I really wasn't sure what to call this post or if I should even make it. But in the end I decided to share where I have been the last several days because I would want to know if it happened to you. A week ago Friday I was coloring a stamped image in my stamp room, which is my loft and I sit near a window. I noticed that it seemed very bright even though the blinds were drawn and I remember being a little agitated that I couldn't really do anything about it. I also noticed when I looked up that it seemed to be somewhat cloudy in the upper right corner of my right eye, again really annoying, but after 10 minutes or so it went away and I didn't think anything about it until a little later that day after this happened. I was taking my daughter for a couple of errands and lunch (it was the day that I had the steak salad from heaven). I was driving on the freeway and singing my heart out (I had to confess this in order for the story to flow) to a song I know very well when suddenly all that was coming out of my not highly trained voice box was jibberish. It was really somewhat fascinating, almost like I had the sudden capability of speaking another language. I tried for a probably a minute to speak clearly (my thoughts were perfectly clear) and tried to say my daughter's name which she didn't respond to because it was not her name that came out of my mouth. I tried to call my husband, it just went to voice mail, then I called my mom...by the time she answered I was back to normal and didn't mention what happened to her because she was literally on her way to the airport for a flight to China (this is another very long story that I might share in a couple of days). Right after that call my husband returned my call and I told him what had just happened. He thought I just needed some food, which I was happy to oblige with:) Later that afternoon I Googled searched the symptoms on web MD. When I clicked on the symptom of speech impairment, I had already added vision problems to my list, a red warning box came up that said seek immediate medical attention. So I called my neighbor who is a retired nurse. Now, please be aware that I am sharing my stupidity with you as a lesson, please don't judge too harshly. I told her what happened and she checked my blood pressure, normal, and looked at my eyes and my face, no problems. She said "You know your symptoms are classic signs of a stroke?". "Yes" I said "I am aware of that now! Do you think I need to go to the emergency room right now?" She told me she thought I was ok for the moment, but made me promise to go see a doctor on Monday. I told her I would. I didn't have any other symptoms or problems over the weekend and really didn't think about it.
On Monday, the phones, both land and cell were down for most of the day and on Tuesday I simply forgot about making an appointment. On Wednesday it was on my list of things to do. I should mention that we recently changed insurance companies and the doctor I had seen, over three years ago had moved offices and I didn't know where they were and they weren't on my new provider list. I picked a neurologist off the new list and called and told the office person what had happened and asked if I could have an appointment. She said they would see me in 2 hours. "Wow," I thought "that's great customer service." I went to the appointment and told the doctor what had happened 5 days earlier. I truly believed he would say that I obviously had no lasting damage from what happened and that he would schedule me for an MRI in the next several days. That is not what happened. He said I am calling the emergency room of the hospital (located right next door) and you are going to be admitted right now. Oh. I called my husband and said I would be in the hospital for a couple of hours, the Dr. heard me saying this and said "No, you will be in the hospital for at least 3 days" I started to cry, he clearly didn't know that I had things to stamp and laundry to do:) They got me admitted really quickly and started with a CAT scan and a very large blood draw. The next day I had an Echocardiagram and a MRI. Both those tests came back negative, meaning that I was not in any impending stage of doom and that there was no conclusive reason for what had happened. It did also show that I didn't have any permanent brain damage, thank God! The last test to be done on Friday was a Transesophageal Echogardiogram, a very pleasant test in which they give you a mild sedative and shove a tube down your throat to get a really up close picture of your heart. They were looking for a hole that could have caused a blood clot. Nothing! I was released and was told that if I experienced any of these symptoms again to get immediate medical attention. I will be taking a baby aspirin from here on out. The actual medical diagnosis for what happened to me is called a TIA (Trasient Ischemic Attack) a baby stroke.
I didn't do the right thing when I first had symptoms and the result could have been tragic. The doctor told me that I could have lost the power of speech had the clot been worse. Please, please, please pay attention to your body and recognize when something is not quite right and seek help. Because I have lots of information on this, I will share the symptoms of a TIA
A temporary loss or change of vision.
Temporary numbness on one side.
Temporary inability to speak.
Temporary areas of weakness.
Weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs.
Dizzines or difficulty walking.
Slurred speech or difficulty swallowing.
Be well my blogging and stamping friends. I am going to take a walk and get caught up on my laundry. Hopefully I will have some cards to share in a day or two.
Thanks for stamping by!