Stroke During Pregnancy And A Terrible Bedside Manner
Emily reached out to the Recovery After Stroke podcast in the hope of raising awareness by sharing her story about recovery from stroke and her doctors terrible bedside manner.
These days Emily is a massage therapist and you can find out more by visiting her website here http://bodysustainability.com
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04:04 The floor dropped when i was having a stroke
07:20 Misdiagnosed of having the sinusitis instead of a stroke
15:38 Itching from the inside out
18:25 Factor five
22:05 Oh well
30:30 Shit out of luck
38:51 Having Horner’s syndrome after stroke
42:27 Almost orgasmic
53:24 Deciding not to take pregnancy medications
1:15:17 Who are we?
I had a Doctor, a psychologist or psychiatrist come in with her students in the very beginning, you know, in the first, you know, 48 hours. And she was like, I’m going to have my students talk to you now. And I don’t remember what she said, but I do remember one of hey students said, he held my hands, which I thought was like, I don’t know you like, I’m not.
I don’t understand why you’re holding my hand like that. And he looked at me and he goes, Emily, have you ever thought about committing suicide? Because of all the changes you’ve gone through your family life has changed, you’ve changed in your body. All this stuff that’s going on is pretty terrible. Have you thought about killing yourself? Because that’s a pretty serious thing if you have
This is Recovery After Stroke with Bill Gasiamis helping you go from where you are, to where you’d rather be.
Emily, welcome to the program.
Yeah, I really appreciate it when people contact me, obviously, because without people contacting me, we can’t do the podcast, but also because it’s a brave thing for somebody to get in touch and say, I’m struggling at the moment.
Thanks for this podcast because it’s made me feel not alone. Can you start telling me a little bit about what happened to you?
Sure, so I had my stroke, So is it may 23, where you are? It was 11 years ago on May 23. 2008
Yeah, so it’s may 22. Here, I’m in Pennsylvania inUnited States.
It is tomorrow here already.
It is tomorrow there So it’s already happend.
It’s great to be here. So I was 26 years old. I had a 15 month old, and I was pregnant. And I was 23 weeks pregnant. I think something around there. 25 Weeks Pregnant? So it was we were living in Maine. It was not summer.
It was very much spring. But it was the day of the first Farmers Market outdoors. It was a Saturday. And I was really excited for that.
If you’ve had a stroke, and during recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid?
In case I make matters worse, doctors will explain things. But obviously, because you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask. If this is you? you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery.
If you find yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com, where you can download a God that will help you. It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke.
They’ll not only help you better understand your condition, they’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. head to the website now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guid it’s free.
I’d eaten breakfast and my daughter was whatever happens when you’re 15 months old, throwing food around, whatever. So he said I’m gonna clean up and I was like, All right, I’m going to go take a shower. So I get in the shower. And right at the end of my shower, I started feeling really dizzy, like vertigo.
The floor dropped when i was having a stroke
And I got out of the shower, and all the sudden, like the floor dropped. And there was no upper down or left or right. Everything was just crazy. Like, it was like I was on one of those Spinney rides, but I couldn’t get off. And I’d had this happen before.
For eight years, I had been experiencing very short bouts of vertigo, but like, very short, like 30 seconds. This was going and it kept going. And I was in the bathroom. I was like, just out of the shower. I was wet. I was naked. I don’t know why.
But I grabbed all my dirty clothes, like my pajamas that were on the floor. And I like stumbled into the bedroom and on the bed. And I just started throwing up into the clothes. I vomited everything that I had just eaten, like whatever ounce there was into the clothes. I don’t know if I was just like, I should take the clothes so I can throw it into them. It was really weird.
So I was like, Oh, my God, what is going on? It’s not stopping. But I couldn’t find my voice. I don’t know how my husband knew to find me. But I couldn’t call out. And he was downstairs and I was upstairs. And I don’t know what happens. But he came upstairs and I was like, I don’t know what’s going on. I’m spinning. And he has been with me when I’ve spun before and I’ve never puked.
And I was like, This is different. I don’t know what’s going on. I was planning a home birth. I had our first child, my daughter at home. And it had gone beautifully. It was amazing. So I had another set of midwives, I’d had her in a different state. So my next child I was planning to have with different people because we live somewhere else.
And so he’s tried calling them that was the first thing he was like, I’m going to call the midwives and see what they say, well, they weren’t answering because they were attending a birth. So he’s like, well, they’re not picking up. They’re not picking up and I was like call 911. So he called 911 they come, the ambulance comes.
We lived in a really old house. It was like rickety stairs, they come up the stairs with a stretcher, put me on the stretcher. And the only thing I really remember about that is that this one guy that was one of the EMTs was so overweight. And like he was like, and I was like oh my God, He should be here. Like why am on the stretcher?
This dude is like, he’s like, gonna have a heartattack trying to transport me. So I remember that. I don’t remember much else except for when I got to the hospital. They had, they didn’t know what to do with me. They were like assessing me. They didn’t know what, I was just the world was spinning, intense vertigo. So they’re trying to do some cognitive tests, you know, i was passing the cognitive tests I had
Misdiagnosed of having the sinusitis instead of a stroke
OB GYN on call came and hits my sinuses, like really hard tapping them. Does this hurt. Does this hurt? I was like, yeah, that hurts. He goes, Oh, you’re just another neglected pregnant woman and you have a sinusitis. You’re dizzy because of the inner ear. And I was like, you know, whatever, dude, like, I don’t think so.
But whatever, they did not approve of going the natural home birth route at that hospital. It was a community hospital. And he was like, really upset to hear that I was going to see a midwife and thought that I was being neglectful of my body and said I was sick. And that was because I was doing that. And he left.
They left me alone in this little triage room. My husband was in the hallway with our daughter, all of a sudden, my tongue starts to tingle and go numb. And I feel like this weird tingling sensation in my arm. And I call it my husband. And I was like, James, I think there’s something going on here. Like and I stopped, I realized that I was not able to swallow anymore.
And I was like, I don’t know what’s happening. But I can’t feel my tongue. I can’t swallow. All the sudden my voice started getting really weak. And there were no medical staff around. I don’t know where they went. There’s no one around. So we had to go find somebody
That went to the people who went being neglectful of their bodies and their babies and they didn’t have sinusitis.
Right, there like oh, it’s just whatever. We’re going to fill out your paperwork, we’re going to give you some like anti dizzy medication or whatever, antibiotics for your ear infection. I don’t even know if he looked at my ear, but like, whose sinuses wouldn’t hurt if you had someone like that tapping them really hard? So they were like, Oh, no, we need to get you in the MRI machine, like right away.
So they took me in to get an MRI and found that I had a blood clot in my cerebellum. And I had a stroke. I didn’t know what the hell that meant. They said you had a stroke. And my husband’s like, Oh, my God, you had a stroke, you’re having a stroke. And I’m like, what does that mean? So you googled it, and told me what it meant, according to Google, because I didn’t know no one in my family’s ever had a stroke.
