Sunday, September 9, 2012

David survivor since 2008

Chuck Hofvander is a stroke survivor and fellow camper. He is writing short stories for this blog about those who come to camp. Not just survivors and care givers but staff, music therapists, etc. Attached is one of many that he has completed so far. These are cut and pasted from other sources and as a result Blogger does some automatic formatting I have no control over. Other than that, they are presented in their original form, and have been approved by those he is writing about.

 David survivor since 2008
He had none of the normal warning signs, no warning at all.  It happened early one morning as he got out of bed and fell. He thought he had slipped on something but his whole right side was as David’s recalls “was pins and needles” but he was not concerned, he just thought his right side had fallen asleep.
David got back into bed and the pins and needles got worse. He crawled out of bed to get his partner. His partner and he had dogs and they thought David was playing but David came further into the room and tried to speak but could not. His partner new something was very wrong and called 911.  
In the ambulance they knew what was wrong, a stroke.

He can’t really remember the ambulance ride or the ER since David was in and out of consciousness but he does remember the ER was full.  When a nurse finally came to see David, his partner was asked what time did this happen but he didn’t know. David was in the ER for eight hours since there wasn’t a bed for him in ICU. He spent three or four days in ICU then they transferred him to Acute Rehab where he spent three weeks.

At first he couldn’t move the right side of his body and he couldn’t speak. Soon he recovered the ability to walk with assistance but he still could not speak or move has right arm.  When he was released from the rehab hospital he still could not move his right arm and hand (it would come back over the next year, but not the way it used to be). Dave still had trouble with his speech.

His speech came back over two years and now as he a “little aphasia”.  Currently the problem with his speech is apraxia. Apraxia is ‘a speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently.’ It’s different from aphasia which is characterized by the loss of the ability to produce language.
When asked how he looks at life now David says “people say I must be brave but what else could I do? I am not brave”. Not brave? David speaks at various places about stroke, aphasia, and most of all apraxia.  He continues speech therapy to this day and he lives a full life, it’s a different kind of full life but still David is alive and that in itself is an accomplishment. 

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