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How old were you when you had your stroke? 18

  • Date of your stroke?  08/05/2010
  • What general area do you live in?   Olathe, Kansas
  • Type of Stroke?  Ischemic
  • Any known reasons for your stroke?  The birth control called Yaz/Yasmin/Ocella

 

  • What were your symptoms? What were you feeling during your stroke?

It was my first day of my job at a country club golf course. I was doing great and enjoying myself. The girl that was training me said it was time to call it a day after I just drove my first golf cart. We went into our bosses office. He just got done appraising me telling me what a good job I did. We were all standing. I had my Gatorade bottle in my hand and I had just finished a drink. The Gatorade was in my left hand. I tried to put the lid back on and the bottle slips out of my hand and it falls and It hits the ground splashing all over the place, I immediately try to pick it up and apologize as I was cleaning all day.

I was told it was okay and I hear my boss say to my coworker for her to sit me down. I guess my left side tried to collapse but I fought it and I was pushed onto a chair. My boss asks “Has this ever happened before”? I was so confused what was he talking about. I tried to speak back.To me I sounded normal and I understood what I was trying to say but I kept producing giant spit bubbles and apparently I wasn’t speaking English. They didn’t call the ambulance they called my boyfriends mother whose house I stayed at the night before. She came and got me. I was pushed out in a wheel chair and I was sent home with a sandwich I didn’t want.

We made it back to their house and My boyfriends little brother carried me up the stairs. His mother Vikki completely undressed me and told me to relax. I was very confused. I grab my phone and pull together the best I could and I called my oldest brother (also best friend) and tried talking to him. He said “Alexa, your having a stroke. Let me talk to Vikki!” She didn’t think that’s what it was. She called my parents they met at her house and the ambulance showed up. I was hauled in the back to the hospital. My parents were told there was nothing that could be done since it was four hours past the point of return.

There was two options they had to choose from. Brain surgery or a medicine that would dissolve the blood clot and potentially kill me. That’s what was chosen, the medicine.Less than fifteen seconds after the medicine was injected I had full use of my left side of my body. The doctor walked back in as I was raising my left hand and he acted as if he’d seen a ghostI was transferred to another hospital and they told me I had to have heart surgery. All of this ten days after my 18th birthday. I was barley an adult who could attempt to establish credit, well that went out the window.

I never received rehabilitation for my tremors and dystonia in my left side.I’ve been hospitalized for terrible migraines. I’ve been given migraine concoctions and Botox. The Botox worked and then my insurance would no longer cover it. I found out this year after I switched doctors I could receive physical therapy. I said I want to start now. The idea sounded amazing to me. I was making progress and began to feel better until it stopped covering the visits. I’ve been going to the chiropractor and my spine has finally held the adjustments for the past three weeks. My chiropractor told me “I’m the hardest case to explain to the insurance side of things” because it was always something with me.

Six years later almost seven I’m receiving help. I’ve taken myself off all medication and this one that’s helped tremendously that I’ve been on since the incident. I have to give in if I can’t sleep and if my muscles won’t relax.

  • Were you administered TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) within the first 3-5 hours of your stroke? Yes!
  • Where did you go for inpatient rehab?  don’t believe I received rehabilitation. They just made sure I could do simple math, make sense of things and walk with a walker then I was released.
  • Where did you go for outpatient rehab? Didn’t receive any rehabilitation
What are your biggest challenges/residual effects?

Dystonia, emotions, fatigue, and pain.

What advice would you give someone recovering from a stroke now?

That it’s going to be okay. One step at a time, stay positive.

What keeps you motivated now?

My future.

Everything happens for a reason. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Post recovery, what is something you have learned that might encourage others? 

Everything happens for a reason. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

What is something quirky/fun about yourself? 

I love to do everything. From fishing, snowboarding, sun bathing, disc golf, walking my dogs, working out, the list goes on.

What’s your Instagram handle? Other young stroke survivors could follow you!

@Coachasella

How did you find out about NOPW?

I believe a friend forwarded me a volunteering event and I was connected with this link.

What’s your favorite motivation song? 

That’s hard I love all music. Maybe “your an overcomer” by Mandesa

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