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Cindy C.


This Wouldn't Happen to Me

My story of my RCVA I had at 20 in 2011.

Hello, I'm Cindy and I am a 22-year-old stroke survivor. When my stroke happened, I was 20, and living in a apartment with my then boyfriend. I had taken a nap to rest for work that night and suddenly I awoke with a severely sore throat. I walked over to our medicine bin in our bedroom and pulled out a bag of cough drops. Holding the bag in my hands, I tried to pull both top edges of the bag apart to open it. It was then I realized that my left hand wouldn't do what I was commanding it to do. Worried, my boyfriend (Mark) got out of bed and asked me if I was ok, I told him about my arm & that it had gone completely numb (that I thought I had probably slept on it and it simply "fell asleep") My speech became slurred and he helped me sit on the floor. I told him to phone my mom and I desperately tried to tell her that I was having an odd medical issue. At this point, I had realized that my left leg was paralyzed and that I could not speak coherently. With both of our medical knowledge, Mark and I then concluded that I was having a stroke. He called 911 and I was taken away, blacked out once I was in the ambulance.

The doctors could not pinpoint why I had a stroke that April 8th, 2011 (they STILL don't know why). I went through a lot of testing, I have no history of CVAs in my family and I do not have high cholesterol or diabetes. I am also a non-smoker and have no heart problems. The best they could do was ask me if I had taken cocaine (which of course I had not taken). Rehabilitation started within 5 days at RHI. I was walking again (with a walker) about a week after my stroke. Two days later, I could walk without a walker and shortly after, I could run again. My arm "woke up" on the 20th of April 2011, 12 days after my stroke and I was able to give a "thumbs up." About three days later I could lift my left arm. When I was discharged on May 5th 2011, I could walk like a normal individual, but not for long distances (I used an electronic wheelchair at supermarkets and a shower chair for a couple of days at home). I resumed light housework and cooking that weekend. Within two months I was placed on light duty(office work) in the FedEx hub I was employed at. I was able to drive again by July 30th 2011.

Life went back to normal, except (let's backtrack) in May, around the 10th, I went to the ER because my left leg felt tingly. They gave me Ativan and sent me home (with my mother). From that day on, I have had moderate muscle spasticity in my left hand and foot. The foot's spasticity affects my walking and shoe wearing (I'm limited to tennis shoes and even those hurt my feet). I felt ashamed of my facial droop and my foot's state dragged me down.

Things, though a bit bleak, started to look up, I had my own place, my father was talking to me again, I had a boyfriend who loved and cared for me. I miraculously still had my job and was receiving disability.

Then a complete turn of events. Mark leaves me without reason, moves out, blocks me out of his life, and the following day I find out he's dating a "good friend" of mine from college. This threw me into a depression. I soon found out Mark told her that he and I broke up in June (false, we were very much together). It was also revealed that he would stay up late talking to her on webcam, now it was clear why he wouldn't come to bed when I would after I came home from the hospital. Anyways I'm better without him. After all he asked me for $200 (while I was in intensive care) to go gambling and get his mind off things (I didn't give him those $200).

I am back in college at Indiana University and depressed because I need calculus and other high level mathematics to graduate in 1.5 years, BUT I recently (September 2012) discovered that my stroke damaged BOTH my right temporal and parietal lobes(both deal with math and deductive reasoning). It looks like I won't have my dream career of being a professor. I am also in the midst of dealing with rejection from a couple of men that I am interested in. Depression is settling in again, but I trying my best to look up and forward to my future!


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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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