On January 30, 2015, I was feeling great. I had a busy morning and decided to run by Walmart on Allen Road to pick up a few things. I was in the bread aisle at the rear of the store, and, with absolutely no warning, became disoriented. When I looked up there were large jagged halos around the lights in the ceiling. I dropped my phone and bumped into someone as I bent to retrieve it. As I stood up, I tried to apologize for bumping into her and knew then that I was in trouble. My speech was unclear and garbled. I grabbed onto the cart, thinking that I would push it to the next aisle where it might be less crowded. As I rounded the corner someone spoke to me, and, strangely enough, I was too disoriented to see her, but I knew her voice. I told her that I thought that I was in trouble -- I thought I was having a stroke. She helped me to the Pharmacy where I sat down and they took my blood pressure which was extremely high. My friend, Tina, believed I was having a stroke as my left side of my face was not okay.
She called 911.
I informed the paramedics I wanted to go to Methodist. I could hear and understand everything that was going on, and heard them say six minutes, then two minutes away. They were kind and reassuring.
When we arrived at Methodist, I had a CT scan immediately to determine the type of stroke that I'd had. Everything was very foggy but my hearing and ability to understand were acute. But I'd lost feeling on my left side. While I don't remember the ER nurses name, she was absolutely wonderful. She talked to me and kept me informed about everything that was going on. I heard the ER physician speaking with my family about the risks of the TPA.
Within an hour, I could again feel my left side and could move my arm. At 9:00 p.m. I was taken to ICU where I had an absolutely adorable young nurse, Veronica. She immediately made me feel safe and comfortable. She was sitting just outside my room where I could see her. She was in and out all night long. Her presence was reassuring. She was with me throughout the night, and then an equally excellent nurse, Cynthia, took over. Every person that entered my room entered with a smile and willing to do anything they could to make me more comfortable.
By afternoon, I'd seen my second or third physical therapist and I was told I didn't appear to have any deficits. They were ready to move me to Crescent Room 821. Cynthia said that she went up to pick out my room so I would have room for all of my family.
My stay on Crescent was equally amazing. I was released with no restrictions on the second of February. While on Crescent, I had several other tests to thoroughly check out what had happened to me which gave me the confidence to return home unafraid that it would happen again.
I believe this was God's work and that every day I have from now on is a gift. If anything or anyone had not reacted as quickly or had not done their job, I might not be here today writing this letter to you.
I am proud we have such an exceptional facility like UnityPoint Health - Methodist.
In every case, from those that cleaned the rooms to the doctors and nurses that took such amazing care of me, everyone was kind, caring, and willing to make sure that I had whatever I needed - always with a smile on their faces. My recovery was due to the right people being in the right places at the right time, and I'll be forever grateful.
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Learn the Risk Factors (Request an Appointment)
Learn about Our Stroke Team