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Jilll E.

I never expected this to happen to me
I never expected this to happen to me


I never expected this to happen to me

I have been looking at websites to see what signs to watch for when it comes to strokes: High blood pressure, smoking, high blood sugar, lack of exercise, not eating well, overweight. I don't have one of these symptoms, so why on the morning of October 26, 2009 did I have a stroke at 55 years old?

That morning, I had woken up at about 6:30am and was fine, I went back to bed and then my daughter kissed me goodbye at about 7:55 and I was fine then, too. But at 8:15, when I went to get out of bed I could not move my left leg. I remember thinking that my leg must be asleep so if I use my arm, I can walk on it and wake it up. I could not move my arm. I started yelling to my (sleeping) husband but did not think I was speaking loud enough so I used my right arm to hit him and kept yelling to call 911 I was having a stroke.

My husband, Richard, dressed me and we waited for the EMS to get to us, which did not take long. We were at the hospital by 9. I was going in and out of consciousness, I remember telling them that I was a happy person and they could not let me die. The emergency room is a blur. They asked me the date, who I was, where I was. I had no trouble with the questions, but I also could not get them to listen to me. Richard and I kept telling them the time frame. I had heard that there was a shot they had to administer within a 3-hour window. We were clearly within that time frame, however, they refused to give me the shot.

The hospital was a terrible experience. My husband was told that I would never walk again, luckily, I started moving that same evening. The doctors were not willing to spend time with us to explain what had happened. It took days for us to realize that I had a major stroke in the right side of my brain. They told us that 30% of stroke victims never find out why they had them. They sent me home and told me to call the doctor in 7 weeks for a check up. When I asked what I should do, they said call the doctor in 7 weeks that was it.

I was sent home on Thursday and by Friday afternoon I had sent out emails to everyone I knew and asked them to recommend doctors to me. By Monday I was making phone calls and putting a new team together.

I got all new doctors who said that the hospital did a pretty good job on testing me for a lot of things, but not everything. I wore a heart monitor for 2 weeks. On the very last day my problem showed up. My cardiologist said this has happened before everything looks fine, they are about to stop the test and boom a blip shows up.

It has been two years and I am a lot stronger. I still get tired, I have gained some weight and I am on some medicines that I wish I did not have to be on, but I feel so lucky.

My family has been amazing during this recovery time and my doctors are really good. I am lucky that I was healthy to start with, as I feel that is what made it possible to get back to where I was before the stroke. I think it is so important to make sure you get the answers you are looking for. Without the proper doctors, I don't think I would feel as good as I do now.


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