The stroke that changed our lives forever. January 9th, 2019, I was headed to drop my son off at the bus stop when I received a phone call from my aunt. My aunt was calling to ask if I had spoken to my mom because she was due at work and hadn't arrived. My mom's coworker had reached out to my aunt after not being able to contact her and she had been
due at work at 6 am. I hadn't spoken to my mom since the previous day around 4:00 pm CST. This wasn't unusual when she was scheduled to work a lot of days in a row. My aunt and my sister were headed to her house.
Meanwhile, I dropped my son off at the bus stop and headed back home. On my way home they called frantically. Yelling that they were waiting on the ambulance they had found her conscious but, on the floor, undressed as if he was getting ready. To this day we don't know if she was getting ready for work that morning or if she was going to bed the previous night.
All I knew was, I couldn't panic. I needed to pack. I needed to pick up my son and leave. This all came in the middle of the federal shutdown which is why I had been headed home and not to work. I packed as quickly as I could for both me and my son and drove to the school to pick him up. I had already called my son and to him to meet me at the office when the bus arrived versus going to class. I signed him out and got on the road.
On the drive there all I could do was pray and keep positive thoughts. I couldn't cry or break down. I don't think I have ever driven so quickly, that trip took less than 11 hours for me to pull into the hospital. She was up and she recognized me and my son. But her face was slightly drooping on one side, she couldn't speak, and her right side was paralyzed. My mom had just had a massive stroke.
I remember the moment I finally broke. It was the day after her stroke, and I had given her a pen and paper. She thought she was writing words and couldn't understand why we didn't understand her message. But all she was writing was something was this.
That completely put me in my feelings, but it wasn't about me, so I got myself together. She was moved to a different hospital. She was in the ICU for a total of 7 days and then moved to Inpatient Therapy where she stayed for 3 weeks.
In those three weeks, we came to a few conclusions. Stroke of no stroke she was still the same person. Her attitude was just as bratty as it was before, her ability to play cards was still intact, and her spirit to fight was still there. The brain is a miraculous organ, she couldn't put words in the right order, but she knew how to be mean, and her favorite words had 4 letters. When she left inpatient therapy, she could walk with a cane!
I lived in Kansas City. After her release from therapy, I went back to work and put in papers to transfer. It was approved immediately but I had to wait in a position. In the meantime, I packed up my house. Worked 2 weeks on with overtime and 2 weeks off, this lasted from February to June.
The biggest WHAT THE HELL moment came a weekend in May 2020. She had not been driving but she got in her car and was ready to go.
We had to track her phone. The anger that filled my body! She was tracked to my aunt's house. I can't stress it enough the brain is a phenomenal organ. She can't remember our names, but she can drive to my aunt's house 20 mins away.
Fast forward to today! Every day gets better, and we are all so very proud of the struggles she has overcome.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAMA! WE LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU KNOW!
For more information on strokes visit: https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm