Just returned to work, almost 2 years after a stroke. Having some difficulties and new symptoms

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I had a left brain stroke in Feb 2016. I have worked very hard to rehab and didn't let my job push me into coming back before I felt I was ready. As a result I was terminated 3 months after the stroke. I continued to work on recovery. When I felt I was ready I began seeking employment elsewhere (partly because I couldn't go back to working 70 to 75 hrs a week, let alone the 52 they expected and also I felt very let down that after all my hard work on their behalf not only did they fire me but they never even came to check on me or call or anything.) I even tried moving to a different state to seek employment but it seemed no one wants to hire a stroke survivor. (BTW you can't even tell at this point that I had the stroke by watching my movements) I do fatigue more easily but this i've been told is to be expected. I just returned to work (unfortunately for the same company) but part time and starting at the bottom again) My 4th day working, I was placed on second shift working 91/2 to 10 hour shifts. The next day I began experiencing tingling and numbness "flowing" into my tongue, throat, and the right side of my face. I know that over time nerves coming back alive and "spurt fireups" have been part of the recovery but this feels different. Is anyone else experiencing this. I don't have insurance ( I had it when I had the stroke and they paid for nothing anyway) I take 4 baby asprin whenever this happens and it seems to help but I don't know if I should be going to the hospital or if I'm just working myself into a state of worry over normal recovery things. I would love to hear from other stroke survivors to see if anyone else has experienced anything like this. I can't get long term disability because I was a stay at home mom for alot of years and went back to work as a contractor with the post office so I don't have enough time in for ssi disablility and the company is only paying me 8.50 an hour now. I dont know what to do, help please, I don't want to be a burden to my family.

A

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  • Posted

    I have had both a stroke and a TIA. I've been very fortunate that I've not had any deficits following either one of those. And I certainly have never felt the tingling that you're describing. I'm concerned about the amount of aspirin you're taking. If you're only taking 4 baby aspirin when you feel the symptoms it doesn't seem like enough to me. At least in my experience when I had my first stroke I was put on aspirin everyday. After the TIA I was put on Plavix everyday in place of the daily aspirin.

    As for you applying for SSDI have you checked with Social Security to make sure that you are correct about your past income level? I understand your desire to pitch in financially to your family's finances but you are not required to do that. If your family is struggling financially because of low income then you might want to try applying for SSI benefits. This is essentially the same thing but for low income households.

    And as for companies not wanting to give a stroke survivor a chance is it possible that it's your age that is making them not want to hire you? It would still be illegal but it is unfortunately a very common theme for employers to not higher people in their 50s and older because they don't see you sticking with their company for long enough to make the investment of training you. You did not mention how old you are. So it's impossible for me to know if that is a possibility.

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    • Posted

      Amkoffee

      Thank you for the input. I am taking a maintenance dose of aspirin every day, I only meant that I take the extra baby aspirin when I feel these symptoms. I have also had a PE ( clot to the lung) back in 2010 but my Dr doesn't want to put me on blood thinners if we don't have to. We thought the PE was do to a cycst on the ovary which was removed during the hysterectomy. So obviously there's something else going on causing the clotting issue. I had my PE at 41yoa and my stroke at 46. I don't look my age so I don't think that's the case as to why employers don't call me back. I think it's the gap in employment that throws them off. As far as working, we're not rich, but not considered low income either, I just know that staying at home I get very depressed and feel worthless because I'm not contributing. I sleep more and begin questioning why I'm here. My husband is very sweet and understanding and is ok with me staying at home and never says anything about it but I seeing the sacrifice he makes all the time for this family makes me want to push myself to do more.

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  • Posted

    My experience with stroke is different. I was already disabled for other reasons when I had a right brain stroke. It has been 6 months. I know I am still recovering but it's slower than I want. I had experienced 2 TIAs 9 months before but the doctors didn't find anything. I wondered if You are dealing with high blood pressure or cholesterol? I don't think you mentioned that.

    When I get very active for several hours I do get extra numbness and tingling, and my arm and leg try to stiffen up. 

    In my state, we have automatic Medicaid insurance with SSI. I think you should reconsider applying

    Or at least try to apply for Medicaid if you don't have insurance. I do know they count spousal income when deciding if you are eligible. 

    I totally understand the feelings of not wanting to burden the family. I'm a single parent with young adult children. I also know they would do anything to not lose me. I actually signed paperwork with my son that would not allow them to keep me alive on machines should another stroke incapacitate me completely. 

    I would encourage you to open up communication with your family and really find out what they are feeling about you and your health. Our worth is not measured only by what kind of money we generate. The side effects you feel when you exert yourself at work may not be that safe. There's no way to know for sure without being currently under a doctor's care.

    I encourage myself when I start feeling not worth enough by remembering the stats people have come up with when they try to put a value on what keeping a household running. It was more money than I've ever made. 

    The appreciation for a hot meal or something like hot muffins is so much from my children. Not to mention everything else; ie laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills etc.

