I was supposed to go on a quilty retreat with my sister. Unfortunately, it turned out a little different. I had been feeling bad, since the day before. But I was not going to cancel our trip. Not bloody likely.
My sister came to pick me up, looked at me and said. I am not taking you anywhere. The corner of your mouth is drooping down and you have a slurr in your speech.
So we called the doctor. He wanted to see me immediately. I still was oblivious of what was happening. My doctor thought "it would be a good idea for a neurologist to take a look". Also fine. Then we could get in the car and start our journey right after that.
We didn't have to wait in the hospital. A doctor was waiting for us at the door and I was shoved onto a bed. With astonishing speed a load of tests were done. CT scan, blood tests, can you touch this, do you feel that.....
I had to stay. Just for the night. I send a whatsapp to my family, stating that the reason they were keeping me was purely to prevent any claims for damages in the future.
They kept me on the stroke unit the entire night. A calm space. Lots of white. A place where you don't really know that time is still passing. A place where they could keep a close eye on me. Wires, sticky patches, things going beep and pling, blowing themselves up and deflating again. In the course of the night, some of the controls where reduced. All that noise did mean I could not follow their well meant advice (Get some rest).
In the morning, several people appeared at my bedside. The bed I was still nog allowed to leave.
I was still convinced that nothing serious was going on. They probably needed the beds filled and I was going home that day.
Then the neurologist came by. This was high, that was too low, the next thing not completely right and my mouth was still drooping down. She looked at me and very calmly and clearly told me:
You have suffered a stroke. That is why your mouth is drooping and you have trouble speaking.
I couldn't speak for a moment. This was not what I was expecting at all. I was not allowed to go home. I was going to have to be monitored. Perhaps tomorrow.
My parents came to see me. Tears started to flow. I could not explain why or why I could not stop. I just wept. For a long time. And then I felt better.
Later that day I was moved to a regular ward. Thank heavens. Other colours then white. The nurses where great. I was even allowed to go to the bathroom by myself.
Peeing with the door closed. Bliss.
So I had a stroke. At 43. Tests are going to follow to see what happened, and where and why. I was allowed to go home on Wednesday, with a load of pills and appointments.
I am as well as can be expected. The droopy mouth is correcting itself. I do the exercises. Talking is only difficult when tired. Which makes everything difficult. Concentrating is very difficult too. Looking out the window is fine too. I am still very tired.
For the good news:
I stopped smoking on Monday. It is now Friday and I have not smoked.