As a business owner you are working 24/7 and that puts a lot of stress on your health but being a 42 year old man you don't actually think about it. I sure didn't until one day in February.
It was a normal week, making calls to my managers to see how things are going. At the time my businesses were located in Indiana while I was living and working out of my house in Michigan. My wife was in Indiana training new employees and checking up on all the locations.
Then on the Friday, I woke up with a headache, I got up took a shower went downstairs made coffee and started my day. I made a few phone calls and had an issue with my management. After a few phone calls I told my manager, you deal with it I have a huge headache and I'm going to take the weekend off.
Saturday and Sunday came and went and my headache was getting worse. At this point I was sure it was a head cold and it would go away soon.
Monday morning, I woke up and heard my teenage kids leave for school, it was around 7am and I still had the headache so I figured I'll sleep in a couple hours more. Around 10am I woke up, got out of bed and felt like something popped in my head and I started feeling dizzy. I sat dow for a few minutes then took a shower got dressed and went to the grocery store. My head was pounding, at times it was so bad my vision was blurry.
I got back home, called my wife to see how things are going and to tell her Happy Valentines Day. I didn't tell her about my headache.
I started making dinner so when our kids got home we can eat. At this point I was sweating. I sat down until our kids came home, set the table and had a early dinner. My son notice how much pain I was in and said dad you need to go to the hospital. I told him if I don't get better in the next couple hours I'll go.
An hour later my son came into the kitchen and found me sitting on the floor in the corner sweating and shaking really bad. He called out to my daughter, they out me in the car and drove me to the emergency room. There they took me in immediately and did tests. The tests showed that I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. They transported me by ambulance to a hospital that better staffed for stroke victims.
When I arrived there I was monitored closely then move to ICU where I spent 3 days in before being transferred to a regular room. The neurologist told me that if I waited another hour I would be in a coma or dead, that I was a very lucky man. I had no physical or mental issues resulting from the stroke. I was in the hospital recovering for 3weeks. My life completely changed. I would not be able to continue to operate my business if I wanted to live. I was in such a bad place, worrying how I'm going to take care of my family, how I'm going to pay for college for all 3 kids which my oldest was in a university at the time. How am I going to support them, my wife and I's future, our plans. It all went to hell.
This caused me to get very depressed especially when I sold all the businesses and now I was feeling like nothing. I didn't show my pain, I put a smile on when someone was around me.
I fought with this feeling for 4 years until one morning I got up and said, the stroke took away slot from me but it can't take my life or my family so I am a winner a survivor and I should pick my head up and move forward.
Its now been almost 5 years since my stroke. I still fight with depression but won't let it take over. I am looking to get back to work but not as a business owner but as an employee. It's a big change but I am strong enough to overcome it and be successful in other ways. I have a beautiful wife who stood by me in good and bad times and never gave up on me, and I have 3 wonderful children that have finish college and are working in their careers they chose. I am a very proud father and my family is my biggest success!
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