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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Reciprocal Empowerment
Reciprocal Empowerment
Healthcare Professional

Daily Inspiration
Daily Inspiration
Stroke Survivor

Sheila H.
Sheila H.
Survivor

James T.


Survivor

How Fast Life Can Change

My name is James Tisdale. I had my stroke on September 24, 2011 at the age of 45.

I left my house that day not having any idea that it would be three months later before I would come home again and how different life would be.

After collecting payments that morning from my lawn care customers, I stopped by the grocery store. While in the store I called my mom about coming to dinner that night. I noticed something weird about my speech. Then I couldn't hold my keys. I couldn't pick them up. Finally I did pick them up and my left foot started dragging behind me. I left the store and went and got in my jeep. I started to drive and called my wife while I was driving. I told her there was something wrong with my left side. She asked me where I was and I told her which store I was at. Then I dropped the phone and crashed into a bridge. I ended up on the other side of the road. I totaled the jeep and broke my right femur bone. Fortunately, no one else was involved the accident. My wife told me later that she thought I was still in the parking lot at the store. When I dropped the phone she said she called 911 and told them where I was at. She had no idea about the accident until she came up on it on the way to the hospital.

I was taken to a hospital about an hour away by ambulance. Our hospital didn't have the neurosurgeons on call at the time. We were told that my stroke was Ischemic with Hemorrhagic Conversion. I had a clot that the doctor removed and then had a bleed afterwards. I was paralyzed on my left side. I had no left peripheral vision and weak frontal vision in the left eye. After four days I had a steel rod put in my right leg. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital and then 3 weeks in the inpatient rehab at the hospital.

The next six weeks I spent doing inpatient rehab at a nursing facility. I was determined not to miss my seven year old daughters Christmas. So on December 24, 2011 I was able to come home for good. My wife was told by the therapists and nurses that I would probably not walk again (I could not move my leg or arm at all), and if I did it would be very limited.

On Christmas Day I moved the upper part of my left leg. The next week I started in home therapy in which I was taught to walk again. After three weeks I started outpatient therapy at a local hospital. I did that for about four months. At first I walked with a hemi-walker, then a quad cane, and after 9 months from the stroke, I started to use a single cane. I am walking some now without the cane. I'm still wobbly, but I'm getting better. I can only move my upper left arm very slightly every once in a while. No movement at all in the rest of my arm or hand. I still have no left peripheral vision, but the front vision has gotten much better. I am slowly getting used to only being able to use one arm for everything.

I have good days and bad. I never would have imagined this kind of change, but I am very blessed to have had a second chance at life.

 

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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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