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My Story

Jennifer’s Story

I’m probably not what you picture when you think of a stroke survivor. An avid runner, self-described health nut, and barely 39 years of age, I was in the best shape of my life before I had my stroke. I knew about stroke, the risk factors, and warning signs – I couldn’t believe a stroke would ever happen to me. But on June 24, 2012, a stroke changed my life forever. It left me weak, tired and unable to use my left arm. I was put on medication for preventing a second stroke immediately, and then sent home with instructions for follow-up care including physiotherapy.

A few months after the stroke, I started getting muscle spasms and tightness in my left arm and elbow. My family doctor suggested talking to the physiotherapist so that she could add some specific stretching exercises to my routine; however, my elbow – and soon my fingers – became even more difficult to straighten despite physiotherapy. I was concerned that I might never be able to use my hand again. My physiotherapist gave me the name of a stroke rehabilitation physician she knew and sent me back to my family doctor for a referral. My family doctor set up the referral and soon my stroke rehabilitation physician diagnosed my condition as spasticity. I am now working with a physiotherapist who specializes in post-stroke rehabilitation and I’m receiving medical treatment for spasticity. I’m happy to say that I’m improving every day.

It took research and commitment to finding answers to finally get to the right specialists who could help me get the treatment I deserved, but it was well worth it in the end. I can finally move my fingers for the first time in almost two years. It may not sound like a lot to someone who’s never had a stroke, but when I squeeze my daughter’s hand I know it’s a feeling I’ll never take for granted again.

Did you know?
more than 62,000 strokes happen every year

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