There I was Tuesday night tucking Wyatt into bed at 8:30 pm. I had just finished the chapter on birds in his favorite book of new species found around the world in the last 5 years. I sat on the floor by his bed as he drifted off to sleep, a ritual Dusty created years ago but was unable to perform that night as he was at dinner meeting. My cell phone lay on my lap and I opened a game of solitaire to occupy myself in the dark until he was sound asleep and I could relocate to my own bed.
As I was playing the game, I got frustrated. How did I lose when all the cards were gone? Except…all the cards were not cleared. There were three cards in the bottom right of my tiny phone screen. But they hadn’t been there before! I looked at the cards and then returned my center of gaze to the center of the screen. The cards vanished. Not blurry. Not doubled. Invisible.
I looked up at his red digital clock on his dresser up and to my left. If I stared directly at the clock it was fine. Once I shifted to placing the clock on my right hand periphery – gone. Then the flashing lights stated in my peripheral field of view. Blinking, crazy white lights just out in my right eye periphery.
At this point Wyatt was asleep and I was a little freaked out thinking about all the signs of a stroke and what to do. I did the best thing I could think of: I went to bed and fell asleep. Nothing a little bit of burying your head int he sand can’t fix, amiright?
The stroke of midnight woke me up with an 8 out of 10, throbbing, worst headache of my life. There was no rushing of blood in my ears though, so I stumbled into the bathroom, downed two alieve and went back to bed where I promptly passed back out. At 6 am, I awoke with the alarm to find that my headache was now a dull 2 out of 10 and all the flashing lights and blind spots in my vision were gone. I was left with blurry vision in my right eye and an odd sense that something was living off to my right that I just couldn’t see. I went to work figuring that it was my hospital based day and where better to have a stroke than in the hospital?
The nurses all looked at me funny all morning long. I was slow. My mentation was definitely off and I had to slow down to get my words out. When a nurse presented a patient to me and then I promptly forgot the entire conversation even existed and kept typing away at my medical notes instead, well they all started to fuss. I got my blood pressure taken (107/53) and a whole lot of empty nesting mothers surrounding me and telling me what to do. You have to love a room full of amazing nurses.
I agreed to go to urgent care after work and that doctor looked at me like I had five heads and told me to go to the ER where I could undergo a battery of neurological tests and scans, but then promptly refused to take a urine sample to rule out a UTI and any blood work as I believe it all stemmed from an electrolyte imbalance due to about a month long of fighting leg cramps nightly. He wasn’t convinced this was important. e believed it to be a migraine with an aura, bu wasn’t happy with the lingering symptom. I gathered up my papers at discharge and pointed my car home. My plan? Sleep it off. If I awoke this morning with any lingering symptoms, I’d cancel out my day of appointments and head to the ER.
This morning I awoke feeling pretty ok. No visual disturbances. No lingering head ache. My only issue is that I remain dehydrated despite a lot of water and still those darn leg cramps that wake me up at 2 am. I’m going to steal some of Dusty’s electrolytes and start drinking that and see if it helps. I have a doctors appointment already for tomorrow for routine check stuff, so I’ll ask them to draw the blood at that appointment.
Migraines, real bona fide migraines not the sissy headaches that most people claim is a migraine but isn’t, are no joke. This was my first one ever and I plan to make it my last one if I have to turn over every stone to figure out the etiology. My working diagnosis is sleep deprivation, electrolyte imbalance leaving water in my gut but not being absorbed and creating leg cramps, and hormones as mine seem to have decided that 37 is a great age for menopause filled with hot flashes, depleted energy and mood swings. Or maybe it is meningitis.
On a serious note from a health care provider: don’t be me and go to bed if a health scare pops up. If this was a stoke (I know the symptoms and checked myself in the mirror through the list), I could have died in my sleep. If you are unsure, scared or have a new symptom that creates pain, call your doctor or 911. DO NOT GO TO SLEEP.