Linda Miller - Back to life after stroke
Linda shares her story as part of a series on stroke rehabilitation to highlight the American Stroke Association’s new Life After Stroke Guide (download it directly by clicking here), part of the Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Encompass Health.
When Linda Miller, 68, did not show up for her first sermon as senior pastor in Phoenix, Arizona, her church family knew something was wrong and sent for help.
Linda woke up at 3 a.m. with a numb left arm and a weakening left leg. Recognizing these as signs of a stroke, she made several unsuccessful attempts to get to her phone. Five hours later a friend arrived and called 911. A CT scan revealed she had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke, leaving the left side of her body completely flaccid. Her speech was slow, slurred and monotone. She also had a face droop.
After a few days in the hospital, Linda was ready for the next step toward recovery. She chose MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the Encompass Health network, as she wanted a hospital setting dedicated to rehabilitation. Only two days after her arrival, she was up on her feet and determined to walk.
Linda’s goal was to make a full recovery. Her therapists encouraged and pushed her hard in order to. They expected a lot of her and did not waste any time. After five weeks of inpatient therapy, Linda was discharged home, walking with a quad cane.
Linda returned to knitting, and teaches art classes, adult education and literacy courses. She inspires and encourages others on the same journey to stroke recovery.
“Be kind to yourself and be gentle,” she tells them. “Don’t quit, don’t give up. Your body is capable of way more than you can dream.”
What was rehabilitation like for you? Join the Support Network to comment below and share your experience.