Chris DeWald | I’ve stroked, now what? Part 2

Chris DeWald | I’ve stroked, now what? Part 2


Hello my friends. While getting your Heparin Therapy, most of you will be gradually make a transition to Warfarin/Coumadin. These meds are to thin your blood to prevent further clotting.

Please understand that an overdose of this medication can send you “Into the light”. What’s that mean?

It will kill you. That’s easy to understand huh? (The name warfarin stems from the acronym WARF, for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation + the ending -arin indicating its link with coumarin.) Warfarin was first registered for use as a rodenticide in the US in 1948, and was immediately popular; although it was developed by Link, the WARF financially supported the research and was assigned the patent. You can read more of the history of this anticoagulant at :

Get ready for blood tests…Many that you might run out of veins to stick. Why are they sticking you so much? The physicians are looking for

Please note that Warfarin/coumadin was used as a Rodenticide. Have some fun with the nurse and ask for some cheese and wiggle your nose.



According to, rehabilitation actually starts in the hospital as soon as possible after the stroke. In patients who are stable, rehabilitation may begin within two days after the stroke has occurred, and should be continued as necessary after release from the hospital.

Depending on the severity of the stroke, rehabilitation options include:
– A rehabilitation unit in the hospital

– A sub acute care unit

– A rehabilitation hospital

– Home therapy

– Home with outpatient therapy

– A long-term care facility that provides therapy and skilled nursing care

The goal in rehabilitation is to improve function so that the stroke survivor can become as independent as possible. This must be accomplished in a way that preserves dignity and motivates the survivor to relearn basic skills that the stroke may have taken away – skills like eating, dressing and walking.

I started out in the hospital. It is very important to the entire scheme of recovery that you get out of that bed. It can just start by sitting at the bedside. I thought a stroke was akin to having a cold and would go away. Do what the therapists tell you. If you feel weird, make them aware. You are in charge, remember that. If you want to rot away, rot. Try, try not to rot. Just any movement is a task sometimes. Work on it while you lay there if you can, but sit up in the least. Depending on how well you move, you probably will see a speech therapist. Post-stroke rehabilitation involves physicians; rehabilitation nurses; physical, occupational, recreational, speech-language, and vocational therapists; and mental-health professionals.

Now the relearning phase has started. Now you get hit by what I call the “bean counters”…Bean counters are “machines or people” that review your case on a monetary scale. They are seldom medical trained individuals and only see the color of money. They review your condition and see the reports from your physicians and therapists. They do not “see” you. They control your life on recovery. They have the ability to say no more than 2 treatments or none at all. Most doctors and therapists are skilled in writing. This is the way of dealing with “bean counters”.

I was transferred in a week to Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitative Hospital. I had insurance and I thought it was good. Heaven knows I was paying enough for it, but ended up in a State run facility. I was terrified. I was in a position in my then “current” job to see what the State can do. I was wrong on the care. I was surrounded by patients who had brain injuries and strokes. I felt like I was not alone. I had an individualized care plan to address my medical deficiencies.

I relearned to talk, walk, dress myself and think in a rational manner. I am very pleased to be a graduate of this facility. I often tell people I was beaten daily in physical therapy, but I was teasing. What a grand lady my physical “is”. I went as far as I could and could have gone farther if not for the obstruction in my arteries leading through my brain. Lack of blood flow only allowed me to take it so far. I am grateful for what I have and do not consider what I lack.

And so my friends please be aware that insurance companies have “bean counters” that have an agenda to save their companies money. That is their job. If this happens to you, have an advocate call the insurance company for you, have the therapist call, have your doctor call. Do not let the son of a guns win! This is your life we are talking about. This is your future. If you are sent home and are pending a decision, do not stop working on your abilities. Note I did not say disabilities. Get mad; get tough get an “attitude”. Go on line and do some exercises. Don’t lose what others have started.

Go here at least. There are more to find. Try it and you’ll stay fresh

Part three is coming next week. This is dealing with the Social Security Administration. I was denied once. This is the most crippling and stressful since it takes you to be disabled for “6” months to be considered eligible for most events.

See you next week.


– Column by Chris DeWald



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