Thursday, May 15, 2008
I'm Going To Pretend For One More Day...
I PUT MY UPDATES ON THE COMMENT PAGE!!!
This is Gig's birthday bouquet. Yes, I know, very, very late,but it was picked on time. As you all know I had difficulty posting for over a week, so here it finally is. As always, Ohno has to explore everything. He's a gem. Do you see those wings behind his ears?! They're amazing! Rob calls him Batman!I have some bad news, but thought mixing it with beautiful flowers would help me (sorry Gig). I wasn't feeling too well Friday. Horrible headache, sick to my tummy and difficulty talking. Yes, I know, classic symptoms. And T-Bone was following me everywhere. Wouldn't even sleep. And he's a sleeper. Friday night T-Bone continued to be right by my side. I thought he was ill and told Rob so, then at one point asked T-Bone "Honey, is something wrong with Mommy? Somethings going to happen, isn't it?" I blogged until late and T-Bone never left me (not the norm), I went to sleep and woke up with a left hand that felt like it was completely asleep with pins and needles, and a foot that felt the same. It seemed odd. I had been dealing with my pinky finger feeling that way for weeks and thought it was from using the computer. I still didn't feel well and T-Bone was still at my side.
I thought it might be carpal tunnel syndrome, just because my hand was involved. I went to http://www.webmd.com/ later in the day and felt confident that was my problem. I'd call the doctor Monday. Sunday rolled around and I woke up worse. I was numb from head to toe on my left side. The only place I didn't feel numbness and tingling was in my leg. I thought "How odd." But I didn't put two and two together. I went like that Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.
Tuesday night I had a dream I'd had a stroke. On Tuesday I went to webmd.com again and typed in numbness and tingling in hand and foot and of course was greeted with stroke. Suddenly everything made sense. T-Bone was still by my side. He knew. I sat a long time just staring at the screen and thinking about my life. I knew I was supposed to be in the emergency room, but also knew that I had to get things done around the house in the event I was hospitalized. So I worked my ass off over the next few days in an effort to get things done. I know. Not smart, but I have so many responsibilities. Yup, even today, that's what I did. And then I called the doctor's office so that I could be seen tomorrow. I was passed so quickly to a nurse I couldn't believe it.
I described my symptoms to her and was told every thing pointed to a stroke. I'm only 48. I was told to go to the emergency room at Kaiser immediatly. After talking to her today for about 15 minutes, we hung up and I just sat here for a long, long time. I knew it before I called Kaiser, but to actually hear the words just broke my heart. I sat and I sat and I sat. Rob came into my office after returning from picking up our new tree for the back yard, and I told him what had happened and that the nurse said I had to have someone take me to the emergency room because a lot of test would be done. He was ready to go. But I just sat.
I didn't seem to have the ability to move. I just sat staring at the computer screen, the phone, the keyboard, the wall. I just sat. Staring at nothing and everything. My life. Studies show that most strokes in women happen between the ages of 45 and 52 and most go undetected. I was a statistic and I couldn't believe my bad luck. So I sat and I sat. Rob came back into my office and alerted me it was time to go to the hospital, and I couldn't move. I told him "I'll go tomorrow." He was visibly upset, but said "I can't make you go." So I sat and I sat. Mom called, Rob answered the phone and didn't tell her. He came to my office and told me he didn't want to alarm her until we had all the details. I said "Okay." And I sat.
I picked up the phone to call my mom. She wasn't home, but my brother was there. I told him. He was concerned and shocked. He told me how much he loved me and to please take care of myself. I called my sister Laur, but couldn't get in touch with her. Thought I had the wrong phone number, so called my other brother. His wife answered and amazingly put me through to Gary. Gary's always working, never home! My luckly day! We talked, I told him and he was very sad (he's sensitive) and told me to please take care of myself and get to the hospital. Then he said "Do you want to talk to Roy? He's right here." You have to understand, I rarely get to talk to my brothers. They're so busy they're never around when I call. I was able to talk to all three today and it was a blessing. They were all so kind and generous. We're all very close as sisters and brothers, so to actually have my brothers a part of this means the world to me. I wasn't able to get in touch with my sister, so called my dad and of course he picked up. He always does no matter what he's doing. It was the first time tears streamed down my face.
My dad's an amazing man. We talked about life, death, disappointment, etc. He told me to please get to the hospital, but I just sat.
Then I opened a bottle of wine, finished the laundry and watering the garden and tried to get everything done, just in case. What was going to the emergency room going to do? What was it going to change? I'd missed my 3 hour window of opportunity. I had a stroke and my life is forever changed. My numbness and tingling will probably never go away. My life is different than it was 7 days ago and I can't will it back.
The lesson is simple. Pay attention. The nurse told me face numbness is the first sign of a stroke, but I didn't have that till two days after the initial symptoms. Her advice was "when you have any sort of numbness of your limbs, get to the emergency room immediately." I would take that advice, and run, not walk to the emergency room. You have a three hour window of opportunity to reverse what's happened to you if you've had a stroke. That's all you get, so please don't hesitate.
I love you all and you know that. That's why I'm writing this. I thought, if anyone could get me through this, it's all of you. You have become my family and you matter. I'll be fine. I'll just have to make a lot of adjustments. Probably blog a lot less.
I'm going to the emergency room today. I've had time to think and know it's my only option. I'll be tested till the cows come home, but that's okay. And I'm going alone. I'm not telling Rob. I'm just going to go directly from feeding the ferals. I seem to need to be alone. For some reason it seems like a very personal, lonely journey.
Oh, and by the way, there's a race going on over at the cafe. I'm going to lose because I.V. outsmarted me! That bastard! But I have a very pretty pink bike!
Love you all,