So, it had been a bit of an eventful weekend.
Not in anyway the weekend I had planned on having.
Sorry for the riddles. I won’t keep you in suspense anymore.
On the weekend beginning Friday 7th June I ended up in hospital, suspected of having suffered a TIA or ‘mini-stroke’…. The pre-curser to an actual stroke.
Something that having never smoked and only ever drunk alcohol occasionally I didn’t think I was at risk of.
After all I kept saying “but I’m healthy, I’m active” but actually as one lovely nurse explained to me stroke can affect ANYONE! From babies, children, teenagers, young adults, fit adults, unfit adults right through to older people.
Before I continue let me just confirm, thankfully the initial suspicions were incorrect. I had not had a stroke or a TIA or actually any form of brain bleed.
I feel very fortunate for this, yet I felt the urge to write this blog to help others understand what happened, why this was suspected and how I am now.
Friday evening I was sitting having just eat a regular sized dairy milk bar (other chocolate bar brands are available) when I suddenly got a tingle in the left side of my mouth and chin.
Initially thinking maybe I was having an allergic reaction on the advice of a friend I reached for my phone and took a selfie. Ten minutes later the tingling was persisting, yet now it was moving. It was also beginning to spread down my shoulder, left arm and left leg.
Another photo, yet no swelling.
A call to 111 (out of hours Dr) a quick ‘check-list’ of symptoms and the call handler said something that left me shocked
“we have sent an ambulance to your house, please do not eat or drink anything, please lock away any pets.”
This is when I explained I had a guide dog, I would put her on her lead, but wouldn’t lock her away and before I could ask why there was an ambulance coming the call handler told me to keep my phone to hand, not to call anyone except for 999 should my symptoms start to get worse ….. then goodbye.
I messaged friends but tried to tell them not to worry (even though I was actually beginning to feel quite concerned)
Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long. The ambulance arrived and the paramedics quickly explained why they had been called.
Although after initial checks and having me smile at them, the paramedics were not sure what had happened; but felt that it wasn’t a stroke. But with the nature of my eye condition they were unable to test my eye movements for reaction. So after a call to another Doctor it was decided the best thing to do was to take me to hospital.
At this point two of my small group sisters arrived. Even I could see the panic in their faces…. The paramedics explained to them, I reassured them and with the promise that I would most definitely call when I needed to be collected from the hospital (hopefully in the next few hours) I left in the ambulance.
Off to Queen Alexandra Hospital we went, but no blue lights, no panicked rush; which I actually found quite reassuring.
It even appeared that Fizz’s comfort was more a priority for the paramedics and then the staff in Accident and Emergency than what had actually bought me here in the first place.
Because I was certain I would be discharged after some bloods, I had kept her with me.
But when I was moved onto a ward to undergo a CT scan and an MRI I knew I wouldn’t be found home soon.
But it was important that Fizz did…. She moved to the ward with me, walking beside the bed as I was transported. The nurses took it in turn to take Fizz out for walks and wee’s … They even made her a makeshift bed of towels so she could be as comfortable as possible.
I think the nurses were most upset when Fizz was collected on Saturday morning to go off for a break with friends, where she could relax and not be worrying about me with all the noises and smells of the hospital.
I had been moved to the stroke ward, where I spent the weekend as I needed an MRI scan that wasn’t available until Monday morning.
I discovered that it was standard procedure to serve me soft almost puréed food. Thankfully a friend had dropped off my Herbalife Nutrition shakes so that I could take care of my own food and actually enjoy it.
Monday morning saw my MRI scan followed by a visit from the consultant who explained that my results and scans showed no signs of stroke or TIA.
But with the continued weakness and numbness in my left side he could offer me no explanation of what it could be, as he explained his expertise was strokes.
Thankfully a friend was able to collect me and drop me home where it was great to be able to lounge on my own sofa.
For now I am to rest when I feel I need to, not push myself to do anything strenuous and hope my symptoms ease and improve.
As the title suggests, I am so very grateful I have not had a stroke. But not knowing what this is means it’s hard to know how long recovery will take? If I will recover? And more importantly, not knowing what THIS actually is?