May 10
pnmcna14 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Did this really happen to me?

I'm 54.  I've never smoked, never did drugs, moderate alcohol use, so-so exercise mainly from working around the yard, and standing at work.  No one in my family had a stroke.  On Tuesday, January 5th, late, I woke up and was immediately violently ill.  I didn't even have time to get to the bathroom, and when I stood up, I was dizzy.  I had no headaches, no numbness, no slurred speech, no droopy face.  We thought it was just the flu.  I got sick again a couple of hours later.  Wednesday, I was laying down, watching TV.  I wasn't dizzy, and just stayed on the couch all day.  I got up a few times to go to the restroom, get some water, and soda crackers.  I had some difficulty walking, but was able to steady myself with walls, furniture, etc.  About 5, I felt well enough to sit up on my arms to watch TV.  Then, I got sick again, about midnight, and again about 2am.  We decided to go to the local urgent care at 8am on Thursday.  I got to the car with help, and went there, where I got into a wheelchair and got in.  They gave me a shot for the nausea, and I went through 2 IV's.  I was now at the point where I was walking around, looking out the window, etc.  They, too, thought it was the flu, just, I didn't have a fever.  They were going to send me home.  Then, they decided one last test, a CT scan.  They said they saw a spot, but without an MRI they couldn't really see what it was, so they send me to the hospital.  I was taken by ambulance, that way, I wouldn't have to wait in the waiting room and could get right in, it was now 2pm.  They kept me there until either a room opened up, or the MRI.  At 9pm, I got my MRI, and then was taken to my room.  They removed the IV at 3am, and at 7am, I was awake, eating, reading the paper, watching TV. Friday morning. I was hungry, and felt fine.  The internist came in.  I had a stroke,in the cerebellum, and I was lucky. She said they didn't know what caused it, she thought maybe a clot, or high blood pressure, but my BP was 138/84.  She ordered a heart check.  They performed an EKG and a bubble test, and the heart was fine. When I got back to the room, the neurologist was there, and we did a series of exams.  She signed off on my release. Then the physical therapist came in and we went for a walk, down the hallway, up and down stairs.  She signed off.  My memory was fine, I had short term and long term awareness.  I did math problems, push tests, read, and answered current event questions.  They were going to release me, but the chance of a relapse was the greatest in 48 hours so they kept me one more day.  They came in on Saturday, tested everything again, and discussed protocol.  BP needs to come down, weight, and LDL.  I was going to be on medicine for some time, blood thinners the rest of my life as we didn't want another stroke.  They asked about diet, and I showed them the DASH diet that I was looking at, and they gave it a thumbs up.  I had no restrictions, I could drive and return to work.  The hard part is accepting that this happened.  I still want to believe that I have the flu.  On my follow-up with the neuro, I got to see the MRI.  Almost one side of the cerebellum has been permanently destroyed.  They say this area will work itself out, as it has, and I would have a normal life.  Okay, then why do people at work give me soft jobs now?  I know they mean well and care, but the internists and neurologist want me to have vigorous exercise.  I have no mobility or strength issues, and can do my job as before. We had a norovirus outbreak just before a major event, and they all worried about me.  Even at home, I'm condemned if I go out and snow blow the widow with COPD.  I'm 54, as I was, and yet, I feel that they want to prop me up in a corner and dust me off once in a while.  I didn't die, but it appears as if I have to others.  Yet, it still feels like I just had the flu.  
  • Little Cyndi
    Little Cyndi,
    I'm 40, and I had a stroke located at my right cerebellum. Similiar to you, I did not have all the risk factors. However, it took me a while to realize I had a stroke. To me I just wanted to continue like normal. Having a stroke is a major event. It may not seem like it, but when you see others that didn't survive a stroke, you start realizing how lucky and blessed you are. Be thankful others care about you to help limit you from doing too much. I am one that will go, go, go and not want to stop. I can see you are the same. Slow down and try not to push yourself too much.
