Bengt Kedner has been severely tested. After his first stroke in 1997 he has been afflicted by four more in the space of a few years. If you ask him how he’s managed to pick himself up time after time he says.
– I have always been good-humoured and I’ve managed to maintain that. That’s what saved me.
He found himself in the prime of his life, 42 years old, married with two children, three and five years old. It all went fast for this workaholic, perhaps a little too fast.
– When I had my first stroke in 1997 I made no connection between the symptoms and sickness. I thought it was a common cold, or at worst influenza. I had no idea stroke could affect a man of 40 years old, says Bengt who recovered quickly that first time.
Unsteady on his legs
The year after, in the spring of 1998, came the big blow. Bengt found himself at his job as a salesman of workshop equipment.
– I felt a little strange, but once again thought that it was influenza symptoms. I went home and went to bed.
When his family came home, Bengt said that he was coming down with a cold. His wife believed him, and gave the children a lift to their afternoon activities, whilst Bengt went to bed and slept for a couple of hours.
– When I woke I felt strange.
He took a shower in hope that it would stop whatever was happening to him, in him.
– I should have seen that something was wrong, very wrong. I had to lean against the walls to keep my balance, and the shower didn´t help.
Bravely, Bengt managed to return to the bedroom to fall asleep again. When Bengt’s wife came to bed, she was worried. Something was not right with her husband so she called an ambulance.
At hospital, there was no doubt that he had had a massive stroke, and there were still traces of the earlier one. The ambulance continued to Sahlgrenska hospital in Gothenburg. By that time, Bengt could not feel his right-hand side, and had difficulty in talking.
After a few weeks’ treatment Bengt was well enough that he could be discharged to a treatment home for further rehabilitation. In a while he regained a part of his mobility and was discharged.
– I couldn’t work anymore, so I was pensioned off through sickness at 43 years old says Bengt, and leaves a meaningful silence.
Three strokes within three years
In 2007 it was time for stroke number three, and in the spring of 2009 came strokes number four and five with only a month between them. Bengt, who always liked to be outside, found himself in the field collecting branches and tidying up. Suddenly he had difficulties in walking.
His right-hand side was already weakened from earlier strokes, but this time his left-hand side was affected too. He also lost the ability to open his eyes.
– Luckily I had my mobile telephone with me and could ring my wife who called an ambulance.
When the ambulance arrived, Bengt could see nothing, and had neither feeling nor mobility in his left-hand side.
– This stroke was different in that the haemorrhage affected the right brain hemisphere, unlike the first four.
Once again it was Sahlgrenska hospital in Gothenburg that provided his care. The team of doctors were amazed how one person could be afflicted by so many strokes.
– I went through 36 different examinations but the doctors found nothing wrong with me.
Got swallowing difficulties
As a complication of the last stroke Bengt found himself under attack from yet another angle. Luckily he was at the hospital when it happened.
– I was eating a good dinner when suddenly a vegetable got stuck in my throat. The situation became dramatic.
Bengt’s wife, who was visiting, called for help and after some difficulty his windpipe was cleared. It was decided that he, after his fifth stroke, was suffering from dysphagia, swallowing difficulties.
For three months he could not be fed via the mouth and his weight crashed from 85 kg to 65 kg, this in a man 187 cm tall. A month before he was released he had a PEG operated in, a tube in the stomach, because Bengt had great difficulties with his pharynx; which was paralysed.
Bengt welcomed the PEG with good humour even if he, of course, wished that one day he would regain the ability to eat via the mouth again. Other difficulties were the effect on his short-term memory, and indistinct speech.
– The paralysis in the left-hand side of my body eased a little, but otherwise my progress was only marginal.
The Kedner couple came across the IQoro neuromuscular trainer for reasons other than Bengt’s swallowing difficulties.
– We got a tip from a good friend on a training device that was effective against snoring. According to my wife I was destroying the peace in the house both with snoring and with worrying gaps in my night time breathing, says Bengt.
Ordered IQoro for snoring
After a couple of weeks careful studying of the MYoroface website, Bengt acted and ordered one. The results were immediate.
– My wife thought it was wonderful! After a month, my snoring reduced by half, and after another two or three weeks I suddenly felt that my pharynx was beginning to ease. It was then that I understood that IQoro helped with swallowing difficulties too.
Bengt also noticed how his indistinct speech slowly improved, as did his ability to drink liquids. Difficulty in drinking liquids is a common impairment after a stroke.
Increased mobility after stroke
Bengt’s improvements have continued since then. His swallowing ability is improved even if there is a little way still to go.
– But the difference is like night and day compared with when I began. Today I can eat half of a meal, compared with only around 10 % before I started using IQoro.
The PEG in his stomach is still there, but of course, Bengt hopes to be free of this in the future.
Recently there have been other unexpected improvements in an area Bengt did not think he could affect. 18 years after the first major stroke he suddenly can use his right-hand side again.
– I had never dared to dream of that. It began early last summer when I began to feel how I could tap my toes on the floor, and now a few months later I can walk well without support, says Bengt proudly.
Bengt has never had a medical explanation to all his strokes. Although he has now become aware that the risk for heart and circulation diseases like stroke increase with sleep apnoea, a risk that he now hopes is eliminated with both snoring and sleep apnoea a distant memory.
– It was just happy coincidence that we came across IQoro. That training device has meant everything to me. I am living proof that this really helps and I would very much like to tell others about it if they wish to know.
Today he can eat his favorite fruit – apple – without choking, and also take a well-earned sip of his favorite drink: beer.