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I would encourage you to talk directly to your neurologist about these concerns. He or she knows the specifics of your stroke and also your current risk of having another stroke.
With regard to your driving, there are multiple things to take into consideration:
1) Do you still have seizures?? A repeat EEG or 24 hour EEG will answer this question. Some seizure activity can take place without your being aware of it.
2) Are you physically strong enough and coordinated enough to be able to manage driving? If you are receiving occuptional therapy or physical therapy, your therapist should be able to help you answer this question.
3) You are on multiple medications. Some of these can cause drowsiness and sedation as well as uncoordination that may affect your driving safely.
4) The pain in your head and the dizziness both could certainly interfere with your ability to drive. As eager as you may be to become independent again and to drive, be honest with yourself when deciding whether or not these will impair your driving.
5) If you are cleared by your doctor to drive, take a test drive with a well-trusted friend or family member who will be honest with you about your driving abilities, someone who will tell you whether or not they think you are able to drive well enough to be safe. You have already suffered from this stroke. You do not need to be injured or injure anyone alse in a car accident.
As far as AIRPLANE travel goes, again I would have you speak to your neurologist. You do not say when the stroke was, but it should be at least 2 weeks since you had the stroke before you consider flying. This is the AMA (American Medical Association) recommendation.
I believe your primary concern with airplane travel is your risk of developing clots that may cause another stroke. The prolonged sitting with airplane travel has been shown to increase the risk of blood clots and as a result stroke and pulmonary embolism (blood clot that travels to the lung).
IF your doctor gives you the OK to travel by airplane, you need to take the following precautions to prevent the development of clots in your legs:
1) Take a walk around the cabin at least every hour.
2) While you are seated exercise your legs by bending your knees and by rotating your ankles and flexing them up and down. Point your toes to your head and away from your legs repeatedly.
3) Wear support stockings. Make sure theye do not bind you.
4) Drink plenty of fluids, but not caffeine or alcohol. Both of these can dehydrate you.
As far as returning to work, you are in the best position to make this decision along with your doctor. Depending on what kind of work you do, you may be able to return soon or you may have to delay your return. Again, your medications and the pain and dizziness may interfere with your ability to do your job. You should be able to judge is this will be a problem.
You also need to be able to have rest breaks and not become physically or psychologically exhausted while you do your job.
I hope this information has been helpful!! Please let me know if I can clarify anything or if I can give you anymore information!!! I wish you the best in your recovery!!
Take Good Care Nancy
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