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.