As a healthy 25 year old I woke up one morning with a simple upset stomach but continued my morning routine with my then 9 month old son. I decided to try getting in with a doctor for a same day appointment because I thought that maybe I had food poisoning from a neighborhood gathering that I attended the night before. We were home alone and I called into the doctor’s office only to be placed on an extended hold so I quietly changed my son and began to feed him. Finally someone answered the phone and the moment I tried to explain my concerns about food poisoning both the operator and I noticed that something was very wrong. My speech was extremely slurred even though my thinking was on pace the words were not coming out of my mouth as they came to my mind. The nurse asked if I had any speech difficulties previous to now then I tried to communicate that this has never happened to me before in my life. She then stated that she did’t want to alarm me but I needed to get to a hospital immediately because I might be having a stroke. I called for my mom and husband to assist with the baby and getting me to the hospital. In the 35 minutes that it took for my mom to arrive my speech was slurring more and I lost the feeling in the upper part of my left side. Upon arrival at the hospital I had to be wheeled in because the rest of my left side was completely paralyzed. I was more baffled than scared because I could not imagine having a stroke at my age with absolutely no indicators or health problems. I wasn’t even able to go to the bathroom on my own because I was placed on a high alert fall risk. I spent an entire week in the hospital and after being poked over 13 times, having 2 catheters (the one in my arm blew so they had to use the veins in my hand), brain scans, heart monitoring and scans, extensive blood work and follow-ups scheduled with specialist in just about every area. After being there 2 days I started to feel the symptoms coming on while I was visiting with my 9 month old son. His father grabbed him from me and called the nurse to assess my symptoms. They monitored me even closer and the doctor ordered more tests. Upon leaving the hospital I had no conclusive answers so I followed up with every specialist that they recommended for 2 years following with no answers. I then found new specialists for second opinions for the 3rd year of check-ups and after sending them all of my files, retelling my story and waiting for my testing I was still a walking question mark. I tried to move on with my life and take it as a blessing that I was a still alive and well with no residual issues. return to the top
I found out that my grandfather had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was able to catch it in time to use chemotherapy in his fight against it. It wasn’t a plan that he was happy to sign up for at the age of 78 but he knew that he wanted to live so he endured the process. He had just completed his first round of chemo and medically it went well but mentally and physically it was he was depleted. He wasn’t up for much conversation after his first chemo treatment so he sent me a text as it was my 34th birthday about a week later. I planned on giving him time and calling him a couple of weeks later once his treatments were going better for him. return to the top
Unfortunately, about two weeks later on a Sunday night something woke me up at 2 am. I felt my heart beating fast and erratically then my palms were sweating but it was cold in my room between the a/c and the ceiling fan. I tried to talk to monitor any speech issues and I was speaking perfectly fine. I just felt like something was wrong and I couldn’t just go back to sleep feeling that way. I was really scared this time. I was home alone again with my then 9 and 5 year old boys. They were fast asleep and their father works the overnight shift and wouldn’t be home until 4 am. I called to let him know that he needed to come immediately. I once again called my mom and asked her to come because I just didn’t feel well. I didn’t know what was wrong but I was scared and I didn’t feel well. I unlocked the front door just in case but returned to my room trying not to wake up my boys. In the 35 minutes that it took her to arrive at my home she found me in my room paralyzed in my bed and not able to mutter any words only sound. She didn’t feel comfortable taking me to the hospital herself in my condition so she called an ambulance and followed it to the hospital while my boys stayed peacefully asleep and home with their father. I arrived at the hospital still muttering mostly sounds but my words were now being altered by my jaw locking. I was once again paralyzed on my left side. Once again I was admitted and kept in the hospital for a week while I was poked, monitored, scanned and asked series upon series of questions. I also had to retell my story although abbreviated as they were looking for some admission that I had not told doctors 9 years ago. When I didn’t mention nor could they find any indication of tobacco, drug (illegal or legal), alcohol or previous serious illness it was deja vu for me again. I had a clean bill of health after every single test thus far. I was referred to several specialists within the hospital who ordered various tests and procedures (even a colonoscopy) then I was only released to follow up with several specialists outside of the hospital. I felt once again blessed to be able to leave the hospital and this time it was the day before my youngest son’s 6th birthday. I was able to celebrate with him and see another day of my life and him start a new year of his.
As of today, July 7th 2017, my life is inconclusive. I still have a clean bill of health and although I still feel blessed to have no residual issues and to be alive, I can’t help but to wonder what if round 3 comes.
Is this where I finally strike out waiting for innovators and makers?