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What a Cure Would Mean: Stroke

Fontenot, S. Scott

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000429049.71808.78
Departments: Letters

I had brain surgery almost five years ago to repair a bulging blood vessel. During the first year of recovery, I experienced terrible burning pain on the entire right side of my body, along with the headache and ear ringing that brought me to the doctor in the first place. Eventually, a neurologist looked at the MRI taken right after my surgery.

“Sit down,” she said. “Has anyone told you that you had a stroke after your surgery?” She also told me that I had central pain syndrome as a result.

I pounded on the steering wheel of my pickup, weeping on the way home. I was angrier than I had ever been.

It took two years to find the best medical solution. I went from working 60–80 hours per week to barely 20. I hated life.

I started talking to a psychologist with expertise in chronic pain because I was suicidal. A cure for me would be quieting the electric impulses that cause me to feel the burning sensations. The medications together on a good day make it tolerable, as long as I sit still in my recliner.

Rev. S. Scott Fontenot

© 2013 American Academy of Neurology