Your Questions Answered
"What is P A D"newyorksis, Support Network Member
"Peripheral Artery Disease –it is a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. Thank you, Dr. Laytona Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"I just recently started on Eliquis after being diagnosed with a fib about 3 weeks ago. In the three weeks I have experienced slight bleeding gums without brushing my teeth and bleeding to my left eye after sneezing pretty hard. They tell me that I need to continue with the medication to prevent strokes. I gave to wonder is this safe with these complications so early. I’m a 60 year female and also an RN. My little bit of medical knowledge makes me weary of blood thinners. What do you think about these symptoms! Thank you This is all so frightening."Dianne1957, Support Network Member
"It recommended that you speak with your provider who prescribed this medication. You will need to speak about your concerns and possible side effects you are having while on the medication Eliquis. They will be able to provide you more information and possibly have other alternative medications. Thank you, Dr. Latonya Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"Is it possible for a heart condition such as a-fib to reverse itself? In other words, can you be diagnosed with a-fib & with proper personal & professional care, have the a-fib diagnosis cease to be a problem? Thank you Bernard"budpyle1, Support Network Member
"It is possible that your symptoms are under control and your stable. For a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis; more testing would have to be done in which you will speak to your provider of your concerns. Thank you, Dr. Latonya Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"My son is 18. He has bicuspid aortic valve and we just found out he has stenosis at 33% - which jumped a lot over previous year. His velocity is also a bit over normal. Is he likely to be recommended for surgery? We are doing stress test. he has no symptoms."YoungMansDad, Support Network Member
"The decision to intervene on a bicuspid aortic valve has to do with the degree of stenosis. We are typically trained to look at the pressure gradient across the valve, which isn’t related here. Usually, a mean gradient of 50-60mmHg would lead to an intervention, as that meets the criteria for “severe stenosis.” The type of intervention can vary. Some patients are a good candidate for balloon valvuloplasty which is a catheterization based procedure and not a surgery. Some are better fits for a surgical repair. A lot has to do with the nature of the valve.Dr. John Breinholt, Pediatric Cardiology
A stress test is reasonable, and it is not surprising not to have symptoms. Symptoms do not often drive the decision making to intervene. It is the findings of increasing stenosis or hypertrophy of the left ventricle.
Thank you Dr. John Breinholt"
"I am spending time supporting my brother who is 64, and had PAD. He drinks beer and was a smoker most of his life. I have spider veins behind my knees , which is a location for intermittant pain. Might this be a sign of oncoming PAD? If not, what conditions vascular related might I need to investigate. Thank you, Meech"meechgalatoi, Support Network Member
"Peripheral artery disease symptoms could vary per individual common symptoms includes leg pain, particularly when walking. You would want to schedule an appointment with his doctor for further testing which could give a confirmation. Thank you, Dr. Latonya Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"Had a brain stem stroke almost 4 months ago, recovered except for occasional balance issues. will they ever totally go away/"JAG18, Support Network Member
"The interesting thing about balance is that is relative. The brain’s pathways serving to keep our balance include sensation, vision, gravitational information from our vestibular network along with sophisticated adaptive motor responses that are both conscious and reflexive. The brain adapts to new input from damaged pathways by comparing it with intact pathways and eventually remodeling the network to an optimal solution. A year or more is often needed to make a full recovery. A therapy plan with daily exercise speeds recovery. Hopefully, your optimal solution will be swift and complete. Thank you. Dr. Joseph Hanna"Joseph P. Hanna M.D., Neurology
"My 52 year old son had 5 way by pass surgery in May. Last week he had a stroke and almost died. After they removed the blood clot he appears to have made a full recovery. He has not been put on blood thinners. Something about they haven't seen him go into Afib. I do not understand, I am afraid of him having stroke. Are the doctors wrong?"Cdotis, Support Network Member
"Your emotional support for your son is commendable. Atrial fibrillation is always a concern when an individual sustains an embolic stroke of an uncertain source. You should be encouraged that the doctors caring for your son are investigating all possibilities for your son’s stroke. An implantable monitor is sometimes used to search for intermittent cardiac arrhythmias. However, until a source of embolus that has been demonstrated to be minimized best with anticoagulants without untoward risk is detected, your son may be safer with medications such as aspirin along with optimal cerebrovascular risk minimization. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna"Joseph P. Hanna M.D., Neurology
