[mini-icon icon=”info-sign”] Originally from National Stroke Association
I was 19 and on January 15th 2012. I drove myself to the hospital cause I was having trouble moving my arm and leg.
When I got there they ran a bunch of tests and scans and told me I was having a stroke. What little I can move my hand was gonna disappear. I was transferred to Jefferson hospital in Philly where the nurse in the neurological ICU unit told me I was probably never gonna walk again. I have a cavernous malformation in the center of my left side of my brain. That burst opened and was filling my brain with blood. It’s right where all the motor functions are controlled.
I lost every movement of muscles on my right side.
I couldn’t uncurl my hand from a ball, couldn’t move my arm, and couldn’t walk at first. But I walked outta the hospital with a cane giving that nurse the middle finger. I went home having trouble talkin and couldn’t move my right side. I felt stupid, couldn’t think straight, focus, remember what I was saying in the middle of a sentence. I had constant headaches throughout recovery and still do, and the worse kind of pulsing headaches you can get.
I had to go for an MRI every 3 months to see if it went down. I went to physical and occupational therapy for a while then my father who I lived with said he wasn’t takin me anymore. He wasn’t helping me anymore or payin for therapy. So I just started doin therapy myself at home, and once I could move my arm I started playin basketball. It was very hard but the tripleing and shooting were very helpful for getting my arm back.
I went it the hospital that June cause my brain bled a little, and for some reason my dad kicked me out when I got home. I moved in with my aunt and it was the best thing for me, I don’t feel like I’m alone. I don’t feel like I could die in my room and no one would know til they smelt me. I was fine all summer I was basically 95% healed and the thing in my brain was down 8 times the size it was when I first had my stroke and January.
The doctors were surprised that I recovered and were relived that they didn’t have to do a risky surgery. I returned to working about 8 months after my stroke and it felt great to do something productive again. It felt great that my life wasn’t over, that I can built a life even with all the things my stroke has stolen from me. But after 3 weeks of my job I had an MRI and my neurologist called and told me my brain was bleeding. The thing in my head grew and I got 2 opinions on what’s next. I have to wait til I have another stroke then get brain surgery to remove the cavernous malformation. This surgery is likely to leave me paralyzed on my right side permanently. So I’m just waiting til it happens. Checking every morning if I can open my hand. It gets weaker everyday and my legs goin too.
I’m just thankful for my family. Without them I couldn’t get through this. The only thing that is getting me out of bed anymore is my 2 baby nieces who I love watching them grow and devolve personalities. I never told anyone this, but my stroke mad me angry. It stole my life. But I realized that after all is said and done, I just have to steal it back.