Stroke patients all over the world continue to struggle for complete recovery. Time of their life gets wasted when contemporary treatment is palliative and training given to them is to learn to compensate for the loss andwaitfor recovery of affected side saying recovery takes time. After waiting for months, patients are told recovery has plateaued and they have to learn to compromise with loss. Patient dilemma is they are told ‘recovery takes time’ in acute state post stroke and in chronic state they hear it is too late, recovery after six months is difficult and after one year more difficult and plasticity of brain may help them to recover in chronic state but how and with what is not known to them. Struggle of the patients and their family seeing deteriorating life of their dear ones is evident from posts received from all over the world. Some of them are given below.

Note: We've either removed or abbreviated names of the patients to protect their privacy

Letter 45 - Interested in Your Therapy

I have been reading with interest about your approach to rehabilitation of stroke patients.

My husband who at the age of 61 was a fit and active man, had a massive intracerebralhaemorrhage last November 2008.  After which he had other life threatening illnesses, septacemia, DVT and pneumonia.  He finally came home in February this year.  I was told he would gain no improvement in his mobility and speech.  They told me he would never walk or move his right arm as it was dense hemiplegia.  We have worked hard with Peter and he is now able to move his right leg.  There is no movement with the arm/hand, but he now has sensation.  I have been told he has dyspraxia, dysarthria and dysphasia.  We work very hard daily with exercises, but after reading your website I am now worried we may be doing more harm than good as he has been receiving Bobath treatment and electrical stimulation with the muscles.

I would very much like to learn more about your exercises/methods as I am now reluctant to carry on with the exercises given me by physios if I am helping him learn bad habits.  My goal in life is to help Peter reach is optimum recovery so that we can enjoy our retirement years, after many years of hard work.

Will you please let me know how I go about getting Peter involved in your treatment.

Many thanks

C.P.

Read more: Letter 45 - Interested in Your Therapy

Letter 44 - Please Help

Hello Rajul,

I am so excited (and hopeful) after a long search has led me to your website.  My mother suffered a left-hemisphere stroke in December of 2008 (14 months ago).  She was left with little movement in her right arm and leg (she also has aphasia which has been most challenging as well as other obstacles that we have had to learn to overcome; i.e. swallowing difficulties that meant a feeding tube for the first three months.  She eats on her own very well now.  There were also bathroom issues that have been much improved).  Now she is experiencing painful spasticity and finally is willing to listen when I preach about exercising and not simply waiting for everything to get better – your comment about therapists and doctors saying “it takes time” was so familiar as we have heard that too many times to count – I’m afraid my mother was convinced that’s all it would take.

Your approach seems the logical to me.  I do not know what information you need in order to advise us of the proper exercises or even if you can do that.  I am praying that, somehow, we can get help and advice from you on a long distance basis.  Travelling is not possible with my mother.

Briefly this is her situation:  She walks with assistance (a four-legged walker she uses with her left hand and someone holding on to a belt around her waist in case of loss of balance).  She has exercised the upper part of her leg to the point that the muscle “pops up” when she does leg lifts from a sitting position (bending at the knee and kicking straight up/out).  Her leg has gotten stronger; she is able to stand on it (we perform an exercise having her standing and shifting her weight from the strong leg to the weak leg then back and forth for a few seconds on each leg).  The main problem is the weakness of the ankle which turns over (outward) when she tries to walk.  She was recently fitted with a flexible-type brace that goes under her foot in the shoe and up her calf – this keeps the ankle from turning and has given her more confidence when walking.  We are trying to have her wear this for several hours per day as advised by her therapist – is that the correct thing to do?  She performs several small exercises with her arm, hand and fingers; she is constantly holding her arm and straightening her fingers (she has never neglected her arm).  The therapists have given up on her arm (without saying this aloud of course).  We are at a loss as to what to do next.

Please, Rajul, help me if you can.  This situation has all but physically and emotionally exhausted my family and we don’t know where to turn next.  We cannot come to you but if you have any material that I may purchase, I would be so grateful.

Thank you for your time.

P.P.

