Hello All! My story began 2 months ago, when I woke one morning feeling very dizzy. I interupted my busy schedule to visit the doctor and was given medication for vertigo. A few days later (still feeling dizzy) I helped my sister move my 93 year old mother into an Assisted Living Facility nearby. Yes, I was literally moving heavy furniture! I was extremely stressed over this move for my mother and agonized over whether this was best for her since she had experienced 3 years of depression due to the isolation of living alone (it was!).
Two days later, when I awoke, the dizziness and nausea was so intense that I couldn't even get out of bed. My family had gone out for the day to move my daughter into college (another stressful event for me!). As I sat in bed alone, I thought that surely I could cure myself of the vertigo. I found some helpful videos online that gave exercises that could "cure" a person of vertigo. As I rolled around on the floor, the nausea overpowered me. It was all I could do to crawl into the bathroom. When my husband came home, he insisted on taking me to the hospital. Thank goodness he did!
After a CT scan, I was sent to see a neurosurgeon, who told me that I had a "small" brain bleed. When I asked if it was still bleeding, he said, "Oh no! If it were, we wouldn't be having this conversation!". Scary, indeed! I had an MRI and angiogram. He said that it was like a bruise on my brain and I would continue to have dizziness until the blood reabsorbed into my body.
The nurse said that she would bring me a stroke folder with information. My naive reaction was, "Why on earth do I need that? I had a brain bleed, not a stroke." She had the pleasant task of explaining that what I had experienced was, indeed, a stroke. I confess that I'm still having a hard time with that one! I thought that it was a simple matter of taking it easy for a week or two.
Here I am, 2 months later, still experiencing constant dizziness (although much less than before!) and now I have stroke fatigue. Most days I hit a wall doing a fraction of the activities I had done before. The good news is that a recent CT scan shows that most of the blood has been reabsorbed.
Here are my questions:
1. For goodness sake, how long does this recovery take? As many of you have mentioned, I appear "normal" to people who don't know me. For those who do (including myself), I don't have any energy. I've been told that the light is gone from my eyes and I appear and feel very unenergetic. I want to return to my busy life, but my body says no!
2. Should I quit my part-time job? I have a wonderful job where I work for a non-profit 3 days a week. I took off the entire month of February and am working only 1 day a week this month. Yesterday I worked an 8 hour day and was totally exhausted! My family fears that I am pushing myself too hard. Fortunately, I don't have to work, but I love what I do. I don't love laying in bed- but that seems to be what my body wants me to do. Am I risking another stroke if I work to exhaustion?
3. What is up with this stroke exhaustion? Every day I feel like I hit a wall. I tell people that I used to do that, that, that , that and that. Now I just do that. If I do anything else, I hit the wall and have to climb into bed for a while to rest. I think that a major part of what defines me is that I live life to the fullest, and enjoy being active. Now I can't.
4. My main question is, what caused this? The strange thing is, I had no headaches, hits on the head, etc. The one odd thing is that I had the "worst headache of my life" six months prior. I went to the hospital, had a CT scan and it showed nothing. I can't help but wonder if the two events were related.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I have so much to be grateful for, and yet I can't help but wish I could have my energy back!