Text Size




Faces of Stroke - Logo 100px  transparent

Michelle P.


But I'm too young!

I had just bought a beautiful two-story in Cape Cod with 27 steps to the front door. I was almost halfway through my Masters degree. My husband and I had been renovating for the last four months and were enjoying our Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. I was 24, healthy, with a love of life when I went to bed Thanksgiving night 2010.

When I awoke on November 26, 2010 my entire life changed. My husband had to work on Black Friday so I stayed home and tried to figure out why my right leg was not moving when my brain was trying to tell it to. I walked around a little bit, throwing my weight to make my leg carry me forward. The loss of feeling I contributed to sleeping funny or maybe a pinched nerve. I spent the entire weekend dragging my right leg around trying to think of all the possible reasons why, at 24, my leg would stop working. I had trouble typing a paper on education and coming up with the right words. Sunday night rolled around and the loss of feeling had not subsided. My husband begged me to go to the emergency room but I felt my primary care physician could adequately diagnose a pinched nerve so I waited until Monday morning to call. I drove myself to work, slamming the pedals with my numb foot. When I walked into my office I knew something was terribly wrong and I truly needed to see the doctor. My husband rushed to pick me up and we headed to the emergency room. The ER staff did not seem worried and they did several tests. I figured they would find something and I would go home with prescription in hand. After several CT Scans, MRI's, and blood work ups the ER doctor gave me the grave news that I would not be leaving for a couple days. My heart sank. My husband, standing by ever vigilant, wanted to know what was wrong. The ER doctor leaned in and said there was one of two things that causes spontaneous loss of feeling in a 24-year-old woman: Multiple Sclerosis or a Stroke. To me, either one was a life sentence. I figured my life was over. I spent several days in the hospital completing every test for both causes. I spent an agonizing two weeks waiting for the results once I was released from the hospital. The result: ischemic stroke in between my speech and motor functions. I spent the next 4 months out of work, climbing up and down stairs with numbed feeling. I struggled to keep pace at physical therapy. I struggled to walk. I struggled with trying to complete my Masters Degree while mixing up words in my head and on paper. I went back to work and found that I was truly grateful I had gone through that time period. I found that there were support groups and reasons why strokes happen. I felt the need to jump back into the game of life and not let my stroke hold me back.

On October 1, 2011, one month before my one year anniversary of the stroke, I walked across the stage and earned my masters degree. At my one year anniversary of the stroke I got the news that I could again try for children. I have been through so much and starting a family renews my love for life and doing all the things I loved. There is more to strokes than just blood, clots, doctors, hospitals, and sadness. There is hope, and joy, and faith. Through it all, my stroke never stopped me, and it never will.


All active news articles

Share by

Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

Printer Friendly Version

National Stroke Association

9707 E. Easter Lane, Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112

Stroke Help Line logo