  • fluffy
    First of all, thank you for sharing your story....I am 68 yrs. old, female and in pretty fair shape....I just found out that I had a 'silent heart attack', although no symptoms, no pain, nothing, but I sure can see on my EKG, how the word "infarct' appears....Scarey! I feel I have been educated by you today, though, about my greatest fear (due to my family history), and that is "stroke". My father was a very active, 'take care' kind of man, and he suffered a debilitating stroke at age 69 years, after being retired 2 years......Sadly, he lived 11 more years, terribly impaired and with unintelligible speech (and he was a fabulous storyteller previously)......Your story that cites "nausea" has given me much more info. to store up....My Dad's symptom (which he thought was a migraine) was 'headache'.......My, you are one lucky fellow, truly.....I hope you can cut your family and the co-workers a little slack for being overprotective. You are an articulate man; you have shown that, through your descriptive narration of your episode. At a time when you are not irritated or frustrated with them, simply tell them kindly, that restrictions on activity are the absolute worst thing for you. Let them know that you realize that they don't want to 'hurt you', but their coddling will, in effect, keep you from the vigorous work and effort that you need to stay alive. Be frank but kind: I need to work and play hard, if I am to stay alive. Say it firmly, but with love. I don't quite understand your 4th sentence from the end: You mention "COPD".....Is that a condition that you have? Or, are you helping a neighbor with COPD? I totally get the part where you are more comfortable having the flu....I don't want to believe, either, that I had a heart attack. But we are rational people, and we won't let our minds be in denial.....These episodes DID happen to us, but they don't define us. That's what you want your family and co-workers to come to realize....Treat you as a strong man, not as an invalid. I am so happy for you that you have no lingering disability....I think of my poor Dad and all the years of disability and frustration, all his wonderful stories gone....Blessings on your continued good prognosis.....
  • BrianJMcGinn
    You are very lucky that you don't seem to have any lasting effects. Give it time, people will calm down about it. My husband would give almost anything to be in your position. He's 58 and had a massive brain bleed February 2015 and is still mostly in a wheelchair and his left arm and hand are not working. Being a guitar player, this is rough. Count your blessings and embrace every day. Best of health to you.
  • aussiegram
    I understand about it being difficult to really comprehend that you had a stroke. You have to say it out loud to yourself a few times. "I had a stroke!" Wow! When my husband had his stroke I watched him for a long time. I "hovered" over him. I had a hip replacement Jan 11, 2016 then had a stroke 2 days later. I said to the doctor "but I don't want to have a stroke!!" dumb comment on my part. Something you may want to do is to write yourself a letter, detailing everything that happened to you re the stroke. It is weird to put it onto paper. Be appreciative of every day that you are healthy since these things (strokes) come without warnings. Take care of yourself; learn new things; laugh a lot; be nice to yourself & to others!
  • Violet
    Violet ,
    I'm 35 I had a stroke Apr3.2016 I was in shock when my doctor called me with mri Results so shocked I passed out... I am super healthy but turns out I have a PFO in heart ( bubble tests) Stay strong this isn't easy to deal w but I'm counting my blessing it could have been so much worse
  • Marguerite
    Stroke victims might want to check out: and learn about Dr. Tobinick's work with stroke victims by using the well-known drug, entanercept (Enbrel). Some medical institutions are doing research on the use of this drug for the treatment of stroke clients. Some doctors and facilities have never heard of him nor his work. So, do your research. Wishes to all for finding recovery: Carol RN, BSN, BSEd
  • Billkeck
    Thank you guys for your stories about strokes. My stroke occurred when I was 23 and it was total paralysis on my right side. Took me a year to fully recover. Today I am 70. My uncle had four strokes in his 40's and the last one killed him at age 48. I consider everyday a blessing.
    I had a stroke on Sep 2, 2012 at 54 years old. I was exercising every other day swimming 10 laps, then using the equipment of the gym for another two hours. I didn't work up a sweat because I didn't work hard and it was cold and dry.even I had gotten dizzy a month before but the doctor who was young, just passed it off as vertigo and sent me home. I continued to drive anywhere I went including to the doctors for a root canal, but he sent me home till I found out what the problem was. I took lot of training from the technicians at the hospital and afterwards for about three months and walked without any help for 3 months, but then began to lose my balance though I was exercising without swimming as I was weak on the left side and slightly weaker on the right side. I worked in the yard. I began to drive again and bought a new car. I then decided to go to FL, and drove down and back about 6 times and then my wife divorced me. When a trooper stopped for driving sleepy and wouldn't let me drive home (another 100 miles). My son who lived nearby, picked me up when I got sleepy. I haven't seen him or heard from him, since. My balance has gotten so bad, that I can hardly walk. I live with a friend now after one year living by myself. He fixes a meal for me once/day and watches out for me. My short term memory has been affected and I am a lot slower in everything. MEH
  • kofi1013
    Im 54 like you and have been reading these post for the last 2 months. I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. My ejection rate is 19%. I'm still trying to get my head around it. I work out as I did before. The thing I fear most is not dying but being disabled. I have a wife and 3 kids one of them being a two-year-old. I would not want my wife to have to take care of me or anyone for that matter.
  • hudson
    I had the same type of stroke at the end of Jan. 2016. Severe dizzyness and nausea. My balance has returned and the nausea cleared up soon after receiving zofran in the hospital. This happened even after being on warfarin for a year. Just saw a new cardiologist - besides having 3 small strokes in the past 2 years, I also have A Fib.
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