The last weekend of January, right after I put the finishing touches to this posting, I began to experience something very unusual. You see, I have been in relatively good health, with the exception of acute hypertension that I routinely ignored. But this was something rather alarming as my entire right side of my body became numb. No feeling whatsoever from my head down my torso, my whole right arm, and my right leg. This was a little alarming, and I called down to my room-mate telling him that something was wrong. “What’s wrong?” he asked, and I responded: “I think I’m having a Stroke…”
I was able to make it down the stairs of my home, slip on a coat (this was January in Connecticut after all), and with a little help, climb into the passenger seat of my Envoy. We headed off to a smaller community hospital in Manchester, Connecticut, and arrived at the Emergency Center some fifteen to twenty minutes later. Don, my room-mate by the way, was an absolute nervous wreck, puffing away on one cigarette after another all the way to the hospital. Once there, I was able to to walk into the Emergency Entrance, and take a seat at the front desk. By this time, I was starting to go in and out of conciseness, but I do remember the nurse at the desk get on the intercom and state the following: “Stroke Emergency!”
I was pretty much out of it by then, but according to Don, I was rushed into a waiting room along with eight to ten people surrounding me, and they proceeded to monitor vital signs, hooking up intravenous lines, and connecting me with various electronic cardiovascular monitors. I was in and out of consciousnesses while I was shuttled around the hospital for the taking of x-rays, and being scanned with the latest MRI equipment. Apparently, there was a blood clot within my brain causing the stroke, and the team at the Hospital was able to break it up using an experimental procedure. However, as a precaution, I was transported to Hartford Hospital in case there were complications.
The next thing I remember was waking up in my own hospital room with what seemed like a dozen tubes connected to various parts of my body, including a couple of what can only be described as airbags that inflated and deflated on my lower legs. There was an electronic cardiogram machine that systematically took my blood pressure readings, and promptly sounded an alarm if the readings were too high (which seem to happen consistently). Various drugs were tried, and the machines were kept quiet, at least for a few hours. Most of the day on Monday was spent drifting in and out of consciousnesses, with the occasional blaring of the electronic nanny.
A funny thing though, I was starting to get stronger by the evening, and was able to eat something solid by dinnertime. Still, I wasn’t ready to run marathons yet, and there was still a few tests that the doctors wanted to perform, commencing on Tuesday morning. The medication was once again altered, and by the afternoon, they wanted to see if I was mobile. To their surprise, I was able to walk, and I even ventured up and down a set of (fake) stairs. I had a real lunch and dinner, and was transferred off the emergency ward Tuesday night.
By Wednesday afternoon, I was released from the hospital. Don picked me up with the Envoy that afternoon, and I was at home by 5:00. We had no foodstuffs at the house, and I had to fill my five or so prescriptions, and I said I wanted to get out to the stores. Good thing I did because that Friday, the Northeast was hit with a major blizzard (We received around four feet of snow on Friday and Saturday). Yes, I helped clear the snow over the weekend…
So, I’m now on the road to recovery. Am I 100%? Hell no, but I am back to work, and I am going through physical rehabilitation. I get easily fatigued now, and my blood pressure remains dangerously high (My Doctor is constantly adjusting drug dosages and it is much lower that it has been), and my penmanship really sucks right now, but I am making progress. I expect to be 95% by Summer…
There is just one thing I want to make crystal clear… If you feel anything that isn’t quite right with your body, don’t leave it to chance. If I didn’t make the decision to get to the Hospital when I did, there might be the possibility of things ending differently. Take care of yourself… there are people depending on you. By the way, thanks for your your warm wishes… I means a lot to me.