I paused a while before posting this, then I decided that not many people visit this blog anyway, and the ones who do so regularly I like to regard as friends. This is something I choose to share with friends.
Thursday night I had a serious wake-up call. I suffered a minor stroke - a Transient Ischemic Attack.
As such things go, a TIA is quick and leaves no lasting damage. But it is a warning - not to be ignored - of possibly more to come.
The event itself was strange and disconcerting. I was about to drive Matthew downtown but hadn't yet left the house, which was frighteningly lucky.
I turned to put something down on the stairs, and was surprised to see this strange arm reach around in front of me. I turned to see who was there...nobody. But...there was that arm again. It took me a few seconds to recognize it as my own. The recognition was purely visual and intellectual, there was no feeling of ownership there. I felt utterly disconnected from what I was seeing.
That scared me, and told me that something was wrong. I called for help. My voice came out slurred. That's when I suspected a stroke.
The ambulance arrived a short while later, and while the paramedics checked me over and asked lots of questions, the symptoms evaporated leaving me shaken but unharmed.
Off in the ambulance for a long evening of more questions and tests. All clear - whew! - but leaving one huge big elephantine question unanswered: what next?
So, now I'm walking around gingerly, trying to avoid stress and exertion, feeling like I'm carrying a ticking bomb in my head. I haven't yet figured out how to come to terms with that or what in practical terms I can do about it. And of course my family is freaked out.
To put things into perspective, though, we all carry our ticking bombs around with us with a greater or lesser chance of setting them off. And I must have been carrying this one with me for a long time. I just didn't realize it until Thursday. This could be just the first of many episodes leading up to a serious and lasting stroke, or I might never experience anything like this again. I just don't know.
Meanwhile, I'm treating this as one of those perspective-altering moments, time to decide and act on what is really important in my life...while trying to persuade everyone around me that I'm not a bloody invalid!