I am screaming I survived THE STROKE seven years ago today! I am SO grateful to be here with my son, family and friends. Seven years ago to this date I had a massive stroke in my sleep due to undiagnosed diabetes. Three weeks prior to the stroke I had sent out a mass email to friends and family advising them of what to do if them or someone they knew were having a stroke. Little did I know I would be the someone.
Yes, me…a vibrant thirty something year old single parent doing the damn thing. I had everything I needed and about 85% of what I wanted from a good relationship with God to a GREAT son to MY own house to excellent family and friends. I was not even overweight even had a clean bill of health forty five days prior to the stroke.
So here I was having a stroke in my sleep and truly unable to help myself because I was sleep. As a result to this day I never sleep more than three hours straight. Why you ask? Well if I had gotten to the hospital within five hours of noticing the first symptom I would have been eligble to get a thrombolytic shot to reverse the stroke. Thrombolytic helps reestablish blood flow to the brain by dissolving the clots. Since I was sleep whenever the stroke started and ended I was not eligible. If they had given me the shot anyway it would have done more damage than good so I was faced with a new reality. I should have paid more attention to the severe headache which I had about a week earlier for no known cause. I never have headaches and that was the fifth one I had in all my life because again I never get headaches.
Warning Signs of Stroke
Learn as many stroke symptoms as possible so you can recognize stroke as FAST as possible.
Stroke symptoms include but are not limited to…
~ SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body.
~ SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
~ SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
~ SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
~ SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.
So let’s fast forward seven years. The past seven years have been one hell of a journey yet in the words of Dr. Maya Angelou “Still I Rise…” People can be so cruel to the physically challenged that is incredible. Incredible I say.
For me having a stroke was very similar to a death when the actual “event” is over people forget about you, try to take advantage of you and no longer check on you after the first month or first year. First I was sad about it, then I was mad about and now I just block it out until this time of year. I have learned how to enjoy my alone time and just invest in my spirit, my son and my goals. Sure, some days are better than others however in the words of Bob Marley…“Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the one worth suffering for.”
One day I plan to become a brand ambassador for the Faces of Stroke and start a foundation to ease the effects of stroke for the next thirty something year old single mother who has a stroke. I do not want anyone else to experience what I experience without the proper resources and support in place. Please do not get wrong…my resources and support were better than most. A lot better and I am grateful for that however I want to offer the next person the best of the best from financial to physical to medical to ongoing support and more. My reality has been brutal at times and lovely at times however mostly brutal. I have to keep my spirits up more than you ever could imagine on top of life’s other challenges. And not to toot my own horn however as a two time stroke survivor and a two time cancer survivor I rock! In the words of The Voice aka Whitney Houston… “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”
Have a DYNAMIC day and make sure you stay abreast of the warning signs of stroke.
Girl you got NECKKID!!!!! You are an amazing woman … but you know this.♡ I knew when we met there was a physical limitation of sorts but I never asked. So I am blown away right now at your testimony. I laugh sometimes when we share with each other about all the things you do but you REALLY are KIMPOSSIBLE!!! You are such an inspiration and I’m blessed to have met you. ♡♡♡
Rotflol! My Mandi I am laughing beyond control right now. Yes, I got NECKKID for sure with this 761 word post. Thank you for never questioning my physical limitation. Many people do and do so rudely. Yes I am and will continue to be #KimPossible. The TV show has nothing on me. Lol… Grateful that our paths crossed.
This is a great piece. It is truly eye opening for me. Thank you for being so transparent & sharing your story. God bless you in your glorious journey!
Thanks! Love you Brandy!
I am in tears reading this! I am so thankful that our paths have crossed. You are a phenomenal woman! Love you and continue to follow the path set down for you. #TeamBavu
Yes ma’am Diva! I must admit my eyes started “sweating” as well. 🙂 Love you beyond measure…
Praise God What a heart warming post, So glad you got threw everything safe and sound. Also thank you for posting all the warning signs for if someone or yourself may be having a stroke.
That is so incredibly scary! I think a lot of people think of the elderly when they think about having strokes, so it’s great that you are raising awareness. Actually not just raising awareness because you are a survivor 🙂
Yes, Robin! Very scary. I was the youngest patient on the floor besides a two year old. 🙁 Grateful that I made it though.
