The Life Changing Event
I am Joie, 29, and I decided to start a blog about my journey to stroke recovery to give the readers a better understanding of what Stroke really is and to help individuals who suffered from it, understand and handle their situation positively.
As a home-base ESL teacher online, I spent most of my time in front of my computer. I teach Korean students online from 2:00 in the afternoon to 11:00 in the evening the latest via Skype. I did not consider doing this from Monday through Friday every week strenuous neither stressful. Besides, classes were 20 minutes long in average and I had free time after each. Reports were not so difficult to do as well, as I found a company which requires no daily evaluation but just the audio recorded classes to be sent at the end of the day and simply filling up the attendance sheet. And this was was my daily routine from Monday to Friday for more than a year without any health issues working from home.
Then came the day when I saw an English camp posted in our ESL-Philippines Group on Facebook. A Korean manager was looking for ESL teachers to join the English Winter Camp he was organizing for children. I luckily passed the scheduled interview after sending an application. This happened around late October in 2014 and the camp was suppose to start on Christmas day the same year which will last until the 2nd week of February the next year (Christmas is not really a big deal to Koreans and I was willing to sacrifice for once for the experience. It was my first Christmas away from family anyway). Two weeks before the camp, the hired teachers were called for a four-day orientation on the weekends. So I met the teachers, and on the 2nd week I was assigned to lead them.I was hesitant at first but I realized it would be a good experience to add on my resume for future opportunities. On the last day of the orientation, which was Saturday we were instructed to make a summary of the orientation and send it before or until Monday Morning as the manager would go back to Korea to bring the children the coming Wednesday.Wanting to meet the deadline, I tried to stay awake to finish the job until morning and decided to stay up and continue to work in the afternoon.For some reason, I felt very energetic the whole day with only a cup of coffee and some cigarette despite lack of sleep. I would even record myself singing after each class when I had long breaks. Perhaps I was excited to join a new activity away from home that I already had some of my stuff brought and left in the camp house.It was Monday and I was suppose to leave on a Wednesday.
I could still vividly remember what transpired that afternoon, December 22, 2014, Monday. It was past 5 and I had long break so I decided to record another song . I felt thirsty and decided to stand up to get some water downstairs, when I suddenly fell. I didn’t take it seriously as it usually happens to me whenever I suddenly stand up from a long sit, So, I decided to sit again for a while. I then felt like I was intoxicated and things around me began to move like I just stopped from rotating for some time. I didn’t know that something serious was actually happening inside my brain and the funny thing was I enjoyed that “high” feeling. When I finally wanted to get up again I couldn’t anymore, I tried a few times but failed every time. My left leg was too weak and it felt like it was melted. I crawled to the door from the foot of the bed which was about more than a meter and reached for the door knob. I still couldn’t stand and even open the door. I panicked and climbed back to the bed. I then called for help through the window. My mother with my cousin came up to check on me. I told her I couldn’t walk neither could stand while lying on my back on the bed. She wouldn’t believe me until tears fell from my eyes. She even asked me if I wanted to be brought to the hospital as she knows how terribly I dislike the place, and I just nodded out of disbelief of what was happening. My grandfather carried me to the Van and they rushed me to a nearby hospital. On our way, I felt the worst headache I had ever felt in my entire life. It felt like my head was being constantly hammered coming from inside. I was already crying. I was pained, confused, and scared. I didn’t understand what was going on and I was scared I might not be able to move normally again. When we got to the hospital they moved me to other one with a CT-scan machine to confirm that it was indeed stroke that caused my left-half paralysis. During the process I was deeply hoping that it wasn’t stroke because I used to believe that there’s no way going back to my normal self if it were.
Results came out, I had hemorrhagic stroke. There was bleeding on the right hemisphere of my brain. I was devastated. I felt like my whole world froze. I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t believe what has happened. All that’s left were questions. Why me? What will I do now?Will I ever be normal again? How about the camp? Will I still be able to work? What will happen to my life now? I was conscious all through out the process and I wondered why I literally had to experience all of it wide awake and witness how I became one handed and one legged all of a sudden.
Regrets and if only’s started rushing into my mind after remembering how I physically abused my body. Had I not live that lousy lifestyle, I may not have ended half disabled.