In December 2010 during my annual physical at Emory Executive Health, I was told all tests were excellent - no problems and taking no medications. Six weeks later, on February 6, 2011, my husband heard me call for him and I explained my vision had suddenly changed to wavy lines. Within five minutes my speech became slow, reaction to questions delayed, and I fell asleep. He called 9-1-1. The dispatcher guided him as she suspected that I was having a stroke and sent an ambulance. My husband, grown children and four close friends gathered with the hospital chaplain to hope and pray.
Fast action and tests at Northside Hospital confirmed a clot stroke and the neurologist received permission to give tPA. Thankfully, the medicine worked for me. I woke up and responded to all questions and tasks. The neurologist conducted further tests and in less than 48 hours I returned home.
My primary care physician at Emory University Clinic and his neuro-stoke associate implemented other tests and later encouraged me to “go live life.” For one year, I took a blood thinner and a statin drug. Now, I take supplements, an aspirin, and statin on a daily basis.
Thirty-five years ago, my father had a clot stroke at the age of 67 and did not have access to tPA. It took him a full year to regain speech and mobility, and he was impaired until his death at age 76. I was 63 at the time of my stroke. Since my stroke five years ago, I wake up every day grateful and committed to live a life of service to others with less stress, a healthy diet and regular exercise. When asked if I am afraid, I reply, “I let go and let God."