Read more: Letter 44 - Please Help

Letter 43 - Hemmorrhagic Stroke - My mother

Dear Dr. Vasa,

My mother suffered from aintracerebralhemmorrhagic stroke on her left side on August 18th 2006. She had a surgery to stop the bleeding and reduce the swelling in her brain ( keep in mind that the physician gave us an option either we let her die slowly or perform the surgery with a poor outcome).

The Neurosurgeon gave her 3 days to live..then after the 3 days gave her 5 days to live...then he said that she would be on a ventilator and trach for the rest of her life. Just after a few weeks she was off the ventilator and after 2 months she trach was out. My mother started out at Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville, MD, then we heard of a brain injury center in Baltimore, MD , University Specialty Hospital..she was there for 3 months...here she came out of the coma after 4 weeks.

To make a long story short....University Specialty Hospital gave up on her..if it wasn't for the nurse who saw and was able to interact with my mother and see her alertness they would of kicked her out of the program.

She has past the swallowing test, and is know at Bethesda Nursing and Rehab located in Bethesda, MD..here she is finally getting the care and assistance that she needs. The speech therapist has already heard my mom say the word no.   The PT have been working hard on her since her arrival January 19th. However, today they gave us the news that because my mother doesn't have that "spark" in her body that they can not continue to work on her. My mom moves her neck, she tracts and shows expressions ( crying, laughing these are purposeful expressions) She has developed contractors on her right arm..and her left foot has turned inward, her right foot seems fine for now. She hold her neck up and look both left and right..although sometimes she tends to want to look at the right and her neck get's stiff...we use to think that it was because she wanted to be alone...but the PT said that it's a reflex.

After  hearing this news...I decide to look at other options for my 59 year old mother...who I know is in there and wants to move and is very strong...she has to be to come this far..I saw your website..and spent hours reading over and over the testimonials, and know and believe in my mothers strength that she will one day walk and talk again.

When you have a moment can you either email or mail me some information on your Vasa concepts...and from what I wrote is this something that will help my mother.   Thank you for your time.

P.P.
N. Potomac, MD

Read more: Letter 43 - Hemmorrhagic Stroke - My mother

Letter 42 - Message for Doctor Vasa

Dear Doctor Vasa,

I am writing to you from Paris (France)  : I found your web site by searching web sites about brainstrokes via “Google”

I  am 34 years old, I am a barrister, and I had a brainstroke in June 2005 (ischemic brainstroke in the right side)

My left leg, foot and hand  have been paralysed eversince.

During the first six months after this stroke, I could not walk at all,  so I was in a wheel chair.

I started to walk very slowly in January 2006 with a special stick (stick with 3 feet)

Now I walk without stitch when I am at home but when I go outside in the street to go shopping or to the doctor’s,  I need  a stick and a splint which goes from the foot to my knee.

I can move my arm just a  very little, but my hand is still paralysed : I can only use it to hold something but I have to put the object in it with my right hand first (I can close it but not open it .

I work very hard with physiotherapists  and I also see  an acupuncture Doctor once a week, but  I am scared of the future, and sometimes desperate, because the doctors of the first hospital where I was admitted told me that my arm and hand would remain paralysed for my whole life, which I can not accept :  I refuse to live handicaped, if a single handicap should remain I prefer to die.

I don’t know what to do, and would like to consult you, but you are very far, in India.Is it possible for you to come to Paris ?

And I have a question :  I understand English but I don’t understand the words “channelise” and “CNS” in the parts “My mission” and “Recovery” of your web site I looked for a translation in my dictionnary but I did’nt find any. Could you explain to me what it means ?

I hope very hard that you will answer to me

O.P.

Read more: Letter 42 - Message for Doctor Vasa

Letter 41 - gait and balance consultation

Dear Ms Raju lvasa

My relative aged 70 and diabetic sufferred a right hemispheric cortical infarct involving posterior limb anterior capsule and part of superior thalamus 6 months ago with normal fields,speech and cognition and a sensorimotor left hemiplegia. Now he has good proprioception and sensory awareness of both his hand and foot. His hemiplegia recovered to a hemiparesis.

He has gait and balance difficulties; I hope you would be able to give me some advice about how to address these.

He had received traditional physiotherapy based mainly on orthopedic rather than neurological standpoint; which has now ended and I am trying to do the therapy for him at home; that is why any advice would be very helpful and much appreciated.

There is no extensor synergy in the lower extremity, hip abductors and extensors are weak leading to a right pelvic drop during left midstance. hip flexors and hamstrrings are weak also  making intiation of left swing very difficult because he cant achieve proper toe clearance as his dorsiflexion is only perhaps to neutral with a toe catch. In addition there is a marked toe curling  due to hypertonicity appearing on lifting the foot off ground and persisiting during left stance so he lands on the tips of his toes causing him pain and instability. it is probably part of a withdrawal mass synergy reflex. the upper extremity is much weaker with a marked dynamic flexor synergy.

I have attached a video of his gait for you to kindly assess please if possible. it may need an mpeg2 decoder download to open.

I hope you would be able to give me your advice as how to help him.

thank you very much and i look forwards to hearing from you at your earliest convenience please.

Sincerely

 

Dr H.S.S, MD
Lecturer of Ophthalmology
Egypt.

Read more: Letter 41 - gait and balance consultation

Letter 40 - Brain Stroke Treatment

Respected Dr Vasa,

I , SeemaSampat would request your kind self to allow my mother Ila P Parekh to get treatment under your supervision , Her history was of brain Stroke,She suffered a severe slurring of speech on 9th of Feb 2011 with BP 240/140 , When we reached hospital she had a severe brain haemorrage . There was a mid line shift and needed a craineatomy on the left side immediately. She was on ventilator for 10 days , DR SaroshKatrak (her neurologist ) said it was "GLOBAL AFISIA" .

No comprehension, no speech , no understanding and dense hemiplegia on right side. Gradually after tracheostomy got sealed speech came back but it is JURGAN and irrelevant talking and cant understand anything. Few words come naturally and fluently.

We have heard about you from patients and other fellow being in the sanatorium , They all vouch for you and personally imy self was touched to see the vast difference you have made to patients life.

Mam give us an opportunity to work under you ,We will equally work hard with your guidance at home.

We here want to achieve that patient should get independent at least be able to speak and and convey her thoughts and understand our commands .

My father is a Parkinson patient and is bed ridden . It was my mom who did all the work for him. I do not have any sibling. Mother looked after my 3 year old son , He expects Nani to tell him stories .Its my mothers will power who wants to bounce back for her husband and my son.

It was a GOD send message that we got privileged to know you. Thank you for being a light in our lives and guide us , So many of us would be indebted to you all through out our lifes.

Kindly give is an opportunity to work under your kind self.

I have gone thru your site www.brainstrokes.com and the testimonial and videos , I am very  touched by the way patient have made progress under your supervision , The confidence within me has increased 3 fold after seeing and reading about you and your work and dedication , Yours is a totally different approach balancing with exercise , power etc. The healing process of brain generally deteriorates after a certain time but my view changed after reading the testimonials on your site.

My trust and confidence has increased so much that this is the only way i will get my mom out of it ,Infact she as a patient saw others at Moorarji sanatorium and was her self determind to do work and speak well.

under your guidance Its different and very worthy. What we have done in past 1 month after her discharge like physio and speech therapy hasn't shown us much of a improvement,

After watching all your patients working towards one goal under your supervision was indeed a ray of light to us as a family that Yes my mom can also recover with your unique therapy for brain strokes.

Mam we need your blessings and your single touch to my mom with our full support will change her life .

Thanking you

Yours Sincerely

Read more: Letter 40 - Brain Stroke Treatment

Letter 39 - Vasa Concept

I stumbled across your site in search of correcting my walk, balance, and general proficiency of my left side. Almost 10 years ago, when i was in elementary school, I suffered a stroke. After being examined at the hospital, It was found that I had a brain tumor, meduloblastoma I believe it was called. Prior to the surgery for removing the tumor I only recall trouble (in my left leg and balance) walking..otherwise I didn't do much movement. After surgery though, I could barely move or control my left side. My parents and I were told that some of the nerves to my left side came out with the tumor. They thought I might not walk again. After use of a wheelchair, walker, and cane for about 3 years, I can walk unassisted almost naturally but still awkward and clumbsily and use my left arm for simple tasks. This, as well as not being able to run, jump, and catch makes me very self conscious. I would like to be back to normal, and I am seeking any help or advice you could give.

Thank you,

N.T.

Read more: Letter 39 - Vasa Concept

Letter 38 - Help

Hello Rajul!  So wonderful to visit your website and read about the Vasa Concept.  I am very interested to learn more.

I had a massive stroke one year ago at age 30 - due to the birth control pill causing a blood clot (pulmonary embolism).  Today, my recovery is well except my foot and hand , left side, they both suffer spasticity - the spasicity is in my calf muscle causing rigidity in my foot, toe curling, etc - but no contracture yet.  My left hand - flexors work well but my extensors not working... so foot and hand suffer similarly.

What can I do?  I have had botox treatment on my calf, this helps the walking but I know does not help the root of the problem.  How can I get my hand to open voluntarily?  I dream of being able to type 2 handed again.

Please let me know more - how can I get informatioin on these specific things?  I already do so many exercises each day - I thiki need something more than exercise.

I appreciate your help - please write back soon!

Thank you!

M

Read more: Letter 38 - Help

Letter 37 - Request for information - Help needed

Hello Dr Vasa,

My name is M, my family and friends call me Mel, please feel free to call me that too. I have just come across your website, and I am so excited! I hope you can help me. I did not have a stroke, but I had a brain bleed on the right side of my brain five years ago in May. I have been left with partial paralysis on my left side. My body has become a lot stronger than it used to be when the bleed initially happened, but it is still weak, and I walk with a limp, being manly due to the fact I have quite bad foot drop and have to swing my leg to clear my toes so I don't trip up, the toes on my left foot curl up when ever I walk, it hurts sometims. I have also noticed my left leg  has become quite a bit shorter than my right leg, which I guess makes the limp worse? Even my left lung and left side of my stomach muscles seem to be very weak. I cant swing my left arm back in a full circle, it feels like something stops it from making the full motion. My speech is fine, although i do notice at time my mouth and lips get a bit weak and slurry if that makes sense? When it first happened, I was in the hospital with my family around me, the Doctors walked in on only the second day I was there, and told me that i should be prepared for the fact I might never walk again, this was even before they had started me on physio therapy, which I have found quite useless in my efforts to get back my control. But I fought my way through, and I went from a bed, to a wheel chair to crutches, now just to wearing a  foot brace to help with the foot drop, I feel proud of myself. I have fought through the depression, even though there are days I feel angry and sad and frustrated that I haven't been able to find a simple miracle that I knew in my heart was out there, but tonight, I know I found it in the incredible work you do, I feel this is what I need to heal and recover completely, and I know that I will recover completely, I always have. I am so desperate to have my body back, the freedom I once had, such joy it was, and something I always took for granted. Some days I sit and watch people walk by, and I think to myself, wow, you are so lucky to be able to walk without even thinking about it, without a care in the world, that's how i used to be, I deeply desire to be not lucky,  but blessed to walk this earth so freely like that again. I ask you to please help me, I will be an excellent student, I will work hard everyday, and I will spread the word of your amazing work to those I know who are just as desperate as I am to be free again. I live in Australia, but I will be moving to England to  be with my husband, I'm very sorry but is there anyway you would be able to work with me if you have time, from distance? How much will this cost, I am happy to pay what ever you say, somehow I will find the money that I need to do this work along side you, my teacher and healer, if you can help me, I would be forever grateful. Please can you contact me as soon as you are able.

Thank You

Mel.

p.s. I can’t wait to put on a pair of high heels again and go dancing with my  husband :) I know I will one day soon.

Read more: Letter 37 - Request for information - Help needed

Letter 36 - My mother's stroke

Dear Dr. Vasa,

I come from Slovenia (Europe) and my English is not  good. I found your pages on web and I think you may help my mother. She is 73 years old. She had major ishemic stroke 8 years ago. It left her left side paralyzed (mostly her leg). Her balance is also very poor. She walks very slowly. 6 years she walked with cane, but now she doesn't  use cane anymore although she walks  slowly. I think her major problem is balance. Somethime she has muscle cramps. She also has intential tremor.

I would like to help her. Can you send me please any information about your concept and about payment?

Thank you very much!

With kind regards,

M.J.
Slovenija, Europe

Read more: Letter 36 - My mother's stroke