"How do you deal with the post stroke depression. It's very difficult for me."Susieq1220, Support Network Member
"Post-stroke depression is very common among stroke survivors, especially those who suffered a left-brain stroke affecting the right-sides of their bodies. I recommend that you ask your primary care provider to evaluate you for clinical depression. Medications and psychotherapy can be very helpful to improve your mood and better adjust to your post-stroke life.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers"Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
"had stroke almost two years ago is it too late to have the surgery to remove the clot"jakelane, Support Network Member
"Your body removes the blood clot from most arteries within days through chemistry present within your bloodstream. Clots occurring outside of the vessels and within the brain are scavenged by microglia and removed nearly entirely. The remaining blood within the brain is isolated by an astrocytic scar. After two years, your clot is gone and the surgeon’s work is done. Thank you, Dr. Hanna"Joseph P. Hanna M.D., Neurology
"My dad suffered a severe hemmoragic stroke on the right side of his brain that is bleeding on the occipital, parital, and temporal lobes. We have been given little hope. What measures can be taken with this type of stroke?"Almartin17, Support Network Member
"Large blood clots within the brain lead to significant disability. Early blood pressure control and correction of bleeding tendencies can limit the size of the hemorrhage. Thankfully, some of the problems arising from the hemorrhages can be minimized. Protection of the airway reduces the risk for pneumonia. Prevention of complications of immobility such as deep vein clots in the legs, skin erosion from pressure, and respiratory limitations is best accomplished with experienced nursing care. Finally, early rehabilitation with specialists trained in regaining disability after stroke will optimize eventual recovery. Thank you, Dr. Hanna"Joseph P. Hanna M.D., Neurology
"My husband has Familial Hypercholesterolemia, and I have high cholesterol, but the doctor says it is not the same, why?"Support Network Member
"Cholesterol can be high for a lot of reasons. Lifestyle can play a large role, some medications increase cholesterol levels, some diseases can increase cholesterol levels (for example certain types of kidney disease and thyroid disease). Familial Hypercholesterolemia is different in that it is an inherited disease that leads to very high cholesterol levels starting very early in life. In most patients, FH is inherited as an “autosomal dominant” disease, i.e. a child of an affected parent has a 50/50 chance of inheriting Familial Hypercholesterolemia. You should discuss this further with your physician and you may find the website of the FH Foundation helpful as well. Thank you for this question."Vera Bittner,
"Hello, I have a 40 yo daughter who had a Medtronic mitral valve implant at the age of 5 yo. Last month she was diagnosed with chf. All her tests, (echo, neck catheterization), came back okay. However, her e.f. is between 20-25 percent, but her symptoms ( dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue), are mild to moderate at worse. She is on Entresto, spironolactone, generic coreg, and warfarin. Hopefully, these medications will work for her. However, I do worry about the affect these meds will have on her kidneys. What should she look for in terms of symptoms if her kidneys start having problems? Thanks."KatMarie, Support Network Member
"The main symptoms that she will notice could be related to the kidneys would be swelling of the extremities but it is recommended that your daughter follow up with your provider to monitor the lab values which could help indicate how the kidneys are functioning. Thank you Dr. Latonya Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"Are iron infusions typically recommended for those with cardiomyopathy?"DoxieMama, Support Network Member
"It is recommended that patients with cardiomyopathy only receives intravenous carboxymaltose which has demonstrated safe and effective treatment for iron repletion in patients. Oral iron supplementations is not effective in iron deficient patients with heart failures. For further information, please speak with your medical team. Thank you, Dr. Latonya Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"I have Familial Hypercholesterolemia and want to have a baby, does this mean my children could have it too?"Support Network Member
"Most cases of Familial Hypercholesterolemia are inherited as an “autosomal dominant condition”. This means that each of your children has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene for Familial Hypercholesterolemia. Your children should be checked for this disease when they are young and treated early. You should discuss this in more detail with your physician and you may find the website of the FH Foundation helpful as well."Vera Bittner,
