The Day My Life Changed

You never prepare yourself for something like this. You never wake up wondering if you’re okay or if your family is okay. I mean, you do, but you’d never expect them to just be extremely sick. There’s nothing in the world that can prepare you for something like that, for something like this…

On June 6th 2016, my mom suffered from a stroke. She’d recently been diagnosed as a diabetic and was very prompt on checking her blood sugar. She’d called her doctors office probably a week prior and told them she was experiencing weird symptoms; numbness in legs, arm, tongue, face as well as slurred speech. She was assured that it was fine, “Nothing to worry about. It’s just side effects of your medicine! Call back in a week if they persist!” She didn’t make it that week… 

The following Monday, she’d suffered from a stroke — a pretty severe one at that.

I remember where I was, who I was with, what I was wearing when I got the news. It was a message sent via text, but truthfully I was glad it wasn’t a phone call. I don’t think I could’ve handled hearing the heartbreak and sadness in my father’s voice. I didn’t cry at first, it took me by surprise. It sent me into shock. It was like in the movies when everything slows down and you try to process it all. It all felt so unreal.

My dad called later that night, our mom was asking for us. I was terrified, I wanted to see her but at the same time I was too nervous to see her. My sister, Izzy, was on an end of the year trip for safety patrol. She hadn’t seen us all day and had no idea of the news. I remember my brother telling me to get ready to go the hospital and physically feeling sick at the idea. I felt like crap. I sucked it up and got ready, not to mention I frantically packed a bag of clothes for both my dad and mom. I don’t even think I packed actual outfits or anything that matched to be honest.

The moment we arrived at the hospital, I wanted all so badly to be fake. I hoped that it was a mistake and that my mom would be fine. I can still picture my dad waiting for us at the end of the automatic doors so that he could direct us to the room. I remember the moment I saw him I began to cry uncontrollably. People stared and gawked, but I didn’t care, I just needed to see my mom.

When I finally saw her, my heart broke. I broke down and couldn’t hold it together. The woman who raised me, the strongest person I ever knew, was lying down in a hospital bed, helpless and scared. All that I could do was cry hysterically. I couldn’t even make eye contact with my own mother. I felt terrible. I learned about strokes and how to detect them, I felt almost as if I were responsible for it being as severe as it was. It began to crush me inside and I couldn’t stand the situation we were in.

Later that night we picked my sister up from her field trip and we laughed and joked. We wanted to keep her spirits high as long as possible before we had to deliver such terrible news. She didn’t react the way I had expected, truthfully I think it shocked her more than anything. She’s usually an emotional person, but that night, in that moment, she wasn’t.

I constantly think to myself “what if I had realized sooner?” I’ll always question myself with a million what if’s but it doesn’t matter now. We can’t change the past. We can’t change what happened. Trust me, if I could change what happened, I would. If I could fast forward over these next few months, I would. I try not to beat myself up over it. The stroke itself was preventable, but tons of other things played as catalysts. This isn’t an easy journey and it’s far from over, this is still only the beginning.


The featured photo belongs to the blogger, Lo Martinez.

15 thoughts on “The Day My Life Changed

    1. At first, it was extremely hard for me. She was in the hospital for an entire month and anytime I could leave her room, I would. I know/knew it isn’t/wasn’t my fault but I felt so helpless at the time.

      She’s doing extremely well now! The stroke left her with partial paralysis and limited speech but considering where she was when she initially came home, it’s been such amazing progress! I’ll be writing another post about the comparison from when she first came home to now, which is a six month difference.

      Thank you so much! xx

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  1. How is your mom doing :( ? How are you doing?

    You are not to blame for any of this. If anyone is, it’s the person who ignored your mom’s concerns, but blaming anyone does change the reality, I suppose.

    I truly hope things get better, in any way they can. <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s doing alright! She’s currently on a break from speech and physical therapy, but we’re working on it all here at home. I know it isn’t my fault, but I can’t help but blame myself. The only one who’s truly at fault is her initial physician who ignored her when she listed him ALL her symptoms, he only chose to listen to a few of them. She’d told him she had numbness in her arms, legs and tongue, occasional slurred speech and a few others. What was happening when it’d happen were strokes, but he wrote it off as symptoms of diabetes and then never touched the topic again.

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      1. It’s really infuriating, and I’m sure everyone in your family is so aghast at how dismissive that physician was! Idk if you know this, but on average, a woman’s account of pain or symptoms are addressed in something like 4 times as long as it takes for a man’s pain to be acknowledged, in a medical setting. I know it’s not much comfort, but it’s just a terrible trend in medicine in general. I am so sad and angry for your family.

