How old were you when you had your stroke? 24
- Date of your stroke? 05/23/2010
- What general area do you live in? Shawnee, KS
- Type of Stroke? Ischemic brain stem stroke
- Any known reasons for your stroke? Dissected vertebral artery from chiropractic manipulation.
- What were your symptoms? The day before – leading up to my stroke I had dizziness, dots in my vision, tingling sensation in my face, nausea and vomiting, when I had my stroke I had tremors in my legs, I lost sensation and strength on both sides of my body ( I went limp) and slurred speech.
- Were you administered TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) within the first 3-5 hours of your stroke? Yes
- Where did you go for inpatient rehab? Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago now The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
- Where did you go for outpatient rehab? Shawnee Mission Medical Center
- What are your biggest challenges/residual effects? Chronic fatigue. Overstimulation. Vertigo. Headaches.
What keeps you motivated now?
My husband, my daughter, the trust I have that God has a plan for me and a reason for my stroke. When I go through seasons of being really frustrated with my residual effects, I remind myself how far I have come, how supportive my family and friends have been, and how blessed I am to have an experience that has led me to the person I am today (that doesn’t always help because let’s be real, sometimes residual effects just plain suck).
What advice would you give someone recovering from a stroke now?
Every stroke is different. Every recovery is different. Give yourself grace and patience as you recover because it can be difficult, but don’t ever give up. Know that you are not alone in your recovery, your symptoms, your residual effects… Find someone to relate to it makes it easier to know someone else’s has had your experience.
Every stroke is different. Every recovery is different. Give yourself grace and patience as you recover because it can be difficult, but don't ever give up.
Post recovery, what is something you have learned that might encourage others?
Your life is what you make of it. Yes, I had a plan for my life that did not involve having a stroke. Yes, I had a stroke that tossed most of those plans out the window. Yes, I have residual effects that interfere with day to day life. However, I am a big advocate for making the most out of any situation. I had to make new plans. New plans that fit my life post-stroke. I accepted my new limitations and quit hanging onto the past because I knew I couldn’t go back. I wanted to move forward and own my stroke not let it own me. I also have an amazing husband who has helped me along the way.
Any therapy tips you picked up during your time in therapy that might help others?
Work hard. Never give up. Be persistent. Even though recovery is tough and not much fun, therapy is there to make you stronger and to get you as independent as possible. If you don’t put your full effort in you won’t reach your full potential.
What is something quirky/fun about yourself?
Obviously, I have a weird obsession with orange popsicles. I LOVE lattes. And sometimes I say weird things in my sleep.