A funny thing happened....
A funny thing happened.....
Sunday afternoon in September 2018, and I had just finished my shift as a contractor (IT/TV/Comms) at the local hospital.
My Mum called and said she was bringing my Dad in to ED as his foot had turned blue and swelling up.
I met them in the assessment area of ED and took some photos of Dads foot to send to my sister...sat down next to Mum and tried sending a text to my sister and couldn't work out why my left thumb wouldn’t “swipe up” on my phone.
My brain was telling my thumb to move but it just wasn’t working. I turned to my Mum sitting next to me and as I went to speak, I could feel my mouth droop and my arm went limp. I was trying to process what was going on and I managed to recall the signs of a stroke – I managed to blurt out “I’m having a stroke.”
Mum looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and asked me what I was doing as I slumped towards her in the chair. I said it a little louder "I'm having a stroke" with a droopy face...
The young lady sitting 2 chairs up jumped up and yelled out “Oh my God, she’s having a stroke!”
Dad jumped up on his swollen foot and yelled out for help.
Medical staff came rushing towards me and stood in front of me – asking me to speak, raise my arms, smile etc ...then it resolved a bit...my speech was a bit slurred but I could stand up ok and could feel my left side ...bit tingly but ok.....then i was in triage - speech was slurred but I had feeling in body ...nurse was taking my vitals and typing up ...then I said to the nurse "it's happening again"....stroke...lost control of left side and face dropped slurred speech... 5mins later resolved a bit....
Then 10 mins later in front of the Stroke Team and I could feel it coming on – I said "it's happening again"... face dropped and lost feeling in left arm again....I kept talking because for some reason I thought that if I stopped, something was going to go "bang" in my brain. The Stroke Team were awesome - they were comforting me and trying to keep me calm.
I was confused, scared and became distraught...not only was I scared about what was happening or about to happen (major stroke) I was also trying to "keep it together" as I knew all of the medical staff and they were concerned as, although a contractor, I was well-known throughout the hospital. But I managed to let out some profanity and the Team knew that I was struggling.
I was rushed into radiology – CT scan didn’t reveal any aneurysm/bleed and I was given anti-coagulants immediately and admitted to neuro ward.
As some of the symptoms had resolved and I only had some minor impairment, it was most likely “not a stroke but transient attacks” but my MRI 3 days later showed 2 small areas of infarction which corresponded with the areas of the brain for speech and left hand.
Stroke was confirmed.
I was so grateful to have an, almost unbelievable, series of events (my work, Dads foot etc) that put me in the right place at the right time – normally, I would be driving home at this time!
So now its a bit over 10 months since this all happened and I’m doing well – only very minor weakness in my left hand and my speech is a little slurred but only when I’m tired!
In December, due to time off and inability to drive for a month, I lost my casual job with the IT/TV/Comms company contracted to do work at the hospital but I have just started studying at TAFE – Certificate IV in Health Administration :-)