I suffered a right hemisphere ischemic stroke 3 years ago, at the age of 47. I had no known risk factors and did not really even know what a stroke was. I believe my lack of knowledge had a lot to do with my age because no one in my peer group had experienced a stroke. I received excellent health care and rehab services, and soon realized I was a very lucky survivor. I experienced almost complete paralysis on my left side (and I was left-handed). I needed to learn how to sit up, stand, ambulate, and eventually walk again. I have learned how to become right handed, and can do some things that require two hands, like cooking and crafts such as beading and card-making. My other accomplishments include learning how to drive a car again, re-entering the work force, and engage in regular exercise at the local Y. I have also been able to vacation with my husband and two children, which to me was a very sweet sign of normalcy for our family. My family has been very supportive of my physical and emotional challenges in dealing with stroke. I believe that I have a new strength and wisdom that I did not have before stroke hit our family.
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