The morning of October 2nd I was on my way to work but I had a strange headache unlike any headache I’ve had before. I decided to leave work early and go home to rest. When I woke from my nap my mouth felt tingly and numb, a few minutes later my hand started to contort in a weird way and then my legs gave out on me. At that point, it dawned on me; oh my God I am having a stroke!
I was rushed by ambulance to Sinai Hospital. After my acute treatment, I spent several weeks in the inpatient neurological rehabilitation unit. During that time I had to relearn how to swallow and do very simple tasks I once took for granted. My doctor there, Dr. Melanie Brown, Director of Brain Injury Rehabilitation at Sinai Hospital asked me to participate in the outpatient RETURN! program for brain injury survivors. It took me a while to accept the reality that at age 55, I was a brain injury survivor. I always took pride in my ability to care for my wife and family. I knew to get that back I needed to commit to the RETURN! program and do my part. I agreed to join the program and it was the best thing I ever did.
The RETURN! program established a tailored rehabilitation plan to help me re-train my brain to do tasks that were now difficult because of the stroke. There was a full team of therapists in place to help me succeed, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist and a physical therapist along with my physicians. My wife and I also had the chance to meet and work with other brain injury survivors and their families, which was an additional inspiration.
I completed the program in three months and today I continue to visit Sinai Hospital for my monthly check ups. I am proud to share that now I can write again, speak clearly, travel without getting lost, walk unassisted and generally take care of myself without burdening my wife. I still have much work to do but because of Sinai Hospital I have improved my overall wellness and quality of life. I am so grateful to the great people at Sinai Hospital for both my initial care and treatment in the inpatient neurological rehabilitation unit and the outpatient RETURN! program, they gave me my life back! Thank you.
If you or a loved one would like more information about the Louis and Phyllis Friedman Neurological Rehabilitation Center please call (410) 601-8823 or click here