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Brian C

June 2, 2015

I am ... A Survivor

I had my Stroke recently, April 30th, 2015, a day like any other.   I had asked my sons if they wanted to take the dog for a walk with me and they agreed.  The walk is around 2 miles long with a steep hill climb at the end, I have done it many years since it is right by our house. Once again walked the hill with a bit of exurtion and winded when I got to the top of the hill but felt good and we continued home. Once home I went to the computer to check on email.  I thought someone had brushed up against my left arm and looked over to see who was there.  No one was there and I noticed my left arm felt heavy but when I touched the arm I had no sensation.  I got up and could walk just fine so I walked up the hallway to my sons room and said call 911.  He just heard jibberish since I could no longer speak correctly.  My son said "what did you say"?  I tried to repeat and he said 911?  So my one son called 911 and my other son I tried to ask to get me an aspirin cause I thought I was having a heart attack.  I did not know the symptoms of Stroke at all.  I did take the aspirin and I found out later that was a bad thing to do because we did not know what kind of stroke it was.  The paramedics got to my house in 5 minutes and transported me to a Stroke center that was luckily 15 minutes away.  I got a MRI and CT scan to confirm a blood clot and was given the drug tPA all within 1.5 hours of the Stroke.  Within 20 minutes of getting tPA my speech started returning and my arm was getting movement and feeling back.  It was a miracle because I left the hospital 2 days later with no effects of the stroke at all.  I had an MRI 3 weeks later and the Neuro Surgeon had trouble finding where my Stroke had occured because it was so small on the MRI.  When I first got to the hospital the first MRI showed a large MCA so I was so fortunate.   

I believe my sons saved my life or save me from disability because I only had a cell phone and would never have been able to tell 911 where I was.  They would have had to trace the call which would have taken critical time.  The Doctors have not been able to find a reason for the stroke.  I had a physical 2 months before the stroke and was told I am a healthy 56 year old man.  No high blood pressure (never took meds), heart good,  cholesterol good, no Diabetis, no family history of Stroke, quit smoking 20 years ago.  My Doctor thinks it could have been due to Dehydration (thickens the blood), then the walk and hill climb which cause the heart to beat fast which may have had a clot by then and sent the clot to the brain, but that is just a guess from the Doctor.

I do know that I have changed my lifestyle for the better.  I use to drink diet soda at least one a day and now drink 8 glasses of water a day and no more diet soda (diet soda is bad stuff I am learning).  I am exercising 5 or 6 days a week now.  I eat plenty of Tuna and Wild Salmon many days of the week.  I had a very stressful job that I had left two months before the Stroke.  My Doctor said that probably also added to the reasons for the Stroke so I will find a job that does not come along with all the stress.  I have lost 10 pounds and plan on losing another 20.  

I really believe I was given a 2nd chance and a wakeup call and I am going to take advantage of this gift to be able to spend many more years with my wife, kids and family...

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