Portrait: Liliana

I was washing my dog after being outside when a horrible pain in my head made everything foggy and surreal as I was standing up. 

A little bit about Liliana

My name is Liliana, I am 57 years old and I am originally from Peru but I have been living in USA for 20 years. It is hard for me to talk about what happened and about how my life has changed since January 9th 2021. I was washing my dog after being outside, when a horrible pain in my head made everything foggy and surreal as I was standing up.  I remember seeing a cartoon image, in my mind, of a round building dropping blood, and I don’t remember anything after that. 

How Life has changed 

Following that event, I was told a call to 911 was made and that I was taken to Evergreen hospital. An aneurysm on the right side of my head had ruptured. The neurologist undertook surgery by going through my groin. I was in hospital for about a month. I had issues with physical mobility, I’d forget many things like taking my medicine, I couldn’t read in any language, I’d easily get lost when people talked to me, I felt pressure on my head and felt just so weak. It was all very scary.

I remember that it was hard to understand what people were saying to me whether they’d be speaking in English or in Spanish, which is my mother tongue. Moving and walking was very difficult. I would get so depressed and I experienced several panic attacks. I had an impending feeling of doom sticking with me. I was feeling so miserable. Not long after, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and that’s when I started shifting my mindset.  

I wanted to live again and started asking for help.

Work and recovery 

One of my main worries was around my ability to return to work. I began my study as an Early Childhood Educator in Peru which I later completed in the USA. I was so proud to be working in an early learning center at the time the aneurysm happenedI was still feeling weak and I was worried about the additional pressure that this type of work would put on my brain. My arms weren’t strong and my body unstable.  On the cognitive effects, I often felt disorientated, fatigued, had memory issues, I’d often feel dizzy, I would struggle to manage my emotions and would at times stutter. 

Beliefs that helped me move forward 

I convinced myself that God saved and helped me at each step of my journey. I am so grateful. I am working very hard every day on my English, on regaining physical strength as well as my writing and reading. I have a wonderful friend from Peru who always talks or sends me recovery tips to practice with my family. I lost my dad a couple months ago but I am still working hard on living my best life. Each time that a hurdle comes along, I know that I can find ways to become stronger. God wants me to live and I want it too. My dad is in heaven now and I know I have another angel caring for me.

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