Ticia Miller’s Stroke Experience
I am writing to you in regards to my heart attack and stroke. I was just the opposite of a poster child for such an episode. I was extremely active. I trained with a personal trainer three times a week; a grueling workout. My trainer also trained pro athletes and showed me no preference. I ran or power walked every day three to five miles. I was an extremely healthy eater with sweet tea my true vice.
Although my grandfather on my father’s side had had a stroke that took everything from him except the use of his arm and speech. I always marked it up to unhealthy living. My mother’s family also had a string of heart and stroke problems. But once again I assumed life choices played a part. So when I began I started to feel a little weak; lethargic. I cut my regime in half for the week. I had just recently lost my father, whom I had taken care of at home for a year (he had kidney, lung, bone and brain cancer) and my doctor suggested that I had been running on overdrive to get through it. That now my body was just telling me it was time for a rest.
Later that week in the gym, I had a severe muscle pull which resulted in my first ever use of crutches. This I found out later was a tell tale sign that my heart wasn’t getting blood to my limbs as it should. Four days later, after months of complaining of chest pains and dizzy spells (which I was told were panic attacks) I had my first heart attack followed a few days later by a stroke; a massive stroke. That took most of my memory and the entire right side of my body.
I had a series of transient ischemic attacks and mini heart attacks in the months to follow. In the course of things, I also lost my businesses and my insurance. I was told to get my affairs in order.
It has been an uphill battle. One I still fight. Funny, though once the outer appearance and motor skills returned people just assume your "over it" but getting back the energy, memory, brain function are the most difficult for me. I still have days from time to time where I feel like a stroke "victim" and with that can come fear and sadness. I find I need to remind myself daily that I’ve come SOOO far in my battle. The hardest part for me is not having a sense of I’ll get back to the old girl, but finding the NEW girl this experience has made me. Every day is a journey. Every day I learn to embrace the NEW me. To embrace each day as a step forward to a finding out who this NEW girl is...