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Francisco601, April 15,  2021  5:07pm EST

Stroke Survivor from September 2020 - Be Strong and Courageous

Stroke Survivor from September 2020 Please follow this link, YouTube Video on the right might not work properly. 

Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Jose Francisco Peña, I am a Stroke Survivor of an Ischemic Cerebellar Stroke (Right Cerebellum side affected). My stroke happened this past Labor Day, right after midnight, on September 8th, 2020 at 4:00 AM (Approx). It has been a nightmare, these past 7 months I spend about 2 months in the hospital, 3 weeks in ICU, and the rest of the time in a recovery facility down here in South Texas on the McAllen, Medical Center 6th floor.

I don't even know how to start, I feel awkward, lost, maybe depressed, but well, here we are. Let me give you all a brief description of how everything started. On Friday, August 28th, 2020, around 8:15 PM, I was sleeping already, on a Friday??, been 39 years old, feeling exhausted and tired, it was not normal for me, I was supposed to be BBQ-ing and drinking in my back yard instead. But well, I woke up around 11:00 PM thinking I was dreaming, I felt the whole room spinning around me like something crazy and unusual, non-stop spinning (vertigo). I went back to lay down on the bed thinking it was a dream (a nightmare I would say), I had a lot of vertigo and the spinning never stopped, I felt nauseous and throwing up, abundance cold sweating from my front head,  but I had to stand up and go to the restroom (toilet) to do this, but I couldn't, as soon as I stand up from the bed and tried to walk, the spinning was going faster and I could not manage my legs to walk, I had to go crawling to the toilet and start throwing up. At that time, I thought it was a case of food poisoning or something with my stomach, to make the story short, as I could, I grabbed my phone and dialed my wife to ask her to deploy an ambulance to the house, she was not at the house at that moment, she was visiting my in-laws with my three children.

The ambulance arrived, and they checked all my vitals, they send me to the nearest hospital, they said it was a vertigo attack or dehydration. The Emergency Doctors in charge checked for illegal drugs in my system, vitals, COVID-19 symptoms, among other checkups. They released me from the ER Room on August 29th, 2020 around 3:30 AM thinking it was an episode of vertigo, but what they did not check or knew, is that it was the first episode of a brain stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack). On Saturday, August 29th, around 11:00 AM, I asked my wife to take me back to the Emergency  Room, I could not walk, I did not have any balance or strength moving my legs, vertigo symptoms were still there, vomiting, nausea, etc. During this second visit to the ER Room, the Doctors in charge for that morning shift, requested a CT Scan of my head and brain, unfortunately, they concluded that everything looked good, and they insisted on the vertigo diagnosis and prescribed me some medications over the counter for vertigo and allergies.

After 9 days the second episode hit me on Tuesday, September 8th around 4:00 AM, this was the worst feeling ever, I felt someone was drilling my right side of the brain with an electric drill using a sharped concrete drill bit, I felt this sensation until I lost 4 switches/breakers of my body, 1.-Vision, 2.- Speech, 3.- Body Strenght, and 4.- Balance and Coordination of my limbs. Thank GOD my Wife was there, and she called the ambulance right away, my second chronic infarct (Brain Stroke) was happening. I hate strokes, I hate them.......It has been a difficult 7 months of recovering, coping, struggling financially, among other nightmares. I can only tell you that my faith in GOD and my positive attitude will take me further on a fast recovery adventure. To be continued.......


Jose Francisco Peña

1 Reply
  • AHAModerator
    AHAModerator, April 18,  2021  11:47am EST


    Thank you for sharing your story with the support network. You have been through a great deal but please remember that you are not alone. While you continue to connect with others here, I can share some resources on Mental Health and Life After Stroke. Please keep us updated on how you're doing during your recovery. We're rooting for you!

    Best wishes,

    AHA Moderator

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