When I left the hospital back in December, I had one major date to look forward to. A sort of goal was set for 90 days out from my stroke. March 6th to be exact. As it turns out, a lot of stroke recovery is setting obtainable goals and reaching them. Today is day 77, I am almost there.
Around the 90 day mark, they do new CT and MRI scans. They look to make sure you are healing correctly, to make sure you have no additional clots forming, and have had no additional strokes. Statistically, I have a 30% chance of having another stroke, a heart attack, or dying within those 90 days, down from slightly over 50% in the first 30 days. Within the year following a stroke, I am at a 9.3% risk of having an additional stroke, heart attack or death. Death is the highest of the three, at 5.1%. Ironically, each remainder year, the chances of death from a stroke or heart attack remains at 5%, up until the fifth year.
The statistics aren’t following beyond five years, mostly due to lack of resources to continue studies.
Next Thursday, I will do my 90 days follow up scans. I cannot tell you how excited I am to do them. Every single day and night I have something that scares me, I think only of reaching that milestone so that my neurologist can looking to my brain and tell me exactly what he sees. In fact, about threes ago I was so bothered by a few things that had I asked if we could do my scan early. The short answer, no. The long answer being, I don’t think we need to do it early.
Tomorrow, day 78, I will visit my EP cardiologist. The strokes caused all sorts of other issues, sort of a cascading effect. A cardiologist referral from my neurologist had led to me wearing a heart monitor 24/7, at least until day 90, and the additional scrutiny has led my primary cardiologist to conclude an ablation is in my near future. The best way for me to describe an ablation is they go into my heart, find a specific nerve that is causing us some issues, and cauterize it. If all goes well I spend the night in the hospital and hopefully go home the following day.
As it turns out, as scary and life changing as this has been, in some way it may have also been life-saving, seeing how it led to the discovery of other issues.
Since the last blog, I have also been asked to serve on a few boards. The GHS Stroke Advancement Council, which I am excited about working on in the coming months in helping bring attention to strokes in younger patients. The board of the Greenville Polo Classic benefiting the GHS Neurological Institute, which I know you will be hearing more about soon. I am extremely excited to be helping raise money for the institute that saved my life. As well as the SC DHEC Stroke Advisory Council. The Stroke Advisory Council was the result of a 2011 Bill that appointed a council to come up with regulations and guidelines for stroke care in SC. The council is responsible for among other things, naming Stroke Centers in SC and overseeing implementation of stroke policies within the SC hospital system and EMS system. The council has one position appointed by DHEC for an acute stroke survivor. As it turns out the previous person filling the seat had resigned within the last month and DHEC reached out to me.
So, there is your day 77 update. lol. I can always tell when I’m not updating my friends enough because more and more people start asking for an update. 🙂 I will let everyone know how things go next week! I am seriously more excited about next Thursday than I was Christmas this year, so as soon as I know something, you’ll know.