On New Years Eve 2003, I was a very happy camper in that my love of one year had asked me to marry him and we had planned to announce it to his family at dinner that night. While getting dressed to impress, I had a mild headache and did what I usually do when that occurred, I took an envelope of powered aspirin (Stanback). I had a very stressful job working as a Legal Office Administrator and Legal Assistant to a high powered attorney so I had been taking several packs of Stanback on a daily basis for months. Of course I knew better but I thought that my pesto/pollo vegetarian lifestyle would balance out any damage I was doing to my system. However, after taking the aspirin my left side seemed to feel numb as though it had gone to sleep. I thought it would subside but when it didn't I layed down for about 5 minutes and then decided to call 911. I wasn't quite sure what was happening but I knew something wasn't right. I told the operator I thought I was having a stroke. She asked if I could come to the door when EMS arrived and I told her no. At that point I fell on the floor vomiting uncontrollably. I pulled myself as close to the door as possible (I lived in an apartment building) and that's where the EMT's found me, on the floor. I had suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke. My family was told I would not make it through the night. I was in a coma for several days and awoke with complete paralysis on the left side. I didn't know anything about stroke at the time and thought this was just a temporary situation that I would soon completely recover from. Of course this was not the case. However, I think my story is different from many other Survivor in that I insisted on going back to my apartment to live alone rather than to either of my daughters' even though I was wheelchair bound and paralyzed on the left side. I did not have a caregiver or any therapy after my 30 days in the hospital but basically survived on my own by trial and error. My daughter grocery shopped and brought my meds to me once a month but I cooked, cleaned and cared for myself. Of course there's much more to my story but I'll end here by just saying that today I walk, drive, dance, and do most of what I use to, grateful that God gave me another chance at life. And yes, I still live happily alone and independent. G Jean Price
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