No one I know has ever had a stroke. And it was upsetting to the people around me. But I didn’t know what was going on. I was just trying to figure out what the hell was going on in my body because the world was still spinning. And I had lost sensation in part of my body. And they didn’t know what to do with me at the hospital that I was at. So they immediately were like, Okay, this woman had a stroke. She can’t stay here.
We can’t do anything with her here. Because it was a community hospital. It was small. So they decided to transport me to the nearest city, which was about two hour drive away. But they said we’re going to get a helicopter for you and put you in a helicopter so you can be transported immediately. Well, I think I waited for about three hours in the hospital because they couldn’t figure out where the helicopter was how to get it to me in the meantime, they could have rushed me by an ambulance to the hospital in Portland.
But instead, they just, there was a lot of miscommunication, whatever. They ended up getting me on a helicopter and sending me to this city hospital. It was Maine Medical Center. And it was Memorial Day weekend. That’s the other key factor here. Which here is like a three day holiday weekend. A lot of people go on vacation, take the time off, what have you. Basically what I learned is things don’t happen on morial Day weekend, if you’re going to get sick, if you’re going to have an emergency, that’s not a good time.
So I ended up in the main Medical Center, I was by myself, my husband wasn’t there yet. He had to, you know, go back home, we had a dog, he had to go back home, figure out what to do with her figure out, you know, quickly get everything in line and come down and meet me there. And he, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know when he got there. I don’t remember the next time I saw him. But I do know that I was put in to a couple more MRIs, I remember them putting headphones on giving me a thing to squeeze, you know, we’ve all been through it squeezes you’re gonna freak out.
Don’t move, And I was like, how do I do? Like I don’t even know how to move right now. So I guess I’m just going to breathe. And that was the most powerful thing for me was my breath, I could still breathe. And I remember, I just had to try to breathe. And there was crazy bagging going on all around me, which would scare the shit out of me in any other circumstance. But because I was so I didn’t know what was going on. And everything that was happening in my body was so foreign, that I just dealt with it. I didn’t have a way to freak out.
I remember that they didn’t know what to do with me because I was pregnant. Should she go to prenatal? Should she go to the cardiac unit? Should she go somewhere else? We don’t know what to do with this woman? Where did we put her? Wow. So I think I started off in the prenatal unit. And they monitor the baby. And the baby was actually completely fine the entire time.
He was never they gave me the stress tests, they put this strap around your belly and they do ultrasounds and they check his heartbeat. So they were doing checking his heartbeat like every four hours. For the first two weeks I was in the hospital. And he was fine. Never sign of any stress. Now this was the complete opposite. When my first child, I didn’t even have an ultrasound, not one ultrasound. This child is like radioactive, you know, I had morphine ultrasounds I had who knows what else in my body when I was pregnant with him. He’s great. He’s 10 now and he’s amazing. But that was I had to let go of any of my preconceived pure thoughts about this child.
That would be tough for a mom who’s going through not only stroke, but also concern because of the baby. And it couldn’t possibly be worse. A lot of women I hear have hemorrhagic strokes during the pushing episode, you know, to deliver the baby. And that’s really dramatic. And you even hear about women passing away during childbirth. And sometimes it’s cause of a blood vessel bursting or something like that.
So I can imagine how scary it would have been, especially knowing that now they’re going to put you on a whole bunch of medications, and have your baby in your belly. And, how these things going to impact the baby. So many uncertainties about the future weren’t there?
Yeah, it was pretty nuts. So they kept assuring we’re not going to give you anything that will affect your child, morphine, thats got a very short, half life. That’s what they’re saying. So it’s not going to go into the fetus. That’s what they told me. There’s a drug that they normally give people who have ischemic strokes to kind of help break up the clot.
They couldn’t give it to me because it’s contraindicated for pregnancy. So I basically went through the whole thing without intervention that they would normally give to someone who wasn’t with child.
I did have a lot of morphine.
Itching from the inside out
The first 24 hours, I had a lot of like, I call it itching from the inside out. Like my nervous system was being really activated. And I felt like I wanted to just like itch my self, but it was like coming from the inside. So it was super uncomfortable. Like I had these jolts of, you know, nervous system jolts,
Like electrical impulses.
Yeah, like electrical impulses, but it was ticklish. And it turns out that the whole left side of my body is dissented like I can’t feel temperature. I still can’t feel temperature, therefore I can’t feel dampness. I can’t feel moisture, because a lot of that is temperature. And I don’t feel pain. So I have cut myself many times accidentally, and not known. And then I looked down and I got blood. like crap, what did I do? So yeah thats very Interesting.
Yeah, extremely interesting. We’re going to talk about that, because that is very interesting, however. Usually, there’s something done to sort out a blood clot in the brain. How did your blood clot resolve itself? Because if they didn’t intervene? What happened to it? Where did it go?
I don’t know. I honestly have no idea. So what they told me is that the area that it blocked, would slowly the blood cells, the neurons that were damaged, would find new pathways. So part of what happened was I was unable to swallow. So it took eight weeks for me to be able to swallow again. So I had a feeding tube placed directly into my stomach. First they put an angio tube down up my nose and down my throat. I felt like I was on some sort of like alien operating table because I had to be awake for that.
But they told me that it would just resolve itself. I took a lot of blood thinners until after I gave birth. So they told me that the reason that their speculation was pregnancy cause the stroke that I had, this is I love that look on your face, like yeah, whatever, like okay, that’s not a new pregnancy book I could read.
Well, I will add that to the things that pregnancy does to women that we generalize about stroke now come on.
So there’s more to it than that I had some midwives that I met with, like way afterwards that said, there’s this thing called factor five. That is something that women experience during pregnancy that doesn’t always show up, but it’s a affinity for clotting. A lot of times it’ll happen and let in women’s legs, you know, they talk about beware of varicose veins or blood clots in the lungs.
They tested they did imaging of my heart to make sure I didn’t have a hole in my heart. I didn’t have a hole in my heart. They verified that. I did come up positive for this test called lupus anticoagulants, which doesn’t make any sense because it’s actually a hyper coagulated state. And I don’t have lupus. So a lot of the nurses were like, Oh, you have lupus. And I’m like, No, I don’t have lupus. That’s what this syndrome is called, whatever it is this this factor is called.
And so I tested positive for that until nine months after I gave birth. And then I tested negative. And then they wanted so they were testing it every six weeks. They’re testing my blood for this. And then they wanted to like they wanted a double negative before they took me off a blood thinner. And they tested me again. And it was negative again, and then I went off blood thinner. And I’ve never been on it again, since they also told me I should take a baby aspirin every day for the rest of my life.
