The stroke that changed my life
I didn’t even know anything was wrong until I fell down. My mind was a bit fuzzy and I was a tad off balance, but I attributed that to the heat and the headache I’d been nursing. Then suddenly my left leg stopped working and I fell to the ground. And I couldn’t get back up. I was at work. I had a stroke.
Once it was determined that something was really wrong and it wasn’t just the heat, an ambulance was called and I was rushed to the hospital.
I would have realized sooner that something was wrong if I had been educated properly on the signs of stroke. I didn’t smell burnt toast, so I didn’t get help at the first symptom.
The acronym for stroke is: BE FAST:
Time to call 911
If I had been educated about this sooner, I could have gotten help sooner. Thankfully those around me knew the signs of stroke, so I still got to the hospital within the recommended time of 3 hours.
I had a CT scan and an MRI. Stroke was confirmed and I was given a lifesaving drug called TPA, the clot buster. They also did a procedure to remove the clot fully. It was successful. I survived the stroke and I was going to be okay.
I had what’s called an ischemic stroke. This kind of stroke is caused by a blood clot or other blockage. The other kind of stroke is called hemorrhagic, which is caused by a brain bleed from a burst blood vessel or aneurysm.
I spent 2 weeks in the ICU before I was transferred to a rehab hospital to start physical therapy, occupational therapy and Speech therapy. I spent a month there before I could finally go home.
Yesterday was my 6 month strokaverary. On day 1, I was paralyzed on my left side. Today, I can walk with the help of a cane. I don’t have functionality of my left arm or hand yet, but I have some movement.
I lost the left half of my vision, as well. It’s slowly but surely returning.
The first 5 months, I had drastic mood swings and depression. Now I’m happy. I moved through the 5 stages of grief in those 5 months and reached acceptance. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
I’m finally taking care of myself. I’m exercising every day, and resting and seeing doctors regularly. I’ve started doing Chair Yoga and meditating daily. I’m also on 3 antidepressants and going to therapy. The key to happiness is self-care, in my case.