Guest suse Posted May 6, 2009 Share Posted May 6, 2009 ...I had my stroke on Ash Wednesday, (Feb. 21st) 1996. I was at work when it happened, and because of some basic medical knowledge, I knew what was happening. I had gone to the copier and started to feel like I was going to faint. I walked into the break room, heard a "rushing" sound in my ears. I told my boss to call 911 and my husband; then I fell over to my left, I couldn't swallow and my vision was messed up. I knew I had had a stroke. I was brought to our local hospital and I remember arriving, but I don't remember anything else. No tests - nothing. I was then transferred to the University Hospital in our area, where I'm told the "fun" began. I write "fun" because I have no memory of the next three weeks. My husband called my family together because my neurologist wasn't sure I'd pull through. In the ER the doctors placed a shunt in the front of my skull, put me on a ventilator, and inserted a nasal-gastric tube. I was then sent to Intensive Care. After I was weaned off the ventilator, I had a tracheotomy, and a more permanent feeding tube called a "peg." Everyone knew I was going to pull through when I ripped out everything; the shunt, trach and all IV's. Of course I had to be placed in restraints after that, and apparently I wasn't amused. This whole time as I wrote earlier, I have no memory of. What I do remember are what I call "dreams." In my head I was everywhere but a hospital. (Must have been the morphine! ) After I "came to" I was transferred to rehab. At this point I couldn't even sit up without help, couldn't speak because of the trach, and was getting all my nourishment through a tube. My days consisted of two hours of physical therapy, two hours of speech therapy, and two hours of occupational therapy. They were all relentless and I'm better off for it today. My entire hospital stay, including rehab, was two months and two days. I've relearned how to walk, talk and write. I came home in a wheelchair, which lasted about a month; I then used a cane, and even though my balance is gone I don't use any type of aid when I walk now. It has now been almost eight years. I'm unable to drive or work outside my home. My independence has been lost and I think that's one of the hardest losses I've faced. I am alive though. A decent sense of humor has helped - immeasurably. I'm married for the 2nd time; I have two kids and one grandchild. I live in rural Vermont and have three Labs: mother, son and daughter. Susan Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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