And I don’t think I’ve taken the baby aspirin in like six years. It felt more like a placebo crutch to me. And I decided that I was fine. But it’s a risk I’m taking I could take it but I just don’t feel like it’s a sustainable thing for my body for the next however many years of my life. I did also get misdiagnosed with preeclampsia. After they put the Angio tube up my nose and down my throat once I got nutrition I lost 12 pounds in the hospital in the first week when I was pregnant, because I didn’t have any nutrition because the nutritionist was on vacation.
So I also had
Sorry i laughed
That’s okay. I mean, it’s absurd. So my experience with my stroke was the most traumatic with my interactions with the hospital staff. I had to put down my throat that earlier that evening. I just had it was like as for the first time feeling like I feel okay, I had a sponge bath. This really kind nurse came and gave me a sponge bath. I was feeling clean. You know, you start to feel like really disgusting.
You smell like all this stuff they’re putting in your body. It’s gross. You smell the scene, you don’t get to move. You know, I think I had an alarm on my bed. So if I like setup, it would go off. So I couldn’t move. And this woman comes in She goes, Emily, I think you’re preeclamptic. And I was like what why? and she’s like your blood pressure’s through the roof. Look at it.
And she shows me the stats. And there’s like, Oh, that is really high. But I don’t feel bad. And she was like, No, this is not good. You’re pregnant, your blood pressure is really high. That means you’re preeclamptic. And I was like, Well, how would you know definitively there’s got to be a way besides my blood pressure? And she said, Yeah, a 24 hour urine sample. And I said, All right, well, why don’t you do that? Like, why don’t you start collecting my and over 24 hours, I had a catheter too, because I couldn’t urinate.
Collecting it anyway.
Yeah, so she’s like, you know, well, we’re going to wheel you down to the prenatal unit. Because they had decided to put me in the cardiac unit. At that point, they wheeled me back down to the prenatal unit. And they decided that they’re going to treat me for preeclampsia, whether I had it or not, because that was the best resolve. Because if I had it, I could die and my child could die. If I didn’t have it. Oh, well.
So the treatment for that is pumping you full of magnesium for 24 hours. And its hell. It’s like having hell inside of your body. It like you feel like you’re on fire. And they told me that they were like, you’re gonna feel like you’re on fire. And I just, it’s like having the most intense sweat. But for prolonged amount of time, you’re not moving. in that timeframe, I had another doctor come in and talk to me about giving me an emergency c section when my child is 25 weeks, and he probably wouldn’t make it.
And I was like, it was it was devastating. And I was like, Why are you coming here and talking to me about this? Like, who are you? And why are you talking to me about this? And then they’re like, oh, we’ll check back in with you. My husband and I are just like, What is going on? And we’re devastated. I didn’t understand any of it.
Well, it turns out, I wasn’t preeclamptic. They did the 24 hour urine sample. And they gave me the results after they had treated me for preeclampsia. And I wasn’t preeclamptic that woman, that resident never came back and said a word to me. And she never showed her face. Again. She didn’t say she was sorry. Nothing at all. So and neither did the guy who said he was going to give me an emergency c section, they just were like, Oh well we’ll go back to the cardiac unit now.
As if you don’t have enough to struggle and worry about with a stroke, you got to deal with all of the other stuff. And it’s common, what you’re saying is common, it’s not uncommon. And what I find is that good people who become doctors to help people, allow the ego to get in the way of what the heart desires. And what the heart desires is to help people overcome life altering challenges, and to bring people good health and to bring them home to their families and all that. And then somehow they allow their ego to get involved and make rash decisions and not talk things through and not ask for your opinion and for your feedback. And as if the patient has got no rights.
And I experienced that. in hospital the first time when the doctors would come and talk to me in a team. Actually, they wouldn’t talk to me that would come in a team that would stand at the end of my bed, and they’ll talk about me. And then they would leave. And I was just full of questions. And I needed to ask. And they wouldn’t answer anything. And they wouldn’t hang around. There was a lot of unknowns. Fair enough.
But they didn’t even really tell me. We didn’t have an answer for that, or will know better in X amount of time. It was just no information whatsoever. extremely rude is what I felt like. And I don’t think i was being sensitive, because I was actually very well able to participate in the whole conversation at the beginning, because I didn’t have any neurological symptoms other than my left side being numb. I didn’t actually have cognitive issues. But these guys, they just weren’t up for having a chat.
So I discharged myself from that hospital. Because I was able to but then, when it’s Emily with a baby in a belly and all the other stuff going on, like how do you do that? How do you and when you’re in a location, which doesn’t have a lot of hospitals, how do you discharge yourself and go elsewhere? You just got to do the best you can with the people that are around you. It would have been frustrating as anything.
Yeah, I didn’t have any options. There’s one other hospital in the city, but they didn’t have the facilities to deal with, they took me there because that was the only place to go. I had a doctor, a psychologist or psychiatrist come in with her students in the very beginning, you know, in the first, you know, 48 hours. And she was like, I’m going to have my students talk to you now. I don’t remember what she said. But I do remember one of her students said he held my hands, which I thought was like, I don’t know you like, I don’t understand why you’re holding my hand like that. He looked at me and he goes, Emily, have you ever thought about committing suicide?
Because of all the changes you’ve gone through your family life has changed, you’ve changed in your body? All this stuff that’s going on is pretty terrible. Have you thought about killing yourself? Because that’s a pretty serious thing if you have and I was like, I don’t even know what the hell is going on inside of my body right now. I haven’t even considered that there’s all these changes happening yet because I’m just trying to freakin get through the next hour.
Emily, this sounds like you’re actually making this up.
I didn’t I swear to God, this. It was nuts. It was like, I don’t understand. He was a student. So he obviously didn’t
Know didn’t understand what he was implying yet
And like, look at my chart, like I just entered this hospital like 24 hours or 48 hours ago. like I didn’t have time to think about this. Maybe if I been here for a few weeks. Yeah, i’d jump out the window, because you people are crazy. But like, you know, I was so I couldn’t see. I couldn’t tell where the world was. I wasn’t going to kill myself. Like that was not an option. And I hadn’t thought about how my family life had changed how my life had changed, because I wasn’t I was still in a hospital bed freshly in a hospital bed.
So that happens that later that day, my husband and my daughter weren’t there. And my mom had come and she was there. And I’m like, Where are James and Perilla? My my husband and my daughter. And she’s like, oh, they’re coming. I was like, okay, there’s something going on here. But I don’t know what. So they come in. My daughter had been in the ER because she broke her arm.
My 15 month old doctor broke her arm, like the second day I was in the hospital. My husband was checking the weather on the TV and the hotel, went to turn it off. And she fell off the bed in a weird way and broke her right arm. And I had been nursing her. So she had to like it was cold turkey like no more. No more Mom, I’m inaccessible. And he had to deal with that. And now she had a broken arm
Mom is in the hospital dealing with all this stuff while she was pregnant.
