brief version of the story. (I will try to be brief, at least
In July of 2015, I survived a massive stroke. Beating 1/9 odds, the longest toughest road to recovery.
After spending about a month in a coma, surgeries, and recovery, I woke surrounded by friends and family in a Neuro Rehab-specialized hospital where I would spend the next 4 months undergoing aggressive physical and occupational therapies while trying to put together the pieces of lost time within that lost month. I’ve attempted to touch on many details of my circumstances based on a handful of questions I get asked regularly
Frequently asked questions:
- You are young for a stroke, aren’t you!?
- Yes. I was 40 at the time and everyone from friends, family, and medical professionals were all surprised that I was so young. The only thing that surprised them nearly as much was that I was a non-smoker. Turns out Smoking is really bad for you. Do what you can to quit even if you’re just a casual/social smoker.
- What caused you to have a stroke?
- I have a family history of high blood pressure (hypertension) and went for years without a primary care doctor, so my high blood pressure was undiagnosed and untreated for who-knows-how-long. Couple that with some very stressful circumstances and rather unhealthy stress relief methods. I had pretty chronic headaches, some worse than others, but they likely masked some symptoms that should have prompted me to seek a primary care doctor. In hindsight, the headaches could have been blood vessels in my brain tearing creating a bleed that eventually clotted, stopping the flow of blood to my brain. I’ve put together plenty of pre-stroke regrets, but I have had to accept that I can’t change the past, I can only control the NOW
What advice do you have for friends to avoid stroke?
If I haven’t already made my advice clear, Have regular check-ups with a primary care physician (PCP) that you trust and feel comfortable with them being aware enough of you to notice any changes between visits. PCPs can put together referrals to specialists for symptoms or signs. Don’t be like me and stay away. I’ve learned about how easy it is to lie to ourselves and ignore subtle physical changes.
I’d love to be able to answer more questions and be helpful, so if you have questions about stroke or about me, or my experiences over the past few years, feel free to post a comment with any question or use any of the other ways to contact me you’re comfortable using..