"When is chronic stable angina considered "cured" or no longer an issue? I'm 1 1/2 years into recovery from HA and angioplasty and I haven't had any symptoms for the past 4 months. I exercise regularly and am taking good care of myself. Waiting to see if the winter cold brings any episodes but hoping that maybe the pains are in the past?"steveSD, Support Network Member
"With the information, you’ve provided it sounds like you are stable in which you should continue taking care of yourself and follow up with your provider as directed. Your provider will be able to do additional testing to determine the status of your diagnosis of angina. Thank you, Dr. Latyona Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"My son was recently diagnosed at 12 yrs old with PAPVR. He is scheduled to see a cardiac surgeon soon. Any help with information and connection with parents who have been faced with this would be greatly appreciated. I am scared and I am trying to learn all I can.. in what to expect... If anyone can share their experiences it would mean the world to me."Bsmall, Support Network Member
"I am unaware of any specific group for this. Most of these patients do very well. It is a relatively straightforward surgery that involves the closure of an atrial septal defect (sinus venosus) and rerouting of the pulmonary vein. The challenges typically involve where the pulmonary vein enters, and complications can involve residual narrowing of the pulmonary vein. Nevertheless, it usually goes well.Dr. John Breinholt, Pediatric Cardiology
Some centers have begun offering alternative approaches to this surgery that involve a less invasive approach that doesn’t involve a sternotomy (incision in the middle of the chest), but rather in the underarm area. One center is in Sacramento, and the other is the University of Texas HSC at Houston/Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital where I work. This is a relatively new approach with a better cosmetic result. Thank you, Dr. Breinholt"
"What is exactly is congestive heart failure"Pfletcher490, Support Network Member
"Congestive heart failure is a broad term that describes the heart's inability to effectively or efficiently handle its function. It might be because the strength of the heart is weakened, or it might be because of a congenital defect that leads to over circulation of blood to the lungs. The definition of CHF is easier to explain depending on the heart being discussed. Thank you, Dr. Breinholt"Dr. John Breinholt, Pediatric Cardiology
"My daughter is born on 28 th may 2018. on 29 may 2018 she was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. On June 10, 2018 she aspirated twice and admitted in NICU with breathing difficulty. On June 12, 2018 she was diagnosed with two holes in her heart, one asd of 3 mm and PDA of 4 mm. Her pneumonia is still there today on 18 th June 2018 but improving."MJH1979, Support Network Member
"The hypoglycemia and aspiration are unlikely due to the heart. The ASD is small and may never need intervention. Unless it “grows” as she grows and becomes a size that we would consider closing, it would not be done until she is 3-4 years old at the soonest. The PDA could require intervention. Sometimes the measurements can overestimate, but if she has heart chamber enlargement (on the left side) in addition to the PDA, it may need to be closed. It is also possible that the pneumonia is related, but it would require examining her and having more information to know for sure. I hope she has a cardiologist. That would be the most important next step. Thank you for this question, Dr. John Breinholt"Dr. John Breinholt, Pediatric Cardiology
"My child has Ostium Secundum ASD of 7-8 mm and Large Perimembranous VSD during his first month of age. Now he is 5 months old and the ASD is 5 mm and Moderate VSD. Can you please suggest wheather any surgery will be needed or it will cure itself."parijat, Support Network Member
"Perimembranous VSDs do not frequently close on their own, particularly if they are moderate to large in size. ASDs can get smaller, and even close. If the ASD is only 5mm at 5 months of age, it is possible it will close, or at least not require surgery (or even catheter based closure). The VSD is more difficult to predict. If the child continues to do well clinically, doesn’t require any medical therapy, is growing and thriving, he can wait. We do watch the aortic valve closely because flow through the defect can influence that valve and cause problems. If it does, surgery will be necessary. Sometimes the defect can be partially closed by valve tissue from the tricuspid valve (from the right ventricle). If that happens (or has already happened), sometimes we can close those defects in the catheterization laboratory, without surgery.Dr. John Breinholt, Pediatric Cardiology
The short answer is the ASD may not need anything or could be closed with a device and without surgery. The VSD is more difficult to predict and hard for me to comment without more information. However, if he is doing well, there is time and surgery may not be necessary.
Thank you for this question.
