I am … a Survivor.
My name is Rosalie (Rose), and I am survivor of multiple strokes! I’m extrememly thankful, primarily to the spiritual members of my community and the prayers that were delivered on my behalf! I also am very appreciative of the Tufts Medical Center physicians and medical professionals who strategized approaches to treat my unique medical case in an efficient and collaborative effort! Nonetheless, I was completely unaware of what was happening to me when I suffered my first stroke. I have to admit that I never thought that stroke wouldn’t happen to me! Besides, I was young with normal readings regarding, blood pressure and weight! I must have felt that I don’t fit the profile of the typical stroke victim we generally hear about! Let me set the record straight! Stroke can happen to anyone and at any time!
It happened to me inside of a restaurant, among friends, having a great time, and singing karaoke! After, ordering my usual, cranberry juice and gingerale with a lemon,I proceeded to pick up my drink to take a sip! That’s when it happened! The glass felt like it weighed a pound, and my left arm was suddenly too weak to lift the glass. I felt as if I had a good grip. The problem was that I could not lift it! After the second attempt, I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t consider stroke because I was not aware of the signs at the time! Nonetheless, I am now committed to making sure that I spread the word about heart and brain health; stroke signs; prevention, and support for survivors and the families/friends, and care givers who are affected as well!
Upon arriving to the hospital, I was informed that the small stroke was in fact, the effects of Lupus. My antibodies were infact, destroying healthy blood cells, and caused me to become weak, severly anemic, and to ultimately thin my blood! I was certainly over worked, as a hairstylist; cutting and styling in fashionable high heels throughout the entire work day! Finally, due to the loss of redblood cells because of the Lupus “Flare-up”, subsequently, my blood was dangerously thin! I suffered another stroke during the hospital blood tranfusion which was much more painful, intense and caused a panic within the hospital room, compared to the temporary weakness of my left arm, which I experienced early on! During the procedure, my blood pressure increased to insurmountable level, and the pressure in my brain, was overwhelming! Roughly, 40% of my eyes surface became blood shot, and my naval cavity had bursted vessels in which a nose bleed ensued! Even so, I did not realize that this trauma was indicative of a stroke as well! Nonetheless, it was a nightmare!
Not only, did I have to completely stop everything that I’ve worked so hard for up until that point, I had to try to function on a reduced budget, and a cocktail of over 7 different prescription drugs, including one that caused hallucinations, mood swings and extreme weight gain due to one of the strongest steroids around, DECADRON! The name alone, is intimidating! Needless to say, this was a chapter that was filled with new challenges and unusual obstacles! The most challenging process was reclaiming who I was. I wasn’t even sure if that should have been my goal! It was nearly impossible to go back to the woman I knew before in my reflection in the mirror because so much had changed my perspective. The effects of this stroke had left me in a state of inertia. The only mistake was that It took too long for me to realize that I was lost in a maze of medication,low self esteem, and absolute confusion!
This is why I am so passionate about spreading my message of Hope, and encouragement. My goal is to help others see themselves as God sees them! In addition, our lives and unique gifts are necessary for the advancement of our fellow woman and man!! Each person has a story, and I hope to inspire everyone who has experienced a stroke to continue to be a light for others. My recovery process seemed to have taken much longer than I ever anticipated! However, this process was necessary to allow me some time to reevaluate how I was conducting my life, and what actions I can take to ensure that I’m more aware, healthy, and effective while pursuing my passion and purpose through advocacy! I have a new social medium to transport information, and positivity through music! My love for singing and songwriting has allowed me the opportunity to achieve my goals in communicating that message to others with a great response from the show organizers and the patrons who have experienced my testimony!! I’m honored and excited to announce that I’ll be launching my music website and Menu of Performing Songwriter Services at the following website! www.RosePlacid.org! Thank you for your time and consideration!