My stroke happened ON STAGE at a Fitness Competition!!!
I had made a life change an trained for this competition almost two years trying to live a healthier life. Never in a million years did I ever think I could have a stroke, I never ever knew the warning signs ....
In 2012 I was working towards my competition on my actual 40th birthday, Texas State Naturals Championships. I had overcame so many obstacles getting there, I broke my leg in March and in June I got bit by a Brown Recluse but nothing stopped me, I still kept pushing through and training like a CHAMP!! I made it... the day came I was 40 and about to step on stage competing on Bikini Open & Masters. I was feeling great just a little nervous because this would be my first time in high heels since my ankle break so my biggest worry was falling on stage, lol. Before going on stage I was having a bad headache. I thought I was dehydrated have had this before so no worries at that time. We began lining up for Bikini Open and I notice my Left hand had these pins & needles feeling so I just shook it off and now it's my turn..... I walk out and the pins & needles is now numbness all the way up to my shoulder. I totally forget how to pose. I really had trouble smiling like I COULDN'T SMILE I had to really force it. THEN I couldn't lift my hand to put it on my hip but I did force it and wound up pulling a muscle doing it!!!!! I didn't know what the heck was happening. I horribly get through my few minutes on stage which felt like a lifetime. During the whole time on stage for comparisons my face was twitching and the numbness was now in my FACE. I was so scared. I was shaking my hand as the numbness was becoming painful. I couldn't stand still and it was getting even tougher to smile. We go off stage; it is now time to get back in line for Masters. I remember telling the girls in line with me that I wasn't feeling right and described my symptoms just in case anything happened at least someone would know what I was experiencing. Being I already went out I just had to stand on sideline. That entire time standing there all I could do was use everything in my body NOT TO CRY. I was already upset I screwed up my posing lol and knew I blew it as far as placing I was embarrassed but I really was BLANK. I was scared and didn't know what to think. We get dismissed and as I am trying to gather my things I absolutely could not use my left arm. I couldn't grip or even raise my hand at all. I immediately called my ex-husband and my dad to let them know what I was feeling and tell them I was probably gonna go to a small clinic just to be safe. I thought I was having a heart attack due to the signs with my left arm so I called and texted my kids how much I loved them and how proud I was of them. All of my family and friends were only coming to the finals but a friend of mine had shown up at prejudging and so did my uncle. I told them what was going on and my uncle said go get some asprin and you might wanna go get checked out. So my friend drove me we first went to check out of hotel. We get to the Redi-Clinic and I am sure it was quite the sight me in my robe, full hair, competition Tan & makeup and checked in. They saw me pretty quick due to symptoms and ran some tests. I still am not really thinking it is that serious ask how long this is gonna take because I had to be back for finals at 6pm. Lol YES, I did! After the EKG they did an MRI on site and they said Ms. Hilton you won't be making it back for finals YOUR HAVING A STROKE. I couldn't believe this was happening. At this time Anxiety set in and all I could think of was I WANNA SEE MY SON and gave my Mother's Ring to my friend and said make sure my niece gets this (she bought it for me the year I became her legal guardian). I began to cry because I couldn't do anything else not even wipe my own tears. My friend wiped my tears for me and began to call my family who had all drove 3 hrs to watch me compete at finals. The redi-Clinic had to call an ambulance and as they strapped me up in the gurney with all sorts of tubes in me my mom, niece, aunt, and cousin showed up. They told them we were going full sirens to a local Hospital. First thing I said was I am sorry, I felt so bad that they had all made the travel and all the expenses I even told my aunt I would pay them back lol. My son was not there and I am sort of glad he didn't have to witness all that and they wouldn't let my niece ride with me or my mom. I had never been in an ambulance before let alone "full sirens" I was so scared. I am immediately given the drug TPA a clotbuster and admitted into ICU. I was there for 6 days.
I have been to several doctors and they all say there are too many possible contributing factors that could have caused this the Main two being I have a blood disorder where my blood is thick and I also have Low Blood Pressure. That alone could have caused it but then there were the break in my ankle, all of my stress I put on my body for competition, adrenaline , depletion for show, and the only supplements I was taking could not have played part I told them everything I was taking. I do want to make it clear I was not taking anything you can't get at the local nutrition stores. I am a single mother and a strong Christian woman who believes "Faith is the CORE of ANY and all STRENGTH." There were many speculations and accusations of steroid use and all the dr.s asked me as well but I assure you this was nothing I ever messed with.
We are not positive what exactly caused this. We are still working with a hematologist to find out more and to properly treat me. I have been released to work out very lightly and do intend to find a trainer and a nutritionist that specializes in Special needs clients. I will be back on stage one day and really want to move up to Figure!!!!!
I love my kids and my family more than anything. I would never do anything that would knowingly put me at risk for danger or even death. I was working with a bonafied Nutritionist and Trainer and without a doubt will continue this lifestyle because above anything it really did save my life. The Dr.'s all said if I had been in poor shape and living the lifestyle and overweight like I had in my past I would not have survived this.
I am still struggling with major fatigue and depression but over all I am recovering quite well. I regained all feeling in my face and arm. My speech has improved only slight aphasia from time to time and short term memory loss. The only other thing I am having trouble with is my photophobia (sensitivity to light) and some migraines.
I am just taking it one day at a time and just so grateful to be alive and on my way to a full recovery!!!