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It's been one month to the day since I had my stroke. I spent 10 days in the hospital and two weeks at the home of friends (thanks to Ian and Shane Townsley for your hopsitality and care). I have been home for 5 days now, caring for myself.

I've been to two follow-up appointments with doctors and have had a "doppler ultrasound" of the surgery done to my left carotid artery, which, though unrelated to the stroke, was 70% blocked...and they had to open up my entire neck to clear it out.

I have also seen the images of my brain.

There is a portion of my right cerebellum that is dead. It's a bit larger than the size of a golf ball. About 2/3 of the lobe is necrotic tissue. It's gone and will never heal.

The cerebellum is what allows you to move with balance and precision. Your cerebrum sends motor messages to your limbs telling them to move. The limbs send back signals to the cerebellum, which "fine tunes" the message, then sends the signals back. This is a constant loop and it happens with every muscle you move. The minute adjustments happen continually for every part of you that moves...and mine isn't working anymore. on sale wedding apparels With long sleeves

I still can't walk safely without a cane (or in cases of fatigue, a walker). I have no stamina. Even talking wears me out.

There are other after effects from the stroke. The entire left side of my body cannot feel heat, cold or pain. It isn't numb, though. I can feel touch.

I cannot sneeze. Coughing is problematic. My body still hasn't figured out what all a diaphragm is for. Breathing used to be difficult whenever I was laying down, but that's gotten better.

I'm still constipated. It's been a month and I still can't poop without forcing the issue...meaning an enema most of the time. I have to be careful what I eat and how much, because, if I overload my digestive system I get gas and cramps. My body laughs at laxatives. At least I have re-learned how to swallow.

Boths sides of my face are numb. The right from the stroke (which really affects my motor skills) and the left from the surgery on my neck (which manifests in swelling and numbness to touch).

I also had a setback on Tuesday. Severe vertigo and nausea. I've spent most of this week in bed. Thankfully, sleep has been easy. That wasn't the case earlier. The doctors told me I could expect regression from time to time. I suppose this was my first bout with it.

One of the misconceptions regarding stroke recovery is "the window"...meaning, if you don't work on things immediately, they will never come back. This isn't true. While it IS true that your brain responds BEST early in your recovery, the fact is, recovery still can happen for years after. Years is also what it usually takes to recover.

I'm enrolled at Legacy Healthcare and they will be my primary care source. Whatever physical therapy I may be able to get will come through them.

So there it is. It will take years to get back what I lost...and some may never be regained. Only time will tell.

For the first time in my life, I feel old...broken...crippled. I wasn't ready for it either. :/