A few people have asked me about my stroke and for the longest time, it was something I didn’t speak of freely unless it was to people directly involved; doctors, family, and close friends; and even to them I’ve left out a lot of intimate details of what I’ve FELT during this journey to recovery. I’ve talked about it in pretty clinical terms with everyone. Now is as good a time as any to just get it all out there. A very wise Aloha man told me once that when I was ready, I would be able to share. I’m going to do my best; although this is going to take several blog posts. I’m thinking at least four. But before I get into all of that, I think it’s important for me to discuss some events that occurred a few months before my bleed. I guess this is my warm-up post.
I worked EMS for over a decade. In August of 2011, I ruptured my right ACL at work. I was out on Comp until I was to have surgery. I mention it so everyone is aware that I was already out of work when everything transpired.
THREE MONTHS PRIOR TO HEMORRHAGE (May or may not have been important. I will never know.)
On September 23, 2011, I was driving my roommate’s vehicle to the local convenience store (roughly 1145pm), when I was struck from behind by a speeding drunk driver. He was driving so fast that my roommate’s car wasn’t enough impact to keep him from striking the vehicle in front of me. We both hit it, according to witnesses. It caused a chain reaction; six cars were involved.
My airbags deployed, struck my face. Took out the driver’s side window with my head. Fractured my L2,3 and 4 in my lower back and sprained various muscles and bruised anything and everything in between. The car was a total loss. I was taken to the local hospital. X-rays were taken and I was given a CT scan of my head that came out CLEAN. I was admitted two days for observation and the simple fact that I couldn’t get up off the bed because of the pain in my back.
State Troopers came to the hospital for information from me and advised me that the driver was arrested. He was over twice the legal drinking limit. I was also told that I should consider myself lucky. When my vehicle was struck, the back seat (it was a Tracker, so it’s one long seat) unhinged and popped up, creating a barrier for the front. Had the barrier not been there, the Trooper told me he did not think I would have left the scene. When I saw the car a few days later, I understood exactly what he meant.
After my two-day stint at the hospital, I was given a back brace, some pain medications and told to follow-up with my doctor. That is exactly what I did. I was also referred for more physical therapy. Surgery for my knee was pushed back nearly a month since I wasn’t able to lay on my back and I continued going to physical therapy for both my knee and my back, and hand (also injured).
It was business as usual for a while. I had my knee surgery performed on October 19th, 2011. Don’t quote me, but I believe that’s the date. It was same day surgery. I was given all the equipment and instructions I would need to help me get through the first week until I started physical therapy the following. It went well considering I was in pain a lot of time. All I knew that I had already been out of work for over two and a half months and I was desperate to go back. Plus, the holidays were coming!
This was just a brief summary of what went on the last few months before I got sick. I’m going to start my purging with my next post. I think I’m going to call it Coming Clean About My Stroke-Part1. And I suppose the posts after that will be Parts2 through whatever until I get it out of my system.
It’s time. Love you guys!