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scottishpunk
06-28-2010, 11:14 PM
In a story I'm writing, the MC (an old man) suffers a stroke. I need to know what it feels like for a person who goes through that. What would my MC feel/experience?

Drachen Jager
06-28-2010, 11:20 PM
http://stroke.about.com/od/strokesignsandsymptoms/a/strokesymptoms.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroke

Really, why are you asking here? 2 seconds of googling gives a professional correct answer, or you could ask here, wait a couple of days and get a mix of opinion and professional knowledge.

lenore_x
06-28-2010, 11:40 PM
Um, it sounds like he's looking for first-hand accounts, not a list of symptoms...

Which, sorry OP, I can't provide. :) I do know that a lot of people who have strokes don't even realize it.

scottishpunk
06-28-2010, 11:58 PM
Yeah, I'm not so much looking for a list of symptoms or a technical report (such as "inability to speak," "inability to write, etc.), but more what a person experiences as they are going through it. Is coherent thought difficult? Is there any pain? Etc.

GeorgeK
06-29-2010, 01:20 AM
There isn't a template because it depends upon what areas of the brain are affected. Is it thrombotic or hemmorragic? What medicines are they on? It's a BIG topic and the question is too narrow. Most of my family members basically suddenly realiazed that their body was no longer following their brains' commands. Fall over and loose your bowels has been a common complaint.

scottishpunk
06-29-2010, 02:01 AM
If a person goes unconscious from a stroke, does it happen all at once, or are they aware of their body going haywire first?

Velma deSelby Bowen
06-29-2010, 02:19 AM
When my husband had his stroke (hemorrhagic), he was first aware that he was dragging his right foot; later, his right hand went numb, then the leg and arm; then he lost the ability to balance, then speak. So he was aware that something was happening, though we didn't immediately think of a stroke.

Michael Davis
06-29-2010, 04:46 AM
I've suffered several "Mini-strokes" (there's a name for them but I forgot) and witnessed one occurring for a boss. In my mini strokes the general sensation was like, for a brief moment, I lost contact (smell, vision, hearing, gravity, etc) with my surroundings. That lasted a few seconds and every time something stopped my sideways fall (either the wall as I was walking down a hallway or the fender of my truck). When I renogiated my balance (and awareness) with my surroundings, twice the person with me was asking questions and I missed most of their words.

With my boss, I first noticed saliva escaping from the corner of his month. A few minutes later, the left potion of his mouth began to drop, his words distorted slightly and his eyelid drooped a bit. I stopped the meeting when I realized was was happening and rushed him to the hospital.

Help that helps.

lenore_x
06-29-2010, 05:04 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient_ischemic_attack ?

wheelwriter
06-29-2010, 07:20 AM
what a person experiences as they are going through it. Is coherent thought difficult? Is there any pain? Etc. This is just based on observation. I think the coherent thought depends on the severity and kind of stroke (medical-speak would be CVA). They would possibly notice one side of their body wasn't working right. They may notice drool pooling at the side of their mouth. They might have difficulty finding the correct words or their speech might be slower/slurred. Their tongue might not feel right. Their swallowing can be affected. I don't know about pain. I get the sense that it's a little unbelievable as it's happening. Something's not quite right, but they can't put their finger on it. I think there is a huge continuum when it comes to strokes. Good luck.

mtrenteseau
06-29-2010, 07:46 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient_ischemic_attack ?

A friend had a TIA sitting in my living room. He had an odd look on his face, then as he recovered (only a moment later) he held out his hand, looking at it as though he wanted to be sure he was actually moving it.

Obviously we raced him to the hospital - even though he "recovered" within a few minutes and was able to walk into the emergency room, it was still a very serious matter and he needed to be under medical observation for several days.

Georgina
06-29-2010, 03:22 PM
Jill Bolte Taylor is a brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke in 1996. Her knowledge enabled her to, essentially, understand her stroke as it was happening, and to watch as the various parts of her brain shut themselves down.

Her TED talk about the experience (http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.htm l) is fascinating. She also wrote a book that might provide further insight for you.

Cheers.

wheelwriter
06-30-2010, 03:39 AM
Jill Bolte Taylor is a brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke in 1996. Her knowledge enabled her to, essentially, understand her stroke as it was happening, and to watch as the various parts of her brain shut themselves down.

Her TED talk about the experience (http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.htm l) is fascinating. She also wrote a book that might provide further insight for you.

Cheers.
What a fantastic link.

Anya S
06-30-2010, 07:18 AM
Jill Bolte Taylor is a brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke in 1996. Her knowledge enabled her to, essentially, understand her stroke as it was happening, and to watch as the various parts of her brain shut themselves down.

Her TED talk about the experience (http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.htm l) is fascinating. She also wrote a book that might provide further insight for you.

Cheers.

YES, this is exactly what I was going to link. :)

DrZoidberg
06-30-2010, 02:33 PM
Jill Bolte Taylor also wrote a book. It's a good book. Short. I finished it in a day. She talks a lot about how she experienced it being inside the stroke, looking out. She describes the world.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Stroke-Insight-Scientists-Personal/dp/1430300612

So Sommerset is a stroke diary that might help you. He talks a lot about rehabilitation and random musings as a result of the treatment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2005/04/27/mike_elliott_stroke_diary_part_one_feature.shtml

I'm too writing a book with a main character suffering from a stroke. So I've done a lot of reading. I'd say the main problem with studying it is that it seems to touch every aspect of neurology, psychology and what it means to be a thinking being. It's a subject with lots of big words.

GeorgeK
06-30-2010, 05:47 PM
As a surgeon you realize at some point that God doesn't read our books, at least not our anatomy books. Blood supplies to various portions of the brain or any organ for that matter, vary. Different brains will experience the same stroke differently. I'm not trying to take anything away from the authors linked, just don't assume that all strokes will be perceived in the same way.

RJK
06-30-2010, 07:43 PM
Both my mother and sister had strokes. neither realized they had one. It was family members who noticed drooping face on one side and slurred speech, etc.
Of course a major stroke, paralyzing one side of your body would be another story.

GeorgeK
07-01-2010, 04:40 PM
I have a suspicion that the input is so alien that when people have a stroke thy don't regard it as "pain".

Keyan
07-02-2010, 01:54 PM
When a friend had a hemorrhagic stroke, it started out with headaches, which he attributed to sinuses, then suspected migraine. It happened over a weekend. He treated it as one might a cold. Monday morning, he was standing talking to a group of people when he felt giddy. He asked for water, then started to look unsteady. Someone got a chair under him, and he collapsed into it. They immediately took him to hospital. I met him that afternoon, and his symptoms had eased but he was in bed in hospital. Meningitis was suspected. He was correctly diagnosed after some investigation, operated on a few days later, and made a full recovery. But he was in his 30s at the time.