I had a stroke at the age of 42 on New Year's Eve day. I was working out the morning of December 31, 2010, when my right arm started to spasm uncontrollably. I thought it was a side effect of tendonitis, so I asked my trainer if we could "go light" that day as my arm was bothering me. The whole time I was working out, my arm kept spasming, and at one point, my trainer asked if I wanted to stop, to which I replied, "No! I'm finishing this workout!" I still didn't know I was having a stroke.
After an hour-long workout, I went to change my shoes to go home, and was frustrated becuase I could not control my arm, so was unable to tie my shoes. I didn't realize it at the time, but the reason I could not tie my shoes was not only because of my arm, but becuase I could not remember HOW to tie my shoes!
I then got in my car to drive home, but realized I had no control over my arm, so I could not drive. So, I called my 16-year old son to come and pick me up. In the meantime, a friend called to invite me to a party, and at that time I began stammering and stuttering like "Porky Pig". My friend asked me if we had a bad connection, and I said, "No, that's me. I think I'm having a stroke." My son then arrived and drove me to the nearest hospital. They did a scan, but said they did not see anything, but wanted me to stay overnight. I was completely "out of it" mentally, and said, "No. I'm not staying in a hospital on New Years Eve." What a knucklehead I was!
I went home, and my son was convinced that there was something wrong with me, as I was still in a daze, and could not speak clearly. I assured him I was fine, and would sleep it off. By God's grace, I woke up the next day, and did not feel any different (still dazed and confused). So I asked my son to drive me to the hospital near our home. I walked into the emergency room, and told them, "I think I had a stroke". So they did another scan and confirmed that I did!
3 days in the hospital and multiple tests revealed that I had a blood disorder that had caused the clot in my brain. I was determined to make a full recovery -- this is where stubbornness actually helped! I was back at work in one week, and back to working out in two weeks! It's now been 8 years, and with daily blood thinner medication, I am almost back to where I was before the stroke. I still have some weakness in my hand and stumble over words sometimes, but God pulled me through my arrogance and stubbornness to get me where I am today.
Moral of the story -- PLEASE take the signs seriously and don't think you'll just sleep it off. You CAN recover, and lead a productive life. Life is great, and each day is a gift. Some days can be more challenging than others, but With God, all things are possible!