Dr, John Breinholt"
"I had to list the above option, altho I am not sure it is what I have. What I have is a heart valve defect, since birth, but I only found out about it last year. My lower valve does not completely close, so there is regurgitation, i.e., back-flow in that section of my heart, with every beat. It sounds like a small heart murmur via a stethoscope, but only when I am stressed or troubled. My question is what will happen if I ever have a heart attack? I see physicians at my local university campus. I overheard once that my condition should not pose a problem unless I have a heart attack. What problems would present themselves if I ever do have a heart attack? I work on keeping lower cholesterol, but I inherited it from my Mother, and she always took a statin. I am on one but I know it will make no difference, as I have been on them before. What would happen if I did have a heart attack in relation to my valve deformity?"Annie6556, Support Network Member
"Annie 6556 due to the nature of your diagnosis and defect since birth is highly recommended that you discuss these questions with your cardiologist because they will have your health records available. Each case is different and I would want for you to receive the correct information and what pertains specifically for you.Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
Thank you, Dr. Latonya Law"
"My husband had a stroke 4 yr ago that affected use of his left arm and leg. He can't use his arm and can walk short distances with a leg brace and cane. He his terrible "tone" (spasticity) in his left side and leg that comes and goes. He describes it as burning and tightness. Everyone we've talked to (PT, primary, neurologist) says there's nothing that can be done for that. Is that true? It keeps him in bed and wheelchair for up to a week when its bad. Affects his ability to sleep and makes him miserable. Is there anything to help this???"OtterAnnie, Support Network Member
"Your husband’s stroke recovery seems to have been incomplete leaving him with both tone alteration and sensory disturbance on his left side. The tone problem can be addressed through therapy, pharmacology and surgery. The optimization of motor recovery should be individualized using all three modalities to allow him to perform daily tasks. The “burning” and tightness may be part of a post-stroke pain syndrome. This can be managed through therapy and pharmacologic approaches. Sometimes a refresher course guided by a stroke rehabilitation specialist helps improve the quality of life even years removed from the initial stroke. Thank you, Dr. Hanna"Joseph P. Hanna M.D., Neurology
"How common is it to see stroke patients go backwards in their recovery process instead of getting better?"IvetteRam, Support Network Member
"The grand thing about stroke survival is that nearly all get better in some degree as time passes. A period of deterioration within the first several days surrounding a stroke can be from extension of the incident stroke. Clots extend into additional vessels stealing blood from viable brain. Hemorrhage into the brain extends disturbing the surrounding environment even further. Later deterioration may be from a variety of medical conditions including infection, poor oxygenation and perfusion, additional brain swelling, blockage of the ventricular drainage system in the brain and depression to name a few. Thankfully, each of these causes for neurologic decline has a treatment and your clinicians have been trained to be watchful and to intervene early and optimize recovery. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna"Joseph P. Hanna M.D., Neurology
"I had an ablation 3 weeks ago today went for for a check up ekg it Says I am still in a-fib. Was told that sometimes it takes 3 months for healing. While in recovery after the ablation,I had to have a bag Of magnesium,it was low out of range. I feel that this may be involved with my situation. The Dr.s do not tell you anything.I really do not think that my cardiologist knows.I have not had my mag. checked in till then.I experience severe cramps in my rib cage,and have always felt that it was my electrolytes."Meister, Support Network Member
"Your concerns are valid but it is recommended that you speak with your cardiologist about your concerns and symptoms you’re experiencing. Each recovery period could vary but for further treatment, your information will be available with the provider that could make the changes. Thank you, Dr. Laytona Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"Last week I had a minor heart attack. As a result I had angioplasty done to my main artery. Since then I experience shortness of breath often. Is it normal and should I expect to recover soon?"zahiralam, Support Network Member
"The recovery period varies but during the healing process, you could possibly experience shortness of breath after a heart attack. It is important to consult with your doctor for possible other testing if symptoms persist and to give updates. Thank you, Dr. Latonya Law"Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"I just had an angioplasty procedure and would like to know what the recommended cholesterol levels should be now. Total cholesterol level LDL recommended level, HDL recommended level and the Triglycerides level. I can't find this information anywhere. thank You Jerry Stevenson, age 76"Irith, Support Network Member
"It is definitely recommended that you speak with your doctor regarding developing a strategy to help reduce your symptoms and risks.Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
• LDL 190 or more is considered very high, the lower your cholesterol number, the lower your risk.
• HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) –a higher number means lower risk because it protects you against heart disease.
• Triglycerides- less than 150 is normal, A high triglyceride level has been linked to a higher risk of coronary artery disease.
