Samantha B

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I am … a Survivor.

I am 39 years old, a wife, mother to three amazing children and one beautiful granddaughter. On April 15, 2017 my life would change forever. I woke up to such extreme dizziness that I couldn’t get my eyes open and sweat just pouring off me. With the dizziness came severe nausea so I had taken some of my leftover phenergan that I had in the hopes of going back to sleep. After a couple of hours I got up and had horrible balance and decided to take a bath. When I got into the water I could not feel the temperature of the water on my left side and it was numb but I still had use of it. I knew then that something was definitely wrong and asked my husband to take me to the emergency room.

I was sent home by the emergency room with medication for dizziness and told to follow up with my PCP on Monday (this was Saturday). On Monday I did as advised and followed up. I still had the numbness, loss of balance, unable to feel the temperature of water and was starting to get a burning sensation on my affected side. My PCP’s diagnosis was Bells Palsy (I had no facial drooping).  Again I was sent home with no answer to what was going on.

On Wednesday the bunting was staring to become unbearable, had horrible neck pain, didn’t feel like sitting up but my balance had improved some. Thursday morning I had called my neurologist to see if he has an opening and was advised to come in the next morning. Later that evening I went back to the emergency room because now the burning was beyond miserable. For a second time I was sent home yet again (this time with no testing done) with a diagnosis of a pinched nerve in my neck and to keep my appt with my neurologist.

The next morning which was a Friday morning I went in to see my neurologist who felt that there were two things that could give me these types of symptoms and they were either MS or a stroke. Since I’m only 39 and the way my deficits kept progressing he was leaning more towards MS. The hospital that he works at only offers MRI’s on Thursday’s and Sunday’s. They got me approved right then and I was booked for the last spot they had available on that Sunday. In the meantime he started solumedrol IV infusions that I would have done once a day for 3 straight days.

So they started the first infusion on that Friday in the office and the next two days I would go to the emergency room to have them done. On Sunday I had my mri done then had my last infusion done and went home shortly after. I was back home by around 3pm that day. At 6:30om the hospitals ER doctor called me and advised to get to the other hospital that’s an hour away due to it showing two strokes.

Now I suffer with a severe type of burning pain on the left side of my body that affects my left arm, hand, left side of my face, left leg from the calf down to my foot. Any kind of cold temperature makes it worse, I can’t stand any kind of skin to skin contact, can’t stand touching on that side of my bottle and numbness in those areas. Often times I can get overwhelmed in loud situations. I feel like because looking at me that I look fine that my deficits aren’t taken seriously. Also there needs to be more awareness because not all strokes have the classic stroke signs.