FIVE strokes and ONE IQoro later
For Bengt Kedner, who has been afflicted by stroke five times, the IQoro neuromuscular training device, delivers quality of life in a daily battle with his swallowing difficulties and snoring. Most recently, his mobility in his right-hand side has been restored.
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.
Hit by a stroke in the prime of life - IQoro turned things around.
Helene Andersson was only 39 years old when she had a stroke after an incident on the ski slopes.
With a hectic job in advertising she excused her balance, memory and concentration problems as being the result of stress or the start of middle age. The doctors had no explanation either. After two weeks Helene went back to work armed with a neck brace and morphine tablets.
Five years later, 2008 when the big stroke hit, they could see the traces of two earlier attacks. Thanks to the neuromuscular treatment IQoro Helen got help – a year after the event – with her speech- and swallowing difficulties, and life took a new turn.
Share in Helen’s uplifting Friday mail to us at MYoroface:
“What a fantastic invention IQoro is!
When I was struck by Wallenberg’ syndrome (a rare condition in which an infarction, or stroke, occurs in the lateral medulla. This condition is also sometimes called lateral medullary infarction)
there was nobody who told me what dysarthria (speech difficulties) and dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) were. Very poor, when we know that they are common after such a stroke. I got certain help from a speech and language therapist to help me learn to swallow again, but it didn’t work properly. The muscles in the esophagus and mouth were weakened, and food often got stuck in my throat. My speech became slurred, I found it difficult to articulate myself, suffered from acidic reflux, was always phlegmy in my throat - and snored like a little pig!
It was first, seven years later, that it was discovered that I had had a severe hiatus hernia. A contributing factor was the weakened musculature. My only alternative – according to the doctors – was an operation that would have to be repeated every other year. Operations after three strokes? No thank you! I just didn’t dare.
I was still in my 40s and wondered if the rest of my life would be characterised by slurred speech and acidic reflux? Then I stumbled over IQoro. Now I have exercised for roughly a year with this neuromuscular training device. The acidic reflux, phlegmy cough and snoring disappeared bit by bit, pretty quickly. Nowadays I speak markedly better and I can even read text out loud to a greater degree than before. My self-confidence has had a boost too. Recently, I did something I never dared to dream of doing: I held a speech at a 60-year birthday party. It was a big challenge, but I dared because I don’t slur any more.
IQoro has meant a lot for my husband as well who is a professional chauffeur. He has been troubled by snoring and sleep apnoea for many years. Today, he is completely free of trouble and wakes fit and fully rested every morning - of great importance in his profession.
It should be everybody's right to get the chance to rehabilitate themselves with IQoro. For me, my little turquoise friend has been a big miracle.
I just want to say thank you!"
Helene Andersson, Orust
‘Never ill’ Eine struck by stroke
Back in 2011 Eine fell so badly that she struck her head and suffered a stroke. That led to a problem with speech, balance and swallowing difficulties. Thanks to a new treatment method however, Eine could soon begin to speak and swallow again, and today is fit again.
Eine and Lars Sellman work as a team, finishing each others’ sentences and agreeing with each other. The atmosphere around them is electric and you can’t miss the warmth between them. The couple had left the hurly burly of the big city for a peaceful village in the countryside.
– I ran a dental hygiene practice in town, but sold it when I became a pensioner, to concentrate on my interest in dogs instead, says Eine.
The race that Eine loves, is the Giant Schnauzer, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was her hobby that literally led to her fall. One morning it was livelier than usual in the puppy room on the bottom floor of the three-story house. Her husband Lars was still in bed.
– I rushed a bit too much, tripped and banged my head.
No words came out
On shaky legs, she went to the kitchen sofa to catch her breath a little. Tough Eine, who doesn’t seem to be the type to complain unnecessarily, thought that there was nothing to worry about. She wasn’t bleeding after all. Her husband Lars, who rushed to the rescue, was of another opinion however.
– He insisted that we should ring the hospital. Absolutely unnecessary! I was just a little giddy and had trouble with my balance. But Lars won this one and contacted a clinic and made an appointment for later that afternoon.
The clinic referred Eine to the hospital. Staff there, wondered if Eine perhaps would like to be collected by ambulance.
– Not a chance that I am going to lay in an ambulance! Lars will drive me, said Eine in a tone that could not be argued with.