Thank you for this question. Dr. Latonya Law"
"My spouse is having issues with “Pumphead” syndrome. He had mitral valve replacement 9/17. Anyone out there have any advice for us?"Cwag528, Support Network Member
"Pumphead syndrome also known as Postperfusion syndrome is usually seen after the patient has been hooked up to a heart-lung machine for open heart and also valve replacement. Each individual symptom varies but they could include patchy recall, social difficulties and possibly personality changes. The main symptoms of Pumphead is decreased mental capacity in which the condition and symptoms varies for each person which is hard to determine. Studies have shown a high incidence of neurocognitive deficit soon after surgery, but the deficit are often not a permanent impairment Thankyou for this question."Dr. Latonya Law, Family Nurse Practitioner
"I need help finding the proper care or rehab for my adult son who is on Alaska Medicaid and Medicare. His stroke encompassed the entire right hemisphere, right eye blindness and left eye left field cut along with left side weakness of his left leg and paralysis of the left arm. His stroke happened 8/24/14 he is now 35. He steals and sells my property to buy pot and alcohol. He's not drinking and smoking everyday as far as I know but his behavior is that of a addict. I've found places that would be perfect, I think, but none of them take Medicaid/Medicare. What am I supposed to do? He's going to end up homeless if I can not find the proper help for him and support for me. Please, are there solutions that I'm not aware of?"dianalavona, Support Network Member
"Substance abuse and the anti-social behaviors that go along with it are a scourge for many American families nowadays. But it sounds like there are three issues here for your family:Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
--The one that you present is that of insurance coverage for drug rehab services. I strongly recommend that you call your state’s Medicaid office directly to learn of exactly what treatment services your son might be able to receive and where. I doubt that Alaska has no facilities or intensive outpatient programs that accept “dual eligible” insurance—Medicare and Medicaid.
--That said, it will make no difference what resources you find unless your son is truly interested in changing his behaviors. I’ve talked with many parents who, with all best intentions, tried to rescue their children by strong-arming them into drug rehabs, then found that their children quickly dropped out of those services. The prevailing philosophy of substance abuse rehab in general is that addicts must decide to change for themselves and not at the behest of their parents or anyone else in their lives.
--But a third issue here is whether your son’s drug use is his primary problem or whether he is using pot and alcohol because he’s bored, depressed and/or anxious. People with significant disabilities of all types have high rates of substance use because of their lack of gainful employment and low self-esteem. Before you even try to find a substance abuse program for him, I would have him evaluated by his primary care physician who can sort out which of your son’s problems should be treated first.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer and co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers"
"My husband suffered a lower left lobe brain bleed 5182018, he is improving, however, the Aphasia and confusion are acute. Will his communication and understanding ability improve?"zeigler56, Support Network Member
"Improvement will continue for several years after the stroke. His recovery will be hastened and ultimately better if encouraged to participate in his speech and language therapy. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna"Joseph P. Hanna M.D., Neurology
"I wanna know why doctors be so careless sometimes?"79051, Support Network Member
"In the 24 years that I spent as a psychologist working in a primary care office to teach family physicians about behavioral health issues, I found the hundreds of physicians with whom I interacted to be mostly caring, largely competent, and frequently frustrated. The healthcare system in which they have to work—seeing patients in 15-minute intervals that often felt rushed to them—caused them to cut corners by shortening conversations and postponing explorations of certain patients’ complaints until the next medical appointment. I don’t know if that’s what you mean by “careless” or if you are referring to the mistakes they sometimes make. In those rushed sessions, medical mistakes are made—mostly small ones, such as forgetting to write out prescriptions or fill out forms. But in rare instances, larger mistakes occur with the potential to do harm. Of course we need a better, more flexible system in which physicians have the time they need to practice with greater care. Until that day, however, it is essential that patients and the family members who accompany them to medical appointments remain on guard for physicians’ mistakes. I suggest asking questions if you have doubts about the treatment plans, double-checking prescriptions before you leave the office, and calling back afterwards if you still have concerns. Decreasing carelessness is a goal we can all help achieve.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer and co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers"Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
"after hemoric stroke and 9 days coma what are chances."Stefan, Support Network Member
