Ron’s Story-in his own words…

TBI Survivor

My name is Ron. I was a bus operator for 10 years.  I would like to share my stroke experience with you.

On September of 2011, while driving my normal bus route, I realized that something was not quite right. The traffic lights ahead were blurry and “doubling up”. At first, I removed my sunglasses thinking my shades may be messing with my vision. Things deteriorated quickly to the point that I could barely see anything at all.
Intuitively, I put the emergency brakes on and pulled the bus over to the side.

I was feeling very weak and frightened. I didn’t know what was wrong with me? I remember that my words were “dragging” and not coming out right. I had a medicine taste in my mouth. My lips felt like they had needles in them. The whole left side of my body could not move. I was in and out of consciousness.
X-ray revealed that I had a blood clot in my brain. I was given some type of injection to dissolve the blood clot, so I would not require brain surgery. The doctors also discovered that the blood clot originated in my left leg.   They also found that I have a heart murmur (whole in my heart). As far as I understand it, this is what happened to me: when I went jogging that morning, a piece of the blood clog broke off and traveled up from my leg through the hole in my heart to the left side of my brain.
I was in the hospital for 7 days taking blood thinners.
I don’t feel like the same person anymore.
Physically, I’m slower than I used to be. My left side of my body is still weak. I get headaches.
Emotionally, I’m depressed. I worry about having another stroke and can’t handle stressful situations. I get agitated easily. I’m lost.
Cognitively, my short-term memory is terrible. I can’t focus on things for long and I have trouble doing more than one thing at a time
I resigned from New York Transit on September 12,2012 exactly one year after my stroke.
I’m on disability and workers compensation. I did not know I have a brain injury until I met Dr. Spitz. She knew what my problem was as soon as I told her my story. Attending TBI groups has helped me see that I am not alone.
So, I am still here! I thank god for giving me another chance in life. These days I am more appreciative and humble than I used to be. I see life differently now. I try and take one day at a time.

3 thoughts on “Ron’s Story-in his own words…

  1. I feel for Ron and wish him the best. I am glad he found Dr. Spitz. I can relate to him and how it feels when your body, especially your brain, seems to do things you don’t necessarily understand or want it to do. Somethimes the anxiety and fear that something MIGHT happen can be just as dismaying and difficult as what has actually happened.

  2. Ron has been through a lot. It’s very difficult feeling as though your body is not the same body you were familiar with, and cognitive difficulties are by far so complex. In time the brain and mind figures out how to sort and prioritize. It won’t be like it was before the injury, but it certainly gets better. The hardest part is the lengthy recovery, unpredictable days, and the complex rehabilitation process.

    Don’t worry about this happening again. Focus all the energy on improving. No one has energy to waste after brain injury. Please don’t let fear hold one back. It seems as though Ron is an intelligent man that will do well. I can only imagine how difficult it was to go on disability. That has been and will continue to be for many others a huge step in taking care of oneself.

    I am new to this site so I will check back and see how Ron is doing? If I can be of help, let me know. Take care and stay safe. Edie

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