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Kandi W.



My journey from then to now

From the beginning I felt this was a gift. Perhaps a strange thing to say and I don't quite know how this will play out, but this journey has been an amazing education for me and I feel so blessed. Here is my story:

My stroke occurred on October 2, 2010. I experienced two TIAs the night before the stroke. I did not understand what was happening with the TIAs and everything returned to normal very quickly. For that reason and because I did not have health insurance, I chose to ignore the symptoms. Prior to the stroke I was a massage therapist for eighteen years so I have some knowledge of the muscular skeletal system. I loved every day of my work and each of my patients. At fifty-eight, my health was considered good. I exercised and ate nutritionally, my blood pressure and blood sugar were borderline, and my cholesterol was within range. The stroke was a complete surprise! The days and months since the stroke have been quite a learning experience. I was now "disabled," a word which was not in my vocabulary. In the beginning they told me there would be limited or no use of my left side. I now have good range of motion in my arm and some movement in my fingers. Walking was a struggle and I still have issues, but we are working on them. Another unexpected effect was the inability to stop crying or simply crying at the drop of a hat. I was told that was just part of the stroke and that I would have to live with it. Fortunately, that issue has improved as well.

Searching the internet for treatments, I found they were using the hyperbaric oxygen chamber with positive results. Since the use of a chamber is not yet approved by the FDA for stroke victims, locating a chamber that would allow me to use it for my stroke was difficult. I finally found one and had sixty-two sessions which helped tremendously.

I have had phenomenal support from family and friends and people in the medical field. I don't know what the future holds, but I have set goals and would like to continue my education as a health coach and nutrition counselor to educate others. I feel my stroke is a gift to give others. Not only to educate, but to share with them my experiences - good and bad. I want them to know they are not alone and that having a stroke is not the end, it can be the beginning to a new 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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