Feb 23
Ssumner211 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

What a year

My journey started in April, 2016.  I had not been feeling quite right, something was different.  My blood pressure at the hospital was 225/115.  After several tests it was determined that I had had a stroke.  That was on a Friday night.  I was released Sunday at 11 am.  Upon arrival at the hospital I could hop on or foot, raise my arms over my head, touch my nose with my finger, the usual tests.   When I left I couldn't even move my left arm let alone lift it over my head.  Apparently they bring your blood pressure down slowly, controlled.  In the process I had two more strokes.  I told the visiting Cardiologist thanks a lot, I may have come in with one stroke, but I leave with two more.  It was an adjustment.  I needed help dressing, and showering.  All my meals were fixed for me.  I was lucky enough to live with my fiancé and his Mother.  Without them I don't know what I would have done.  My first Dr.'s appointment was that week when I first got out of the hospital.  He examined me and found I had a mass in my stomach.  Not knowing what it was he immediately sent me to have an MRI.  It was determined that it was a tumor and he said since it wasn't bothering me and there were no side effects we would just watch it.  Meanwhile, I decided that while I was not working I would get caught up with all my Dr.  appointments and started physical therapy.  At my gynecologist Dr.   she found some abnormal cells.  She said she would need to do a biopsy.  She called,  the one area was good, the second came back inconclusive .  She was unable to get a good sample because of the tumor.  She said she would have to operate to get a good sample.  I said okay.  Well she called, it came back inconclusive again.  The tumor was in the way and she couldn't get a good sample.  She didn't feel comfortable with doing nothing and was going to send me to a specialist.  We went, because all my appointments were a we, my fiancé went to every appointment and test with me.  She said the tumor needed to come out and then the best course of action would be a complete hysterectomy.  That way at 52, I was not about to have kids and I would have peace of mind.  I didn't want to spend every day wondering will it become cancerous.  My surgeon said the surgery shoul take 4-41/2 hours.  Well 7 1/2hours later  And a 9 1/2 lb tumor later it was finally over.  The surgeon said it was the largest one she ever removed.  It was the size of a basketball.  I had no clue, really.  The following day, at 2 pm, they said I could go home.  After such a long, and painful, surgery you would think they would keep you more than 1 night.  The next week and a half were awful.  It hurt pretty bad.  It did start to get better.  Now, 4 months later, my focus is on getting the complete uses of my left arm back.  I continue to go to pt once a week and continue to exercise at home 6 hours a day.  My goal from day one has always been to go back to work.  It may never happen.   I am not going to stop trying.  I do know after all this that I went through that God has bigger plans for me.  Why else would I survive three strokes, a hysterectomy, and a 9 1/2 lb tumor, all within 8 months.  I also know that with my fiancé we can face and survive anything.  He has been my rock and angel through all this.  When I tell people I am lucky, they look at my like I am crazy.  I am lucky because I have survived all this.  I am lucky because I have him.
  • purple heart
    purple heart,
    I am so proud of your out look on life that you know you are one lucky survivor! Don't ever give up hope! I wish you the best!!!
  • Laru1970
    Thank you for sharing your story. Wow. What a year. I believe that having a healthy mental outlook is huge and it seems you have that in your life so I am convinced you will get back to what you want to be doing. Having the support and live of those around you is a huge motivator and one day soon you and your fiancé will put this behind you and live the life you deserve. God bless.
  • uribeml
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad you are doing better and have family beside you. I also had a difficult 2016. Well 2016 was the hardest year, but I've been having problems since 2007 when I was told that I had a heart condition and that I might need a heart transplant in the future. For sixyears I was stable with medicine and then in 2013 I had to have a pacemaker/ defibrillator implanted. For the first two years I didn't get any problems or shocks. Then in late 2015 I had multiple shocks, it was very painful. It was very scaring feeling strong shocks inside your body. I was then placed on the transplant list. In May 2016 I received my second chance in life and received my heart transplalnt. It was a very difficult year but it has made me so much stronger. I will be celebrating my 35th birthday next week and in two weeks my 10 months with my new heart! :) Stay strong and truly believe that God got you through this and you are still alilve for a reason and it will only get better.
  • AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail
    AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail,
    Wow! thank you for sharing such an inspirational story with us! I am so happy to hear that you and your fiancé can face anything together now. It is such a blessing to have loved ones with us in our hardest times. Keep smiling and pushing forward! Wishing you all the best, Sarah
  • Angie66048
    I know what you endured but believe me....when I say that Luck is only lent and never ours. Hon, you are blessed...beyond belief. Prayers for your recovery and still a good future ahead with such a great guy...
  • Ssumner211
    Thank you everyone. I agree Angie, I chalk most of everything good to God with a little luck added. I have always tried to do for others, never expecting anything in return. Because it was the right thing to do. After April, I say I must have also built up a lot of good Karma. I say it all came back at once, that helped. But you all are correct family and friends make a big difference. To have support, encouragement, and love makes all the difference in the world. This has been a very humbling journey, but one that I am grateful for. Many people aren't given the opportunity. They are bedridden or die, I am very grateful. So thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers. Uribeml, I will keep you in my prayers.
  • sotired58
    Wow, you have been through some very tough times! And you hung in there and did not give up too. You are very fortunate to have such a great fiancee and their parent. They are tough also! I am glad you had great support and they are there for you. That does make a BIG difference. :) My husband had a stroke on Jan 2nd. And it has been a yo-yo thng. Up and down. Exausting for both of us. He has four kids from a previous marriage. None have called or cared. And we continue in our struggle daily. I hear a person has some good days and some not so good? Fourtunatly we do have a great hospital that specializes in different things. One is stroke. They are so much better than the va hospital. I love your story. You are definately a survivor! With people who care. :) Thank you for sharing this with us all. It does give a person hope. And to never quit.
  • Ssumner211
    So tired it does get better. His brain just has to rewire itself, unfortunately that takes time. Meanwhile if pt, to, or speech therapy is needed and a possibility that would help. Maybe even finding a caregivers support group for yourself. Meanwhile, if friends or family offer to stay with him even while he is sleeping, take them up on it and do something for yourself. Get your nails done or go to the movies. Taking care of yourself is the best way you can help take care of him. I know it is hard but don't give up on him. I have been fortunate, I know how lucky I am to be at this point. My hope is to continue to get better and better. I hope your husband does well also. If I can help in any way please let me know. You learn real fast in this situation who your friends really are and aren't, even if it just an ear. Your husband is lucky to have you on his side. You can do it. You don't give yourself enough credit. I will keep you and him in my prayers.
  • sabineulcoq
    Thank you for your testimony, your positive attitude is inspiring! I wish you the best of luck!
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