Posted on February 03 2014
On March 8th, 2012, three days after my 17th birthday, I suffered from a severe hemorrhagic stroke. It took over my entire body, or so it felt. I couldn't speak, I couldn't process tasks that were ordinarily considered easy for me and I couldn't use the right side of my body properly. When it all happened, it hit me like a train. A rush came over me so quickly, similar to the rush you get when you jump into the freezing water of the ocean. Upon arrival at the hospital, they admitted me promptly and diagnosed me with having had a stroke. The stroke was caused by an AVM (a type of malformation) that I had most likely been born with. A stroke could have happened at any point during my life, however, I was extremely lucky that it happened at the age of 17 because my recovery went much smoother than it would have if I had been any older. I found out that I was going to need immediate brain surgery and, being only 17, that really worried me. Although it was nerve-racking for me, surgery went really well and my recovery went even better. At this point in time, I assumed my battle was over but little did I know that when I went back for a follow up angiogram they were going to find the malformation again. It was very disheartening to hear that kind of news and the doctors had no suggestions at the time of any treatments because the malformation was too small to operate on. I continued to have x-rays and angiograms and then a glimmer of hope came along at the end of the summer, the malformation began to shrink on it's own without any treatment. What this meant was that the next time I went for my angiogram, it could be gone and alas my battle would be over. On January 2nd, 2014, the appointment I had been waiting for for so long finally came. The doctors performed an angiogram and to everyone's surprise, the malformation was gone. I had finally overcome this battle and there are no words to express just how happy I felt.
Long story short, almost two years later, I can do everything I used to be able to do and more. I'm now a nursing student at Curry College with big dreams for the future and I credit a lot of my successes to having a stroke because although it was a terrible experience, it has opened so many doors for me and it has made me realize the type of person I want to eventually be. As cliche as it may sound, life is short and you never know when it will end so you have to live every day to the fullest. Life is something that I have taken for granted before but now I look at life as, more or less, a gift that can be taken away at any moment so I learned to treasure it.