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Diane H.


Do your homework. Know the risks.. 

We think when we see our Doctors that they should know what they're talking about, espescially before having any procedure performed. We are just guinea pigs, hence the phrase "practicing medicine". We get told more about the benefits and less about the risks.

I think many of us learn hard lessons in life & some even when it may be too late. I'm lucky I guess some might say, if anything at all lucky to be alive, but not lucky. Heart disease runs in our family. When you hear how old your grandparents were when they died from a massive heat attack you figure you have some time left. Right? Wrong. I've been allowed to cheat death not once but twice now.

The first time, I was on my way to the Phoenix airport to catch a flight to Chicago for a niece -God daughters high school graduation. When I lifted my bag I felt this pull in my chest and even mentioned it to my family when I arrived in central Wisconsin. I carried on with the weekend festivities anyway and kind of put the whole thing out of my head. While up by my family I questioned my loyalty, after-all all the family did when there was a gathering was drink, party and drink alot too just like any true fashioned Wisconsinite does I suppose. That idea made me question participating at these gatherings I was 47 that summer of 2006 and felt I was too old to get down and party anymore and didn't understand what the rest of my brothers and sisters seen was so fascinating in the whole idea, we're all around the same age with the youngest sister being 13 years younger than me. I for one felt throughout the years when I was younger I'd gone clubbing and drinking and worse smoking; but in 1999 I smoked my last cigarette which was 7 years too late for my heart I found out upon returning back to the desert.

I worked all week and that Friday before the 4th of July holiday I'd told co-workers I'd go to the ER if my pains in my chest, jaw & right arm didn't get better. I was a walking heart attack the doctors said my left main was 99% blocked and a stint wasn't going to be a remedy, so I was prepped for 4 days to get my blood ready for the open heart surgery I was scheduled to undergo on July 5th. God wants me around it seems, I got real healthy in 1992, I returned to my 3 mile walks daily, I cut out sugar, no soda, no red meat. Salads and more salads, I quit drinking milk and switched to Soy and would drink tea, my own sun tea. Now I just drink the singles to go Pomegranate anything, still eat alot of veggies, yogurt, protein drinks. I try not to eat break, but my caregiver/daughter who is 32 doesn't like taking care of me and doesn't like making me special meals.

From the cabg that was performed back in 2006, wasn't quite successful one of the repaired vessels never blossomed, and was told the only thing that would take the angina away that appeared everyday while exercising was to have a stint placed. That proved to be a mistake my 2nd brush with death. I had the stint put in on 09-30-09 and on 10-02-09 a mere 2 days after the stint and 2 days of taking plavix along with full strength 325mg aspirin I suffered a massive hemorrhagic brain bleed and was put into an induced coma via Michael Jackson "Milk" for 2 weeks until the swelling went down, which the craniectomy didn't help but the lumbar drain did.

I was released from the assisted living and disrupted my daughters life the end of October 2010. There were a few really good therapists I worked with, if only I was rich like Gabby Giffords, then I could have afforded the best care in recovery. My speech and thoughts are untouched but I do have left side weakness.

I had surgery on my Achilles last summer but I still drag my foot when I walk. If I could wake my left hip up where I'd be able to march or even lift my left leg up from my floor, to get into the tub or a step? I was told by a hanger associate that the hip wakes up after the arm wakes up; I've had to learn much on my own.

I need and want very desperately to get my life back to be independant and be able to go back to work, start a foundation and a charity for other stroke survivors that are not willing to give up without a fght. I want to drive again. I refuse to sit idly by and watch my world pass me by; I've already put on an extra 30 pounds since leaving the assisted living home, and those are pounds my small short frame can't have.

If the U.S.A. allowed stem cell therapy I'd be the 1st in line to use my own stem cells not embryonic stem cells. I refuse to continue to sit idly by and watch my world pass, I want to be as close to a full recovery as possible so that I can have my life back and return to a somewhat normal life.


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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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