Monday, June 16, 2014

Anonymous Blogsphere and my strokes!

It is hard to believe that my strokes happened almost two and a half years ago. Sometimes, it is a distant reality. However, most of the time, this is a vivid and startling reality even now. When I wake up in the morning, I have to realize that this is NOT a dream.

So, how am I doing? It depends. I continue to be grateful for my recovery. Every day, I know that it could have been so much worse. On the other hand, I still have invisible deficits.

I participate in many stroke support groups because, until you have a stroke, no one can really understand the ramifications of strokes, recovery, and deficits.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have insightful information about “Life After a Stroke.” Their website is

The intro says The time it takes to recover from a stroke varies—it can take weeks, months, or even years. Some people recover fully, while others have long-term or lifelong disabilities.

Ongoing care, rehabilitation, and emotional support can help you recover and may even help prevent another stroke.

If you’ve had a stroke, you’re at risk of having another one. Know the warning signs of a stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) and what to do if they occur. Call 9–1–1 as soon as symptoms start.

Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. During a stroke, every minute counts.”

For me, here are some of the issues I confront everyday:

“Medicines to help you recover from a stroke or control your stroke risk factors.” I take medications to control stroke and seizure risk factors.

“Need to take anticoagulants, also called blood thinners. These medicines prevent blood clots from getting larger and keep new clots from forming.” I take blood thinners.

“Easy bruising.” I bruise so easily now.

“Trouble communicating after a stroke. You may not be able to find the right words, put complete sentences together, or put words together in a way that makes sense.” My biggest frustration is aphasia. Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. To understand aphasia, here are Aphasia Simulations that are helpful:

A stroke may affect only one side of the body or part of one side. It can cause paralysis (an inability to move) or muscle weakness, which can put you at risk for falling.  My right arm was paralyzed for a time, but I am lucky that it got better. However, I still have issues with balance sometimes and my right peripheral vision is affected. So depth perception is an issue.

“After a stroke, you may have changes in your behavior or judgment. For example, your mood may change quickly. Because of these and other changes, you may feel scared, anxious, and depressed. Recovering from a stroke can be slow and frustrating. Really? Of course this is awful for the most part. Stroke survivors would love to get their lives back. However, life is not fair, and we have to make the most of life though it is different.  
Part of my therapy and my “outlet” for frustration is my blog. I try to make a difference though I realize sometimes it is far too personal. It is odd that I am a private person, however, it seems that a blog is anonymous which is ridiculous!  In the blogsphere, my blog is forever and NOT anonymous.

I will continue blogging for my sanity and, hopefully to help other people. 

For those who are reading my blog, who are you? Why are you interested? Where are you from? I would love to know. However, I understand that concept of "Anonymous Blogsphere!"


Anonymous said...

Mark, Linda Enrico here. I read your blog because I love you and truly want to know how you are doing. You have been a special part of our family for so many years and I am so impressed with how Heather, Ethan and you have handled your stroke and recovery. God bless you all!

Dirk said...


I hope you know that I read your blog and really enjoy it. You have come so far it is amazing. I can never imagine what you must go through knowing what you have lost. Just remember that I am one proud older (somewhat shorter)brother and I love you very much.


Jennie Finlay said...

I read your blog because you have been amazing since the day I met you 16 years ago and you never fail to continue amazing me. You and Heather are so lucky to gave each other as you make an awesome team. Mark, you are loved and I care about how you and your family are doing.

Pat Duffel said...

Hey there Mark,

I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and I have been moved and inspired by your continuing story. Most people wouldn't have the strength and courage to outwardly document and share their successes and struggles. I know that even though there may be tough days ahead for you and your family, be confident in knowing that this is all part of a bigger plan for your life - instilling hope and purpose in others. You already have!

I will continue to offer my thoughts and prayers for you and your family - whatever the future holds. I've been fortunate to get to know your goofy brothers (yes I'm being generous in that assessment . . . hehe) Seriously though, I don't think that there is anything random in that either.

Be well bud, and keep the faith!

Pat Duffel

Karen Darrington said...

Mark, I have been reading your blog ever since you and I went to lunch during my recovery from my accident. I am amazed at all you have gone through and want you to know I admire you. I am sure your insight has helped many other stroke victims. You are doing a great service by sharing your experiences that help others. Hope we can get together again for lunch and talk more about things. Take care.
Cousin Karen