First off, thank you so much for being a part of my journey. It has been quite an adventurous couple years. I have learned and grown so much, and appreciate everyone who has been a part of this journey more than they know.
I have lived what I would call a ‘healthy’ life for some time now. I have been active my entire life and have done CrossFit for 5 years now. I eat healthy and always keep nutrition on the mind. I try to be green around the house and recycle more that I throw out. In November of 2015 all of my healthy ways were tested.
It was Black Friday. I was sitting at restaurant with my (now) husband, J. We had just ordered our food and were a few sips of wine in when it happened. I was mid-sentence when the words that I was saying came out as a gibberish mess. I stopped, then tried to speak again, but the same mess came out. What was happening?! My brain knew what I wanted to say, but it was like my mouth didn’t want to say it. By that time J realized something was wrong. He grabbed my left arm and asked me if I was ok. I could see him touching my arm through the haze that was setting in around me, but I couldn’t respond. In fact, I couldn’t do anything with my left side. My blank stare into nothingness, the water dripping out of the left side of my mouth as my face started to droop and my inability to respond, quickly put J into action. As we pull up the ER entrance we see a large sign on the building that says Stroke Trauma Center. What are the chances we go to dinner a 1/2 mile down the road from a stroke center. I might have to thank a guardian angel for that one.
Fast forward 3 days and more tests and scans that I can count when the doctors delivered the news. I had, in fact, had a stroke. A full stroke. Is that possible for a healthy 35-year-old? The EKG then showed a hole in my heart that caused a blood clot that went straight to my brain. As I took my required walking laps around the stroke wing, the reality of my situation and how lucky I was truly set in. How could this happen to someone in the shape I was in, living the healthy lifestyle I lived. What I found out is my health was my savior. They told me without a doubt that if I wasn’t in the shape I was in, I would have some severe residual side effects.
The following May I had heart surgery to repair the hole. They said this was important since J and I wanted to have kids soon. Blood thinners and pregnancy aren’t a great match. We will talk more about the fertility journey in the future.
It has taken me well over 2 years to talk about this. I have always been a strong person….and admittedly a little bull-headed person. In my mind, the stroke was something completely out of my control…and something that make me feel weak. I am type A. No question there. To get my head around this was not easy. What I could get my ahead around was that I was beyond lucky for fortunate.