I live in a small city, or for the most part it feels like it.
Generally, when I meet somebody new, especially anybody that my parents know, I get the same questions. “So how are you doing now?” Or, the braver ones ask what they are really wondering about, “So, what was it like?”
“It” equals the stroke.
When I was ten years old I suffered from a rare form of a stroke on the left side of my brain. While I was in a coma for a few weeks, my parents for some reason, decided not to keep my medical condition much of a secret.
It has been nine years now since it all happened, and it still amazes me that some people continue to ask about it. I can understand their curiosity, what are the chances a perfectly healthy kid suffered a massive stroke? How did it happen?
I figured outlining the top questions, and next time someone asks I can direct them to this blog post. I’m not offended by the questions, I’m sure I’d wonder about what it is like to have cancer, I’m just too shy enough to ask a cancer patient about it.
1.) How did it happen?
I’m not a scientist, I actually suck at science, so I’m just going to boil it down to the basics.
There are a lot of different kinds of strokes, the most common happen in older people. My type of stroke was not the same kind that older people have.
The best way to explain my type is, it was a birth defect. The way my brain was wired from birth, it was like a ticking time bomb. Due to the arrangements of my brain vessels, they were going to burst eventually due to the defect of their positioning. Hence, causing my rare “birth defect” stroke.
2.) How did it start?
It started off as a mild headache. Then the headache got worse, and worse. As the night progressed it got to the point that it was unbearable and I started to throw up and pass out.
3.) Do you have any permanent effects from it?
I am blind in the bottom corners of my eyes and my right arm and leg are number than my left side. Apart from that, you can’t tell just from looking at me that I had a stroke.
4.) Did it hurt?
The brain itself, did not hurt. The human brain actually does not have any pain receptors, which is really fascinating. Regardless, it was the most painful thing I had ever experienced so far. The best way I can describe it as imagining the worst headache you have had, then multiply the pain level by five and add to the fact that you are losing the ability to speak or walk.
Those are the most common questions I get. I don’t mind talking about my experience, as I believe it is very important to spread awareness that anybody at any age can suffer from a stroke. The kind of stroke I got was obviously, incredibly rare, but all the same, I did not know children could have strokes. Hell, my parents didn’t even know.
If you have any other questions at all, feel free to leave them in the comments below. 🙂