• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Lia Wolfe

Hello my name is Lia Wolfe.

I sustained my TBI sometime in January of 2014 when I slipped and fell on the ice on my walkway of my house in Glen Cove Long Island New York!

I had just graduated Fordham University with my MSW in Social Work on August 9th, 2013, went and took my licensing test and passed it during November of 2013. I was enjoying the holidays and started going on interviews. One day, I was at home and saw some ice, so I tip toed around it and that is when I fell. Even though my fall wasn't a serious fall (I thought), my mom and step dad annoyed me about it.

I never thought it was serious enough to have me go and get a check out. During this time, I wasn't even working I had no medical insurance at all that month. After a while I didn't connect two and two, but I had both severe headaches and I would be vomiting a couple times. I would get anxiety, so I thought that was the reason for the headaches. I would just take 2 Advil and lay down.

On February 27th 2014, I had the first stroke(ABI) at my bf's house, I was fine when I said goodbye to him that morning when he went to clinical for nursing at Molloy College. When this happened, no one was home at the time. His parents live on the first floor and he has the entire basement floor. He has 2 dogs and 2 cats. I got up to use the bathroom, as I exited the bed room and made a left toward the bathroom I fainted and fell on the clothing bags we were going to donate to the homeless.

When I woke, not sure how long I was out for a couple minutes. I couldn't stand, was nauseous and crawled to the bathroom to vomit more. I don't know how, but I had my phone on me miraculously! When I was over the toilet bowl vomiting ...I called my bf on speaker phone, he didn't pick up, I called again and he picked up this time!

I don't remember word for word, but I told him I'm sick and vomiting and to call an ambulance. I couldn't walk so he had to come home to let them in. I felt like something bad was going to happen, so I told him to tell my parents I love them. He told me to stop talking crazy and he stayed on the phone with me I think I'm not sure, memory is fuzzy.

The next thing I remember, was he came thru the garage as he has a garage opener and he picked me up instead of them putting me on the stretcher. I was all soaked with sweat, but I don't remember the ambulance ride or the EMT people at all! I was taken to Northshore University LIJ in Manhasset, where I was born. All I remember is what he told me, they interrogated him and his mom asking if I did drugs or drink etc. They were both like none of that!

I was so young that I remember how, they thought I had the flu due to my symptoms. I was in the ER for 11+ hrs, had the 2nd stroke in the ER! I remember how it felt, my full body was a Charley horse and it wasn't until the 2nd stroke the right side of my face drooped, my voice/pitch disappeared and I slurred! They next called the stroke code or something because up until then they were just laughing and talking to each other. The nurses that is, my bf told me and he's was very pissed about that!

I had 2 surgeries, a craniotomy and an emergency surgery (cut my skull to make a bone flap?). I was getting all lethargic and stayed there about a month. I then went to Glen Cove Hospital LIJ for also a month. Half of the time that I remember, I had started rehab there and had to relearn everything.

I was in a wheel chair part of the time and my bed other part. I didn't have a lot of energy there. From the Hospital, the next step was that I went out east to St. Johnland for 4 months. I finally was discharged to go back home on August 1st 2014! I have been recovering since then!

The 2 strokes that I had, was on the left and right side of the cerebellum. The first one was hemorrhagic stroke- as the fall I'm told created a slow bleed and the 2nd one was an ischemic stroke where the fall severed my spinal cord where my neck is or something and I had to blood clots in my throat! I've been getting better daily, thanks to still going to outpatient speech therapy, OT, and PT.

I haven't gotten my pitch back yet in my voice, still walk funny even though it's a lot better than using a wheel chair or walker since I "graduated " them at St. Johnland and at home. The hallways are too narrow at my house, so I never used the walker and I would be walking worse with it if that makes any sense?

I learned to walk on my own, still waiting for SSDI even though I almost died a couple times my bf tells me, I was denied for SSDI the first time 2 years ago and the fair hearing is coming up 3/13/17.

Please contact me, if have any questions or I can help out in any way!

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