At the hospital, they performed a computer tomography. Eine´s blood pressure was sky high so she was admitted with observation every fourth hour. Some days later she was discharged. Eine was not given any proper explanation that she had in fact been afflicted by a stroke as a result of the fall. But this would become clear during the car journey home.
– Suddenly I could not speak, and I wondered what the hell was going on.
Despite his wife’s stubborn protestations, Lars contacted the clinic again. Now Eine´s blood pressure was up at 250, and there was no longer any doubt. Eine had had a stroke.
The couple describe the period after the diagnosis as a whirlwind. It took a month before Eine was called to the stroke care team at the hospital. During this time, it was the husband who was responsible for talking, because his wife could only utter a few simple words. In addition, Eine had swallowing difficulties and problems with her balance, symptoms that are common after a stroke.
Found IQoro on Google
– The visit to the stroke care team was nothing to write home about either, says Eine as she shakes her head.
She tells us about the referral to a speech and language therapist, somebody who she had first met several months earlier. According to Eine, wasted time. The speech and language therapist wondered what was wrong with her and how she could help.
– But she must have heard that I could hardly speak! The therapist thought that I seemed fit and asked me to come back only if I got worse.
It’s not difficult to understand that the couple’s despair when the health care system failed them. As a result, they began themselves to search for help on the net. They wanted to know everything about stroke, and therefore joined the stroke association. It was also via their members’ newsletter Stroke News that the couple read about the new treatment method of a research-based neuromuscular exerciser.
– Through my profession as a dental hygienist I knew that the treatment method was logical. I sort of recognised the thinking from my own profession. When I googled the background and also found that it was a dentist behind the product, I ordered one immediately.
In the middle of July 2015, Eine started with the IQoro neuromuscular exerciser. From the beginning, she exercised intensively and the results did not take long to appear. Speech came back bit by bit, and her swallowing ability improved markedly, as did the strength in her facial musculature.
– Stupidly enough I began to slack off though, says Eine a little ashamedly.
During the autumn, she suffered a real setback in her swallowing ability.
– It was dramatic. We had good friends visiting us when I suddenly felt how my food had got stuck. I had to run away and was nearly sick.
That setback made Eine understand that she had to stick to the instructions in the training manual. That is, three sessions per day, before mealtimes, and for a few months. And then to continue with ‘maintenance training’ as required.
– I have always lived an active life and I want to continue to. I absolutely don’t want to experience the same setback again, she says as she pats one of her much-loved dogs. And as the cream on the cake, she has also cured her snoring.
– Lars hasn’t though. I have told him that he should starting using IQoro as well, laughs Eine as she passes over the challenge to her husband.
TAGE takes control with IQoro
One person who knows what training with the neuromuscular device IQoro means for swallowing ability is Tage Storm, who lives in a residential care home for the elderly in Rogsta. After his most recent stroke, Tage lost the ability to eat via the mouth, and had a PEG surgically inserted.
But after his treatment with IQoro, Tage can eat via the mouth again.
It is just over a year since Tage and his wife Ingrid moved in to the comfortable two-room apartment in the elderly care home on the outskirts of Hudiksvall. When his third stroke hit, it became difficult for Tage to look after himself at home and, because Ingrid is of a similar age, they made a joint decision to move together.
– We like it here, says Tage.
In the wake of his last stroke, Tage became afflicted by dysphagia - swallowing difficulties which made it impossible to eat via the mouth. His food leaked down into his lung causing recurring pneumonias, and his reduced mobility in the left-hand side of his body caused him to drool upsettingly.
– No, it was no fun, says Tage, who has a healthy appetite, and longed so much for the taste of food in his mouth that he cheated and thus brought upon himself a new pneumonia.
However, his ambition to in some way cure his swallowing difficulties was satisfied when he was referred to a doctor who prescribed an IQoro.
– That’s bloody good that is! says Tage and proudly shows off his turquoise IQoro
Working together with the personnel at the care home he quickly got the hang of the training and started to exercise three times per day, before meals. After about one month’s diligent training Tage got approval from his dietician, Barbro Karelius, to switch to eating orally, albeit with modified foods.
– There is a world of difference! Tage has made enormous progress, says his nurse Hans-Olov Sjöblom at the home. and goes on to tell us that Tage is now eating normally again via his mouth.