Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stroke of Insight - Stroke of Luck Part 1

Life can change in an instant, one moment you're sitting there listening to music as you're driving and talking to someone sitting next to you and in a matter of seconds everything you knew to be true in your life has changed and nothing is as it was and NOTHING will ever be the same again. It felt like I had been drugged or someone had slipped something (alcohol or otherwise) into my soda and it hit me all at once. I was driving down Avenue B when I suddenly felt drunk. I asked the person in the SUV with me if he had done something to my soda, he said no. I looked over at him and said "you must make me feel intoxicated then" and laughed it off.
I continued driving the rest of the way home. I was feeling very odd, I pulled up into my driveway and turned off the car. I opened my door and stepped out, I staggered and fell against the side of my house. My friend asked what the hell was wrong with me and I said I didn't know. He said my sugar was probably off because I am diabetic and hadn't eaten in quite awhile.
He helped me walk into the house where I proceeded to cook myself some dinner to see if that would indeed help. In the back of my mind I knew it wouldn't because my inner voice was telling me.....I was having a stroke!
I ate a little dinner and went to the restroom to splash cold water on my face. I fell over the toilet and had a really hard time standing back up. I called my friend into the bathroom and told him to call 911 but he refused. He said I was being dramatic and just needed to take a nap. I told him (now slurring) I didn't feel well and thought I was having a stroke. He said "you're 42 Jenn , you are NOT having a stroke you're TOO YOUNG!" I laid down like he told me to and waited 10 minutes or so. I was feeling worse and walking was becoming increasingly harder.
I went out in my living room and asked my sister to call 911 and my friend told her someone else was taking me to the hospital and not to call. My friend called a girlfriend of mine asking her to give me a ride and she told him she was already in bed and to call 911. He told her that the ambulance would be too expensive and to give me a ride. MEANWHILE I'm begging him to call 911, unbeknownst to me he was on probation for a dui and wasn't supposed to be drinking and was afraid if he called 911 he would get in trouble.

Finally my girlfriend walked down to see what the commotion was, took one look at me and called 911 herself. By the time the ambulance arrived I was paralyzed on my left side and unable to stand or walk.
I remember sitting in a lawn chair in my yard waiting for them so they wouldn't have to go inside and wake & upset my son. My cockapoo sat in my lap with his little body pressed closely against mine protecting me from this influx of uniformed strangers flooding my home and yard.
remember someone asking my name and having to repeat it several times until he could understand me.
I remember people surrounding me asking if I was on drugs or drinking....I have never in my life taken an illegal substance and rarely drank. I remember someone asking "who is the president of the United States" and "what year is this" and several more questions I was rather unsure of. I remember being loaded into the ambulance and apologizing profusely to the EMT's for being a big girl and not easy to lift and thinking that the EMT caring for me looked like Russell Crow....who WAS Russell Crow and why did I care all I wanted was to go to sleep. The last thing I remember was this Russell Crow look alike covering me with a pale blue blanket.

The next thing I remember was being in the ER and several people working furiously to hook up I.V's and explain an injection that could help correct the damage done by waiting too long to call 911, I only had 13 minutes to make a choice to take the medication or not.
There were many good reasons to take it and just one reason not to. I asked the doctor what was the down side to the wonder drug and he said it could cause a brain bleed and ultimately death. I tried calling my sister to get her opinion but was slurring so bad it was hard for her to understand me. My girlfriend explained it to her on the phone and she said I should take it BUT the very thought of that small percent chance of a brain bleed and never being able to see my son or loved ones again made that choice for me. (having to do it over....knowing what I know now and living through the things I have in the last  3 years, I think I'd take the medication). to be continued......

1 comment:

  1. you are here so people like me can enjoy our conversations and interests fred