Christel H.

Photo of Christel H.

I am … a Survivor.

Hi I am a stroke Survivor and also an LPN.

Imagine this. . . . . . You wake up one morning and everything is fine, you feel great, you get your children up and ready for school. You drive them to school having normal morning conversations. If you are like I was, I worked nights so I dropped the girls off and went back home to take a little nap before I had to go to a meeting at work. That’s where the ordinary, normal day ends. . . . . . .

When I got up from my nap, I felt tired, but good. I was home alone so I had no need to talk to anyone at the time. This day was Tuesday April 1, 2008 I was 32 years old, yes April Fools Day of all days. I recieved a text message from one of my best friends, you know one of those joke messages that tells you to never call them, text them, contact them in any form ever again, and then at the bottem is the big April Fools. Well, even though I knew it was April fools day I got have way through that message and I was confused. I was so confused that I even tried to voiced my confusion in the form of verbal profanaties. I opened my mouth to say a few choice words and NO WORDS came out, I was making all kinds of noise but for the life of me I could not form ANY words at all. I knew what I wanted to say I just couldn’t say it.

So being the nurse that I am, I thought something is wrong, I need to go to the hospital, so I drove myself to the Nursing Home where I was working at the time! Yep, I was a little confused, but hey I thought I’m going to a meeting, I need to go to work. After I finally I got through to my co workers that I was indeed NOT playing a great April Fools Day joke on them, they called my husband and walked up across the alley to the hospital.

Thank goodness the nurses working that day knew me and knew that I was not faking and something was not right. I signed consent to treat and you could barely read my handwriting. I tried to answer their questions but not being able to talk and being a little confused it just wasn’t going so well. So they took my out to CT while we was waiting on my husband to arrive. When that was done they had me sign another consent and that time I was actually able to write my name where you could read it.

CT scan showed nothing. So I was sent to have an MRI the next day. I one little bitty area of my brain, on only one slide it showed something! So I got myself a ticket to a larger hospital that could do more for me. I was introduced to Dr. Reitz Neurologist. Wonderful doctor.

I spent 3 full days in the hospital and we still didn’t know what caused my stroke. We did every test imaginable and still no definate cause. Yes I had contributing factors but no definate cause. The speach pathologist on the last day when I was finally begining to somewhat form words said I was forming words like a deaf person forms and verbalizes words. But I have no hearing loss.

So I went home saying “purple” for careful and determined to get it all back as soon as possible. You see I had only be an LPN for a short while at that time. I had a hard time in LPN school, diagnosed with cervical cancer, opting for a hysterectomy, almost being kicked out of school for missing to many days. But I made it and I was keeping it.

So I drove 32 miles 3 times a week for speach therapy. I had worked to hard to become a nurse to let a stroke get me down.

I was finally back to what was my normal about 6 or 7 months later. I was able to go back to work after 3 months. I still have a hard time pronoucing some words especially if I am really tired, but even I just met me and I told you that I had a stroke 8 years ago, you wouldn’t believe me and probably call me crazy.

It is a really scary feeling knowing what might be happening to you but not being able to tell anyone. So now I want to tell my story and help others be aware that not all strokes have the classic signs and symptoms.