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Going Home, Learning the Truth, and the Next Step...



When I got home I really don't remember very much. I still had no diagnosis and life was still going to go on...bills, eating, using the restroom, period (this has been a real problem health wise), being alone, just surviving. I was helped to my bed and all I remember for the next week is my daughter who graciously made me something to eat and gave me snacks and drinks which lay on the bed next to me. I ate but I don't remember it. I do remember having to use the bathroom which was a potty seat close to my side of the bed. I couldn't walk without falling but I could hold on enough to just get there and sit down. I had started my period again in the hospital and it was really really heavy and I really don't know how long it lasted that time. Right before I had the stroke I had a month and a half long extremely heavy period which left me extremely anemic and 0 iron stores. (I took iron supplements per my Doctors orders). I can only remember bits and pieces which is probably good. The 2 weeks that followed were hell. I needed to sleep almost all the time, I couldn't talk very well, I still was throwing up at least once or twice an hour, the sound of the television was like torture, the lights couldn't be turned on because it bothered me so much I couldn't stand it, and my head hurt so bad. Every night my daughter I think would fix me something to eat. My daughter made an appointment with my primary doctor and my husband and daughter took me. All I could say was "Something is wrong...you know me Dr. _____ something is wrong with me. Something happened." He looked me over and Adrian and Hailey proceeded to tell him about what was going on. The first thing he did was test my reflexes (knee) and my leg shot up so far and it wouldn't stop going back and forth. My Doctor stopped my leg and immediately told all of us I needed to see a Neurologist as soon as possible. The appointment was made and we went as soon as we could. The Neurologist did a neurological examination and then after thinking for a moment she asked me to walk holding on to the wall up and then back down the hallway. She asked my daughter did I always walk like that not the imbalance but the way my feet were wide apart and the I waddled. It was not normal to her. So I was sent for an MRI which I had that week. I wouldn't get the results until I went back to see my Neurologist. It was a month. My mom came too along with my daughter and my husband. The Neurologist was hesitant, she asked had I fallen since before I felt that way. My answer was no and then she told us that I have had a bilateral cerebellar infarct. She said there is no evidence of prior TIA or Stroke but this was a large completed stroke. I just started crying. I couldn't stop. I had to go to another area and have a heart monitor placed that would stay there for about 2 weeks. She also ordered a BUNCH of tests. She said she would be calling me to set up therapy as soon as possible. She held my hand and said "I'm so sorry that you had to find out this way...but I will do everything I can to get you the right care. It's going to be ok.". It didn't feel ok. I was really scared...


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Tracy, you had a hard time getting a diagnosis, that is so wrong.  In this day and age everyone involved should have known there was a possibility of stroke and done some simple tests, as your neurologist finally did.  With one of Ray's strokes he was taken to hospital and released at 3am!!! The Team on duty could not decide if he had had another  stroke or not.  Make me wonder about training.  The neurologist who knew Ray confirmed by MRI that he had had another stroke but said:  "Sometimes it is hard to tell.".

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I feel that frustration Sue. My hospital was a stroke trained hospital with recognition and they stopped at the CT with no neurological exam. It upsets me especially when I told my daughter it was something big either a heart attack or a stroke and she relayed that to 911. I got to the hospital less than one hour after I collapsed. I think the hospital failed me. With the kind of stroke it is hard to tell but a neurological exam could have diagnosed it and MRI would have confirmed it.

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