And all I wanted to do was like cuddle her and be like, Oh my gosh, it’s going to be okay. But she was she was afraid of me because I was hooked up to like every machine and IV and all this stuff. So that was really tough because she was afraid of me. She didn’t want me to comfort her and she had a broken arm. But kids heal so fast. I think she was out of the cast before I was out of the hospital.
How long were you in the hospital before?
So I was in the
Whatever you call the medical center hospital for two weeks, and then I was in a rehab hospital for two weeks. And I fought really hard to get out the rehab hospital and I got out of the rehab hospital on the summer solstice. On June 21. I was like, I can’t be here anymore. It was it was too much. I was exhausted. I didn’t sleep for a month. I had a woman at the rehab hospital tell me that she was so grateful for the health of her children because she saw in what a bad place I was in.
Shit out of luck
And wasn’t it such a horrible thing what happened to my life, and therefore she’s just reminded of what a great situation her family’s in because I’m like shit out of luck. And I was like, What? are you kidding?
You attract those weirdos what’s going on?
And so I told my physical therapist who I liked, I told her about this because it really hurt me really hurt my feelings. And she said, Oh my gosh, I have to talk to this woman, I guess. So she went and talk to this woman. She said she told her to apologize to me. And she came in to my room like late at night. Whenever her shift was but it was late. It wasn’t like during the day when I was like awake and cognizant. She was like I’m so I’m supposed to apologize to you. And that was it. Like that was her apology was I’m supposed to apologize to you.
How old were you? You were 25?
I was 26. And I had my 27th birthday in the hospital.
Yeah, so you’re relatively fresh and young as well. 25 26 27. Because, you know, we’re just growing up, we just come out of the teenage years, we thought we knew everything, then then life happens. Kids come along, and you’re still really you have a teenage brain but you’re an adult. And you’re responsible for children and paying a mortgage and doing all those things. And now you’re dealing with the lack of ability to comprehend how stupid people say things.
And it’s more about them than it is about you. But you don’t have the skills yet. To appreciate that and to turn it into a, Ah well, just a weirdo just. She said something It’s more about her than it is me and I’m not gonna let it bother me. But you are also vulnerable because you’ve experienced a stroke. You’re pregnant, you’re concerned. You’re a little babies broken her arm. And then this person comes and says this, and it’s like, wow, like it would be extremely emotionally traumatizing. Because you’re in a fragile state.
Sometimes it’s better for people when they turn up to visit a stroke patient. If you’re listening people and watching out there, and you have a stroke member or patient in your life, sometimes it’s better to just turn up and say nothing. Just be there.
Yeah, I had some great friends come and visit me. And this all happened before Facebook and Instagram and social media, really, it was like maybe that baby stages of Facebook, I don’t remember. But we had email, my husband knew my email password. And right after I had my stroke, when I went into the hospital, he emailed everyone on my contact list and said, Emily’s in the hospital, she needs your prayers, and overwhelming response. And he printed it all up for me. And that’s really what kept me going was all of these people, some of whom I didn’t really know, some of whom were like, random contacts that I had in my email list.
But like I didn’t ever really talk to that said, I’m going to be thinking of you and sending you, you know, prayers and whatever. And I really think that helped I genuinely do. And I had friends come and support my husband, because he didn’t have anybody. You know, he was trying to take care of our daughter and doing the best he could just to get her fed, and come see me and spend as much time with me in the hospital, and then feed her again. And that was like, that was what he was doing.
That was his job. And it was, once we got home, his job was to take care of me. And her, and it was a it was a big task. Once I had my son, I had to go back in the hospital for a week. They induced me, I had him, I could not carry him. When I walked, I had to I just he actually got a ton of love and attention because I just sat in, held him all the time. So I would sit and hold him a nurse if I had to get up and walk around, he had to go with that.
I just couldn’t, it was enough for me to just try to walk on my own, I could not be holding a child. So it was a it was a very humbling experience all around everything. And I spent my 20s breaking things and hurting myself and having a stroke. I severely broke my arm and paralyzed my hands. And I also broke my ankle. And then I had a stroke. So I so my my idea now is I spent my 20s hurting myself, and I’m spending my 30s repairing, so that I can live further down the road feeling amazing.
That’s pretty typical of most people that until the age of about 3536 37, I’ve met so many people who have had real serious health issues around that age i was 37. So many people who have experienced the type of stroke that I’ve experienced at around the same age, which is quite bizarre, around 3536 37. There’s quite a lot of them. And then, I have friends who I went to school with who have passed away in, you know, their late 30s and early 40s. And it was because what they had been doing and what everyone had been doing that when you was just wearing out their body wearing it down sooner rather than later.
And unfortunately for them, they didn’t get away with it. I got away with it. And I’m still here, they had one bad experience with health. And that was it for them. And the most recent one was only 17 18 days ago. It’s just shocking that I’m here and they’re not. And I don’t know. And I made a post about I called that sadness, you know, I don’t know what’s going on. Like, I don’t get it, it doesn’t make sense to me. And the only thing I can do is take responsibility for myself like you are doing and like a lot of people recovering from stroke are doing.
And then from there is learn as much as we can to try and prevent us being the cause of our disease or our you know, our next health scare. And then really what I’m about I’m just about me, preventing myself from harming myself. That’s, that’s all it is. And yeah, this podcast makes it possible for me to do that. Because I put it out there to the planet. And I tell everybody what I’m doing and how I’m going about it. And I’m supporting people.
And it just makes me practice what I preach. And it’s just a terrible thing. So I’m glad that you’re doing the healing part and the rebuilding of yourself part. One, did you come out of rehab? With as far as neurological deficits? I know you said your left side was impacted. So how was it specifically impacted?
So I basically had to learn how to walk again. I can move my body just the same as before? Well, so I don’t know how I moved before because I was totally unaware. So I can move my body Great. Now. I don’t know what I could do before I never really thought about it. So that’s one thing, my awareness has changed greatly. So the left side of my body from about my chin down and over, and then the right side of my face. So my right eye, I used to wear contacts.
Having Horner’s syndrome after stroke
I can’t anymore. I can’t create tears out of my right eye. And I had this thing called Horner’s syndrome, which was my pupil just stayed dilated all the time. Everyone was like, look at this girl. She looks like she’s on drugs. She’s got this crazy eyeball. And I was like, thanks. I was like, so whenever I go to the eye doctor, I’m there for like three hours because they’re fascinated with my eyeball. It’s constantly moving at a really fast pace. My neurons have rewired so I’m used to it.
I can see things but I have a really hard time. When we go like if my husband’s driving and he turns a corner real quick. Or I’m watching an amusement park ride. It sends me into like a really dizzy spell. So my eye is I don’t have the Horner’s syndrome anymore, but it’s like chronically dry. And because I can’t feel I can’t feel the surface of my eyeball and it’s dry.
