Nov 7
tdmiller , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

The Day It Happened

I had a Cerebellar Stroke on July 5, 2015 at 11:30 pm on my bedroom floor. I was 43 and the stroke was on both sides of my cerebellum. Since that day it has been a roller coaster that started with the tallest, most scary drop and loop you can imagine. I've been begging for months to get off and it never stops just slows down. When the stroke happened, I just collapsed. I thought "oh I've fallen let me get up...but I couldn't. %u200BWhen I tried to pick my head up everything started spinning and I immediately started to throw up. I couldn't speak really... just moaned. My 19 year old daughter thankfully in my room and asked if I was ok. She told me all I would do is moan and she realized I was throwing up violently. I am blessed that she is a nursing student. She asked should she call the ambulance and I actually said no lol...but I didn't remember that. This is what I remember: I felt like I had the largest magnet in the world on the left side of my head and it was attracted down. Not to anything specific just down. I felt that if the floor was not there I would just keep going down to the left forever if that makes any sense. My daughter called 911 and I told her finally that something really bad was happening. That it was a heart attack or a stroke and I began to tell her everything I was feeling as quick as I could. "I can't get up. Everything is on the left. My head and my eyes are in severe pain. I can't stand the light. I can feel my fingers going numb and I feel my esophagus going numb it's moving up into my throat." At this point I really felt like I was going to die. In between throwing up I managed to tell my daughter that I loved her and that I am so proud of her. I figured if I am going to die here on my unvacuumed bedroom carpet, that I would tell her as much as I could so she could tell the 911 operator before I was unconscious. The first thought after that was telling her how much I loved her. The 911 operator told her to have me chew on an aspirin and the ambulance was on the way. As I threw up the vomit was so thick it was like a log (lol I know this is TMI but this is my experience). I kept thinking that I need to continue throwing up but that I was going to suffocate from what was coming out. So I had to push my head backwards away from the vomit as it happened...because it refused to come out away from my body. My daughter (again I am truly blessed) continued to comfort me and do everything the 911 operator told her. She took my blood pressure. She scooped away the strange alien vomit. She was as calm as a breeze rustling the leaves on the trees. A few minutes later and there were EMT's walking up to me. "Ma'am what's wrong tonight? Can you stand? You are going to have to try hard to help us. (there was very little room in between the bed and the wall) I no longer could speak. I summoned every bit of energy that I could to help the EMT's get me up and with one on each side walking we made it to the ambulance. "Ms. Miller you don't look very well can you tell us what happened?" I could not respond. "What did you eat tonight?" I weakly told them Taco Bell. I could hear them trying to make light of my answer with a few laughs. "That must be it." I began to start throwing up again and one of the EMT's said "Oh not on the floor not on the floor we just cleaned the ambulance. Just throw up on yourself." That is the last thing I remember until the next day. After a CT and less than 48 hours later I was sent home undiagnosed, with a possible migraine or inner ear problems, a walker, a potty seat and a prescription for migraine medicine. It was a month and a half later when I was told by my Neurologist that I had had a large completed Cerebellar Stroke on both sides. I cried. I knew my world would never quite be the same again.

Today I am functioning pretty well. Thankfully I can now express myself with comfort... you might not ever know I had a stroke. The majority of the many problems I am left with are not seen by others except my family. Along with balance issues I spend my time trying to find things that make me feel happy inside. Whether or not I am successful depends on the day but thankfully I do have many successful days. Thank you :) 
  • Christinag
    I completely feel your pain as I read your story, stroke leaves us unable to speak and the EMTs should have noticed that as well. Thank fully you are okay, but that was a close one. Keep on getting yourself better, it never ends, and you may relapse in your accomplishments in a couple of years so do not be surprised if that happens. The recovery is forever, the exercises, the brain rehab, all of it. Especially as we age. Most of all, stay with your will to be positive, it is what got you this far and will carry you through everything. Blessings to you and your daughter, my daughter was with me when i had my stroke in my messy bedroom as well, and I made her take me to the living room before the EMTs came - the things that moms think of!!!
  • FrannyE
    Happy you're doing better. I'm really struggling with the treatment of the first response medical team. They almost sound inadequate and it could've been so much worse for you. My 42 year old daughter had a stroke 8 months ago. Her left peripheral vision is no longer since she has homonymous hemianopsia which will really never improve. Custom glasses with built in Chadwick lens will help substantially, however. Another loss she is experiencing is her ability to sight read music. She has always had an exceptional talent for sitting down to new music and simply playing it without any practice. Very frustrating and discouraging for her since she is a primary accompanist at a Michigan university in the musical theatre dept. We notice many days of ups and downs. Much post stroke fatigue compounded by anti seizure meds with fatigue a primary side effect. So, one compounds the other. We hope you continue to improve and keep doing whatever it takes to stimulate your brain's plasticity. God bless.
  • tdmiller
    I have only recently signed back in here. I had forgotten that I had even made an account but I tried what I thought would be the password and wala! I wanted to thank you both for taking the time to read my story and for your wonderful comments. FrannyE I hope your daughter is doing even better and I p[ray that with time she will be able to sight read music and enjoy it again. Christinag when I read your last sentence it just made me smile. It is funny that I even thought about my dirty floor. I so much agree the things moms think of. I am sorta glad that I don't remember any anxiety from that night other than afraid of dying which trumps all of it. I hope you are reaching new highs and pushing through that plateau each time it happens. God Bless.
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