May 10
pnmcna14
pnmcna14 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Did this really happen to me?

I'm 54.  I've never smoked, never did drugs, moderate alcohol use, so-so exercise mainly from working around the yard, and standing at work.  No one in my family had a stroke.  On Tuesday, January 5th, late, I woke up and was immediately violently ill.  I didn't even have time to get to the bathroom, and when I stood up, I was dizzy.  I had no headaches, no numbness, no slurred speech, no droopy face.  We thought it was just the flu.  I got sick again a couple of hours later.  Wednesday, I was laying down, watching TV.  I wasn't dizzy, and just stayed on the couch all day.  I got up a few times to go to the restroom, get some water, and soda crackers.  I had some difficulty walking, but was able to steady myself with walls, furniture, etc.  About 5, I felt well enough to sit up on my arms to watch TV.  Then, I got sick again, about midnight, and again about 2am.  We decided to go to the local urgent care at 8am on Thursday.  I got to the car with help, and went there, where I got into a wheelchair and got in.  They gave me a shot for the nausea, and I went through 2 IV's.  I was now at the point where I was walking around, looking out the window, etc.  They, too, thought it was the flu, just, I didn't have a fever.  They were going to send me home.  Then, they decided one last test, a CT scan.  They said they saw a spot, but without an MRI they couldn't really see what it was, so they send me to the hospital.  I was taken by ambulance, that way, I wouldn't have to wait in the waiting room and could get right in, it was now 2pm.  They kept me there until either a room opened up, or the MRI.  At 9pm, I got my MRI, and then was taken to my room.  They removed the IV at 3am, and at 7am, I was awake, eating, reading the paper, watching TV. Friday morning. I was hungry, and felt fine.  The internist came in.  I had a stroke,in the cerebellum, and I was lucky. She said they didn't know what caused it, she thought maybe a clot, or high blood pressure, but my BP was 138/84.  She ordered a heart check.  They performed an EKG and a bubble test, and the heart was fine. When I got back to the room, the neurologist was there, and we did a series of exams.  She signed off on my release. Then the physical therapist came in and we went for a walk, down the hallway, up and down stairs.  She signed off.  My memory was fine, I had short term and long term awareness.  I did math problems, push tests, read, and answered current event questions.  They were going to release me, but the chance of a relapse was the greatest in 48 hours so they kept me one more day.  They came in on Saturday, tested everything again, and discussed protocol.  BP needs to come down, weight, and LDL.  I was going to be on medicine for some time, blood thinners the rest of my life as we didn't want another stroke.  They asked about diet, and I showed them the DASH diet that I was looking at, and they gave it a thumbs up.  I had no restrictions, I could drive and return to work.  The hard part is accepting that this happened.  I still want to believe that I have the flu.  On my follow-up with the neuro, I got to see the MRI.  Almost one side of the cerebellum has been permanently destroyed.  They say this area will work itself out, as it has, and I would have a normal life.  Okay, then why do people at work give me soft jobs now?  I know they mean well and care, but the internists and neurologist want me to have vigorous exercise.  I have no mobility or strength issues, and can do my job as before. We had a norovirus outbreak just before a major event, and they all worried about me.  Even at home, I'm condemned if I go out and snow blow the widow with COPD.  I'm 54, as I was, and yet, I feel that they want to prop me up in a corner and dust me off once in a while.  I didn't die, but it appears as if I have to others.  Yet, it still feels like I just had the flu.  
  • Rhesus
    Rhesus,
    Patience. It's ten years since my AMI and my friends and family (except my daughter who was very involved) have pretty much forgotten. Early on, everyone was concerned and some even alarmed. Two friends who called themselves my "bitchnannies" followed me around the slopes not allowing me to ski anything they considered too strenuous. The most significant lesson I took from my experience was to listen to my body. When it happened, the denial I felt could have killed me had it not been for my daughter insisting that I allow myself to be admitted to the hospital. All the best.
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