I scratch my cornea very easily. And then my vision becomes worse. So like my prescription on my right eye is like three times worse than the left eye because of that. And so I’m constantly like putting an eye drops lubricants. Again, it’s one of those things like do I have to put these petrochemicals in my eyeball for the next 40 years? Because I don’t think that’s a good thing.
So I’ve tried all sorts of alternatives and sprayed like plant hydro lattes and all this stuff. So I vacillate back and forth between those things so that’s affected I couldn’t swallow for eight weeks so my esophageal nerve was damaged and my muscles in my throat are weak. So when I have to cough, like because something goes down the wrong way, people are like, are you okay? Because it sounds terrible. But it’s because muscles are really weak, it might still, even 11 years later, it’s still really difficult for me to like, recall something from my throat. I can puke. I’ve done that before. And it works.
But I have,
I get upset. I my throat closes up, I can still breathe just fine. But I can’t swallow, it feels like someone’s stabbing a sword into my throat. And there’s also a big stone at the same time. So when I get worked up, like when I get emotional and upset, that’s my tell, like, I know that I’m really upset because my throat starts to like, be extremely painful. And I can’t swallow.
And then the temperature thing on my left side pain. And I’ve had a really interesting experience with pleasure to like figuring out, so when something really hurts, it tickles. So like if I pick up a pot lid with my left hand that off of boiling water, it tickles. But so in the very beginning, it took my brain a while to figure out what was going on. Now I have the wits about me to be like that’s boiling water, I should use a pot holder. In the very beginning, I was like this is really cool.
that’s kind of what happens is. So I have a bunch of tattoos and the ones that I have on the gotten and I’ve gotten them all since I’ve had the stroke. The ones on the left side of my body, I haven’t felt at all. And the ones on the right side of my body are like it was painful. I had one done on the back of my left calf last year. And I was actually almost orgasmic, the closer you got to the center line. It was extremely pleasurable. And the guy was like how you doing? You hold them? And I was like, I’m great.
Give me more of that?
Yeah! So that’s an interesting,
Let me tell you something that I heard that one of my messing friends told me about was that the reason why people enjoy having their toes sucked is because in the brain, the area for toes and the sensations and the feeling in the brain is very, very close to the spot for the genitalia.
So when you are arousing somebody, his genitalia and you’re touching their toes, or sucking their toes at the same time, or they’re going through that arousal process. It’s very easy for those things to wire together. So when the Princess of Wales or whoever it was, decides to have her toes stuck by the captain, or whoever it was, it is basically getting that person stimulated to that extent, in some cases, actually to, you know, maybe have an orgasm. I don’t know. But that’s that’s just a little bit of some information that came into my head right now. So not necessarily stroke. podcaster sort of information but Interesting, nonetheless.
Well, it’s interesting. It is very fascinating. Especially because I work with people with their feet. And I love feet too. So that’s interesting.
Everyone loves a foot rub don’t they? Everyone just loves having their feet rubbed. So not only is it releasing tension, and it’s, you know, the feet are the gateway into the whole body, because they’re always on the ground. They’re always supporting people. But also just people don’t understand that they are so closely linked to the brain, to that section with arousal occurs. And that’s one of the reasons why you know men, you can message your woman’s feet, and she’ll just almost do anything for you sometimes.
Wow. Fascinating, huh? Cool.
So your tattoo was a really good experience.
It was. Yeah, I’m gonna get more on the left side for sure.
But I’m trying to think that there’s been some. So my lasting neurological effects were what I what I’ve said and I had a feeding tube for couldn’t swallow for eight weeks. It was summertime in Maine. So everyone was on vacation, then it was morial day Can’t be helped Memorial Day weekend. That’s not okay. Then it was the summer. So for heaven forbid, there should be a doctor that works in the summertime because they’ve got to go out sailing. They told me that I could get the feeding tube out in September. And I started swelling again in July.
And I was going to have my baby sometime in August, because I just knew that would probably happen. So I was like, I have a growing belly. I have this tube directly to my stomach. There’s food coming out of it. Now I’m swallowing food, but there’s still food coming out of it because it’s open to my stomach. There’s like a valve you can turn it off. So I had to once again travel to the bigger city to the big hospital. And the doctor there took it out who wasn’t on vacation.
Yeah, but it was another experience where and so another thing is they gave me very high very high calorie carnation instant breakfast. There were these cans of really new high calorie food. And that’s what they fed me in the hospital through my feeding tube. And that’s they sent me home with to give myself when I went home. Now that would be like eating McDonald’s blended up. Maybe I don’t know, I don’t eat McDonald’s. I that’s not how I eat at all. I didn’t then. And I don’t know, I definitely don’t know.
And I did not then you know, I don’t know if you remember. But I said we were going to the farmers market. So like, I eat vegetables. Things like that. So it was I was grossed out by that. And I started swallowing after I’d had enough of the very high calorie kind of you know, I was out of it. My husband was there was so much going on. We’re like food. This is what we’re supposed to do. Let’s do it. And then I was like, What the hell am I doing? This is disgusting.
It’s like, let’s juice you know, let’s get some vegetables and juice stuff. And like, blend up. Like let’s make chicken soup until it dissolves and blend it up and pour that crap down. You know, pour that stuff in the tube. It’s still liquid. And soon as I started doing that, two days later, I started swallowing because I had real food in my body. And my body was like, Oh, right, this stuff
You’re supposed to be eating that.
And I didn’t have any of the swallow therapy because the swallow therapist was on vacation.
So many, just so many bad timing situations. The thing about doctors and the medical profession is they often get influenced by Big Pharma or big corporations about what is best way even in Australia and most likely had happened all over the Western world. You hear that formula was best for baby, all that kind of stuff. And there was so much kickback when some lady who knew better said formula is not best the baby, mother’s milk is best for baby.
And it’s she wasn’t saying that to give moms that couldn’t breastfeed a hard time, she was just saying that we need to stop telling people that what the corporation creates in a factory is the best thing for the baby. The fact is that until the factory started to create this stuff, apparently, there was nothing else better for the baby, then breastfeeding.
So but how did we change and move into that space, I had my parents bring me food every day on that I was in hospital that I could, because I couldn’t eat that crap. And yeah, they talk about healing the brain and they don’t understand that food is what’s going to help heal the brain, get the patient out of hospital quicker, make it cost less to have them there, have them in rehabilitation lyst make a cost less to have them in rehabilitation.
So the one thing that they skimp on to save money on is food preparation. And that’s costing them a ton more money, because it’s decreasing the, the rapid right that the brain will heal if you just feed the body properly. And it’s the most strangest thing I was at a hospital in a month, they were they had booked me in for two months of rehabilitation, I was meditating before I was able to start my therapy so that I could stimulate the neurons in my own brain.