Bravo!!! Thank you for sharing! It’s so much I can relate too, can’t even begin to put it into words. Just know, your story is touching someone right now! 🙂
Yes, it is Shonda! I remember when we first met we knew exactly what challenges the other had faced. 😉
Wow! What a dynamic story and a eye opener as well. This post literally had me in tears because things happen and we are never aware just hustling and bustling about our way grinding hard. I will be sure to pay attention to the signs as I have suffered with severe migraines all my life and doctors can not diagnose why I have them. Thank you for your post! Continued Success!
Thank you Turkesha!
So happy that you’ve made it this far and here’s to many more blessed years to come girl!!
I am also happy that you are willing to help bring awareness for the younger people since this type of thing isn’t talked about much. I had a cousin who had a stroke and wasn’t even 40 yet and it was scary as heck so I can only imagine…
Keep Rising chica!!
Thank you Kesha! Yes, a very scary experience. I was the youngest person on my floor. The youngest in the treatment center was two. That just broke my heart.
Wow Kim. What a story. I am so glad you made it to the other side. I am grateful that you are here today and still a powerhouse for sure!!!!!!!! YOu are still doing the darn thing!! I hope your dreams come true of being a spokesperson as well. You would be a great asset!!
Thank Bernetta! You kind words are appreciated.
So glad you recovered, God is good! Congrats!
Congrats on a seven year survival! I hope you become a spokeperson; people need to see someone like them (single mother, young lady, black woman, woman!) and know that there is hope.
Thanks Rachee! You are appreciated…
Congratulations on your recovery. I lost an uncle who, sadly, survived his stroke but it caused him to go into an extreme depression as he could not live with the lasting effects his stroke caused. As soon as he was released from the hospital he took his own life. It was a very big heartbreak for our family!
Wow Erica…I am SO sorry to hear that. BIG hug!!!!!
Wow Kim, this was an amazing testimony and really great info we all need to be aware of. My uncle suffered 3-4 severe strokes but to see him today, you would never know. He was told he wouldn’t walk again but he does and his overall health is great. Thank you also, for the reminder that sometimes our prayers are not enough…but that an actual, physical, live call or visit is what our friends and families need most. Wishing you continued blessings!
I just LOVE you Christine! I did not walk or talk for a long time but I made it.Yes, I did… 🙂
Great news for you! I too have had a near death scare when I initially was diagnosed with diabetes. Went DKA while working and nearly went out for good!
9 years later, no diabetes and brain-tumor free…
That is AWESOME Tony! What did you do to cure yourself?
That is an amazing thing to have survived a stroke and reached the point where you are now. My ex’s father had a stroke and he was never the same afterwards. It was quite sad how much his personality had changed.
Thank you for that image educating us on how to pinpoint a possible stroke. You’ll make a great ambassador – I’m sure of it!
Thanks for sharing your amazing story. That is such a scary thought that it happened in your sleep. Thank God you survived it and are here to give your testimony. Blessings to you my dear.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. This is such an important topic. People don’t realize strokes don’t just happen to elderly people.
No they do not! I was the youngest person on my floor and a two year old was the youngest in the building.
Truly amazing! So scary but the strength you have shown is going to help so many others. Thank you for sharing your story. My friends husband had a stroke at a young age. It was and is an ongoing challenge for them.
Thank you! Please give the my contact information and let them know if they ever want to talk I am here. Kimberly@KeystrokesByKimberly.com or 678.632.BLOG
Oh my Goodness… Congratulations to you. What an amazing post this is. Every day you wake up must seem like a wonderful day to you.
Yes, everyday is a present at this point. I am SO grateful for my life.
I am so glad that you recovered. Thank you for sharing your story and bringing awareness.
I am so glad you survived even though you weren’t able to catch it in time. This post is so great because it raises awareness and helps inform everyone. A close friend of mine who passed away use to suffer from strokes.
Strokes are pretty common in my family, so this was very eye opening for me. Thank you for sharing your story and experience. definitely hope you are able to become that ambassador. You will be able to do a world of good for others who have to go through such a trial.
