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1 year later

June 9, 2014

I am ... A Survivor

1 year later

1 year ago June 9th my life change forever. The day started like most others, I went to the pool and did my morning shift, I still had a headache from the previous day, so I didn't think much of it except for the fact that it wasn't going away. Anyway I finished my shift and went home. I didn't really want lunch but I wanted to take a nap. I found out the Lehigh Valley heritage unit was coming and I let my friends know that were up north Railfanning, and I laid backdown. Becky found out it was coming and said "come on let's go get it at valley crossing." I had my headache and didn't wanna go, Becky knew something was wrong when I didn't wanna go. But I thought maybe if I went i'd feel better. We went and saw it and I immediately went home and laid back down. Becky was wanting to watch the Tony awards so I as she and her mom and grandma watched it downstairs I decided to lay on t couch upstairs in the game room. A bit later that evening few things came up that evening in a family matter and I got really stressed/upset. But was laying down to keep calm. As I laid there I felt the worst physical pains ever! Out of nowhere where my head was aching Already, It felt like someone took a baseball bat and hit me on the right side of my head! At the same time I smelled what smelled like burning electrical wires and could taste what tasted like a copper penny in my mouth. I thought I had fallen slightly off the sofa... I then realized my entire left side was as I it were dead... I knew then id had a stroke.... Not wanting to alarm Becky or anyone else I texted Becky and said "don't rush or anything but I need you to come up when you can" so during a break in the show she came up and I said "I think I need to go to the hospital" she started getting ready and I said "no you've wanted to watch your shown all week and I won't let you miss it!" So after I made her finish her show she took me to Doctors West Hospital. As soon as I got myself in, the nurse looked at me with a rather worried look and asked me what brought me in and as soon as I mentioned my symptoms within what seemed like 10 seconds a group of nurses and 3 doctors rushed out with a gurney and took me back and had me hooked up to a bunch of machines. Within minutes the head doctor and a team of doctors came in and they brought in a Ohiohealth connect monitor and the head nurse of Riverside Hospital's "Brain and Stroke ward of the ICU" was examining me via a Skype style setup. I was then transferred by ambulance to Riverside and admitted into that unit. I was very sick when in first got there and Becky was with me the whole time. How she managed to do her job, my job and come out and be there with me I'll never know! Then once I was stabilized, I had my visiting friends and even visits via Skype who helped me so much and encouraged me so much that 3 days later I was well enough to be transferred to their rehab unit where I learned to walk normal again, learned how to do all my normal tasks again, and many cognitive exercises that included how to remember words, how to use them, and even how to use money and such again. After a lot of hard work, and encouragement and help, love and support of my friends and family, 2 weeks later, I walked out of Riverside Hospital! Physically I'm at about 95% which is my "new normal", I only notice things no one else would. It did however leave me with what I call "invisible scars" which is PTSD/TBI as that was the portion of the brain that was mainly effected. That battle I fight every day, every hour of every day but I'm strong, and if not for all the love and support, prayers and encouragement of all of you I'd never have made it as far as I am today! All of my friends even those i met after my stroke help me everyday especially when I'm having a PTSD flareup or when I ask for prayer. I thank you all so much and I love you all! It may seem odd because most of you I know only through Facebook, but I love you all and can't thank you enough! God Bless you all!


Loved your story and determination.  My stroke was 6 days earlier.  I share so many of your feelings and sounds like you have the great support system that I was blessed with.  Life is different but I am doing great also.


Thanks for sharing your story.



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