A new beginning
On October 11, 2008 I was 37 years old, mother of two boys, working full time as a house painter. As I got off work I was having chest pains. I drove the 7 miles to home. I told my husband that I might be having a heart attack. He rushed me 21 miles to the local ER. Beyond here I have no real memory, I only remember bits and pieces. I spent 3 days in that hospital. They diagnosed me as having high blood pressure and released me.
Three days, Saturday, my husband woke up to find me in the bathroom totally unresponsive and my face was distorted. I was rushed via ambulance to a different hospital. I was told my ER doctor suspected Bacterial Meningitis, he did the test and it was confirmed. That same day I started having strokes. I was moved up to the ICU and put in a coma. I was told I had Global Ischemic strokes and had a blood clot behind my heart. My husband told me the doctors were not hopeful that I'd ever come to. The neurologist said that I would never care for myself again.
I came to sometime in November and I was moved downstairs to rehab. I was told I was a 0 on some scale they used in rehab. I was not able to lift my arms. I was not able to swallow. I could not sit up. I couldn't even hold my head up and was not able to speak. The rehab team worked with me and my husband would not leave my side. I stayed in the wheelchair for a week. My rehab team went home for the weekend and me and my husband worked real hard that weekend. I used the walker to go to the rehab room Monday. I wanted to go home. I spent a total of three weeks in rehab. I got to go home November 22 to spend my 18th anniversary with my husband and Thanksgiving with my family. It has been a long hard struggle and I'm still not talking without pauses. My 40th birthday I skydived.
Today has been almost 4 yrs since I had to start all over. I joined the local volunteer fire department this past January and am keeping up with those years younger. I appreciate every day that I'm alive! Stroke is not the end of the line, it is only the beginning.