© ruthie 65 happy but can't smile.



My story begins like this.... 2 years ago,in July of 2003.

The company my husband works for relocated us from a suburb outside of Baltimore, Maryland to Southlake, Texas a suburb outside of Dallas.

My husband and I were born and raised in the Baltimore area.All of our friends and family were there. Our daughters Emily and Samantha were ages 14& 11yrs. respectively. It was a difficult adjustment for the girls. I was not working so that I could be available to them at all times. Picking the girls up after school was my time to chat with them and hear about their daysI really enjoyed the time, it kept us close.

Then in January of this year I became restless and the 2 girls had become expensive shoppers,so we decided I should get a part-timejobto keep me out of trouble I hadmade some great friends since moving here and one of them helped me find a job.I started on January5,2005and I loved it

I was a personal assistant to a real estate broker/agent that owned her own company.

Then on 2/23/05 I had a headache No big deal. I had them all the time, but this was like one of my migraines.I picked fhe girls up from school went home, took some Excedrine migraine and went about my business on the computer. At some point I started to feel really bad and I went to my bedroom to lie down .I felt really weird like I had taken some kind of drugs.

My husband called and I told him I had a headache and wasn't feeling well and he says,but I don't remember, that I dropped the phone. I asked my daughter Emily to call my next door neighbor and bestfriend, Sharon. She came right overand after seeing me lying in bed and trying to talk to me,She called 911. I remember her talking to them and her rubbing my foot . They told her to ask me to recite the aphabet and I must have sounded weird because I remember Sharon getting upset.

I made her promise not to leave me and she says, she asked me to do the same. That's all I really remember until sometime in late March/early April.Apparently I stopped breathing in the ambulance , after that, they had taken me to a hospital nearby. and they said they couldn't help me

.They told my husband they didn't think Iwould make it through the night. My husband prepared the girls for the worst.

Then I was rushed to another hospital in Dallas where they took a CT scan and realized I had a ruptured AVM they did an emergency craniotomy to remove the clot from my brain. They fully intended to remove the AVM within the next couple of days,but I managed to get infections and pneumonia while I lay unconscious in ICU for the next three weeks.

The next clear memories I have were mid April when I was on the rehab. floor, my friend Sharon and her husband came to visit and my husband was there and they were talking about taxes.The doctors finally chose a date,May 11th for my AVM removal and craniotomy to replace the piece of skull they had removed during emergency surgery. I went to PT and OTand ST 5 days a week 2x a day for 1 hour each.

On May 10, My sister's birthday, I walked with the hemi-walker for the first time.Tthere were nurses and therapists literally cheering me on with,"Go Ruth.....Go Ruth....". I was so proud of myself and I walked about 35 ft. I called my sister when I got back to my room and wished her a happy birthday and told her what I had done and that it was a present to her.

The next day would be my surgery and I was really scared.The hospital pastor, a lovely woman, came to be with me and my hubby while Iwaited for my turn in surgery. Surgery went extremely well and I was fortunate not to have any setbacks.

I went to the ICU for 3 days then to acute care for a short time, then back to rehab.,where I was happy to be "home."I loved my therapists in rehab especially my ST, I will never forget her, Stephanie Sanchez.She helped me through many anxiety attacks and even came to visit me in ICU after my surgery.She is a very genuine, caring, and warm young woman I was discharged from the hopital on5/26/05, after a long journey. It was very hard to leave the comforts and safety of the hospital. My house was a scary place initially. But after a few weeks it became home again.


© ruthie 65 happy but can't smile.

From the category:

Stroke and Rehabilitation

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Girl, you had a rough one,you sound like a trooper.I'm a california transplant from Dallas born and raised there till I was 21.I went to school in Richardson,my daddy lives in Denton and I'm coming home in two weeks I can't wait.You will make the best and most loyal friends of your life there.My smile is crooked too,I'm so self concious,I had mt stroke 5 years ago at 43.My left hand is still not much use other than proping it against things so I can accomplish the task with the right hand.You and I are like so many others,the whole headache thing,my stroke was caused by complicated mugraine.My nurses would come to my room look at my chart and say,oh my god from a migraine? I have those didn't know you could have a stroke from it.Alot of strokes start with an ignored headache and progress.I've written Oprah and the View to ask them to do segments on women and headaches and to pay much mor attention to them and to tell their doctors,could be warning signs.Have you ever read "Don't leave me this way"? by Julia fox Garrison,you should get it she is a stroke survivor and the book is all about her stroke to recovery,she had a pretty similar stroke to yous sounds like. I cried the first 3 chapters but its a great read especially for those of us that have been there.I hope your doing well thses days,keep on keeping on it does get better.My bio is listed if you want to see me and read my stroke story.Take care Laree Martz

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