Sunday, May 20, 2007

Clarification on what happened Friday night

I was just reading through what I wrote Saturday morning, and realized that I did not come back and write more about what happened. In the interest of avoiding confusion later when I start writing about what happens next, here's a bit more of the story.

We drove to Manson Friday night, and while we were eating dinner, I started having difficulty speaking. What I meant to say was not coming out right at all. Some words I just could not say, and I drew a complete blank on others. Pretty quickly, I realized that something was really wrong.

My mom and my sister drove me to the emergency room in fort dodge (about 20 minutes away), and while on the way, my right hand went numb. It started at the base of my thumb, and traveled through every finger. I was still having problems calling things by their right names. I told my mom to watch out for that power - I meant to say "tractor," among other things. I started getting better as we got closer to Fort Dodge, and by the time I got there, the only thing wrong was that I had a bad headache, and a little bit of numbness still in my pinky finger on my right hand.

I was able to give my name, address and information, along with the name of the President of the United States. I concentrated really hard on getting the answers right, and making sure I remembered info they needed to know (I had my meds with me, because I was staying over at Mom and Dad's that night, luckily). They did a couple of preliminary tests, to figure out how bad off I was, I guess. My BP was higher than normal (128/98), but not in any danger zones.

The ER was really busy. At one point, my mom and I got the giggles really badly, because my sister was trying to explain to my dad, over the phone, what two shirts of hers needed to be hung on a hanger to dry, and not in the dryer. He was having problems finding one of them, and it just struck us as funny. If you laugh, you don't have time to cry, right?

One of my sister's friends works at the hospital, so she came down and sat with us during her break, so that was a distraction.

At one point, a woman my mom knew came in with a friend and the friend's son. The little boy had been goofing around with his dad and uncles, and had hit his head. He needed staples to close the wound. The friend commented that I looked as white as a sheet. I told her that was my normal skin color, but mom and Movie Star agreed that I was much, much paler than usual. Well, my head hurt, so that was part of it. Soon, the left, and other people came in.

One elderly lady was wheeled in. She was recovering from cancer, and undergoing chemo. They brought her in because she spiked a temperature of 103°F. Someone else came in with chest pains.

A couple of times, my mom went to check up on when I would be seen. My head was pounding, and occasionally, my forearm would have areas that felt a little numb. I just wanted to lie down. There were people worse off than me, though. I grew convinced that we were going to end up watching the entire movie on the Hallmark Channel that had started when we got there.

Finally, they called my name. My mom followed, and we were shown into the treatment room. First bed on the right. The nurse, Mark, did a few preliminary tests, then a girl came over to draw my blood (from the side of the wrist, below the thumb, apparantly, it is supposed to be easier and less painful). My doctor ended up being the same doctor that delivered all of us girls, and my mom's face melted in relief when she heard his name.

I ended up having to have a CAT scan to check for any bleeding on the brain, and it came back normal. Whew, not a stroke. I have to cut way back on my sodium and caffeine intake, to get things back under control, and I'm going to be making an appointment with my regular doctor to follow up, and see if she wants to order any more tests. It ended up taking over four hours, as the ER was really busy. We still don't know what exactly happened. The doctor told me that I would need an MRI if the symptoms recurred. Possiblities include a tumor, or MS, neither of which are good things. I am going to ask my doctor if maybe we can just have the MRI, and not have to wait for this to happen again. I just want to know what happened, and how to prevent it from happening again.

So that's the story of my ER visit. I'll keep people posted, family and friends first, of course.

I am now going to go make a baked potato and some some baked veggies. Yum.

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