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My Stroke

RSLancastr Message
26 Nov 2011, 04:59 AM

On August 4, 2008, I suffered a MASSIVE stroke. It put me in a coma-like state for two months, and in various hospitals, physical rehab centers and such for a total of eleven months, and made me a "left-side hemiplegic" (I have very little control over the left half of my body), and I've lived my life in a motorized wheelchair ever since. Fortunately for me, I have The Bestest Wife In The World, My Susan. She possibly saved my life, and at minimum saved me from further brain damage by immediately calling 911, despite my objections ("Don' call 911. Ahm prfckly fahn...") She was my tireless healthcare advocate for those eleven months I was in hospitals and such, and has been my tireless (okay, she tires now and then) caregiver ever since. I'm not a religious man, but if I were in charge of the dictionary, The word "blessing" would have a picture of My Susan next to it. I mention my stroke here because I think it was caused, indirectly, by my Anosmia. As a child, I learned that food tasted better to me if I salted it. I ended up salting the bejeebers out of EVERYTHING I ate - compensating, I think, for my anosmia's blunting the flavor of food. Over thedecades, this sodium intake resulted in an insanely high blood pressure (300/180 at one point). I also think that anosmics tend to attach far more importance to food's texture than other people do, perhaps compensating for the missing "aroma" piece of the Flavor Equation. For me, the preferred texture was CRUNCHY. This translated to a love of fried foods, which, along with my huge sodium intake, made me pack on the pounds. At the time of my stroke, I weighed 398 pounds. For a 6'1" tall man, that put me beyond Morbidly Obese. So, a morbidly obese 50-year-old man with insanely high blood pressure made me a stroke or heart attack just waiting to happen. So yes, I believe that my stroke (and my subsequent heart attack this year) is definitely liked (though indirectly) to my anosmia. I'm not saying that it is a foregone conclusion that an anosmic will eventually have a stroke or heart attack. Not all anosmics have the love of salt and fried foods that I had for nearly 50 years, so not all anosmics are morbidly obese or are hypertensive. But I think other anosmics (especially young ones) could benefit from the above cautionary tale, which is why I have shared it here.
RSLancastr Message
26 Nov 2011, 05:09 AM

During my extended hospital stay following the stroke, I occasionally wondered if the damage the stroke had done to my brain might somehow effect my anosmia. Would I develop a sense of smell, even if only partially, perhaps only via one nostril? Would my anosmia be even more pronounced on the left side of my body? (how more prounced that "non-existant could it possibly be? The answer, in my case anyway, was that the stroke has caused no discernible difference in my anosmia one way or the other. But had my stroke imapted another area of my brain (the area dealing with sense of smell), who knows what might have happened?
RSLancastr Message
26 Nov 2011, 05:12 AM

Please forgive the typos in that last post. I'll blame them on the stroke, only because it's a convenient excuse.