it Doesn't Define Me

Fight to get my life back

What is an ischemic stroke to the spinal cord?

I am not going to go into the medical definition or explanation of of an ischemic stroke tot he spinal cord.  I am not a doctor and I do not work in the medical profession so it would be inappropriate for me to define it medically,.

I will tell you how it has been explained to me and I hope this explanation will help you understand the term as lay people.

The name tells us allot about the diagnosis.  Ischemic stroke is a type of stroke and to the spinal cord tells us where that stroke occurred.

The name also poses a big question, do I have a spinal cord injury or am I stroke survivor?

When a neurologist first told me that I had damage to my spinal cord in my hospital room, I immediately began to deny that I had a spinal cord injury.  I knew people in college who had spinal cord injuries and they never seem to improve and not getting better wasn’t an option for me.  So I convinced myself that I had survived a stroke before i was officially told that I had survived an ischemic stroke to my spinal cord.

But the truth is that depending on who you talk to I either have a spinal cord injury or living life with a stroke.

According to my doctor, the medical community considers it a spinal cord injury and I assume I am treated as if I am a spinal cord injured patient.  However, my doctor also explained to me that lay people consider it a stroke.  I assume that is because many of the visual damage caused by the ischemic stroke to the spinal cord look similar to what lay people expect to see from a stroke survivor.

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