From high heels to a walker

It started Jun 28. I woke up with a headache a bit dizzy determined to get on with my day. My husband and I are foster parents so we had a few extra kids that day. We got the little ones off to the last day of summer school and decided to take the oldest one out to breakfast.

We got to the restaurant and I can’t sit in the booth, so I went to lay down in the car while they ate. We got back to the house and I couldn’t navigate walking in a straight line. I told my husband the headache is getting worse.  He said I was looking pale , or even paler than I normally was, he immediately called the doctors office. They said they would try to fit me in. So we journeyed over to the doctors office, this is now 10 o’clock in the morning. They finally call me to the back. Walking by the Dr. into the exam room, she looks at me and goes ooooh. Not a good sign when your Dr looses her poker face.

We spent only 10 minutes at the Dr office before she recommends me to go the emergency room.  Now the journey begins. I walked into the ER, albeit not in a straight line, but under my own steam. 

They immediately gave me a cat scan, inserted in IV and gave me a pain medicine. They did a neck Doppler and then they admitted me and sent me to a room. The plan was transport me to another hospital with a neurosurgeon in it. That happened 8 hours later. At that point I couldn’t walk or move my left side. I had a left side face droop and slurring my words. The paramedics arrived at 7 p.m. to transform into DePaul hospital. They were with Abbott transport and their names were Jake and Mary. Jake rode in the back with me . He immediately called the hospital announces he was bringing us me in to the ER and not in any straight to the room as I was in full stroke. the concern seem to be to get me there as quickly as possible, so for the first time in my life I got a ride in the ambulance with lights and siren. This is my little boy’s favorite part of the story.

Upon arriving at the DePaul Hospital, they immediately just me in for CT scan. Why they inserted an IV for for the contrast dye , the nurse ran my through tests. Squeezing their fingers, diI know the date, the time, where I was, how old I was, the president, then gave me a series of words to repeat. These tests would repeated over and over. I can now say “baseball player” clearly. I was very concerned that I couldn’t remember the Lord’s Prayer or 23rd Psalm. When I told the nurse that she was bit confused.

I then was taken up to room 702. I was sure I would be alone as Ron was taking care of our mix n match crew ( we do foster care) but into the room be walked. A lot of that night was nurses in and out. At 2 a.m. I woke to my left hand curled into a fist, I was unable to open it, Ron pried it open and then placed the hospital call button/remote control thingee in my hand to keep it open. I then broke down and cried. Cried because I was scared, because I was angry and then I prayed and prayed.

The following days were MRI, electro cardiogram, cerebral angioplasty, speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. The results were an acute ischaemic stroke, with hardening of the arteries. They added 4 new meds to my protocol.

I was blessedly released to home with outpatient rehab. Dr Collinson was amazing, the nurses assistant were rocking and the nurses saints. I can no begin to say enough of the DePaul staff from the maintenance on up.

So that is the back story of how I have to hang up my high heels and totter along in my walker..I invite you all to partake in this journey of recovery, faith, patience and trust in God.



I am a wife, mother, and pastor. We moved from Bowling Green, Missouri to Idaho Falls in 2016. I am a native of Eastern Washington state. In 2013 I had 2 strokes in 8 days and this is my journey of faith, family and health. I believe no matter what happens in your life that God can use it for His glory.

3 thoughts on “From high heels to a walker

  1. Dawn, This the first time I knew the details of your ordeal. You are in my thoughts everyday and I am praying for your complete recovery. Take the time you need to get well knowing that you are loved by many people. You have to get well because we all need you. Sending our best wishes and fond thoughts. Marilyn & Bill Wilson


  2. Your story started a lot like mine, just with a different diagnosis. To encourage you, it took some time, but I can wear heels now (just don’t really get why you’d want to LOL )


  3. Dearest Dawn, I know you are back to DePaul and pray that the Lord and his angels have you surrounded. You are an angel. we are praying for you my sweetheart. hugs


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