"I’m very sorry you or your loved one is suffering from what appears to be a devastating stroke. The prognosis after this type of brain injury can be difficult to predict. I would recommend that you continue to work with your physicians and care team to understand what their impression is about how you or your loved one is doing and what the future may hold. Thank you Dr. Sunil Sheth"Dr. Sunil Sheth, Vascular Neurologist
"Are heart disease and stroke related to each other? If my child has heart disease, could she have a stroke?"AHA/ASA Katie Bahn, Support Network Member
"In adults, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, hardening of the arteries, and diabetes can play key roles in stroke. However, this is less common in children. Children can have cardiac issues like congenital heart defects or acquired heart disease that can increase the risk of strokes. It is important for families to discuss the underlying cardiac condition and the risk of stroke with their physician.Dr. Nivedita Thakur, Pediatric Neurologist
Dr. Nivedita Thakure"
"Do children have the same stroke symptoms as adults?"AHAASAKatie, Support Network Member
"Strokes in children, especially infants and newborns, can present differently than in adults. The symptoms could be misdiagnosed with more common conditions that mimic a stroke like viral illness, migraines, or epilepsy.Dr. Nivedita Thakur, Pediatric Neurologist
-Change in mental status--Example: extreme sleepiness
-Using one side of the body more than the other
-Focal signs like weakness
-Change in mental status
-Sudden difficulty with speaking or comprehension
-Sudden vision problems
Should your child experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately."
"My baby had a stroke in utero. What are the main developmental achievements that I should look for as he grows?"AHA/ASA Katie Bahn, Support Network Member
"Monitoring development will be important, especially milestones that a baby should achieve by a certain age.Dr. Nivedita Thakur, Pediatric Neurologist
Development can be impacted by areas damaged in the brain. Thus the location and extent of injury are important factors. Another important aspect is brain plasticity. Brain plasticity can be seen in babies because the brain is developing and so different parts of the brain or an undamaged area in the same location can take over function. Therefore it is difficult to predict exactly how much difficulty a child will have in the future.
It’s important to follow development closely and get them in therapy to help practice skills they may be struggling with. This will allow the brain to use the pattern of repetition to build pathways that may have been disturbed due to the injury.
Thank you, Dr. Nivedita Thakur"
"What Causes a Pediatric Strokes in children?"AHA/ASA Katie Bahn, Support Network Member
"Strokes in children can be caused by a variety of factors:Dr. Nivedita Thakur, Pediatric Neurologist
Cardiac: Examples--Congenital heart defects or Acquired heart disease
Hematologic: Examples--Sickle cell disease or Clotting disorders
Infection: Examples--Meningitis or Encephalitis
Vascular: Examples--AVM malformation or Moyamoya
Metabolic or Genetic: Examples--Marfan syndrome or MELAS (Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes)
Trauma: Example--head and neck trauma"
"Hi all. My son had a stroke in utero or at birth... he presented with seizures during the first 36 hours of life which were controlled with phenobarbital. He's 7 months now and is doing as great as we could all hope for. Meeting his milestones and more and has no deficits or signs of stroke as of yet. We know that prognosis for this is extremely variable, which is why I'd like to hear if anyone has a similar case/ experience and what the outcome was (in regards to the area of the brain that was affected). His stroke was in his left frontal lobe, I'd say maybe 1/8th of his left side and a small part of white matter in the back of his right side... the neurologist said he is almost borderzone if that helps... I've looked at studies and patients classified as borderzone seemed to have good prognosis... but the studies are all over the map and I don't really know what to conclude at this point other than expect the worst but hope for the best. Any information from patients or parents of children with similar diagnosis would help tremendously."Support Network Member
"Thank you so much for this question. You are correct in the information you have received so far. There are 2 key aspects that we consider. The first is the location and extent of injury. The second aspect is brain plasticity. Brain plasticity can be seen in babies because the brain is developing and so different parts of the brain or undamaged area in the same location can take over function. Thus it is difficult to predict exactly how much difficulty a child will have in the future. Key aspect is following development closely and getting them in therapy to help practice skills they may be struggling with, so that the brain can use the pattern of repetition to build pathways that may have been disturbed due to the injury. I hope this helps you with what to expect in the future."Dr. Nivedita Thakur, Pediatric Neurologist
"I experience bipolar 2, ptsd, depression and anxiety. But what works best for depression? Because I am taking prozac for bipolar 2, but it doesn't help depression even with a higher dose"Allie117, Support Network Member
"The treatment guidelines for Bipolar II Disorder call for an antidepressant (such as Prozac) and a mood stabilizer (such as Depakote or Abilify). Using the antidepressant without the mood stabilizer won’t work nearly as well for reducing depressive symptoms. I suggest you ask your prescribing provider to review your medication regimen. You may also want to consider psychotherapy as an adjunctive therapy. I hope you feel better soon!—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers"Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
