Wallenberg Syndrome, also known as Lateral Medullary Syndrome, is a type of stroke affecting the brain stem with which I have unfortunately become intimately familiar. Recovery is ongoing but the future is bright and promising. I was only 29 years old.
Wallenberg Syndrome is a type of ischemic stroke, occurring when there are blood clots preventing oxygen from reaching areas of the brain stem.
Because Wallenberg affects primarily the brain stem, cognitive function generally remains intact. I can still think without impairment, but I have difficulty with my senses and with movement.
Wallenberg Syndrome (more on Wikipedia) is a type of stroke afflicting the brain stem. It can leave its victims crippled, but can also be survived. I know from personal experience the frustration of a Wallenberg Syndrome stroke.
Wallenberg means keeping your mind but losing your body. Wallenberg means losing pain and temperature. Wallenberg means losing the ability to swallow. Wallenberg means losing the ability to speak.
Wallenberg means that there is hope for recovery.
In the pst 30 days I have been in the hospital twice, with anemia, and requiring blood transfusions. Why? Because I have a terrible case of esophagitus, which is leaking blood into my GI system. The esophagitus started way back in early December while I was still hospitalized for the stroke itself. The cause? Hiccups.
Anyway, I’ve had three blood transfusions of 2 bags of blood each since my stroke two months ago. As if the sensory and motor issues weren’t enough, I get to deal with being hospitalized for anemia, twice.
Ten days of hiccups.
Since having my stroke, my list of medications has gotten a little bit crazy. I already took some psychiatric medications and a blood pressure medicine, but now I find myself needing to buy a new pill container.
It’s both metaphorically and literally a mouthful. Those are just the every-day ones, and don’t include those taken as needed.
So, lots of progress since my last post. I can hold a conversation now! Still need speech therapy because my voice is pretty freakin’ croaky after just a half hour of talking, but it’s getting there.
Also, I am walking around! Inside, on a flat surface with reliable traction, I don’t even need a cane. I always use the cane outside, but I can imagine that even that will be unnecessary soon. This is mostly thanks to the cruel and unusual punishment also known as physical therapy.
I got my new prism glasses yesterday. They’re awesome. Kind of thick and prismy, but whatever. I can see in stereo, and unlike with the fresnel lens, I can see easily. This is far more fantastic than the fresnel lenses.
Anyway, I like them.
Sadly, I am back in the hospital, and yes, it is related to the stroke. On Monday evening (technically very early Tuesday morning) I suffered an attack of vertigo stronger than any I have yet experienced. I fell down, but caught myself on the bed. I managed to hold onto the bed while the world turned sideways.
So, now I’m in the hospital. It seems I was pretty anemic, and have had two units of blood transfused. My doctors think there were no new strokes, just the old one acting up. That’s kind of scary in itself; that the old stroke could cause this kind of disturbance a month and a half later really sucks.
Oh well. Right now my biggest problem is boredom. I want to be home.