I Had a Stroke - and I'm Only 40 (warning Tmi Icky)On December 27th, I was sitting on a couch watching TV with my fiancé. Everything about the day was normal. Around 11pm, I began to feel a little nauseated. I went to the bathroom and vomited, and came back out. We talked about it for a minute, you know, the regular stuff: how many friends do we know with colds/flus, did I have any other symptoms, etc, etc. After a couple of minutes I went back in for another session. By the third session, diarrhea had joined the fun, and I had to sit on the toilet and vomit into a garbage can.
We both thought it was some kind of crazy stomach flu or food poisoning, because a headache and fever had come along. I kept up the "pinwheeling" every 10 to 15 minutes for more than four hours when I finally let D take me to the hospital. By this point I was dehydrated, delirious, and still rocketing things out both ends. A completely vile experience. I wanted to crawl out of my body and slink away. Unfortunately, the ER at 4:30 am isn't the most attentive, so they hooked me up to hydrate me and gave me shots for anti-nausea and pain.
But meanwhile, I'm still rocketing diarrhea, and the hospital staff isn't too interested in cleaning me up or providing me with something into which I can go, so I have to go into a pile of towels, clean up myself, and put the towels in the wastebasket. Meanwhile, D is taking turns holding my hand and frantically pacing around the ER trying to get answers or medications or any kind of information as to what is wrong with me.
Seven hours, five liters of Saline, an unknown number of pain killers and blood samples, and x-rays of my stomach later, I've had some rest and am ready to go home, but they still don't know what is wrong with me. The releasing doctor actually said, "your blood has so many things wrong with it that we can't tell what's going on in you. We're going to send you home and if you have any of these symptoms tomorrow, come back.
Finally, I was able to rest in my own bed. D kept the vicodin and anti-nausea meds available, and bought a bunch of flu-friendly mild foods. I slept for the better part of 24 hours. When we were both finally awake, I still had the worst headache ever, couldn't see or walk straight, and had no appetite.
Back to the hospital for more fluids and tests. The only thing that made my headache go away for a little bit was a shot they "give to the cancer patients." Six hours and a million tests later, they admitted me to the hospital - the CT scan had shown that I had had a stroke. An artery in the right side of my neck had burst, sending at least two clots up through my brain. One settled in the
occipital lobe and the other in my cerrebrum (?).
This story goes on and on, but I am happy to say that I am still alive and have 98% functionality. A month later, I am still healing and, if the fingers demand, may continue to tell the tale here.