Orthopedic surgeon becomes patient after stroke at age 48

Friday, May 14, 2021 (Americans) heart Association News)

As always, Dr. Mike Napikku’s work was full. By early afternoon, the orthopedic surgeon had completed a total of three knee replacements and headed for surgery to repair the broken clavicle.

Throughout the day he felt a strange sensation. About every 10 minutes, he blunted his speech for about 20-30 seconds and felt numbness on the right side of his tongue.

Napikku was also a little insensitive, so cold.. He called his doctor’s friend and looked over him.

At the age of 48, Napikku’s life was busy with his practice, his wife and three children, volunteering, and playing bass in a local rock band. A former college football player regularly increased his weight, but it left little time for him to prioritize his health.

“I knew I had some High blood pressureBut I didn’t seek treatment or receive regular physiotherapy, “Napikku said.

A friend of the doctor checking out him at noon, Napikku heart It sounded normal.his blood pressure It has risen, but it’s not surprising. So Napikku went home, took a nap, and appeared at a meeting of the Worcester (Ohio) City School Board of Education, where he was president.

He fainted during the meeting. A fellow member helped him. Napikku entered the corridor to gather himself.

He returned to the room to finish the meeting.

“No way,” the principal told him. “You go straight to the ER.”

A cardiologist checked him and sent him home with a portable Holter monitor. electro-cardiogram, Record his heart activity.

During the night he got up, lost his balance and collapsed on his way to the bathroom.

He called his doctor’s friend the next day.

“I think we need MRI I bowed to see what was happening. “

The· MRI Showed what he had stroke.. Doctors also discovered that he suffered from vertebral artery stenosis. This is a stenosis that can reduce blood flow to the brain.Seems to be too late to do anything about stroke Because it has passed.

But when he got home, Napikku’s speech and balance deteriorated.

Another trip to the hospital resulted in an ongoing bridge diagnosis stroke, This affects the brainstem and often causes problems with balance and sometimes speech. The doctor understood all the causes, so Stent In Knapic’s brain, we will try to prevent further complications.

Still, there was a lot of damage.

“My speech was terrible, and my balance was really out of balance,” Napikku said. His life was upside down, he said, “but you can succumb to it and feel sorry for yourself or do something about it.”

Knapic visited rehab facilities three times a week for physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. For the other four days, he exercised himself, especially for dexterity.

“One of the first things I said to the therapist was,’Do what you need to do to get back to surgery,'” he said. “There are many things that are infiltrated into the muscles, but you have to awaken them.”

Another remedy, both mentally and physically, was to play the bass. He also took home surgical instruments and practiced manipulating them.

Four months after rehabilitation, Napikku had little abdominal exercise. Still, the physiotherapist said he had maximized his recovery.

“I thought to myself,’Oh, you didn’t,'” Napikku said.

He continued exercising himself and started working with a personal trainer. He eventually returned to the gym where he had previously trained. Recently, three and a half years later, he can do 50 sit-ups and 50 push-ups in a single workout.

Just as his recovery was to regain his skills, he was also trying to regain his identity.

Of course, that also included being a surgeon.

Initially, Knapic cast a shadow over his partner in office and surgery.Despite ongoing issues with balance and speech, the team believed that Napikku could resume his duties six months later. stroke.. The patient informed them of his compromised speech and received a letter assuring them that he was allowed to perform surgery.

“Mike is probably the most determined individual I’ve ever met,” said Kathy Lacobeck, his medical assistant for 20 years. “Since then stroke, That’s overkill. “


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Orthopedic surgeon becomes patient after stroke at age 48

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