Mikaela wearing her Pinky's apron
It's been a long week. And certainly busier than most. In addition to volunteering at the hospital, Mikaela started working at Pinky's this week and Maimie started ballet class. In the meantime, I had to go see my doctor and schedule some tests. Mostly the week has been emotionally stressful.
Last Saturday (the day before Father's Day) began ordinarily enough. We all helped clean out the garage for Steven that morning in the heat and humidity. After lunch, Steve took the boys with him to get a power washer for cleaning the garage floor and driveway. Maimie and I went after the groceries for Sunday evening's meal and bought gifts for my Dad and Steven. Returning home around 2pm, I put Maimie to bed for a short nap and put the groceries away. I looked up a recipe on the laptop then went into the kitchen to marinate our steaks. It was around 2:30pm. I reached for a bag on the kitchen table and instantly my left hand went completely numb. It felt like dead weight as it dropped to my side. I was unable to grasp anything or even move it voluntarily. I had no function in my left hand. Though I was alone in the house, I said aloud, "Something is really wrong with me". The first two words came out normally, but the rest of the sentence came out slow and drawn out. (Ok, while it's sad to admit that I talk to myself...ALOUD, it was actually helpful in diagnosing the problem.) Meanwhile, my vision was darkening and closing in as though I was getting ready to black out. I worried that I would pass out and no one would find me, so I made my way to the front door where I thought I had heard Mikaela heading for the porch earlier. By the time I reached the door, I was able to yell for Mikaela to find her dad. My voice was back to normal by this time, my left arm and hand were tingling and weak. I didn't have full function of my hand yet, and the roof of my mouth on the left side was tingling.
My first thought was a stroke. I looked on the laptop for confirmation before calling PromptCare. Of course, I was told to call an ambulance for immediate transfer to the ER. (Yeahh, right.... obviously they didn't know me very well.) After some deliberation, Steve took me to the ER. I waited several hours before I was finally seen by a doctor, given 3 MRIs, and had several vials of blood taken. It was about 10:00pm before we left the ER that evening. All feeling and function was back in my hand and arm. There was no weakness or residual problems anywhere. The MRIs came back fine. The doctors all agreed it had most likely been a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or "mini-stroke". In addition, the most reasonable reason for the episode was likely a medication I had been taking for the last 3 months. However, due to my family history of TIA and strokes, I need to have more testing of my heart and cholesterol in the coming weeks. For now, I have stopped taking the (possibly) offending medication, started taking a baby aspirin daily, and have had to totally rely on my Heavenly Father for all of the anxiety I feel about this and any possible future episodes.
Philippians 3:6,7 " Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Though it was a frightening episode and the implications are still not clear, I have so much to be thankful about: It didn't happen just a short while sooner while I was driving with Maimie in the car. It didn't happen while we were without health insurance ( the card was issued on the 18th and the episode occurred on the 20th). There was no residual damage. I was at home-not in public. I didn't actually black out (which would have meant no driving for awhile). God is good.