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Michelle R.


While in search of advice, guidance and/or legal support, I was fortunate enough to come across your website. While I am a stroke survivor labeled the "Miracle Patient" by my neurological physicians and medical staff, having suffered an extreme and nearly fatal hemorrhagic stroke which affected the entire right lower lobe of my cerebellum (brain capacity I will NEVER regain) and required an additional craniotomy due to an infected abscess which developed on my original suture, my life has been reduced to almost nothing. The stroke rendered me unable to walk with severe blurred vision, memory loss, in need of 24 hour personal care, balance issues and severe headaches just to name a few. However, fortunately or unfortunately for me, in a few short months I made an amazingly speedy and miraculous recovery walking, talking and functioning on a semi normal basis. 

My recovery was unexpected because before I was given a hospital bed and/or admitted into the hospital. My neurological staff had already prepared my family for the worst. They doubted my ability to survive and predicted, should I survive, that I'd probably require long term medical care. But by the Grace of God with no medical explanation, I am not only alive, but appear to be a normal functioning person (walking in high heels) resulting in me being punished and in extreme hardship now. See, in May 2011, because of my miraculous recovery, my team of five attending physicians all refused to submit a physician's report rendering me disabled (albeit temporarily). They refused knowing I had yet to undergo any neurological rehabilitation other than that received during my hospitalization and being fully aware of the severity of the brain damage I suffered due to my stroke. Thereafter and to date, I have been denied financial or medical assistance from all attempts through Colo. state and government (SDI, EDD, SSDI, Medi-Cal and private insurance agencies); thus, I have had no source of financial income nor the means to seek the medical care I so desperately need. All because I look normal, can walk in high heels again and appear functional! 

In the nearly nine months without monies and regular medical attention, the lingering deficiencies stated above have worsened. My ability to "function" normally is diminishing more and more with each day that passes; however, I somehow don’t fall within the legal definition or guidelines for "disability" and/or "disabled.” That being said, I desire to find out who to contact to report doctor negligence or to ask the question, "If the state or SSDI require a physician's report from an attending physician, but they refuse and are not required to fulfill (their natural medical obligation) to divulge a persons medical condition," then who is? It’s bureaucratic bulls%#*& that has caused me to lose everything, financially ruined just steps away from being rendered homeless, not to mention my extreme stress and anxiety and diminishing health. I've worked my entire life as an administrative assistant and executive legal secretary (approximately 27 years) only to find myself unemployed due to medical reasons. I’ve exhausted all or am disqualified or ineligible for any benefits because my last employment was for only six months at the time of my stroke; however, prior job was for 13 year tenure, prior to that was two years and prior to that was a seven year tenure. It is ridiculous, frustrating and so very unfair! 

My only desire is to seek neurological and vocational training which would provide me the opportunity to regain some level of my life back, get my finances back on track, lessen stress thereby lowering my risk of stroking out again! On a lighter note, I am truly blessed, and it truly is a miracle that I was able to survive the stroke. I am so very lucky to be alive and to recover as well as I have, but the hidden pains, struggles and traumatic brain injury exist and are my reality, whether my appearance would seem otherwise.


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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.

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