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Two Strokes and You're Out!! Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Vijay_Nath, United States Dec 28, 2002
Health   Opinions


I touched down at JFK and a waiting ambulance rushed me over to NSUH. Here I faced another battery of tests, as the doctors here repeated all the tests that had been performed just a couple of days ago.

Since the pain from the fracture was increasing rapidly I was kept on a continuous Demerol drip that served to make the next few months pass quickly. Except for occasional hallucinations and random moments of consciousness I stayed in a daze until the beginning of November 1999. Around the first week of November the Demerol drip was replaced with Demerol injections as needed and I slowly regained my senses.

I found that the months of bed rest had left me even weaker than before. The right side of my body had reached such a state of paralysis that I could barely move the fingers of my right hand. Now that I was “awake” I was eager to get of the Hospital and into a Rehabilitation program to return to everyday life. Initially, the doctors at NSUH were hesitant to release me because they didn’t feel I was ready but my persistence paid off and they agreed to have their own Physical Therapy Department start rehab work with me.


I still remember vividly the first few weeks of rehabilitation at NSUH. The first step was to get me to practice sitting up for an hour everyday. This probably caused some of the most pain in my entire rehabilitation process. I would normally be in tears about 45 minutes into each session but with the help and patience of the nursing staff at NSUH was able to complete this step by mid November. Meanwhile, I also started to practice using a walker. As soon as I was able to walk 100 yards with the walker, the doctors decided I was ready for intensive rehabilitation and chose to move to a hospital specializing in rehab – Central Island Hospital in Plainview, LI .

Suffice to say that during the next three weeks I received probably the best rehabilitation available to the common man in America. With two physical therapy and one occupational therapy session every day, I was ready for the real world by Christmas 1999.

Still wheelchair-bound I decided to try an Assisted Living Facility in East Northport to ease my return to normalcy. Ironically, the care and living facilities at this “Old Folks Home” were so poor that I was further motivated to get out on my own. The only bright spot of this period was the Physical Therapist that worked with me. He had me leave the wheelchair by February 2000 and I was just using a walker from then on. By the end of March I was walking confidently without any assistance, no walker or cane, and had even started driving again.Towards the end of March I suffered terrible pain in my upper abdomen. Bent over in pain and ignored by the staff at the “Home” I called 911 and was rushed to the hospital. After three days, unfortunately, the doctors could not find any reason for the pain
except that perhaps I had developed a kidney stone that I must have passed – all they do was shoot me full of morphine and release me with a ton of pain killers.

Additionally, I was also informed that the latest serologies had found a new threat. I had shown up as being Hepatitis B positive. The doctors were completely baffled by this because both hospitals (Huntington and NSUH) had tested me repeatedly the year before for HIV and Hepatitis and I had been negative. Since I had no sexual contact with anyone during the last two years, they concluded that this must have occurred during some transfusion I underwent at NSUH during my last stay there.

Due to my ongoing Vepesid and Prednisone treatment the doctors were unable to prescribe any strong medication for the treatment of hepatitis and wanted to wait and see if my body would just heal itself of this virus. This was known to happen in six to eight months in a small percentage of patients.

By the time I was released, my mind was made up about another facet of my recovery. I needed to focus on gaining my strength back because the Hepatitis was adding to the general weakness I was undergoing due to the stroke and extended bed rest.

I proceeded to purchase a car with money from my private disability savings and started an earnest search for an apartment. Disgusted with the lack of support and services at the “Home”, in April I rented an apartment in Huntington Station. I was finally on my own!!

Chapter III: Independence

As I moved into my new apartment , I made a commitment to follow a daily regimen of exercise to get me to my goal of returning to normalcy. Throughout spring and summer I continued my isometric exercises atleast three times a weak and tried to get to a neighborhood beach’s boardwalk once a week for a walk. I was making considerable progress.

When November 2000 came around I developed another round of complications. The abdomen pain I had experienced before returned with vengeance. On admittance to the ER, a scan showed possible gall stones and I was scheduled for a Laparoscopy. Due to my current regimen of Coumadin, even this simple procedure for the removal of my gall bladder became complicated. For the first week I was put on Heparin so that the Coumadin could be purged from my system. The reason for this is that Coumadin is a powerful blood thinner and might cause excessive bleeding during a surgical procedure whereas Heparin (also a powerful thinner) can be stopped a couple of hours before the procedure and does not maintain its thinning properties any longer.So after a week I underwent the laparoscopic procedure for the removal of my gall bladder successfully and without complications. I stayed in the hospital for another week to be stabilized with Coumadin. Additionally, since my Hepatitis was still active, I was prescribed a new medicine called EPIVIR (Lamivudine) for its treatment.


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