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I Can't Stop Fighting

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When I first had my stroke two years ago I went through the seven stages of denial. I knew the traditional Elisabeth Kubler Ross’ five stages of denial from my work as a social worker:

1. Denial

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

I became aware of two additional stages I felt matched my situation:

1. Shock - Initial paralysis at hearing the news.

2. Testing - seeking realistic solutions

I definitely was in shock at hearing the news, and then denial set in, especially since the doctors were unable to pin down the cause of the stroke. It was neither an ischemic stroke – a clot that occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes obstructed or a hemorrhagic stroke – a brain bleed, when a weakened blood vessel simply ruptures. The doctors saw the evidence of the stroke on the MRI, but labeled it as a cryptogenic stroke or one of unknown origin.

I endured a serious post-stroke depression as I struggled with the unknown. I returned to therapy and needed additional psychotropic medication to lift and stabilize my mood, I recovered physically from left-sided weakness, but continued to endure the aftermath of cognitive........

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