A Stroke Survivor's Story
Thank God I Had My Stroke Today
Having a stroke on Christmas Day is something I won't forget.
I had my stroke at the age of 54 on the evening of December 25, 2008. It was a good day to have my stroke. The day before, I was driving in the mountains in a snow storm at night. On the 25th, I was just getting ready for bed taking a bath. Thankfully, my wife was home. I called to her to call 911. My left arm and leg just went limp and I could not use them.
Paramedics arrived and carried me downstairs to the ambulance. Due to the snow storm the ambulance could not get traction to get me up the hill to take me to the hospital, so the rest of the fire department crew got out of the fire truck and pushed the ambulance to get it on its way. I made it to the hospital where they confirmed that I was having a stroke. I had a 20-30cc bleed thalamus region and a 60-80cc bleed at the base brain(IVH). On December 24th the government just approved a new procedure called " SLEUTH" (Safety of Lysis with Ultrasound in the Treatment of Intracerebral and Intraventricular Hemorrhage) for study. It was my only chance for a good recovery. My wife signed the paper work to have it tried on me. I was the first to have it done and since it went so well they tried it on others. This procedure is new and saved my life. I was in the hospital until February 18, 2009, going through some rehab. I went home in a wheel chair due to my left side paralysis. I went to more outpatient PT and they got me up and out of the wheel chair and walking again.
After about a month I went back to work not as an electrician as before but to estimate projects for the company I'd worked for the past 25 years. I did this for a year. As the economy was going downhill, so was the construction market. I was not moving as fast as I used to, so I was laid off due to budget cuts. I took an early retirement, my blood pressure has gone down and I'm not all stressed out due to all the strict deadlines I had to make.
Now I spend my days volunteering for Seattle Public Schools helping the kids in the classroom with their studies, computers and my wife who teaches the "Health Science Careers" class. I'm the guinea pig for the kids to do vitals on, and help them in their research work that they have to do. I love seeing the kids eyes light up when they learn about the human body and all the amazing things that go on with it.
Before my stroke it's was always GO GO GO, not taking time to go places and see things. Today, my wife and I take advantage of our opportunities to travel, enjoy life and slow down.