Because when you meditate, you use the same parts of the brain that you are using when you actually walk the same parts in the brain. So I could do two or three days worth of rehabilitation without moving out of out of bed in the first three days. So I was doing that I was eating properly. And I was just playing tracks of into my ears meditation tracks of me walking of what it’s going to be like how I’m going to feel better. So I set myself up for this, you know, for this path forward that didn’t rely on only the therapists and the nutrition that I was getting from the hospital, you it was my responsibility.
So that got me out of hospital sooner, they were surprised that after a month, I think I’m done. And it’d be great if you guys could sign up, you know, sign me out. So I can get out of here because I’ve been in here for a month it’s ready, I’m ready to go home. The fact of the matter is, is that what you experienced is very, very common the stuff that they feed you, although I get it, it serves a purpose. There has to be the next level of understanding has to occur, which says okay, like all medications short term, they’ll save your life, they’ll get you back to a state where you can operate.
After that we need to have the discussion on what do we do then? So we can’t take aspirin for the rest of our lives. If it’s to thin the blood, what else can we do? Garlic does that pretty effectively? I’m pretty sure it decreases your blood pressure. So why can’t we have conversations about all these things? holistically rather than just take a cane? and off you go, with stuff to eat out of a can. It’s mental.
I left the hospital with high blood pressure. I was still in vertigo. I was I was in a vertigo state until like December. I couldn’t drive a car, I couldn’t hold my child. And this happened at the end of May. But you know, so they gave me anti dizzy medication, blood pressure medication, anti nausea, medication, and blood thinner. Now the blood thinner was a low molecular weight blood thinner because the blood thinners that they would normally give people were contraindicated for pregnancy.
So I had to have one that was would bypass the placenta or the fetus or whatever, you know, all that stuff. insurance didn’t cover it. And it was $3,000 a month. And I had to take it the whole time I was pregnant until I gave birth after the stroke. And I spent there were there were a lot of tears at the pharmacy, between me and my husband and my mother. Like there was a lot of tears. And they were just like sorry.
Deciding not to take pregnancy medications
And then it turned out the next year there was like a generic brand. And it was like $30 a month. But it was all about timing. Like it was terrible timing. But I came to realize that I looked at the labels of these things like the you know, caution could cause dizziness. So the blood pressure medication could cause dizziness, and taking dizzy medication that could cause nausea and high blood pressure. And I’m taking knowledge and medication that could cause high blood pressure. Like why what? This is so stupid. So I got off of all that stuff pretty quick. With no one’s permission. I just said, I’m not taking this
And I wouldn’t recommend that to anybody listening just incase.
No, it was my choice. I was taking it up until after I had my son while I was pregnant. After that, it was kind of harder for me I had to recover from giving birth and the stroke at the same time. So I had some setbacks. I had some, like more intense vertigo spells. A lot of my neurological symptoms came back I had a curtain come down over my right I had I would see like lights. These were all things that had been happening to me periodically for eight years before I had my stroke.
And then when I had the stroke, it all happened at once the vertigo, the curtain, the spots, the bright lights. So I thought that was really interesting. I had I’ve gone to a neurologist when I was in college, and he said do yoga and learn how to breathe better. He said you’re poisoning yourself. And I laughed. I was like, what a doofus. Well, it turns out, I probably gave myself the stroke because I breathed super shallow, and, really crappy breathing habit.
I’ve done a lot of bodywork, I’d become a massage therapist and a body worker. And I’ve taken some breathing work. I’ve done a bunch of breathing work recently, actually within the past year. And I came to realize, like holy crap, I’ve totally poisoned myself. He was right, this guy was right. All that time ago. I believe him now he was
He was ahead of his time, because if he knew rather just was saying that so much. So long ago, he was definitely ahead of his time if I interviewed a gentleman called Patrick McEwen. And I’ll have the link in the show notes. And Patrick, the episode that I did was how to reverse sleep apnea or something like that. And basically, he talks just literally about breathing and help people breathe incorrectly. And how people don’t realize that breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is actually decreasing the chemical composition of the oxygen that you want to actually go in your bloodstream.
So very many people have less I think a carbon dioxide in their blood and they meant to, and that throws out so many things in the body simply and it puts you into a high stress state. It’s obviously not allowing the right oxygenation of the body in the in the extremities and in the in the lungs and in all sorts of places in the whole body. Right. So that’s if you if anyone’s interested to learn how to breathe better.
Have a listen to that episode, and I’ll have the link in the show notes. So that’s really common, that people don’t know how to breathe properly. And when you ask somebody that question they look at you read because when you know, do you know how to breathe properly? Do you breathing? I like what I’m talking to you. I’m breathing, surely,
But it turns out, it turns out that a lot of people have lost the art of breathing properly. And posture does impact on that. So sitting in a computer and looking over for a long period of time, you know, decreases the capacity of which the lungs can expand and how much oxygen they can actually draw in. And then sitting down all day, at computer desks, doing all that type of thing causes those types of issues. I’m standing up at my stand up sit down desk today.
And I bought that because I started to realize that I was constricting my organs around my belly and my gut and my stomach when I was sitting down too much. And it made me feel quite sick. So the more I stand, the healthier I feel, the better I feel and things are starting to flow again and my bowel starting to move better and the bloating is going away. Because I generally eat quite well.
So there’s so many things that this guy told you back then that would have helped you a lot. But it’s all right, you know now. And now you’re a meditation teacher and a yoga instructor. Tell me exactly what it is that you do. It sounds like you’re a massage therapist. You said sorry.
Yeah, that’s okay. So in my process of
immediately afterwards, before I could drive a car again, I had my husband Take me to a geriatric yoga class. And I went to this yoga class, probably 30 people. And you know, everyone was over the age of 65. And me, and I was kind of tucked away in a corner. And I realized then that practice was going to be extremely invaluable to me, because we did a lot of just standing without falling over for me was really hard. You know, just being there, and God closing my eyes and not falling over, not swaying like that was kind of impossible.
And I wanted to do more of it. But I didn’t want to do it with 30 people, I needed to be one on one with a teacher. So I asked around with the town I was living in. And I found out about this woman who taught Iyengar Yoga, which is all about alignment and breath. Because Iyengar was the man who founded this practice, and he was very into, like, correct posture. So I’ll spend like, an hour class doing two poses the whole time, because it’s all very much cueing everything exactly.
So I went to this woman, I talked to her about what I was experiencing. She said, I want you to sit on this ball. And it was this like, 10 inch ball, and inflated. And I was like, okay, whatever. And I tried to sit on it, and I couldn’t, I fell off. And it’s not that high off the ground. I never did yoga with her. I only ever did this thing called Yama body rolling with her. And it took me about two months before I could sit on the ball and not fly off. And I worked on each side of my body separately. So I’d work on the right side. And then I work on the left side. And I’d be like, Oh my gosh, it feels so different.