    I don't get a paycheck for all of that but it is worth everything to my family. I have the freedom to pace myself as well. I don't know if anything I've shared will help but I hope it will.

    God Bless you and your family~  

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you Lorraine for the words of encouragement. I needed them. I do have issues with my blood pressure and cholesterol but am on meds for them both. I watch my diet and try to stay active. I've never been one to just sit around. I guess I'm trying to see if this is just part of the process or if this job is just beyond my capabilities for where I'm at in my life. I don't want to just quit and say I can't do it but I find myself struggling both physically and mentally. I talk to my husband and the son that lives with us( he moved back home to help me after the stroke) they are very supportive but would never tell me I'm being a whiner even if I was. Lol

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    • Posted

      Well, you just go for it! But, please be careful...take care of yourself first. The time comes in our lives where we have to do that.And don't beat yourself up for what you can't do.

      I remember when I first found this website. I was being awakened in the middle of the night with horrific nerve pain because my doctors hadn't figured out the dosage of my meds yet. I was still wrestling with the traumatizing aspect of the stroke, and my life changing so drastically. It really helped me to read about other stroke victims and what they were going through.

       I still have lost most of the motor movement of the fingers of my left hand. It is very humbling to have to ask my kids for help with tying shoes, buttons or zippers. I think one of the hardest things to lose was my ability to use scissors to cut hair. I'm a retired hairstylist and often still did my kid's haircuts.

       But I do remind myself it could have been so much worse. And thank God every day I'm  mostly functional and still here. I am remembering you in my prayers. You sound like a real warrior. I believe we can still keep improving after the "2-year'' time limit most doctors give us. Ok, hang in there and be patient with yourself. smile 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words. They are much needed. I had a very candid talk with my boss and she is going to shorten my shifts and see if that helps. I have also increased my fluid intake and started taking cinnamon every day. I've made the decision to go to the hospital the next time I experience the numbing and go from there. Just doing these things has taken a lot of stress away. I guess I will just take thing as they come and try to accept them for what they are. I really appreciate everyone's input I don't feel so alone in my struggles with dealing with the after effects of the stroke.

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  • Posted

    I believe that the root cause of your continued symptoms are being caused by inflammation, so please let me share my story of  my path to wellness. 

    I have worked as a CT technologist for 14 years and a MRI technologist for 23 years so I have seen thousands of acute stroke patients. 

    Then 10 months ago I had a massive stroke. I was working out when suddenly the left side of my body, head neck arm and leg felt like electricity was flowing through them and the current was being turned off. In a minute  my left side was completely paralyzed and numb. I lay there praying and crying out to God and miraculously after about seven minutes the function returned, Glory to God! But the left side felt very tingly. I went to the hospital and had all the usual test run and went home the next day. That night the symptoms returned but a little less severe. I went to another hospital and was given TPA , but the next day I had another episode, again less severe.  A MRI later confirmed evidence of a stroke. Then I had another episode again less severe. This pattern continued for several weeks each time less severe, like aftershocks, to the point that I was just having the tingly feeling. I saw many M.D's and they put me on a statin, aspirin and a blood pressure medication. 

    After a month my LDL had dropped to 70, but my BP was so low that  I was dizzy all the time and I was still having symptoms. I was scared and I thought I was going to do die. So I decided to stop all the meds and try supplements instead.

    I saw a naturopath and he ordered some new tests which indicated that my inflammation markers were elevated. I also had a bleeding time test which showed that my blood was thick and sticky and clotting too fast. I believe that these two factors are responsible for 80% of strokes in patients under 60 and are 100% caused by diet and lifestyle.

    I started taking curcumin, fish oil, and nattokinase. The first two are anti-inflammatory and the third helps to naturally thin the blood. Actually all three contribute to healthy blood. I also take my blood pressure at least three times a day and I now take 5mg lisinopril morning and night which works better for me than 20mg once per day. I also found out that my vitamin D was also very low  which is true for over 80% of North Americans. Which means everyone should have their Vitamin D level tested and take a quality supplement as needed.

    I highly recommend a  book called the Perfect Health Diet which explains all of the toxins in the standard American diet that cause inflammation which leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.  Also, be aware that not all supplements are created equal, regardless of the label or the star rating. There are many that are junk and may even be harmful. A good naturopath will either dispense or recommend quality supplements. Also do not take any form of  vitamin K as this may increase clotting factors and may lead to stroke.

    I wish you well.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Joe, for the information. I'm already taking fish oil. I will have to look for the other two. I doubt I'd be able to come off blood pressure meds completely but perhaps I can get it to at least have only one at a lower dose. As of right now I'm maxed out on both the blood pressure meds I'm on. I've had to change my veggie intake to avoid the vitamin K quantities. I'm a vegetable eater and was very upset when I had my PE and they handed me the list of foods to avoid. I said, "you just took most of my diet away from me". I've adjusted tho and just increase my fluids when I do have something with high levels, like broccoli, umm. Anyway I appreciate the advice and will discuss it with my doctor.

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