On mothers day May 10, 1998, while in the garden with my youngest darling daughter Nicole, planting flowers, I got the worst headache of my life. I was as healthy as a horse, or I should say cow, because my husband and I run a 50 cow 200 acre dairy farm in central Wisconsin. That morning, as usual, I got up helped milk and did chores. A neighbor even called because his disk had broken down and would I run down to the local john Deere store where I worked and get a part for him. Of course I would.
It was spring time we had to go. when I returned home I jumped on a tractor and worked up a 20 acre field for us to get ready to plant. My oldest daughter Laura came home from college, her senior year, and made a special dinner for the family. She left for work. My son, Aaron pulled in to help farm so mom could do woman's work. So all pulled out and Nicole and I went on to make our farm beautiful.
When the headache started I knew it was bad so I started into the house and Nicole was scared. I calmed her down, asked for ice, lots of ice. She wanted to go get her father and brother but she couldn't drive and they were far from home . Then it got nasty, I started losing body control. I knew then I was in deep trouble. She ran out of the house crying and I was praying for her more than me. When my love, Glen came home he found a mess not knowing what to do he had my son call 911. He screamed mom's having a stroke. My left side was already weakening.
When I heard the sirens I pleaded for my dignity. Come on small town volunteer department. I knew all the guys on call. I had lost my great lunch and messed my pants. My love was not to happy as I begged for dignity? But I won when the 911 guys came in I was in the restroom and almost clean. I thank my son and husband for that. After that I can only go on what the family went through.
Rushed to nearest hospital and flown to a facility able to handle aneurysms. Surgery to remove blood and an attempt to remove AVM. Induced coma to calm my swelling brain.. I was in a coma for 10 days and came out fairly well. Seeing that the doctors had no idea what I would be like. The whole time I was surrounded by my loving family brothers, sisters, a great father and aunts, and uncles too. All laughing and positive. I felt all would be fine the good Lord would spare my family any further pain, they had been through enough. I thank the lord for this, for them.
Since my AVM could not be removed, due to location, by surgery, I received 2 embolizations that were partially successful. On august 20,1998 I had radiostatic surgery performed and the wait begins too see if in 2 years the AVM is gone. I had my 6 month MRI, MRA and all looked good so soon I'll be going in for my one year peek.
So much has happened, learning to swallow, walk, talk, some days it only seem like I can see how far I have to go not how far I've come. My turning point came when my doctors referred to what happened to me as a stroke. Stroke is a nasty word for people who don't take care of themselves. I was only 44. Why me? In doing research I found that there are many different causes of a stroke and I was a victim. I am troubled with left homonymous hemianopia, and left emiparesis, half blind and half paralyzed. But I fought through therapy and now walk not too pretty but I walk.
The vision is the worst, but when my beautiful daughters walk down the wedding isle, or my son hands me his first born I can turn my head and see and be with my family for all of those special moments. I truly am blessed by our Lord and I am the luckiest woman in the world, a great life, a man who I have been lucky enough to spend 25 years by his side, three young adults, I'm so proud of, and the deep need to reach out and help anyone through this ordeal. If I can help one other of Gods children see through the fear and find peace it has all been worth the learning experience I have endured. I'm trying to start a local support group for stroke victims. I feel the need to reach out and in doing so I know I'll be growing and healing me as well as those I reach out to. I thank Dr. Maples for this site and the time he takes to reach out to us. There are so many wonderful people I have met in the medical field, every night in my thoughts and prayers I include them and thank god for the job they did for me. And will continue to do for you, if the need arises.
Update 21 Nov 1999
I have come so far and must thank so many new friends. Last year at this time I was facing the holiday season with fear and dread. I was 6 months post rupture and afraid of living. I posted my concerns to this great group and the support I received from my new friends was amazing I love you all.
I am now happier than i have ever been in my life?? Why? Because I put my fear into trust. I still walk pretty bad, can't work, or drive but damn I'm alive and I thank god every day.
I have met every goal I have set for myself. Goal #1 to start a support group in my area for stroke surviors. We met 11/10/99, 15 people showed up. Because of my rupture I suffered a stroke at 45. The meeting was great many young people reached out and also felt a need to share and learn from others. Goal#2 to find my place in the workforce. I am restoring a 1851 one-room schoolhouse on my farm property to open to the public for remembering a time gone by. The building was packed with 50 years of junk, but in the rubbish was the orginial flag 48 stars, all the books used to teach the children, a wookstove to heat the school, 1865, and the beautiful desks. I can even drive myself down with my John Deere Gator. I plan to open a garden center this spring and sell plants and the likes. I have contacted the local schools for tours or class trips and will have one-day workshops for children. My goals are met now what do I do? Perfect my plans and enjoy my life to its fullest. And thank our lord for showing me this alternate route in my path called life. Be happy Love to all
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