You know, and it worked on waking it up bone stimulation. So I ended up I’m doing private sessions with her for about a year, she convinced me to go to classes, I started going to classes and realizing oh my gosh, everybody’s different between the right and the left side. It’s not just me. Like, yes, maybe I have a different different, but maybe I don’t, we’re all different. Even regular humans have differences. We’re all completely asymmetrical. Yeah, we’d have hand here and a hand here, but they feel different things no matter who you are. So I ended up training, I ended up getting my certification to teach this practice studying with the woman who developed it.
And I teach it and I work on people doing that. And it’s changed my life. It really has, I realized that if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it all the time. And it changed my life so dramatically and impacted my life so much that I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. So I have trained in all of her modalities except for one. And so I teach that I work on people one on one, I teach people how to work on themselves. I work with the feet, the face, the whole body. And then I went to massage school and I become a massage therapists.
And I also do work with plants with medicinal aroma therapy. And that’s something that has drastically changed since the stroke. And I don’t the sense of smell increases when you’re pregnant. But it like amplified after my stroke and never went away. So I have a really acute sense of smell. So working with plants and the essences I really enjoy it because I really love the way that they smell and the way that they feel. And they all have different things in different attributes and ways that they help me and other people to overcome things.
How do you enjoy the smell of sneakers?
Sneakers, you know,
I told my mom this and I actually gave my mom a massage today. I told her when people come with like really stinky feet and I’m working on them and I get to their feet and they stink I put I’m like oh I think your feet wants lemon today. So that I don’t have to smell their stinky toed shoes. And, today I was like I think I’m gonna put some oil on your feet. And she was like, Oh, no do my feet smell.
I’ve got I’ve got some solution for it.
So many unique experiences with stroke. It’s just amazing. Not a single person that I spoke to has a we have a lot of similarities. But no one has failed to surprise me by saying this is happening for me that’s everyday sense of smell getting heightened is just another amazing thing like, just so bizarre and amazing. And I don’t know, maybe you could use it as a superpower.
Yeah, you maybe I can definitely like I can smell. I can smell the insides of people’s houses when I drive by their windows are open.
I don’t know. And I’m like I say to my family. Do you smell that? And they’re like, I don’t know what you’re talking about it’s different, like someone’s roasting a turkey. You can smell it because it’s very different like I can. It’s Yeah, I don’t know, it’s really weird. So it’s hard for me to drive down the road with my windows open, because there’s so many smells offensive and non offensive smells. But there it’s just, it’s hard. It’s difficult for me, I get nauseated quite a bit.
So tell me, when we started to chat on Instagram, when we started to talk to each other. You contacted me because you were feeling down well not depressed, but you’re feeling down and a little bit isolated. And I’m not judging, and I get it. But I’m going to ask all the obvious question is if I’m somebody who doesn’t know anything about stroke, somebody like you, who has gone through so much so long ago, and has done so much to help themselves has taken responsibility has done such a large amount of healing, and got their life on track and doing what they love and helping people and making a difference.
How does somebody like you still end up being feeling down and feeling isolated? And being so amazed that this community that I’m creating exists? Just don’t strike me as that kind of person now? Yeah, and the person who doesn’t know anything about anything? and answer that question.
So because I have this family unit, and because of where it happens, and being in a very isolated place, and I didn’t really have any friends there we had just moved there eight months before. So I didn’t have any friends besides my husband. You, sir, I know that you don’t know that I had a stroke. But I’m going to tell you as knowing that you did are the first person I’ve ever talked to who’s also had a stroke ever.
Knowingly, you know, maybe I have had conversations with other people, but I didn’t know it, about my stroke. So I have been living my life for the past 11 years. Without that connection, or community to anybody. And of course, there’s people that have had cancer, that have cancer, that have other conditions that are going on that I encounter in my life, and people with empathy and compassionate people. And they exist. And, and I’m grateful for that. And I have the support of my husband who watch us been by my side through all of this.
But I have not ever connected with anybody out who’s had a stroke. I’ve just not been in that. In that place. We lived in Maine, in this small little town, I wanted to leave as soon as I could, it took five years, we moved to Mexico, we moved out of the country, and we moved to Baja, because life is a lot slower, cheaper, and laid back. So we lived there for four years, started getting poisoned by the pesticides and chemicals and all that stuff that was going on there burning trash, burning plastics, and moved back to the US for our kids education.
And there certainly wasn’t anyone there that could empathize with stroke. So I really have been my own little island of whatever this is, until now. Yeah. And so I felt really uplifted listening to your podcast. Really, I’m like, these people like we have, like you said, every stroke is totally different. But there’s this common understanding and appreciation for life. We’ve all had to overcome giant obstacles. And we’ve all had to adapt and have a new sense of living. That is not the same for someone who broke their ankle or, you know, got in a car accident, not to say that those aren’t big things. It’s just different.
It’s definitely different. And I’ve done all the little injuries in my time, you know, broken arm and all that type of thing. And that’s what gets my mind overthinking sometimes it’s like, well, I broke my arm, I can talk about it, like it happened in the past, and it went away. I talked about the stroke. And if I talked to the wrong people, or over share with some people they say, or whatever we’ve heard that move on, lives with you, every day. And even though I am I’ve done a lot of counseling, and I’m a counselor, sorry, I’m not a counselor, I’m a coach, life coach if for lack of a better term, so I guide people through trauma, releasing, taking, you know, taking action in different ways to get to the outcome that I want.
So we, we acknowledge that something has happened, but they often leave it in the past in that they can look at it in the distance and say, Yep, that is what happened. And the trauma has been dealt with over there. Now, I’m not bringing that trauma into my life, continuously. I’m not really living it. And I’m moving forward making steps to achieve what I want to achieve. And I’m learning about myself, and I’m overcoming all this stuff. And that’s what I started doing when I started to go to counseling and to get coaching to learn about how I was getting in my own way, all the time when I was completely healthy, and always sabotaging my ability to grow and to achieve new things.
And then I, I experienced stroke and everything that I knew about dealing with stuff and leaving him in the past and trauma, dealing with trauma that occurred in the past went out the window, because now I wake up, every day and my left side hurts every day, I wake up every day and my left side is colder than my right side. I go to sleep every day, and I feel cold on my left side. So I have to sleep on it. So that it’s so that I numb the sensations, the mattress interferes with the sensations that I’m feeling. So I don’t feel cold because I’m hot on the other side. So it creeps back in on a daily basis.
And it created that reminder, Hey, remember that stroke that your head? Well, that’s the hurts or that’s the leg that hurts or, and and when I get busy with amazing podcast interviews, and when I get busy with coaching people, and when I get busy with my jobs and my tasks, I have this split second situation where I forget about it, and it doesn’t. It doesn’t feel like I’ve had a stroke. And then when I rest and I go to reflect on the day, etc, then it comes up. If I’m tired, or if I’ve over done it, it comes up. If I haven’t slept well the night before, it’s really obvious the entire day that I’ve had a stroke.
