Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Low-Down

I'm 32. I'm a suburban wife and mom of an insane almost 2yr old. I work a corporate job by day and rock out at home with my  husband by night. We're a fairly typical Offbeat family.

Two weeks ago I woke up like I do every morning at 5am. I was a little dizzy and my right arm felt a  little weird. I've been diabetic since I was 8 years old so waking up feeling a little off isn't that unusual. I also have carpal tunnel so my arm feeling tingly isn't that weird. I showered, dressed and went to the dentist for my 6month cleaning. When I left, the dizziness was a bit worse. I hadn't had breakfast so naturally I figured I had to eat. Off to Subway I went for a quick English muffin and a cup o Joe. It was about 9am at this point and I had to get to the office. I got on the freeway and drove about 15 miles to work. When I got out of the car, I swayed and had to steady my balance before making the trek across the parking lot then thru the massive office building to my cubicle. I checked my blood sugar to make sure I wasn't hypoglycemic. I wasn't.

I made it to my desk and endured some friendly razzing for being late. A co-worker noticed I kept holding my forehead. I can't quite explain it but I didn't have a headache. It was more like my eyes couldn't focus. I worked for a couple of hours and as I wrote things down my right arm (yes I'm right-handed) started to feel numb and tight in different spots. Well because we're good little tools our company rewarded us with a visit from the Hot Dog on a Stick truck. Hot damn. Free corn dogs and lemonade complete with the bouncing teenage girls in those stupid Tweedle Dee get-ups. I stood up to go all the way back out to the parking lot. As I'm typing this I'm realizing how crazy this sounds. No, I don't love corn dogs that much. I just really thought my body was off from waiting too long for breakfast and then chugging coffee. So I went to grab my free corn dog in hopes of chatting with my friends before getting back to my stressful day. By the time the girl in the stupid hat gave me my order, I knew something was terribly wrong. I walked as fast as I could back thru the building all the way to my desk. I remember telling myself to not stop or slow down. I feared if I did I would topple over. I made it.

I sat down, and true to myself cracked a few lame jokes about the processed junk food the Man used to appease us. I stood up to grab something and stumbled. Then came the tears. I looked at my co-worker over the cubicle wall and she knew by my expression I just wasn't ok. She told me to call my husband and go. And I did.

I waited in the lobby for my husband to get there, as I knew I couldn't get behind the wheel again. I screwed around on Facebook to pass the time. When he got there we still didn't go to the ER. I went home first to decide what to do. When you're 32, the word "stroke" just doesn't occur to you. At least to me it didn't. Hell, other than dizzy spells and a tingly arm I was functioning fairly well. It took 3 phone calls but I got in to see my regular Dr. She couldn't figure out what is was either. She said "I don't think you're having a stroke but I think its best if I call an ambulance to take you to the hospital. They'll have the equipment to rule it out."

A WHAT?! Did she just say the "s" word! I don't even really know what a stroke is. It's some messed up shit that makes old people's faces melt and their handwriting all shaky. My face isn't melted. I can write just fine!

In the ER a CT Scan revealed "something." The medical term - I swear I'm not joking - is "non specific". Yeah. Thanks for clearing that up. I thought I had a tumor. What the hell else could it be. Double vision had set in to the point I was getting vertigo. I called my husband who by this time had taken my son home. I had asked him to go ahead and leave because our little one missed his nap and we were approaching meltdown. I let him know that we still knew nothing and I'd be admitted.

This post is already so freakin long so I'm going to give you the rest in a nutshell. I awoke the next morning in the hospital still with double vision, funny feeling but functioning arm and now a funny feeling foot. I was admitted Tues night. By Thu I couldn't walk anymore. They brought me a form to sign and I dropped the pen. I couldn't hold a fork or text on my  touch screen phone with my right hand anymore. By Fri it was realized that my stroke had never stopped.

After much bureaucracy that I won't get into, I was moved to a critical care unit and started on a Heparin drip. Heparin is an aggressive blood thinner and I was to remain on it for 5 straight days. Within 12 hours I finally stabilized. I didn't get better but I stopped getting worse. After 8 full days in the hospital I was transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

I've been here 8 days now. Still can't walk or write but the aggressive physical therapy is making a difference. I plan to blog as I make this journey. And to those of you who read along, I thank you for giving a shit. I promise my future posts won't be so damn long. Peace.

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