I had a stroke on May 20,2012. I was fortunate to have my husband witness my stroke from the beginning so although I could understand everything he was saying to me, I could not speak and my right side was paralyzed. I was also fortunate that I was minutes from a local emergency department that diagnosed my stroke, gave me TPA and transferred me quickly to a nearby Comprehensive Stroke Center for a thrombectomy where a clot was removed from my left middle cerebral artery. I spent 3-4 days in a Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit prior to discharge. Like others I was in shock. I could not evaluate my functioning and deficits. I felt so lucky that I could walk and talk. I returned to work as a Clinical Social Worker at a large pediatric hospital in 4wks. Although I feel very fortunate that I did not have more physical disability, after 2 yrs of trying to function at my job of 25 yrs. my co-workers and I became aware of my cognitive deficits and I needed to apply for long term disability (for which I was approved). I worked with people with disabilities for over 35 yrs, but only now am I aware of how being even a little "different" might feel. But because of my stroke some wonderful things also began to happen. I am much more compassionate, more empathic, more sensitive and so much more humble. I am not sure what my future holds but I take one step at a time. I would very much like to volunteer to be of help to others and their families who have experienced a stroke.
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