Kelli S.


Stroke changed my life & gave it a new purpose!

This the story of how a stroke changed my life and lead me to a new purpose as I continue to recover.

February 6, 2008 I had a brain aneurysm ruptured and caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Then eight days later during brain surgery related to the initial brain injury I suffered a stroke. I also found out that during this surgery they had to remove a portion of my right temporal lobe because it was damaged so badly from the Hemorrhage. The stroke gave me left side neglect syndrome but, with my determination and therapy I am able to take care of myself. The stroke also caused damage to my optic nerve which left a blind spot in my field of vision. This was something I couldn't go to therapy to fix. I was told by a surgeon that there was no surgery to fix it either. I decided not to give up though. I finally found the right eye specialist that put prisms in my glasses that moved the blind spot over to widen my field of vision. Oh how wonderful it was to walk and not bump in to things. I even took the next steps I needed for me to be able to drive again.

Not being able to drive was another affect from the stroke that I worked hard to change. I did eventually get my driving privileges back. Thank goodness since I live in an area that doesn't have a public bus system and cabs are expensive!

I needed to be able to drive again to regain my independence. A stroke changes your life. It took my ability to work, which I hope to regain one day. It took my long-term relationship, which meant selling the house we lived in and moving into an apartment by myself.

I have learned to accept the new me. Going from an active professional counselor to not able to work that was tough. I'm learning to accept my brain where it is now. Accept what I can do now! Not what I want to do. Or what I use to do. I do volunteer with my dog Kaci visiting nursing homes, etc doing pet therapy! We both enjoy it so much.

The stroke has changed my life and some days it feels like a change for the worse. Like since moving out on my own and not being able to find services that could help me with things with adjusting to living on my own with deficits. Plus I know Medicare won't pay for in home services any way.

I mention that on purpose to say it has been nice for me to get the treatments I needed up to this point without any issues. I want to/and will continue to travel my recovery journey. Since they won't clear me to work I see my new purpose in life is to share my story with others. I hope it helps you in some way.


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