On September 12, 2018, I went to the hospital because I lost motion in my right arm, I was having vision disturbances and I was off balance when I tried to walk. After many tests, I was told that I was having an Ischemic Stroke “shower”. I didn't have one clot, I had a shower of clots that looked like someone had sprinkled confetti on my brain with clots scattered everywhere. Seeing my brain covered with clots was a scary sight. During my 10 day stay at Stony Brook hospital I saw countless specialized doctors and all kinds of tests to try to figure out what had caused this stroke shower. The team of doctors came to the conclusion that it was caused by an autoimmune disease that I did not know that I had Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS)
#APS is an incurable life-threatening autoimmune condition that causes the blood to clot too quickly. The condition can cause potentially fatal events such as strokes, heart attacks, blood clots in the lung and DVTs. In pregnancy, APS is the most cause of recurrent miscarriage, stillbirth and is also associated with other complications, low weight babies & premature births. APS affects 1/2000 people and 75-90% of people that have APS are women.
Leaving the hospital I was in shock of all that I went through but that was just the beginning. At this point I had a harder time walking than I did when I went into the hospital, I had therapy for my right arm, lots of daily medications and doctor appointments and more blood tests. It took a good 10 months for me to feel more like myself. The whole process of having a stroke and the recovery was and still is mentally challenging.
Life after stroke and living with APS has challenges. Daily medication (for life), constant doctor appointments, fatigue, brain fog, dizzy spells, headaches, noise sensitivity, joint pain and the mental mind game of what happened. Some people who have had a stroke will have very visible changes but for others, like myself the challenges are now invisible. Most people that have a stroke do not recover 100%. I am so lucky to be where I am and I think about how lucky I am every day!
A month into my recovery when I finally felt well enough to look at a screen, I found myself flipping through all my photos from Disney, so I created The Magical Memories Instagram account to hold my photos. Thank you for following along.
If you would like to join my team for the Long Island Heart walk you can sign up here.