Thank you Amber! I want that Ambassadorship. 🙂
Congrats! You’ve been through a lot but you look so amazing and happy today! I love your enthusiasm and your passion.
Lol… Thank you Beth! I am happy and it feels SO good.
Amazing post, thank you so so much for sharing your story, I am so glad you have made it through and you are here to share and help others. x
Thank you Sarah! You kind words are appreciated.
Thank you or sharing your story with us. This time of year is also when my husband was sick, so I think of everything too..I’m so glad to hear you’re not mad anymore. I’m still a little bit mad at lots of people. Good to know it will lessen.
Hi Kendra ~ Thank you for reading. The madness lessens over time. You realize it is not worth the anger and you move on. Remember forgiveness is not for them it is for you. Glad to know he is better. From December to May is considered stroke season.
Wow. I didn’t realize that there were time limits to treatment options. Thank you for sharing this very important information. I’m certain your positive spirit and attitude helped carry you through!
Thank you Nicole!
Blessed you are indeed! Amazing testimonial, truly an inspiration! Had me in goosebumps reading this! Thank you for sharing!!!
Also, was the stroke cause by a blood clot? So scary!!
It was caused by undiagnosed diabetes and a blood clot. The clot had already dissolved it’s self when I got to the hospital.
You are amazing, it is scary what can happen when we sleep. The fact that you had a clean bill of health just 45 days prior scares the hell out of me to be honest, you just never know what is going to happen to you. I am so glad you survived and while it was a tough road that I am sure you are still on, you are using your experience to change things and raise awareness. I admire that, you are definitely one strong and beautiful woman.
Thank you Jennifer! Your kind words are appreciated.
Love this! Love love it! More people need to know about this, the signs, and to call right away. The quicker it’s dealt with the better the chances! I’m so glad to see you smiling today as a survivor!
OH MY GOSH!! Good for you for moving on but I’m so sorry that it still hurts you to think about it. I am a 30 something single mom to 3 girls and let me tell you, stress doesn’t begin to cover it. I’m overweight, too~ which you weren’t. I am going to have to do better so that I don’t leave 3 little orphans! Thanks for sharing your story and the reminder to do better!!
You rock, girl! Thanks for sharing us this wonderful and eye-opener story. 🙂 I am glad you made it through!
Thank you Aisha!
I wish more stroke survivors are as supportive & an advocate as you are, m’dear! I’m an occupational therapist & work with so many stroke survivors & it’s amazing to see how they progress from day to day, but also heartbreaking if they begin to plateau. Thank you for sharing your journey with us 🙂
Thank you Annie!
It is so important to share about the signs, a dear friend of mine who like you was young and in very good health also suffered a stroke and her physical therapy is still ongoing, women tend to care for everyone in their world’s but themselves and we overlook things, thinking we are just ‘rundown’ or ‘tired’ and often times it’s so much more!
I spent most of 2012 in the hospital myself (not for the same reason though), and I can only say that if we have to go through the rain, the best way to make those rainbows when you walk through it, is to help someone else. I pray this post does just that.
Be blessed always!
Love and Light,
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly
Thank you for those kind words and sharing your story Tracy! Love and light to you as well…
Great information to get out there for the general public. People really need to see this info several times a year so that they don’t forget it. You have really been through a lot in your life’s journey so far. You are a strong woman.
Absolutely Pam! Thank you for reading.
Thanks for sharing your story. I have a family member who suffered a horrible stroke and now is partially paralyzed. It is great that you are taking action to spread awareness!
I don’t know what to say… but Wow! You are unique! God is so good! I agree on that statement, invest in spirit, son and goals. Keep the spirit up!
Thank you Mel! Your kind words are appreciated. 🙂
My mother had a mini-stroke. I remember her recounting the incident and it was scary! She was lucky enough to get the shot but only because her husband happened to walk in on the stroke. She was alone when it happened. Strokes scare me. They are running wild through my family with each generation having them younger and younger. I’ve been doing stroke-prevention (diet, exercise, etc.) for years out of fear I may be next. I’m happy to hear of your survival story and I appreciate you sharing these tips.
Thank you! Glad your mother was able to benefit from the shot. Thank is AWESOME…
Great info for women! I wish more could know about this!
Hi Tess! Thank you. Please send them over to the blog and feel free to repost.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I memorized the signs of a stroke when I was a nursing student. I’ve been getting really severe headaches lately, so I make people test me. Does that sound silly? I am scared of strokes! I’ll walk up to my mom and say “is my face drooping? Do you understand what I’m saying?” Stuff like that. The whole fear was ingrained in me when I had severe preeclampsia and spent two days on a Mag drip to prevent me from stroking out. Every since then, it’s been on my mind.
Hi Nikki ~ No that does not sound silly at all. It sounds safe.
How wonderful you were able to recover. The tips are nice and easy to remember, helpful for all to know.
I am so happy that everything turned out ok for you and your family. It can be scary going through something like this. I had to learn to recognize the symptoms because of my job and I’ve never witnessed anyone having one but I’m sure it is scary. Thanks for sharing your experience and what to look out and for being such a great advocate.
Happy Birthday and amazing strength you have.
I am so glad you are here to type this post and share it with the world! 7 years Post Stroke is amazing and you’ve survived Cancer? Wow.. Nothing will get you down!
Thank you Ashley! Yes, I am a survivor and thriver.
How inspiring as a stroke survivor myself people like you inspire me.
So, So, so wonderful!!! HUGS!! My mother in law had a stroke a few years ago and while there was some damage she survived! Big big hugs!!!
Kim I am so happy to be part of your “family” and can’t even imagine all you’ve gone through. I know I give you hell all the time but know it’s all in love *snickering*. This is also a great reminder to me to stay on top of my BP issues since I’m also at an increased risk of having a stroke. Love you and keep on kicking butt and taking names!
Glad to see you have overcome something this serious and can be around to educate others. So many people give up too easily after something happens that it is refreshing to see those who can still be positive!
Congratulations on this anniversary! What a crazy scary thing to experience. Thanks for sharing the warning signs and your story! Prayers for continued strength and recovery!
Thank you Sharon!
Thank you for sharing your story. I think more people need to be aware of the symptoms so we can all help each other if something like this were to happen.
How scary – when I think stroke I always think of a senior citizen. It is really good you are sharing your story.
What a blessing I love hearing stories like this and I love that you are raising awareness. I am so glad you are ok. Thank you for sharing your story
Amazing testimony Miss Kimberly!! Can’t wait to meet you my PL sister!!
Kimberly, you are truly an inspiration in action! I could feel the vulnerability, strength and faith in your words. I’ve learned so much just from reading this posts! You wear so many hats and I’m inspired by them all! Many blessings to you and all you continue to accomplish!
Thank Sherelle! You words mean a lot to me.
Thank you so much for sharing your story as well as what to look for. It’s so important to never take good health for granted!
Such important info! I’ll share it out! So glad you are OK!!!
Praises!!!! Still you rise, indeed! What an awesome testimony….God bless you Kimberly 🙂
Thank you Nae! How is that little Angel coming along? So ready to hear what WE are having! *Snickering*
You’re such a amazing woman Kimberly to help bring awareness about strokes and how to prevent it. God was with you for sure and wanted you to share your wisdom. I had a step father who had a massive stroke and died from it but it could’ve been preventable if he had taken better care of himself.
Keep sharing your knowledge and God bless!
Yes ma’am Louida! Thank you for sharing.
Kim thank you for sharing your story. It really is important to know the signs AND to know that the symptoms are very different between men and women. I remember the night I came home and my father wasn’t feeling well. He thought it was from accidentally taking a muscle relaxant that he was on for a pulled muscle at work. It didn’t add up to me and he was clutching his arm. After asking him a few questions I dialed 911. He had indeed had a stroke. And the pulled muscle he had been diagnosed with days earlier had been a mini stroke. He was misdiagnosed and he has had a history of strokes. I just thank God that I came home when I did.
Wow… Thank you for sharing Arelis!
What a testimony of the power of positivity! I think you ALREADY ARE an ambassador, my dear. Keep on keeping on!
Lol… Well, THANK YOU Elayna!
Blessings on your 7 year anniversary of survival.
Thanks for sharing the signs of stroke.
Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey! That Maya Angelou poem is one of my favorites too.
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