When Mark Davis began to gently awaken, he shivered as he remembered the horrifying dream he’d just had. He was completely paralyzed on his right side, and taking each breath was a challenge for him. He was glad to be rid of it as he considered getting up and heading to work, except for the fact that he was unable to move due to the injury.
He “Overheard” The Dire Prognosis As Well As Fought Back
It wasn’t a dream in the least. He was lying in a hospital bed, with a breathing tube inserted into his windpipe. Lisa, his wife, was there in the room. Nurses and a doctor were also present. The doctor informed Lisa that her spouse had locked-in syndrome as a result of a series of strokes, which Mark overheard. In July of this year, Mark became aware of a problem. As he was trapshooting in a rural region of Tennessee, he began to feel dizzy and weak, to the point that he feared he would pass out.
He had never been one to see a doctor before, but he was scared enough to seek treatment from a general practitioner. He was given migraine medicine to alleviate his symptoms. When he realized that the medication was not working, he sought an appointment with a neurologist. That visit, on the other hand, was scheduled for six weeks later, on October 30. Mark was feeling weak and sick on the evening of October 29. His gaze moved to the left and remained there. He needed to tilt his head to the right in order to walk straight. He summoned Lisa.
A CT scan performed at the hospital revealed that Mark had had a stroke. He was given clot-busting medicine and then transported to a bigger hospital in the neighboring city of Nashville for more specialist medical attention. During the ambulance journey, Mark had a second stroke and could not move his right side anymore. He had a third stroke while at the emergency department, which paralyzed his diaphragm and caused him to cease breathing.
Doctors informed Lisa that Mark had had a series of brain stem strokes, with lesser strokes most likely occurring earlier in his life. The brain stem is in charge of all of the fundamental functions of the central nervous system, including consciousness, blood pressure, respiration, and motor control, among others. Doctors also said that she might have to make a decision on whether or not to remove him off the ventilator. Mark wasn’t much better. A twitch on the left side of Mark and Lisa’s left thumb was detected by one of their three children three days later. She was overjoyed and dialed 911 to get a doctor.
Last but not least, Mark thought. Someone is paying attention. He despised the fact that they spoke as if he couldn’t hear what they were saying. His family placed a sign on his hospital door that said, “We love you.” “This is a negative free zone. Please limit your discussions to just positive topics.” In Mark’s opinion, this was the most important factor in his rehabilitation.
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The pair were in the waiting room when Dr. Antoinne Able came in, and Mark gave him a half thumbs-up. During Mark’s recovery, the couple celebrated numerous milestones, but Lisa’s favorite was when she overheard him refer to her as “Sweet Pea,” which is his nickname for her. One of Mark’s most remarkable experiences occurred when he was being taught how to move from one location to another using a slide board. Eventually, he stood up, much to the surprise of everyone (including himself). After being discharged from the hospital on December 31, he walked several steps on his own, using a walker, before reaching his vehicle. After returning home, Mark continued to attend outpatient rehabilitation on a daily basis, where he worked on improving his speech, walking, coordination, and strength.
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