Recently, one of the brightest men on the planet, Richard Dawkins suffered a mild stroke. Even a mild stroke leaves evidence. In a statement he wrote Dawkins talks about losing access to one of his arms and that buttons have become a real challenge. Dawkins was lucky, like me, he still has full cognition and his memory is fine. Even after a mild stroke, you can see a difference in his face, one side drooping slightly.
Another victim of a stroke, but this one was considered massive, Tim Curry had his stroke in July of 2012. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to recover control of his body enough to get him out of a wheelchair. Looking at Tim Currys face, you can more clearly see the damage that the stroke caused.
Then there’s Bette Davis. I still recall seeing her on the tonight show post stroke and being horrified to see her once stunning face looking like it was making a break for it. Her speech was muddled and slurred. I remember crying through the whole interview. That was the first stroke I’d seen and it was tough to watch. Her legs had wasted down to toothpicks, but she was walking, and in heels! Upon second viewing, she had rebounded remarkably well, especially considering that it was the 1980s and technology wasn’t near where it is today here’s the video from that interview.
Last, but not least, my face. I got lucky, just a slight gimp to the mouth noticeable more when I speak or smile or when I’m tired and the left eyebrow doesn’t lift as much as the right. I have been able to recover pretty well so far. I can stand and walk with a quad cane with an AFO brace, but without the help of a therapist. The longest distance I’ve been able to walk so far was 77 meters. After which, I felt like I’d run a marathon. Still trying to get my energy back from that (and the walk was last Monday ).
A stroke is a curious thing. Generally caused by a blood clot imbedding itself in the brain, there are a myriad of different types of strokes depending on what part of the brain the clot hits, for example, if the clot ends up in the occipital region of the brain, your eyesight will be damaged. For me, a part of my myxoma tumor broke away and lodged on the right side of my brain knocking out access to the left side of my body entirely, from my toes to my throat. Even my neck muscles have yet to come back. I was in the emergency room 15 minutes after collapsing , which was incredibly lucky. Had I not collapsed in public I’d likely still be paralyzed completely, or be dead. The weird thing is I just felt like I lost my balance, my brain didn’t skip a beat. Strokes are oddly mysterious things that require a tremendous amount of inner strength to overcome.
Here’s my post stroke face.