October 22, 2018
After being diagnosed with heart failure, I began making lifestyle changes and taking multiple medicines. Perhaps because I had no obvious risk factors, no medical professional discussed stroke with me until I experienced one. Serious rehab was put on hold until I received a heart transplant. Given the time that had passed, I was told my recovery would be limited. I was told I would never walk independently. I didn't accept that diagnosis.
I enrolled in a stroke study that used manipulation and repetition and regained some movement in my left ankle and knee. I joined a gym and started experimenting with limited movement . It was slow but I made progress. The more I tried to do if I was diligent and patient, the more I was able to do. I have returned to rehab multiple times to fine tune my progress. You can hear me coming before you see me but I am walking on my 2 feet unassisted. I could never stroll down a fashion runway but I no longer resemble Igor.
Patients have to be their own advocates and ask even fight for care whether it is preventative or subsequent to suffering a stroke. This is not how it should be. Changes need to be made in educating doctors, support staff, and the general public about the risks and results of strokes.