Louis felt a tingling in his lips while putting on Chap Stick and the next thing he knew he was on the floor and unable to get up. At the hospital it was determined that Lou was having a stroke and he underwent emergency surgery. Unfortunately, Lou had a second more severe stroke several days after his surgery which caused him to lose his ability to speak and swallow, see clearly and balance himself. Lou was transferred to the inpatient rehabilitation program at St. Charles three weeks after his second stroke.
At St. Charles, Lou was diagnosed with a condition called Pushing syndrome. Pushing’s is rare and causes individuals to feel off balance, even while sitting or lying in bed. With a constant sensation of falling, Lou would curl into a ball in bed and hold the railing. He still did not have use of his left arm and very little use of his left leg, had double vision due to his eye imbalance and could speak and swallow minimally which meant he had very little communication with his family and friends. In addition, Lou could not stand or walk.
Though progress was slow, it was steady. After a week of intense rehabilitation, Lou was able to stand with assistance and in another week he was able to take small steps. Within a month he was walking 50 feet on his own and began to show improvements in speech and swallowing. He was still very impulsive and often had difficulty expressing himself however, he remembered family and friends.
Once discharged home, Lou continued his rehabilitation, working on balance, speech and strength exercises. Though his voice never came back fully, he does speak clearly. His balance and walking are very good and his vision has improved almost 100%. He can eat whatever he wants, though he must eat slowly, and regained 75%of the strength in his left leg.
Lou continues to work to regain more use of his left arm and enjoys his family and friends, visiting St. Charles Rehabilitation to joke with his therapists whom he now calls his friends.
For more information about Inpatient Rehabilitation at St. Charles Hospital, please call (631) 474-6797.
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