"My husband is hearing impaired and sometimes it really stresses me out. What's the best way to handle it without getting frustrated with him. Thank you."Myheart66, Support Network Member
"Patience is more than a virtue. It is a skill learned with increased awareness and practice. So long as your husband is willing to wear hearing aids and do all he can to make it easier for you to communicate with him then his remaining hearing impairment is just going to be part of your relationship with him. You will have to adapt by choosing only quiet places in which to talk and regularly increase the volume of your voice.Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
On the other hand, If he won’t get aids or wear the ones he has, then I suggest having a frank but calm talk with him in which you state plainly that he is making you unhappy. I hope he will then accept making changes for your sake and your marriage.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers"
"I have a friend that had a stroke and she is having a very hard time at home. She has the at home therapy etc but she is pivoting into the depressed, crying because she can't do what she use to. Her stroke left her left side unusable her eye, arm and leg which is getting a little better but her husband is in a wheelchair also and he is overwhelmed with doing all the housework, cleaning, washing clothes etc. It has been exhausting for both of them--they have tricare prime so putting her in a nursing home is out they don't cover it. They live in Warner Robins, GA and I am trying to find someone that can help them out. They have an adopted teen 14 years old --which has add, adhd--she just shuts it all out. They don't have a computer either that is why I am asking...if anybody can refer me to anybody that can help them..please let me know..quickly Thank you"PattiePitts, Support Network Member
"You are a good friend to be trying to help them. Their situation is obviously very difficult. They need several types of help:Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
--A social worker from Veterans Affairs or the Georgia Department of Public Assistance may be able to help them get increased insurance coverage to pay for other in-home support services.
--A licensed clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse or clinical psychologist through the home care agency that’s providing therapy may be able to evaluate your friend for depression and then initiate effective treatments.
--A case worker from the Georgia Division of Children and Families may be able to provide support services to all the family members to keep this family intact.
--Most of all, though, they need a guide through our complicated social services and healthcare systems. Sometimes insurance company care managers can play that role.
Your friend’s problems are complex. She will need to be patient. She will need you to stick by her as she slowly tries to rebuild her life.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer and co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers"
"I am newly diagnosed with AFib, I am having anxiety because it was a frightening experience. I find myself checking my pulse rate and breathing throughout the day, HELP! I want this to stop..."Sunshine12, Support Network Member
"It is not unusual for people with atrial fibrillation, as well as many other heart conditions, to develop uncontrollable worries about their health. We call this marked tendency towoard worry “anxiety.” Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of severe anxiety is to have a racing heart—something which only would only make your afib symptoms worse! What would be most helpful is to realize that afib isn’t likely to kill you every time you feel your heart skipping or racing. Your anxiety would then dissipate. This usually takes increased familiarity with this new reality of your heart condition—and that takes time. However, if you continue to respond with anxiety every time you feel your afib symptoms, then it would be advisable to meet with you physician to be assessed for an anxiety disorder. We have very good pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments for anxiety that will help you worry much less and live with your afib much better.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer and co-author of AARP"Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
"I lost my Dad to a heart attack along time ago. I still think of it as yesterday. How do I get through this???"CliftonL, Support Network Member
"I’m sure your Dad meant a lot to you but grieving the death of a parent usually goes on for one to two years—certainly not forever. When a period of mourning never seems to end, we call it “complex bereavement.” It is often associated with intense feelings of guilt. The grieving survivor generally feels guilty for whatever he or she did or didn’t do for the person who died while still alive. Complex bereavement frequently leads to clinical depression. If this description seems to apply to you, then I suggest you ask your primary care physician for a referral to a mental health therapist or grief counselor who can help you decrease the guilt and finally experience some resolution of your prolonged grief.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer and co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers"Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology