Larry Gerhardt is 65 years old and is a lover of horses. But after he suffered a stroke back in February, his day-to-day life became pretty off-kilter.
"Got up in the morning, got dressed and ready to go to work and felt a little dizzy, like when a person gets out of bed too fast," says stroke victim, Larry Gerhardt. "And I thought well, that'll go away." After making a trip to the emergency room, doctors still couldn't find anything." I thought, well maybe in my head something's bleeding and they ain't found it and I could bleed to death or anything," says Gerhardt. And it wasn't until Larry's second visit to the ER that doctors discovered he had suffered a stroke.
"Nothing showed up on the examination even until the symptoms evolved further," says St. Alexius Neurologist, Dr. Shiraz Hyder. Doctors say the symptoms of a stroke depend on which blood vessel in the brain is being affected. And the place where Larry's stroke was located was not very common.
"At times, the blood vessels in the back part of the brain can be affected, which can cause vague dizziness or unsteadiness," says Dr. Hyder.
"Feel sorry for yourself at first and you go through this kind of mad - you know, why me? I started thinking you know, Larry, if you don't get with it no body's going to do it for you. So that's the way she goes," says Gerhardt.
After a few days in the hospital, Larry began therapy sessions. "I couldn't even move my fingers," says Gerhardt. "This finger, this thumb...couldn't make a fist. One day I put a lot of pressure on it and I got 'er goin." Larry says each day is a working progress and even though some are harder than others, he's staying positive and looking forward to getting back on the saddle.
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Reporting Mark Charter