My Story

On Nov. 25, 2009, the day before Thanksgiving, I was standing in an unfamiliar place with my daughter, my fiance' Terel, his dad, and Terel's two sisters. We had gone to Texas to see family so we were not at home, Oklahoma. We were on our way to eat dinner when I felt something different crawl up my right leg. The feeling was almost to the point of feeling dizzy. I looked to my fiance' wanting to tell him I didn't feel well and my little girl came up to me all smiles. She asked if she could ride with the other girls to the restaurant. I just nodded my head unable to speak. As soon as she was out of hearing range I told Terel that I didn't feel well. I said that maybe I just needed to sit down so we headed for the truck.
The feeling wasn't getting better but I am lucky that both guys were with me. I was sitting up front trying to process what I was feeling and going on with my body. I was loosing feeling on my right side. My now father-in-law was asking me all kinds of questions and Terel was holding my left hand from the back seat. There was mention of heart attack and the next thing I knew that crawling feeling was at my throat. I told them and immediately we were going to the hospital. We weren't even on the main road. I remember seeing us go around vehicles and hearing the clicking noise of the hazard lights. My father-in-law had called someone explaining where we were, what was happening, describing the truck we were in and any other information as we continued to head to the hospital. The whole time I told myself to not be afraid and held onto Terel's hand.
When we arrived they told me to stay in the seat. They helped me get out and took me right inside to a small room with a table, cabinets and medical devices. I don't remember much the next few days, only Terel having to leave my side and closing my eyes.
I remember having tests but not all of them. I was at the hospital for approximately 20 days. At first when I woke up, (a few days later after going in and out of sleep), my speech was slow and I had to think of the correct words. I could not feel much if not any feeling on my right side from head to toe. When people would place their hand on my right shoulder I wouldn't even know they did or that they picked up my right hand. I worked a little bit each day at using my right hand even if I couldn't feel and walking, oh my what a challenge that is when you can't feel. I had a hard time trusting a foot and leg that I didn't know existed and a balance that was way off. Before I left that hospital I did walk about 20 steps to the room next door. It was just me the last week I was there. Terel had to go back to work before I was released because we weren't married at the time and his work would not let him stay. The nights were really lonely but thankful for cell phones, nurses and the visitors I did get from time to time.
Finally getting to go home, with wheelchair and some therapy instructions, I couldn't wait! My blood pressure was the reason for my stroke, a bleed, vein burst in the left side of my brain. I wasn't out of the clear... I was glad to be home but I was no where ready to face all my issues. I couldn't walk with out someone with me. I had very very little feeling and had a foot that liked to turn on it's right side. I had to really depend on my fiance' to come home at lunch, help me move from room to room, fix my food, and I stayed put until he got home. Was a very frustrated time as I couldn't do anything but watch tv or read if a book was nearby. Within a few days, I had to force myself to walk from bed to toilet chair or couch to toilet chair right next to me. That toilet chair had to be moved anytime I moved rooms. My wheelchair didn't fit much anywhere in our apartment. Was a crazy time just a week... then my blood pressure went back up on the 20th. Just out of the blue felt that I needed to check my pressure.. 180/110 wow! next thing I know I am back in the hospital in Oklahoma on December 20, 2009, just a little bit before Christmas.
I was taken to a hospital nearby, Mercy Hospital. The ER staff tried to get my pressure down and we waited. I really didn't want to go back in to a hospital. Confused why my blood pressure was up, I took my meds. Finally came down some but had to wait to see what would happen. The pressure went right back up. ICU here I come as the medicine they wanted to give was in IV form. They needed to watch over me since I just had a stroke a few weeks before. I had hoped for holidays at home, time with my fiance' and just rest. I got my rest as I was in ICU for one day and the next week was in my own room on the 3rd floor. My blood pressure would not stay down. Up down Up down. The Dr taking care of me changed my meds, upped my dosage until I was stable. 4 medicine for blood pressure... God had a reason for allowing all this to happen to me. I didn't know at the time. Took me months to realize. I had not had any formal therapy. I had no idea how I was to get better. I only knew two people that had a stroke before. I was so confused. Lucky me, there was a rehab center right there in the hospital! After I was stable, after Christmas and a blizzard, around one week I was moved to another part of the hospital and I had a schedule. I would have Physical Therapy, twice a day, Occupational Therapy, once a day, and started with Speech Therapy. I knew I slurred some but did not think was much. In the 19 days I was in rehab I went from using wheelchair to walker. Walking here and there but walking! I could do the things they asked me to do with my right hand even though no feelings. Amazed that I could feed myself with right hand though could not feel. I graduated with flying colors on the speech part even completed tasks that no one had done before. There were still lots to come. Backwards and forwards. The brain needs repeating over and over to learn as a child needs to do activities over and over. I had to learn one more skill before they would release me. We live in an apartment on the second floor. There are 14 steps needed to climb to get in the door. I learned to take one step at a time, left foot first then bring up my right, non-feeling foot. To grab hold of the railing with both hands as the railing is right side only. Going up, hard challenge, coming down I soar. To this day I still have husband walk behind me while I go up the stairs. I still have balance issues but so glad they taught me steps before letting me go. A lot of the things I did do, feed myself right hand no longer works as well and muscles that feel are really tight.
The next year would give me one challenge after another. God reminds me, renews me, and is still working on me but I can say... He guarded my heart and mind when I could not. For His Glory and only by His strength and power can I do anything!