        Self-blame is hard to combat, but try telling yourself or leaving notes for yourself to remind you that it is NOT your fault and that you’re doing everything you can to be supportive now. You got this <3

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s an interesting fact. I know most of the time women’s symptoms are kind of shrugged off as opposed to men’s, but never looked into logistics. It’s sucks because he didn’t mention anything specifically to my mother, but within her paperwork her full diagnosis was there. And while, I’m sure some people may say “oh well she should’ve read through her paperwork” it also isn’t/wasn’t her responsibility. She went to him to seek medical attention, so it’s only fair that he should’ve fully informed her and told her all the possible outcomes!

        I guess a lot of my self-blame comes from the fact that I took several medical classes and learned about strokes every year since 10th grade. So subconsciously I feel like I should’ve known she was having these strokes. But I do try my best to remind myself that it isn’t my fault, some days are just easier to convince myself than others unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think our parents do a lot to hide their pain from us. They’re supposed to protect us right? So once the doc gave her the wrong info, maybe she just felt she had to deal with it/suck it up. We miss all kinds of things when someone doesn’t want us to see it.

        And yeah, the medical community, historically, based all medical findings on men’s bodies/symptoms. Many illnesses affect women differently than men. Thinks about when you watch movies and someone is having a heart attack. The symptoms they describe are all how men experience heart attacks. Women experience pain in different areas during a heart attack, but because they’re never told/warned, they’re more likely to ignore early symptoms. It’s pretty tragic. Men’s complaints are taken more seriously and treated faster than women. A woman usually experiences 2-4 more times the pain than a man does before she will receive treatment (or even acknowledgement). We are seen as exaggerators.It’s rough.

        Sorry to drone on and on about it; I’m in social work and minoring in psych and this stuff makes me so angry!

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      4. I think for most people that would be the case. But with my mother, she was always very close with me and my brother. We had no secrets and she always told us how it was. She was a worrier, so if something that major would’ve been diagnosed to her she would’ve told us. We actually didn’t even notice that her initial diagnoses was documented until it randomly appeared on one of her papers a few months back. Either way, it was crappy. That physician is the type of doctor who basically prescribes anything and diagnoses anything based off what you tell him. He really doesn’t do his own, extensive check-ups.

        That’s so wild! It’s sad that women suffer more simple because we’re women. It’s wrong. Everyone should be taken serious when it comes to seeking medical attention and guidance!

        You’re totally fine, don’t worry about it! I’m glad to see another person interested in psych! That’s what I was majoring in before I took time off from college. Right now, more than ever, I want to go back. But for so many reasons, it’s just not possible. Which I guess is another reason I made this blog, so that I could learn more things and broaden my vocabulary and whatnot. I know a lot of people say once you take time off from school you don’t ever want to go back, but that’s so not the case for me. I wouldn’t even mind being like 40 and going back to school. I just miss it, as weird as it may be!

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      5. I took time off twice and always went back :) I’m 25 and in my second year of undergrad! You can always go back, school isn’t going anywhere lol. If I come across anything interesting in my psych classes, I’ll pass along the tidbit to you!

        Are you able to take online courses? Like, part time? Idk. I believe in you, whatever you decide, you know what’s best for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That’s wonderful! Yes, I would love that! I think I just overwhelmed myself with school for a while! I started taking college courses my sophomore of high school and so by the time I actually started my freshman year of college I had already been doing college for a good few years!

        Right now, online courses aren’t even an option either. I’m my mothers full-time provider so my sole focus goes towards her! Though, I do need to look into online programs and get of feel of what could potentially work out for me!

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      7. I think that’s really amazing of you, being there for your mom like that.

        Also, I think it’s so cool that you were ahead of the game in high school, that takes a lot of guts and determination to be advanced like that! Good for you. Honestly, i couldn’t imagine taking care of a parent and a sibling (I read your ‘about me’ and see that you are a fellow ‘farent’; I was to my siblings growing up as well), AND worrying about exams and assignments. Like I said before, school/education isn’t going anywhere soon, you’ll always be able to go back to it.

        You’re so awesome and I’m happy I came across your blog today. If you ever need anything, like encouragement or just someone on the outside to talk to, I’m around. If you ever want it, I could even give you my email, or we could continue on like this.

        Good luck with everything, you’re a very strong and brave person, don’t forget that :)

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      8. Thank you! It was a hard commitment to make at such a really young age, but I did enough it! No matter how many times it made me cry!

        I couldn’t imagine raising my sister and taking care of my mother while going to school! I feel like everything would get extremely, extremely hectic — and quick!

        Thank you so much though for the kindness and support! I really do appreciate it all!

        Liked by 1 person

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