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Section: health-and-wellness, behavior

Dear Ann Landers,
Will you please say something on behalf of recovering stroke victims? I had a stroke five years ago. My left side was paralyzed, my speech was unrecognizable and the prognosis was that I would leave the hospital in a wheelchair. Through sheer determination, I walked out with a cane. My manual dexterity has returned, and my voice and speech have made a major recovery. My legs are still shaky, but I can walk. People need to know that a stroke can mess up a person's emotions. One tends to laugh at the most inappropriate times and cry at the drop of a hat. Both are uncontrollable. After my recovery, I had a business making and repairing golf clubs. When I started to deal with strangers, the business went downhill. Recently, a woman at my pharmacy told me she had run into a couple who had been in my shop. They asked what was wrong with me because I sometimes laughed when nothing was funny. Most people think you are mentally incompetent if you do this. I have a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Business Administration. I taught myself to design Web sites at the age of 70. I am far from being an idiot. Please tell them. -- Bill in Illinois

Dear Bill,
You told them in a way far better than I could have. Thank you for educating millions of people today. They never will look at a stroke victim the same way again. Bless you, Bill.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
This is called pseudobulbar affect and can be managed with medication.
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Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat."
-Ann Landers