Stroke Patient Success Stories

A stroke occurs when an artery within the brain is damaged. This damage may be caused by a blockage in the artery, as in an ischemic stroke, or by the rupture of an artery in the brain, as in the case of a hemorrhagic stroke. Regardless of the details of the condition, both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes can be life-threatening. Michigan hospitals are continuing to make advancements in recognizing and treating strokes. With proper, quick medical attention, many stroke sufferers can survive the ordeal, but sometimes not without debilitating side effects.

Side Effects of a Stroke

The side effects of a stroke are often severe. The exact side effects that a patient will experience will vary based on the severity and location of the stroke. However, nearly all strokes result in impairment to some degree. Patients suffer from the impairment of some or all of the body’s natural functions, including:

Speech and language use
Eating and swallowing
Cognitive abilities
Perception problems
Bowel and bladder control
Emotional control
Ability to care for oneself
Over time, with adequate treatment and therapies, many people can overcome the effects of a stroke.
Valerie’s Story
The only warning side that Valerie experienced was a severe headache. Like most busy women, Valerie simply treated the headache with Tylenol and continued with her busy life. At the time, she was working nearly 60 hours a week, managing a home, and caring for her husband. One day, Valerie began to seizure. Her husband called 911 and Valerie was brought to the hospital where physicians discovered bleeding in the left hemisphere of her brain.

Valerie’s stroke had a severe impact on the portion of the brain that is responsible for language use and development. As a result of her stroke, Valerie struggled to communicate with those around her. Valerie suffered from a language impairment known as aphasia. Not only was it difficult for Valerie to translate her thoughts into words, it was also difficult for her to comprehend the words that others were saying.

When Valerie entered therapy, she was only able to say one or two words at a time. With the help of a speech-language pathologist and months of therapy, Valerie slowly regained her ability not only to verbalize her own thoughts, but to understand the words that she was hearing and reading. Motivation and determination were the keys to Valerie’s success.

If you think you or someone else may be experiencing a stroke it is important to seek emergency medical care as soon as possible. If you have suffered from a stroke orthotic assistance may help aid in the rehabilitation process. For example, lower-limb orthoses can improve step and cadence. Feel free to call or visit one of the 20 Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics locations in Michigan including Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Petoskey, Cadillac and Alpena for more information.