I had a Brain Stem Stroke (Basilar Artery Occlusion) on April 29th, 2014. I was 28 years old. This is my story of what happened.
A Little Background
I am considered healthy. I was going to the gym 5 days a week, and was a all natural body builder. Even when I was 19 I always had a weird localized pain in the back right bottom of my head. Throughout the years it would come and go. About a week before the stroke I was at the gym and was doing bicep curls and I did this weird twitch thing with my neck. After I felt a bit lightheaded.
When I Started Noticing something was wrong
The next day I went to the gym and the Localized pain in the bottom right of my head was back. After my workout I went out to my car to drive home and looked in the reflection of my window and noitced there was something wrong with my vision. Specififcally my left eye. I knew something wasn't right. I drove home, later that night the pain in my head got worse, i took tyelenol and went to bed.
The next morning I woke up, went to work and the pain was unbearable. I told my boss, something is wrong and went to Millard Fillmore ER in Buffalo. They did a ct scan and found nothing, and sent me home.
The next day I woke up and I kid you not, I open my left eye and felt like it was in the middle of my head. I started panicking, and looking in the mirror. I had no idea what was going on. I called my mom and told her how scared I was. I decided to give it another hour to see if it would go away. At this time I had no idea I was going to be having a stroke but I knew something was wrong. As that hour went on, I called 911. The ambulace came to my apartment (I was by myself) By the time they got thereI had severe Vertigo and Dizziness, blurred vision, started losing balance, By the time they got there they had to help down the stairs, at that time all the symptoms were in full effect. Let me remind you that I have no memory loss, I remember everything.
In the Ambulance on the way to Millard Fillmore er I heard the paramedic say "he has 6th cranial palsy" I had no idea what that was but I knew it was not good. I remember getting to the hospital and I immediatley started puking. My blood pressure was 180/100. I don't know how long I was there but long enough where the stupid doctor gave me a spinal tap, not thinking anything about a stroke. They did another ct scan and it was the nurse who pointed out to the doctor "I think he is having a stroke" At this point I remember having a locked feeling. I felt like my whole body was cramped was; getting tighter, and all i could move was my eyes.
Once they determined I was having a stroke they rushed me to Buffalo General Vascular Gates. I remember getting there and immediately gave me an mri, me screaming " I don't want to die, I don't want to die". The neurosurgeon said, you're not going to die, I am going to save your life.
They ended up giving me TPA which is a clotbuster, and going through my groin and getting the bloodclot out. I remember waking up not being sure if I was in a dream or not.
After The Surgery
I was in Buffalo General for a week 1/2 total. On the second day after the neurosurgeons saved my life I started moving my body parts, My vision started coming back and realized I was alive and not paralyzed. On the 4th day the Occupational Therapist there helped me learn how to walk again. Everything came back so fast. The doctor said it was because I acted so fast, and because I am so young that I recovered. He said that only 15% of people who have that type of stroke are alive. The other percent don't make it or are paralyzed.
I am not the most religous person, but there was and is something looking out for me. I am so grateful, thankful and appreciatve for being alive. Life is beautiful, and everyone on here is strong, and I wish nothing but good outcomes and peace of mind.
After leaving Buffalo General hospital, I was on warfarin for 6 months. I have had numerous follow ups. Ct Scans, Mri, Mra, and my basilar artery has seemed to heal pretty well, and I was able to get off the warfarin. Now I take a baby asprin everyday.
I am lucky I have had a almost full recovery. The main thing I deal with now is living in fear. Anytime I get a pain in that localized spot, I freak out and get so scared that it is going to happen again. I also have had slight dizziness still a year and 1/2 later.
I thank you for providing this webpage to write and share my story, and want to say thank you to all the stroke survirors. You are not alone. We are not alone.
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