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How old were you when you had your stroke? 32

  • Date of your stroke?  06/22/2013
  • What general area do you live in?   Kansas City
  • Type of Stroke?  Ischemic
  • Any known reasons for your stroke?  Officially, the doctors are unsure – after all of the testing my only risk factor was taking birth control pills.
  • What were your symptoms? What were you feeling during your stroke? Dizzy, I lost my balance and function in right side and fell..
  • Where did you go for inpatient rehab? St. Lukes
  • Where did you go for outpatient rehab? Mid America Rehabilitation Center
What are your biggest challenges/residual effects?

I have really been fortunate with my stroke recovery, so hesitate to point out the minor residual effects that I am having. I was lucky enough never to have had lost consciousness, though I was completely paralyzed on my right side from the shoulder down. My fine motor skills are still affected. More so in my leg/foot than my hand. The lack of control in my right foot and knee is the biggest deficiency. My foot tends to flop when walking and my knee loves to hyper extend.

I had two TIA’s before my major stroke. I fully recovered after both and was released from the hospital. I went home and went to bed because I did not feel good but attributed it to spending the night at the hospital, etc. It was that night that I had the stroke while at home in bed. Though it sucks that I was released to go home and have a stroke, this gave me the opportunity to go to St. Lukes where the in patient care that I received was essential for my recovery. Listen to your body – and know what the signs of a stroke are!

What was something that kept you going during your stay in the hospital that might encourage others?

My husband was and has continued to be an amazing source of support and encouragement. From the moment I had my first TIA, he was calm, encouraging and loving. During my hospital stay, he came every day after work to keep me company, watch tv, or do in room therapy with me until bedtime. My parents live in another state, but happened to be in town when I had my stroke and for that I am so very grateful. They also sprung immediately into action.  They took care of our young, 8 month old son, during my hospital stay, and brought him for visits and dinner daily.  During those daily visits, I loved showing all of them the new skill I had regained that day in therapy. The love and support that I felt was overwhelming. The phone calls, cards, and flowers that came in support of my recovery were also so heartwarming. The fact that so many people were sending their love, praying for my recovery and thinking about me kept me strong. I was not alone.

Keep a positive attitude, smile as much as you can and be grateful!! I truly believe that a lot of my physical recovery had to do with the fact that only once, and only for about 2 minutes, did I allow myself to feel sorry for my situation. I saw my recovery as a challenge that I was not about to loose and was so thankful for the ability to get better.

What keeps you going now? 

The support and encouragement that I have received from my husband has been awesome. He encourages me to keep working out, doing the in home therapy. My son keeps me active – he is walking now and won’t let me slow down. My ‘joke’ in the hospital was that him and I were going to learn how to walk together. And we did. Now we are working to master running! I have a wonderful friend who lives out of town – but that does not stop her from making me work out, smile and celebrate my progress with me.

What is something quirky/fun about yourself? 

I am a total ‘do it yourselfer’ – I love to work with power tools and either create something new or rework an awesome vintage find.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

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