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Before my Ischemic Stroke

Billie Jo


hi all my new friends.

Before my stroke, I was a up and coming web designer and graphic artist. I am married 25 years and we have 2 great kids. They were adopted as babies from S. Korea and are now 19 and 14. We are so proud of them.


I had suffered from horrid dizzy spells and severe headaches for about a year before my Ischemic Stroke on March 20, 2007. The Dr I saw for the spells and headaches claimed it was an inner ear infection and it might go away.. or it might not.. well almost a year to the date of the first spell, I had a stroke while visiting my mother 2 hours away. It was a good thing I was there. My hubby is a farmer and not home much. He would not have noticed what mom did.

I got up that morning at around 9 am... I generally would get up around 7am. I felt a little strange - like I was having a dizzy spell. It was a doozy. It disappeared as fast as it came on. I thought nothing of it. But would note it mentally.

Mom and I went on with our day.


That evening around 9PM mom asked me if I was ok.

We were making quilts. I was sewing away. I told her "Yes, I am ok"

She went about her business, I went about sewing my quilt.

I am very maticulous (sp) and mom noticed I was sewing kind of out of the line and didn't seem to care.

She asked me again "Are you ok?" I looked at her and said, "Why?" she said "Come on, we are going to the Hospital"

I said, "NO I am fine!" She said "NO YOU ARE NOT" so we went to the hospital.

Once we got there, I was to fill out some forms.. I couldn't do it... thought I didn't want to.. so Mom did them.

They ambulanced me to a much bigger hospital and that is about all I remember for the first 4 days I was there.

The stroke happened in my front between the 2 halves of my brain affecting my right side.

I didn't talk much I guess.. that is what they told me anyway. What I remember was wanting to sleep a lot. haha

I did finally come around.. and remember doing therapy to walk and talk. They said my responses were not appropriate. I didn't get that, I asked them "Did I say something wrong" They said, "No. You just didn't respond verbally at all." I was glad I wasn't mean to them haha


When I got home from my 10 day stay in the hospital, I was left all alone. I slept a lot and I watched TV a lot and I worked my right side a lot. I would walk to the little Sweedish Cemetary up the road from our place (1 1/2 miles away) and back sometimes 3 times a day. That got my right leg and foot back to normal in no time. My right arm and hand came back with just doing regular household chores. Blow drying my hair was dangerous though... haha

After a couple months I was back to normal. Then I had a panic attack. I thought I was having a heart attack. Back to the ER for me. They gave me a shot of something that made the attack disappear! I was elated! hah

then they made me an appointment to see a psychiatrist. He put me on lexapro one at bedtime. It works fairly well, but I can't stay asleep. I am awake 2 hours after I take it and have a bitchen time getting to sleep. My head will not shut off haha


On August 23, 2007 I was dusting the furniture. The dust rag fell out of my hand. I told my hubby, "Look, I can't hang on to this rag" He said, "Ya think we need to go to the dr?" I said, "No. We will see what happens" I wasn't dizzy and there was no numbness. Then it started.. .the numbness came on and I had a hard time with my hand and my left foot went numb and the left side of my facec went numb... off to the dr we went.

They did a CT scan.. and said I had a TIA and sent me home. We went to a golf tournament and by Monday when we got home I was dragging my foot and my hand was limp. So we called the ER I had gone to with the first stroke 2 hours away.. they said get here now.. so off we went. By noon I was admitted and testing began. They did an MRI and concluded there was evidence of new stroke. I was so sad.. and MAD They kept me in the hospital for 3 days. Took 20+ vials of blood, did a TEE test and Autonomic Test and another one I can't remember the name.

All came back just fine. They had not found anything wrong the first time I had a stroke. They just thought it was a fluke. We now they were really befuddled.. so tomorrow I go find out what they found out in the blood they took

They put me on Aggrenox 1 at bedtime. It gives me a headache so bad that it feels like 2 monkeys fighting over a banana in my head. The headache lasts all night and half the next day. I take tylonal extra strength for that.

They have me on lipitor as well. My cholestorol is borderline .. so guess that is why.


I have exercised my left hand and foot. I can walk almost normal now and my left hand is getting stronger. I can type fairly well. Not as fast as I used to but it is getting there. I am too stubborn for this to keep me from being down.


Well... until tomorrow.. that is all I have.



Billie Jo

Tracy, MN


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Hi Billie Jo, What at time you have had but guess as you said you will not give up which is why you are doing so well !! At least they have taken a lot of blood so should be able to find something & be able to treat you,.

I am a carer to Baz who had a stroke 3 years ago aged 58, he has been left paralysed down the right side can walk but nothing in the right hand & has aphasia so words can get mixed up, but life has settled down & I am glad he is still with me, we got married a year after his stroke .It is a terrible thing having a stroke but life does go on & it just has to a different life & one that takes a while to adjust to, you sound as though you have a lot of support from your family & that is wonderful . This is a great site with a lot of support & we look forward to reading your posts.

Good luck,Anne.

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Billie Jo,


Welcome to the world of blogging. Sorry to hear about all that you've experienced. I sincerely hope ad pray that things start going better for you. When you first went to the hospital kinda resembled what I experienced. On 12-31-2004, I began experiencing dizzy spells as well as overall feeling "funny". I was stumbling around and kept falling into my teenage daughter as we were shopping for New Year's Eve. I went to bed thinking I'd feel better; but I sure didn't. I drove myself and my daughter to the hospital on New Years Day I was then classified as having an ischemic stroke. It was good that your Mom decreed you were going to the Emergency Room.

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Welcome to the Blog community and thanks for sharing. I also had dizzy spells off n on for awhile. had been treated for a sinus infection about a yr before stroke. About 10 days prior to stroke I was having dizzy spells, but just thought it was sinus.. or Spring allergies. .. until the morning ai woke up all off kilter and not doing well.It is strange how stroke hits some.. and some of the symptoms arre so evasive and hard to define. I am glad you were with your mom, who picked up on "something not right" I am glad your recovery is going well and definately hope you can find some reasons for what is happening.Welcome to our community.. i think you will make many firends here..

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hi BillyJoe:


welcome to wonderful world of blogging, start writing your thoughts away and you will see it will help you so much in your overall mental status after going thr stroke trauma.



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hi billie joe, welcome to our blogging world. boy you sure have had a rough go of things, sorry stroke entered your life also but thank goodness mom's know when something isn't right,huh. my stroke 5yrs ago from a clot sure got my attention in a hurry. now i walk with a brace and cane but left arm/hand are not doing much these days. it sounds like you have recovered well. so keep up the good work. i hope they are able to find a reason for your strokes. please do not hesitate should you start to feel funny again. they are serious no matter if a tia or full blown stroke. you might want to go the asa(american stroke assoc) or nsa( national stroke assoc) and sign up for their free subscriptions to their stroke magazines. they contain alot of good info and stories. the asa's is called "stroke connection" and nsa's is "stroke smart" i wish you a great recovery journey. keep blogging to let us know how you are doing.

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