So that’s why I asked the question of you earlier, how have you got to be 11 years down the track and still feeling these feelings? Because I think a lot of people are going through this. And if you’re not the first person to say, Oh my god, I can’t believe this podcast exists. That episode was just the one I needed to hear, and so on. And usually it’s because they’ve been through the trauma back then. And some of my guests say, Well, I went through the trauma, and I didn’t deal with it, then I just dealt with getting on my feet and being able to drive and go back to work.
Jenny McAllister, who was the person I interviewed for Episode 46, The episode was called blink once for yes and twice for No, I think she’s about 11 or 12 or 13 years into her recovery and just realized that the emotional trauma that stroke cause hasn’t been dealt with yet. And she’s now starting to deal with that. So have you looked at Have you done I imagine you have but what type of counseling or therapy have you done to heal the heart to get in feeling better about things.
So when I first saw the woman that I went to who taught me the body rolling, she did EFT Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping. And she’s the one that helped me to stop using the medications as a crutch, she never advised me to stop taking them. I decided that on my own, and with the doctor, but she helped me to see that it wasn’t something that was going to that needed to rule my life. So I did a lot of tapping with her. She also helped me I, when the day comes up the anniversary of the year after I was in such fear that it was going to happen again.
You know, I don’t know if I you experienced that. But I was just terrified. I was I was panicked, almost. And she was like, I don’t know what is going on with you. But we need to tap and tap this out. So I did a lot of tapping around the one year anniversary around the fact that it wasn’t going to happen again, there’s no way it was going to happen again, you know, I had to tell myself that and I did all my tapping with that. And it helped immensely, I was able, I couldn’t talk about it without breaking down into tears. Anything about the stroke. So I did that. And that was in the first five years post stroke.
I’ve spent a lot of time so right now I’m enrolled in this program through this school called the Institute of loving, and it’s called the whole being program. And it’s amazing. It’s it’s based on spiritual psychology. And it’s actually local to where I am now. And we do a lot of diving deep into like,
Who are we?
Who are we? What are we here for? And how can you be your best self, which is love. And there’s a lot of shit in the way of that. So it’s getting past all that stuff and dealing with it in a safe environment. So learning how to process with other people and help them process and help yourself process and observe. So I’ve been doing that since January. So we’re in our six month now. And you know, we moved to Mexico, like I said, I watched the sunset over the ocean every day for four years.
So I spent a lot of time the beach, and it wasn’t the kind of ocean you want to go swimming in. Like it’s the kind of ocean that will eat you. So I sat on the beach and watch the waves break. And I walked on the beach every morning, I’ve done a lot of work in my body trying to figure out ways to move different ways to move. And that’s been a huge release for me. Because I can’t feel pain on my left side, I can ask my left side to do a whole heck of a lot. So I have to be careful, I have a plate and six screws in my right side from where I broke my arm. And so I have a I have like a thing on my right side, not from the stroke, but because of this weakness of that.
But one of the things that I love to do to release is to exercise and I need to sweat. Like I need to feel like I just stepped out of the shower with my clothes on. And that helps my mental health. So those are things those are like major things that I’ve done. And you know, the work that I do giving, giving people massages, it’s like you said, you step out of that I had a stroke, any pain, any discomfort I have in my body disappears completely. When I work on people. It’s like, Emily’s steps aside. And something else happens. I don’t even know what happens when I’m giving a massage.
And then it’s over and I step back into my body. But it’s it’s a really amazing experience. And I found my true passion. And if I hadn’t had the stroke, I would not have come to this. So you know, it was I heard someone else say it was the worst thing. And the best thing that happened to me And it truly, truly was it was like, the universe was like shaking me like Wake the fuck up. It really was because that was not the path I was on. And it really just, I had to do this. This is what had to happen. I guess.
The universe has a way of nudging us in the right direction and the nudge could be gentler. Let’s be honest. But
Maybe for thick head like me back then. I think the nudge was just right. You know, I think it was just right three, after the first one, I didn’t really pay attention. Sure, I dealt with all the medical issues after the second one, I really paid attention because I couldn’t do anything anymore. And then after the third episode, after surgery, I just I was in the zone to really take the lesson on and, say okay, what now so the lesson was, about, you know, me reinventing myself said that I am not the person who was putting myself in harm’s way.
Because that’s what I was doing. And I wasn’t doing it by walking in front of cars, I was doing that by just living a life that is so far removed from how I think we should have been living our lives. And I say that talking about more the ancestral how we should have. And I’m okay with living in a city and all that thing. And I’m aware of what that does to me. So now what I’m doing is taking steps to not just be living my life without being aware of what’s happening to me is actually stopping.
And every once in a while paying attention and observing myself how I’m responding to people, how I’m acting, how I’m feeling about the work that I’m doing. And then making very small this is a case stroke survivors of making very small changes on a regular basis to help you navigate the path and get to a better version of your existence. Even though you’re dealing with stroke. And I get it, it’s tough and I and some people don’t worse than us get it. So very small changes. At the end, those small changes add up to a massive change. And then the next part of the key is to really look back and observe yourself and see how far you’ve come and celebrate how far you’ve come.
Because it’s not just a matter of knowing Okay, great. I used to be in a wheelchair now I’m not well, but look at how much you’ve achieved and how resilient you’ve been and what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown and now also celebrate that and tell people look how far I’ve come. And if you’ve got to do that on social media then do it there. If you have to do it in person to somebody do it there. If you have to buy yourself a cake and cut yourself a cake and sell celebrated do that. But don’t have the cake too often. Because too much cake is not good for stroke survivors.
This is true, not too much sugar.
So tell me about where people can find out more about you if they would like to connect with you.
Yeah. So my website is bodysustainability.com. If you need to know how to spell sustainability, you should look it up.
I will have all the links on the show notes.
My Instagram name is Emily, Sarah Gable, and then I’m on Facebook. And I have a business page on Facebook as well. That’s body sustainability with Emily. And right now I’m doing a challenge. It’s 365 days a body rolling. And I put a video up every day of my personal practice to help me with whatever it is that I needed my day from physical discomfort to emotional discomfort to you know where I keep my balls.
There’s all sorts of random things and how I share it with the world so that also on my Instagram.
Where you keep your balls?
My balls, I told you I do the body rolling.
Oh, those balls.
Yeah, there are so many jokes with this practice. It’s I’m used to it. So that’s that’s how you can reach me and one thing else I wanted to say was I’m just really grateful for you doing this podcast. Thank you. Thank you so much. I don’t even have words.
My pleasure, thank you for saying so really makes it worthwhile to hear other people say so. So. Thanks for doing that. Emily, it’s been amazing chatting with you. I wish you all the best in your ongoing recovery and good on you and well done for the work that you do for other people and reach out anytime.
Alright, thanks bill.
Discover how to support your recovery after stroke. Go to recoveryafterstroke.com