I was at work one day in mid October of 2010 when all the sudden I had a horrible pain in my neck. It felt like I had a horrible pinched nerve, I waited for days for it to go away or feel better and it wasn't. I pushed through work every day for almost 3 weeks in the worst pain I had ever been in. I got up on the morning of November 9, 2010 thinking it was going to be like every other day. After a quick shower, I started walking down the stairs and got very dizzy at the top. Next thing I knew I was laying at the bottom of the stairs with my daughter over me trying to wake me up. I couldn't figure out how I had gotten there and was even confused about who the little girl was standing above me. My mom rushed over and took me to the hospital thinking maybe I had a concussion.
After we had gotten there the first thing the doctor said to me was "I think you may have vertibral artery dissection" I had never heard of it but I was rushed in to have a bunch of tests run. A couple hours later the doctor came back and confirmed that was what had happened, the pain I was feeling in my neck was not a pinched nerve but I had in fact torn the artery. The decided to keep me for observation and the next morning a whole group of doctors had come in and told me I had a stroke and that was why I woke up at the bottom of the stairs.
I was one of those people that didn't think something like that could happen to me because I have always been very healthy and I was so young. It has been such a struggle to get back to my old self but I was very determined. I walked with a cane for awhile until I got so tired of being stared at, I threw it in the trash and started walking on my own—yes, I took several falls but it was worth it. I have a stutter now and my vision isn't very good, I can't do basic math, and there are a few other minor problems but I am so thankful to be here and share my story with everyone else. Everyone needs to be informed on the signs and symptoms of stroke because it can happen to anyone. Never take a single day for granted!