Often reality blindsides stroke patients. Things that look okay right after a stroke, turn out to be problematic, while symptoms that look horrible go away in no time with minimal effort. This can be very confusing, especially because each stroke is different. Family members are confused as well about how to manage a case of a loved one when even doctors can’t really determine the origin or project the long-term outcome of the stroke. Finding the right treatment can be tricky.
The story of Anne, the daughter of a stroke patient, shed some personal light on this dilemma. The Strokemark science team dived into the case of Anne’s father. This is her account, in her own words.
“At the beginning of 2017, my dad (60) had what we thought to be a mini-stroke. Something was clearly wrong, he had some stroke-like symptoms, but they disappeared after two days or so. Our doctors told us that this was TIA – a transient event. We all took it literally. If this thing comes and goes, it is over by now, right?
“Our immediate thinking was to go back to normal life, treat this event as seriously as the typical flu. However, after a couple of days, I noticed some changes in dad’s behavior, it was subtle, nothing dramatic, but I knew he was not the same. His thinking was, well, not straight. The worse part was the fact that he tried to cover it up. He tried to make us all believe that he was fine. Dad hates to be sick, hates doctors appointments, and was very good in pretending to be healthy.
“So what were we supposed to do? We decided to do some research on our own. We checked on Dr. Google and read so many articles that seemed to disagree with each other on many things. We were more confused than when we started.
“Luckily, we then found Strokemark. Strokemark was the only service where we found clear and practical information. We learned that science has already figured out the true nature of a mini-stroke, and Strokemark was able to explain that science to us in a way we could understand. There was no medical jargon. We didn’t waste time in a waiting room just to hear confusing options. And, honestly, Strokemark was free, which is also an issue when dad’s insurance company is, well, what you’d expect.
“The Strokemark feed informed me about a risk I wasn’t aware of – the risk of memory problems due to a mini-stroke. It actually pinned down the problem. The information was easy to understand and made the treatment possible. Once dad realized the problems he had were related to the TIA and could be helped, he agreed to be tested for memory and attention. Turns out he had quite severe memory problems, much worse than we all thought. He immediately started doing walking exercises and attention and memory training in an intensive therapy program. This was all prescribed by our doctor, but the trigger was clearly Strokemark. I’m so glad we got this information early enough. Without it, dad might have slipped into more problems, maybe even resulting in dementia – which was our worst fear and his.”