Friendship: Stroke

"Ct Brain : Show Left Thalamic Hemorrhage (hemorrhagic Stroke Image courtesy of stockdevil at

“Ct Brain : Show Left Thalamic Hemorrhage (hemorrhagic Stroke)
Image courtesy of stockdevil at


Dear Bonnie,

I got a call last night from my young brother and it has left me shaken.

I do not know if you recall  me telling you this before, but when my brother was in his thirties he was diagnosed with MS. Over the following decades he was able to adapt and manage as best he could until about five years ago when he was in a car accident. I want to stress my brother was not injured because of the seat belt he wore. I cannot say the same for the car.  Well, my brother knew given his MS it would be a good idea to play it safe and go to the nearest hospital for examination.

When the results of MRI were revealed, my brother got a very big surprise.  He was told there was a pocket of fluid in his brain and when he asked if it  related to his MS, the answer was no. What it did mean was  he did not have MS.  All that needed was to put a shunt in to drain the fluid from his brain and he would be fine.

Fast forward to now.  Recently my brother noticed his hands are shaking a bit more than usual.  He believed it is part of getting older.  Well, this morning my brother went to his doctor for his yearly physical, expecting no drama, just a few words with his doctor let him know all is good blah, blah.   Instead his doctor wanted my brother tested for a neurological problem.

My brother laughed but his doctor was serious. The MRI results showed a little damage in the cerebellum and it indicates he likely had a few TIA strokes in the recent past. My brother could not believe it and protested that he never experienced any such symptoms. The doctor went on to explain sometimes TIA strokes can be pretty mild and come off like a slight bug, not like feeling like you were hit by an elephant.

It was a great day when my brother shared with me and the rest of the family that he did not have MS but to hear last night he had a few  TIA strokes at some point that did damage hurts. I wish I could make the damage go away but I can’t.  Sure I guess I could be thankful he was only outwardly left with hand tremors but still the damage is internal and lasting on the inside.

My brother is going to change his diet and get back to the gym so at least he can try to prevent another TIA or worse a major stroke.  It is a small comfort but one I am willing to take.

Thanks for listening,