducts himself. You will, no doubt, find yourself quickly, even instantaneously, irritated over what were even less than inconsequential things before the stroke. That's because the automatic emotion control in the brain over irritation (for example) that was there subconsciously before the stroke has been damaged. (I call it "short circuited".) And because the control is not working as well as it did, it's frustrating which of course only increases the irritation.
 
This stuff all happens at a subconscious level and until one realizes it's the stroke that's really at the core, it rapidly becomes very depressing. And, of course, the depression control switches are compromised so one quickly slides downhill.
 
Ron, go back and read the previous 3 paragraphs over again at least 3 more times. I know that sounds stupid but trust me, until I got that figured out for myself I was truly miserable, even suicidal. It took a couple years or more for me to put it together and once I did, it became a whole different world.
 
The next thing I want to tell you about, and it ties in strongly with the emotional control issue, is drug side effects. Many, even all, meds have side effects. Just not all the time for all the people in the same way. Every individual is, literally, chemically unique and how he reacts to meds (which are really just chemicals at base) may not be exactly the same in all cases. In other words a med that alleviates a headache in most people may not work, or even make it worse, in some people, or cure the headache but cause something else to happen. Or worse even, it may take so long for a side effect to show up but take so long to manifest itself the med connection is not made, either by the patient or the doctor.
 
A lot of meds, especially blood pressure meds for example, have a side effect that enhances (deepens) depression as a known side effect or induces depression (Say it lowers blood pressure but results in inability to have an erection. The med doesn't cause depression but creates a depressing condition.)
 
Okay, now let's look at a stroker:
 


  • 1) He's just had a health incident that results in major physical debilitation (motor control damage in his brain). That's depressing. (No one can experience physical debilitation and not be depressed, at least for a little while.)
     
  • 2) His "normal" ability to control that depression has been compromised. (Emotional control damage in his brain) But no one tells him about that damage so he's unaware there is a physical cause for a lot of his now uncontrollable emotional behavior. He just thinks his body is failing him. That's depressing.
     
  • 3) And on top of that, he takes a medication that induces or enhances additional depression. That's depressing.


  • That's three depressing strikes Ron. It's a wonder any stroker survives at all.
     
    Ron, I implore you to get The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs, James J. Rybacki. If I said it literally saved my life I would not be exaggerating. Until I put the emotional control damage thing together with the prescription drug effects, I was literally only a little push away from suicide. (Trust me, I'm not just trying to be dramatic.) The Guide comes out annually (we've updated every year since'86 or '87) and we just received a new one (under 20 bucks delivered from Amazon). I've either owned or looked at pretty much every prescription book out there (including the Physician's Desk Reference) and it is, by far, the best for a layman.
     
    If it's any help, just remember I was in a wheelchair when I got out of 2 weeks in the hospital and 6 weeks in a rehab facility, still pretty much completely paralyzed on the left side. Canes, braces, ...; It wasn't until I put the two things above together I started to make any real progress. Today I think I get around pretty good, for an old man anyway.


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