Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Stroke

This is my story. 

 I wasn't sure I wanted to publish  it, but since this is my journal, this would be valuable information

Jan 4, 2014

Background information.  I had been laid off my job of 10 years in December.  To say it was a surprise, would be quite correct.  I dealt with shock and depression afterwords, then told myself I would take December off and enjoy the season of Christmas.  I did interview for a job, the Wednesday before. Interview went well, and then the stroke happened. 
Jan 4 was a saturday.  Ed and just left for a Mason Meeting and I slept in a little bit.  After visiting the bathroom, I felt like my body was starting to tilt to the left.  At first, I did not think much of it, I thought my leg was asleep.  As I continued to walk I had to use the wall for support.  I checked my face in the mirror and it looked fine.  Looked out the back door and then I had to use the table and hutch for support.  I decided to lay down.  Once in bed, I though this was not a very wise move, so I got up.  By that time, I was not able to walk, so I crawled to the kitchen.  From the floor the world looks very different.  I was not able to see the phone, and used a cord to knock it on the floor.  First of all, I called Ed and got no answer.  My response, GREAT, then what should I do.  By that time I was not able to move my legs and my arm was losing strength.  I called 911, and they told me they were so glad I had called.  I guess, a  lot of people don't.  She stayed on the phone with me til help arrived.  Unfortunately my house was locked up very secure.  The police who arrived first were not able to get in.  Our back gate was even locked.  The operator said they would have to call the fire search and rescue to break into my house.  By that time, my neighbor came out and asked what was going on.  With the police officer they broke through the back gate and Sara my neighbor crawled through our doggy door to get in.  Then help came.
They transported me to Southdale hospital in Edina.  I was among a flurry of professionals working all around me, asking me to answer questions and take test.  At that time I was paralyzed on my left side.  It is such a surreal feeling.  I would think and concentrate to move and was not able to.  The top neurologist in the state just happened to be in the emergency room.  He came in and said that since I had made it to the hospital in a timely matter, I was able to take a drug TPA, which is known as a blood thinner on steroids.  There was a catch.  The drug came with a high mortality rate.  One if 13people die.  We had to make a decision very quickly. We decided yes, I was received the drug orally and with an IV.  After about 5 minutes, I was able to move my arm and leg.  I felt like Heavenly Father was aware of me and I received a miracle.
I spent five days in the hospital.  Kristina  and her boys Alex and Kalen stayed with me for two weeks as I could not be alone.  I will forever be thankful to her.

This event has been the hardest thing I have had to cope with in my life.  I get fatigued easily.  At first I slept all the time and then I could not sleep at all, which I have found out is quite common.  I am now on Ambien to sleep.  Without it, I would be awake 24/7.   As a result I became quite successful in family history indexing.  In fact I indexed 3000+ names.  That kept me busy during the wee hours.

I also deal with scattered thoughts.  Some things do not make sense.
I have been given the term "New Normal"  I hate this term because it means my life has changed, and of course it has.  I am not able to bike any distance.  This used to be one of my passions.  I have about 2-3 hours total productive time a day.  Quite a change from the past.  I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.  Wonderful!

I am coming to terms with my new life more and more each day.  I am not able to work, I have found I am quite good in snacking which has produced a 30 pound weight gain.

In the big picture, I feel this is a gift/blessing from my Heavenly Father.  Work was becoming stressful,  I felt like I could not do anything right.  I wanted to stay home, but was not possible at the time.  Now I am able to stay home. we have received blessings/miracles that have helped us take care of our bills.  I feel that Heavenly Father is aware of me, that I am loved and important, and that everything will be OK.

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