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The Symptoms I Thought Were the Flu Were Actually Early Signs of a Stroke



As I sat in the emergency room, waiting for answers about the sudden health scare that had brought me there, my mind was flooded with thoughts of my past and worries about my present. I couldn’t help but reminisce on old memories while also fretting about the numbness in my face and the possibility of something serious happening to me. Little did I know, I was in for a shocking diagnosis that would change the course of my life.

After undergoing a series of tests, including an EKG, X-rays, and blood work, the medical staff informed me that I needed an MRI of my head and neck to further investigate my condition. While waiting for the results, I was given anti-anxiety medication to help ease my nerves and finally allowed my friend Dana to go home. Eventually, I was wheeled into the MRI machine, where I tried to distract myself by requesting to listen to music. When the procedure was over, I was moved to my own room to await the next steps.

Throughout this ordeal, I was still dealing with a high fever, chills, and an increasingly severe headache. Although I had not fully regained feeling in the right side of my body, I was slowly making progress in my physical recovery. Despite feeling unwell, I pushed myself to get up and walk to the bathroom, using the wall for support. It was a slow and difficult process, but I was determined to keep moving forward.

Upon waking from a nap, the reality of my situation hit me hard. Not only was I facing a medical crisis that had left me feeling scared and alone, but I was also frustrated by the lack of information provided by the medical staff. Feeling overwhelmed, I reached out to my friend Ashley, who immediately rushed to my side to offer support and comfort. It was a moment of relief in an otherwise chaotic and uncertain time.

Finally, a new doctor entered my room and delivered a surprising revelation. Despite the initial assumption that I had experienced a panic attack, further investigation revealed a small injury in the artery of my neck, as well as an abnormality in my brain. Connecting the dots, the doctor suspected that I had suffered a vertebral artery dissection (VAD), which had led to a blood clot and subsequent stroke. This diagnosis was attributed to two previous car accidents I had been in, which had likely weakened the artery in my neck. Treatment involved taking low-dose aspirin until a follow-up appointment with a neurologist.

As I processed this newfound information, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the gravity of my situation. The road to recovery would be long and uncertain, but I took comfort in the support of my loved ones and the guidance of my medical team. Despite the challenges ahead, I was determined to face them head-on and emerge stronger than ever. In the end, this experience was a wake-up call that reminded me of the fragility of life and the importance of taking care of my health.

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