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.