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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Lori K.
Lori K.
Survivor

Liane W.
Liane W.
Survivor

Richard H.
Richard H.
Family

Jilll E.

I never expected this to happen to me
I never expected this to happen to me

Survivor

I never expected this to happen to me

I have been looking at websites to see what signs to watch for when it comes to strokes: High blood pressure, smoking, high blood sugar, lack of exercise, not eating well, overweight. I don't have one of these symptoms, so why on the morning of October 26, 2009 did I have a stroke at 55 years old?

That morning, I had woken up at about 6:30am and was fine, I went back to bed and then my daughter kissed me goodbye at about 7:55 and I was fine then, too. But at 8:15, when I went to get out of bed I could not move my left leg. I remember thinking that my leg must be asleep so if I use my arm, I can walk on it and wake it up. I could not move my arm. I started yelling to my (sleeping) husband but did not think I was speaking loud enough so I used my right arm to hit him and kept yelling to call 911 I was having a stroke.

My husband, Richard, dressed me and we waited for the EMS to get to us, which did not take long. We were at the hospital by 9. I was going in and out of consciousness, I remember telling them that I was a happy person and they could not let me die. The emergency room is a blur. They asked me the date, who I was, where I was. I had no trouble with the questions, but I also could not get them to listen to me. Richard and I kept telling them the time frame. I had heard that there was a shot they had to administer within a 3-hour window. We were clearly within that time frame, however, they refused to give me the shot.

The hospital was a terrible experience. My husband was told that I would never walk again, luckily, I started moving that same evening. The doctors were not willing to spend time with us to explain what had happened. It took days for us to realize that I had a major stroke in the right side of my brain. They told us that 30% of stroke victims never find out why they had them. They sent me home and told me to call the doctor in 7 weeks for a check up. When I asked what I should do, they said call the doctor in 7 weeks that was it.

I was sent home on Thursday and by Friday afternoon I had sent out emails to everyone I knew and asked them to recommend doctors to me. By Monday I was making phone calls and putting a new team together.

I got all new doctors who said that the hospital did a pretty good job on testing me for a lot of things, but not everything. I wore a heart monitor for 2 weeks. On the very last day my problem showed up. My cardiologist said this has happened before everything looks fine, they are about to stop the test and boom a blip shows up.

It has been two years and I am a lot stronger. I still get tired, I have gained some weight and I am on some medicines that I wish I did not have to be on, but I feel so lucky.

My family has been amazing during this recovery time and my doctors are really good. I am lucky that I was healthy to start with, as I feel that is what made it possible to get back to where I was before the stroke. I think it is so important to make sure you get the answers you are looking for. Without the proper doctors, I don't think I would feel as good as I do now.

 

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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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Faces of Stroke

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