I was running errands after dropping my daughter off at school.
It was on a morning just like any other, when I began to experience a headache that was unlike any I’d ever felt before. It came on fast and strong and soon my vision was so blurry, I couldn’t read the speedometer.
I knew I was having a stroke because, just a few days before, I had read about the signs of stroke from a news article.
I quickly pulled into the nearest parking lot and stepped out of my minivan to get help, when my body felt very weak, and I collapsed. A storekeeper saw me go down and immediately called an ambulance.
It’s strange to me now, because a week earlier, I wouldn’t have known what these signs meant.
It was because I knew, and pulled over so quickly to get help, that I was able to get to the hospital in time to receive an intravenous tissue plasminogen activator to help reverse the stroke’s effects on my body. It saved my life!
Lying in my hospital bed, the stroke had left me with no feeling on the left side of my body. Only through months of physiotherapy was I able to climb back to feeling well again.
These rehabilitative programs helped me get on my feet again, at first with a walker, then with two canes. Now I’m able to walk without assistance.
The only residual effect of the stroke is a lingering paralysis in three fingers on my left hand and that I can live with!
– Maryann, 54