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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Kyle R.
Kyle R.
Survivor

Babe & Jean
Babe & Jean
Caregiver & Family

Emily D.
Emily D.
Survivor

Candace G.


Survivor

The TIA that I Needed

For the most part of my adult life, I had been able to maintain a healthy weight without rigorous exercise or watching what I ate. After the birth of my second child who was premature and very sickly, I began to progressively turn to food for comfort. Soon, I weighed over 200 pounds - the most I had ever weighed in my life.

I did no exercise, and began to feel sickly myself. I was first told I had rheumatoid arthritis. Then, that was changed to fibromyalgia. Finally, it was mentioned I may even have lupus. My cholesterol shot up, and my high blood pressure became even more unmanageable to where I was on almost ten medications every day. Mind you, I was 31 years old.

We have a history in our family of strokes, but it never occurred to me that I'd have to worry being so young. One afternoon, I took my two girls for a walk. By the time we got home, I was having trouble seeing and when I spoke, my speech was slurred - I was also having problems thinking of words. I was hot and then cold, shaking...heart beating irregularly.

I drove myself and my girls to the ER where I was admitted immediately. After 3 days and many tests, I was told I had a TIA but managed to get care in time to not have any apparent after effects. I was also advised that I have small vessel disease in my neck, so this was why I had consistent headaches. I was warned that unless I changed my lifestyle, a full stroke was imminent.

Shortly thereafter, I joined a gym and retained a personal trainer. I gave it everything I had and changed my eating habits as well. Six months later, I have lost almost 30 pounds. While it has been slow, I have kept it off even after eating more liberally.

I had no idea how important exercise and proper eating was, even at 30 years old. I figured I had the rest of my life to worry about what I was eating. Fortunately, now I do have the rest of my life ahead of me, except this time, I'll be in better shape!

 

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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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