Saturday, March 18, 2017

I had a stroke!

I bet you never expected to see a post like this from me. No. I'm not posting about a movie concerning a stroke victim or my latest novel. On February 19th, two days before my birthday this year (2017) I suffered a stroke. By writing this post I want to warn my readers so if you have the symptoms you will know to get immediate help. It could very well save your life and lessen the after-effects.

On February 18th, I was whacky.. I drove over an open area and ended up with my car hanging over a concrete ledge above a drainage ditch. I had been to the grocery store.Feeling confused but soldiering onward. I realized later I had taken a wrong turn driving home. Nothing looked familiar.  No Wonder.

Able to exit the car onto a nearby sidewalk, I got my trusted rolling cart filled with groceries, out of the back hatch and started walking into a strange land in the hot, humid Florida afternoon. I was nowhere near my apartment. Instead I wandered a a different complex, dragging my wilted deli sandwich, and caffeine free Diet Coke with the dog food ehind me. I met strangers who looked at me with suspicion and some who did not. After asking several if they recognized me. I in my fog, knew I must be in the wrong place and asked for the directions  to my complex office. two very kind young men drove me to the office. Red-faced, sweating, and chewed upon by Godzilla-sized mosquitos, I'm sure I made a pitiful sight. The apt manager took me home in a golf cart. My insurance emergency number refused to come get my car and tow it back to my apt unless I oaid them cash, reminds me I need to call the company and report that...But the young apt manager's father had a tow truck, so after I was taken home by golf cart, he got my car off the ledge and drove it to my place. It was driveable, he reported. Grateful to be back in the AC (this is Florida, remember - yes we sometimes use it in February.)

Okay enough perspiration rhetoric - time to get serious.The next morning I woke with the worst headache of my allergy and sinus-beset life. My brain crouched in my skull like a steaming lava rock, burning and hurting continually. I called the nail salon and canceled my appointment booked for  later in the morning. I told them I thought I had a migraine...

When my left arm and hand began to tingle, I knew it was no migraine. So I called my niece and told her I thought I was having a stroke. (She's a nurse.) She asked me which ER I wanted to enter. I made my choice, she picked me up in her sports car and off we went. At the ER my BP was over 200, confirming my self-iagnosis. I was having a stroke. Later in the hospital, one of the doctors told me I was lucky. 

In only four minutes, you can lose all of who you are, by not going to an ER at the signs of a stroke. She said in only four minutes, I could have been a shell with all of my memories, and abilities gone forever.  Scary thought...I was admitted to the hospital where my old teenaged response to stress arose and I terrorized people with my sleepwalking. Who knew???!!!

I went to rehab after the hospital where I was in a wheelchair for a while due to falling danger with my unsteady gait.

Except for  a male nurse who yelled at me for ending up in another woman's room during one of my unconscious nighttime expeditions the staff was wonderful. 

                        but here's the deal, if you get a bad headache, call somebody. If you get numbness or tingling on e side of your body, go right to the ER.

If you have no way to get to the ER,    CALL 911. 

A STROKE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY and a legitimate reason to call the paramedics.

GET HELP AND SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!! Stroke is a killer who attacks many Americans each year.  Don't ignore the symptoms.

As for me, I came out with little peripheral vision on my left side. I've got special glasses which draw my left eye to the left side, but I'm no longer able to drive. I need rides wherever I want to go. Looks like I won't be shopping for  a new car this year unless my sight improves. (it could,)

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