I’ve gotten migraines and headaches for YEARS! I had done a little tracking but then started to have kids. Being pregnant and nursing made my migraines change a bit. I always said that once I was done I’d let my body go back to its normal. Then it would be time to really start to figure them out.
Then I woke up to nurse baby girl at 7:00 on February 10th with a migraine. And I felt weird. My 5 year old was in my room. I tried to hand her my baby, I had no strength. She had to grab her from my arms. As I stumbled to my bathroom I almost tripped.
It was the same feeling as standing up to fast, getting a head rush, and feeling blurry and spinning at the same time. I noticed that my right arm was feeling tingling and numb. It was also heavy. So heavy.
I tried to get my eyes to work by blinking and forcing them to focus. I wasn’t too successful. My hand missed the soap pump and I clumsily knocked it over. Straining my eyes, I was able to pick up the soap and finally get my hands washed.
What in the world was happening to me?!
Leaning on my bed for support I made it out of my room and down the short hallway to the top of the stairs. The wall and handrail helped me down the stairs.
My eyes were still not focusing. My arm was still heavy and numb. And the cherry on top was my pounding migraine. Great, this is going to be a great day. And Eddy has to work…
The kitchen was all a buzz with the happiness of my sweet girl turning 7. Eddy had finished the breakfast prep that morning. Thank goodness we had wrapped her present and did most of the little prep the night before.
It was getting a little easier to see as I made my way to the cabinet where we keep our medicine. Opening the bottles was quiet a feat! The first attempt I dropped the bottle. My grasp was not strong enough.
My next attempt I got the side of my body into it. Grabbing my mixture of Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and a Dr. Pepper I made my clumsy way to my seat. I sat down and looked at Eddy telling him that I was feeling weird.
Feeling weird was an understatement!
As if that was a cue, the right side of my face around my mouth, nose, and cheek were starting to go numb. To me my speech was starting to sound a little off. As I continued to tell him what was weird with me my throat started to go numb as well.
Then it happened. I started to not be able to say things. The words were there. I knew the words. I did! But they would not come out. It wasn’t very many at this point. But enough that it really scared me.
We went into the living room and I tried to nurse baby girl again while the birthday girl opened her gifts. I wanted to be excited for her and get into it. But I could not. I was scared. I felt like a blob on the couch. Eddy was on the phone trying to get ahold of a couple people.
Eddy told me to go upstairs and do what I needed to do to go to the ER. With my speech messy he was going to take me to the hospital. I was possibly having a stroke.
All I wanted to do was nurse my baby and enjoy my birthday girl.
An extremely sweet friend and neighbor was at our house in a couple minutes and we were out the door. My mom was on her way over to be with the kids while we were gone (we sure know how to get her out of quarantine, broken foot last year on April Fool’s day ring a bell???). My sweet friend was calling another sweet friend to have her come pick up the big kids and take them to school.
On the drive, which seemed to never end, there were many feelings. I was relieved to be heading to the hospital. I was also feeling stressed to be heading to the hospital.
There were also feelings and thoughts of dread, I am going to die, I am too young to have a stroke, what’s happening to me, I do not want anyone else but me and Eddy to raise my kids, scared, there is too much fuss over me right now, a weird calm that kept coming up, and confusion.
AHHHH, What’s Going On?
As we were driving to the bigger hospital Eddy asked me what happened upstairs. I took a deep breath and started to share what happened. Then all of a sudden, I stopped. I could not say the next words. I stopped and thought for a second and tried again.
Same thing, I stopped because nothing would come out. Closing my eyes I thought. I knew what happened. I could see what happened. The words I needed to say were there. I tried again. And again. And again.
Every time I could not finish. The words would not come out. I could not say them.
During the phone calls Eddy made to work and the ER to let them know we were coming in with a possible stroke I tried to think. When he would get off the phone, I would try again. I would just end up trailing off and closing my eyes every time. I could not do it!
The problem was not only with telling Eddy what happened upstairs. It was other words as well. It almost felt like my mind was paralyzed. But with only some things.
All Signs of a Stroke
When we got to the ER and walked in, they had me sit in a wheelchair. The gal told us to wait a minute. Eddy and I were both thinking, “ummm, she might be having a stroke. We called in beforehand. Get us in now!”
It felt like I was in an in body AND out of body experience at the same time. I felt loopy and present at the same time. I felt intelligent in my head but dumb when I opened my mouth. Inside I knew things and I knew I could do things. Outside I tried but ended up just looking at Eddy for help.
Once we were checked in, I got wheeled into my room, room 51. There was a man standing in the room getting things ready. He asked me to undress the top half and put on the gown. After I got myself ready, I laid in the bed and just wanted to sleep.
That was not on the agenda.
The man, who was my nurse, came back in. He started talking and then the people starting coming in. I lost track of how many people and what they were all doing.
A gal was putting sticky things on my upper body and attaching something to them. People were introducing themselves and asking me questions. Someone else; it might as well have been a talking, walking shark; put an IV in. I later learned this talking, walking shark drew my blood.
Maybe it was a vampire…. Haha
I answered their questions as best as I could and looked at Eddy for help when I could not say the words that were pictured in my head. I squeezed doctors’ fingers, pushed my legs up against their hands, and looked different directions.
It was a circus!
I got whisked away for a CT scan.
As I was helped from my bed onto another bed, they explained what was going to happen. Most of it I can not remember now. It took about 15 minutes and the drug they gave me in my IV gave me some weird feelings.
Like needing to go to the bathroom. So, this is fun! Getting to be in a small space, having to pee at times but not really, having to lay still and trying to stay calm. Fun, right?
To help myself I started to take deep breaths. Then I closed my eyes so they would not have to focus on the CT scan so close to my face. These two things helped me to calm down and make the process a bit smoother.
When the scan was over, I got helped back into my bed. Thank goodness! Because all the cords coming from me would have made it difficult to transfer from one bed to the other one next door.
A Short and Needed Rest
Things started to calm down after the CT scan. I was able to close my eyes and rest at times.
Then it was my turn to get my MRI. Again, I was wheeled in my bed to the MRI room. The tech helped me walk from the hall into the room and onto the bed. He explained what was going to happen as I laid down and put my head in what I call the head chamber.
He gave me ear plugs to put in my ears. They kept falling out, so he folded some pads that go in the head chamber. They rested right against my head and the head chamber keeping the ear plugs in.
Okay, this head chamber is a head rest with a part that goes over your face and clicks together. It is not solid, so you can see through the openings. This piece keeps your head still while you are getting the MRI.
For the second time that day I was trapped in a small space. I had to stay still for a period of time and not freak out. I used my same tools I did from the CT scan: breathing deeply and closing my eyes.
This time there was no sensation of needing to go to the bathroom. But the noise! I thought my head was going to EXPLODE! With my migraine’s noises are the worst! Let us just say I was beyond relieved to be done with the MRI.
Once back in my room I got to rest for a minute before the doctor came in to talk to us.
What was happening to me???? Was I having a stroke??