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Dealing with long-term residual effects of stroke
My daughter had an ischemic stroke at 8 causing temporary right side deficiencies. We discovered over the over the next several months that her memory and emotional stability was also affected. Educationally, anything that she learned pre-stroke seems to be intact. Anything that was in the process of being learned or new concepts just don't seem to 'stick' in her brain and we must constantly re-teach these things. Since the stroke she has had extremely angry outbursts when she is corrected or embarrassed - mostly targeted at myself or her siblings. We have also found that she squirrels away food and then disposed of the trash in odd places (bathroom drawer???), but doesn't remember how those things got there.
Medical professionals examine her and see no issues. People who know is don't see problems - she seems perfectly 'normal' and can carry on an intelligent conversation. People don't understand why we are concerned.
Is there anyone else who has experienced something similar?
AHAASAKatie, November 23, 2020 9:59am EST
Good morning, I am so sorry that your family has had to experience this! I can share what we have on pediatric stroke with you. I have two suggestions for you as well.
Find another pediatric neurologist to review her case, making sure you explain the behavior you are seeing.
See if you can locate a therapist who specializes in children who have undergone traumatic experiences. I would think a stroke at 8 would be very traumatic. I know many of our adults' experience PTSD from serious health scares, it's possible she is as well. But given her age, she might not know how to explain what is happening with her emotions to you.
Please let us know how things go.
AmbassadorDN, December 2, 2020 6:31pm EST
I'm a stroke survivor myself; I had my stroke at birth, and my right side is severely affected. Katie has given you great advice, and I agree that a consultation with another pediatric neurologist as well as a therapist is in order to help your daughter understand and manage her feelings.
I did not see a neurologist until I was 41 years old, following an unrelated mini-stroke. He helped me understand the things that make me "unique" due to my stroke, as well as the fact that having had a stroke so young affected my brain's ability to regulate chemicals and cause me to be depressed. Thanks to my doctor, I have been able to deal with the decades-long lingering effects of the stroke.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns--we are here for you!
To Heart and Soul Health,
AmbassadorMK, December 7, 2020 11:28am EST
I am sorry your daughter is going through this, but it is not uncommon. I think Katie and Ambassador DN have given you some good advice. I can tell you from my experience that our now 23 year-old prenatal stroke survivor still has emotional outbursts. We tried taking her to a psychologist and psychiatrist when she was younger, but she refused to talk about it. Years later, she is seeing a therapist and it has helped to know she is not alone in dealing with her emotions. About half of the kids who experience stroke do have emotional issues. Here is a page from HemiHelp in the ** that may help, https://contact.org.**/advice-and-support/health-medical-information/hemiplegia-support/associated-problems/emotions-behaviour/ As a parent of a child who has suffered a stroke, it feels like your child is "misbehaving" and perhaps it is something you did wrong. But just know, it is not you, and you are not alone in dealing with it.
I can also tell you that my daughter has memory issues, which we were able to be proactive and get accommodations for her at school. It is just something that she has learned to live with. So there are ways to help your daughter.
Good luck, and just know that you are not alone. Let me know if I can answer anything else for you.