A Stroke Survivor's Story
Why Did this Happen to Me???
31 years old, great health and pregnant... What do you mean a stroke?
I had what I thought was a normal day at work. I arrived home, plugged in phone and went to shower. At that moment I felt as if legs and feet were numb. I remember falling over and standing up. I fell again and this time I remained on the floor unable to move. I had no idea what was happening and certainly had no idea I'd had a stroke.
I remained on the floor unconscious and was found about four hours later by the man I thought I would marry. With no idea what had happened, I arrived in the ER about 30 minutes to an hour later. I was not able to be airlifted due to weather so I taken to the closest hospital. My parents were contacted at this time. After arriving and told I had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke and needed surgery to remove the blood, they were told I had a 30 percent chance of living and that my unborn child would not make it through surgery. Luckily, that did not happen.
I remember waking up several times having no idea what had happened or where I was. After a week I could focus a little more. I now knew I'd had a a stroke and had no movement on my left side. I could not move, my vision was impaired and I could not talk. I could not drink a glass of water or eat. I remember not understanding what or why it all happened.
I spent 8 weeks in the hospital learning to walk again. I wish I could say it was an easy fight. However, it was not. I did not have someone standing in front of me saying it will come back. I had, "it might but no guarantee." So I pushed and tried so hard because I now had an unborn child who only had me to count on.
I was released from the hospital and continued therapy. I gave birth to my daughter three months after being released, with only some movement in my arm. February 3, 2010, was a three-year mark for me and my daughter. I can walk and run. I have about 70 percent movement in my arm, but very little movement in my hand and fingers. I have an amazing daughter and she is in perfect health. I just finished my second Relay for Life 24-hour walk and I use my story to show people things are possible.
I will never know why this happened to me. I ask myself and God. I used to cry every day, just consumed with self-pity. I have since realized I could help to change life for some. I use this part of my life to help explain to others how they can step out and help others. My daughter is amazing—kind and loving. She hugs often and smiles all the time. She has helped with Relay for Life and will even pack up old toys to donate to others. I can not say I have enjoyed this happening to me, but I can say it changed me as a person and allowed me to help others. I would like to think my family has changed as well. The willingness to participate in activities that benefit others is overwhelming. I am not sure even three years later if I will ever be able to type with both hands or cut up my own food by holding a fork and knife, but what I do know is there has to be a way to get people educated and more aware of what a stroke can and will do. Strokes do not just change the life of the person affected by it. It changes everyone around you.