Fotos: Una postura de yoga le provocó un derrame cerebral

Una joven mujer completamente sana fue sorprendida por un accidente cerebrovascular

Era octubre de 2017 y Rebecca Leigh, de entonces 39 años, practicaba yoga en su casa como lo hacía regularmente desde hacía varios años. Luego de hacer un parado de manos con la espalda arqueada, la mujer de Maryland notó que su visión era borrosa y que su brazo izquierdo se movía de manera errática, sin que pudiera controlarlo.

Esa postura de yoga le provocó un derrame cerebral, algo que sólo pudo saber varios días después del incidente. Aunque al principio no tomó demasiado en serio sus síntomas, dos días después observó que sus pupilas tenían tamaños diferentes. Y entonces acudió a los servicios de emergencia.

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Yep, well. This was me 1 year ago. Well, 1 year & 3 days ago. Because it took 3 days for my right eye to droop for me to go to the emergency room. It wasn’t losing my peripheral vision or seeing wavy lines or a black curtain close over my sight. Or the dizziness or almost passing out. Not the massive headaches, face or neck pain. Not my left arm not working. Not the very loud & clear sound of a pop & gurgling in my ear & brain. But 3 days later, after all of that happened, my right eye looked weird & I went to the emergency room where I stayed a week in the intensive neurological care unit. That’s where I found out I had torn my carotid artery & had a stroke & developed an aneurism. It took 3 days for me to go, because the last thing a 39yo, fit, nonsmoker, clean eating, stress free, happy girl thinks, is that she could be having a stroke. But I did. I tore my carotid artery by hyperextending my neck during hollowback handstands. A pose I’ve done a gazillion times before. It’s rare but it happens. (Google “carotid artery dissection & yoga”) For the first 3 months I was basically just breathing. I slept a lot. A lot, a lot. I only got out of bed to use the bathroom. I lost 20 lbs. My brain felt like it was put in a vice grip that had nails all around it. It was miserable. It wasn’t until around 6 months later that I started to feel somewhat more human again. In the beginning, the anxiety was terrible. I couldn’t go more than a few moments without worrying another stroke was going to happen or that my aneurysm would burst. Death was something I worried about constantly. Today I am doing much better. I have a headache and face pain from the nerve damage everyday. I regained my arm but it feels like a very low voltage of electricity is constantly going through it. My vision honestly SUCKS. My right eye, better than it was, is still noticeably different to me. This is something that I obviously still think about every day, but I am no longer consumed with anxiety or the thought of death being over my shoulder with every second. I know how lucky I am. I know how much differently this could have been. I am obsessively grateful. 1 year. 1 year. I am so very blessed.

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Una resonancia magnética reveló que Leigh había sufrido un derrame cerebral, algo raro para el estilo de vida de la mujer que hoy tiene 40 años: comía saludablemente, no fumaba, era delgada y hacía ejercicio regularmente. Sin embargo, ocurrió.

¿Cómo ocurrió el derrame?

Luego de varios días de análisis, resonancias y tomografías computarizadas, los médicos encontraron que, al alargar el cuello durante la postura de yoga, su arteria carótida derecha se rompió. La carótida es una de las cuatro arterias que administran sangre al cerebro. Ésta es la postura que Rebecca practicaba:

Al lesionarse, la arteria llevó un coágulo de sangre a su cerebro, lo que provocó un derrame cerebral y un pequeño aneurisma, es decir, un abombamiento anormal de la arteria.

Leigh describió en su cuenta de Instagram que durante seis semanas sufrió fuertes y continuos dolores de cabeza, dificultad para levantarse de la cama y un insoportable dolor en los ojos causado por la luz. Durante tres meses escuchó un silbido en su oído derecho, que no era más que su sangre tratando de pasar por su arteria hasta el cerebro. Perdió 20 libras.

Apenas un mes después del derrame, decidió volver a practicar yoga evitando, claro, pararse de cabeza. Seis meses después los médicos le informaron que su arteria estaba cicatrizada, pero a poco más de un año del incidente, todavía sufre las secuelas del accidente cerebrovascular.

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Earlier today my story about my stroke was shared on an international level. Fox News, The Daily Mail, and a few others picked it up along with some smaller publications. Earlier this month, I was approached by a journalist who wanted to give me the opportunity to share my story. I’ve turned down a few of these offers before because it just didn’t “feel right” but this time, I felt that I was ready to do an interview because I truly wanted to spread awareness about something that is rare and deadly. I was hesitant to do so, but decided it would be worth it. It wasn’t. Social media isn’t always a kind place, I’ve learned. For every one comment of support I’ve gotten from my story, I’ve had about 200 more telling me how disgusting I am, how arrogant I am, and how I should die the next time I do yoga & that I deserved to have died that day. There is so much more but you get the point. I know that these are seemingly silly words coming from strangers, but they do hurt. And they hurt a lot. Not only are the comments from the readers so cruel but the way the writers twisted my words makes me sick to my stomach. The interview I had done was chopped into pieces with their own creative writing thrown in to “spice it up”, I would assume. I wish I hadn’t have released my story to the public. This breaks my heart because I wanted to let anyone else who thought a stroke couldn’t be happening to them, know it very well could. Good Morning America & Inside Edition have both reached out to me all throughout the day today wanting to share my story but I have zero desire to let something so personal to me become a joke to thousands of strangers across the world. If you are reading this because you found me through 1 of those links, please know I’m a person. I’m someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, someone’s sister. I’ve got a pretty sensitive little soul & all those hurtful words I’ve read today have me wanting to curl up and hide until the articles fade away. For those of you who have supported me along my journey, including the handful of strangers who chose to be kind instead of laughing at my story, thank you. Your support means everything to me. . #youngstrokesurvivor

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Hoy, Leigh todavía experimenta dolores de cabeza, cuello y cara, pérdida severa de memoria, un cosquilleo constante en su brazo izquierdo, visión borrosa y su ojo derecho luce diferente al izquierdo, pero “la ansiedad no me consume ni el pensamiento de que la muerte está sobre mi hombro a cada segundo. Sé lo afortunada que soy. Sé lo distinto que esto pudo haber sido. Estoy obsesivamente agradecida”, escribió en su Instagram.