I am a 43 year old woman who had a stroke 5 1/2 years ago, It happened on Jan. 17th 2001, which was also my twin boys 17th birthday. I was in what I would say was one of the happiest times of my life. My boys were good. I had a good husband Brad and I'd just found a great old store front in Old Town Temecula, Ca. to open my long awaited antique store. I had a wonderful friend for a business partner and we started renovations in Oct. to get ready for the Holiday rush. We tore out walls, painted, talked and laughed. I could see my dream taking shape. I was so excited I just couldn't believe it was really going to happen.
We opened mid November with a successful opening day and week. I couldn't wait to get to work each day. On the way to work one morning I had a sudden loss of some sight in my left eye. I kept driving and figured it would clear up. It came and went over several days, and then the problem disappeared. We got through our first Christmas and did well at the store. Things were good. On Jan. 17th, we were celebrating our sons' birthday. While sitting at dinner I felt a little funny but it passed. On the drive home the left side of my face felt cold. I tried to touch it with my left hand but couldn't move the hand to my face.
We took the kids home and went straight to the hospital. I had the first of four TIA's five days later. I had a massive stroke in my sleep. I went to the hospital and stayed 3 1/2 months. I was paralyzed completely on the left side. This wasn't the plan, what happened? Yesterday I was happy walking around and helping customers at my store and today I'm in a hospital gown wondering how I get to the bathroom.
My days were now starting at 6:00 trying to get dressed and being wheeled to physical therapy for hours of work. About eight months later, and after lots of failures, I was walking with a cane.
I still had that weird feeling that wouldn't go away in my hand, arm and leg. I sat looking at my hand trying with all my might to move my thumb independently of my other fingers. The concentration hurt my brain. All along I was wondering how my little store was and wanting to go there so badly. My mom was with me the entire time in the hospital, sleeping in a chair. My boys stopped coming to see me. I cried so much while they were there that it was hard for them.
After lots of therapy and hard work and lots of love I'm proud to say I now am able to run. I go to the gym and use the treadmill. I still have a cane hanging on my hall tree that I see daily as I walk past. I kept the store for three years and then moved away from the area. My sons graduated from high school and both got married last year to sisters. My son walked me to my seat down the aisle and kissed me, then took his place at the altar. All these things I was blessed to do, I'm so glad I worked hard to prove the doctors wrong. I am glad I never gave up. My stroke was due to complicated migraine.