Sep 13, 2015

The stroke scare

I don’t know if there will be a posting today. My mind is foggy and my brain is exhausted. I am extremely tired. I will make a start here and see how long I last.

Thursday afternoon I found myself standing in my grocery store not understanding my shopping list. I read the words but I couldn’t make sense of them. And I didn’t find my way around in my cell. Josephine, who always does the shopping with me and didn’t recognize my behavior, drove me to the ER. Trouble 2 and Audrey met up with us there.

Many hours were spent there with my foggy brain. I know nurses and doctors were talking to me, so did Trouble 2 and Audrey, and I was made aware of that I did not remember what I said. I was repeating myself. They say I was even repeating myself to the point and literary. And although I was never unconscious or passed out, I felt like I had been gone and out. Or as I had done an over seas flight, waking up in a different time zone.

I was admitted to the neurology ward in wait for a CT, and Trouble 2 and Audrey left me there at midnight. Now that’s a trauma by itself, as I have spent time at the hospital in tremendously traumatic and stressful situations. I hate the hospital. Just driving by it triggers anxiety. And there I was, with an IV on my right hand,  shivering under many blankets in hospital clothes with a brain I didn’t recognize. It was extremely scary.

I got myself through the night with thinking I am lucky to live in a city with a big university hospital known for it’s stroke competence, and the CT was done in the morning. Trouble 2 was back a bit later and Trouble 1 joined us at noon. I was very tired. Hazy. But grateful my sons were with me.

In the afternoon a doctor examined me, ran tests, and the CT results were back. There were no signs of stroke, TIA or tumors. My labs were basically OK with a couple of small question marks. Trouble 2 was thoroughly questioned by the doctor, as he was the one being with me during the ER hours, able to testify he didn’t recognize his mothers behavior.

Between the three of us we narrowed down some factors which might be causing the episode. 

My life is my life. It’s normal to me, but the doctor summing it up meant I have an extremely stressful situation. I am also about to loose my counselor, a warm and loving woman who has been my main support and anchor for nine years. During the summer I have been phasing out one of my medicines, and it might be that right now is when the substance has fully gone out of my system.

During the night before this episode I had an absolutely horrible night mare. I was brutally and repeatedly stabbed to death with a dagger. In my grocery store, leaning against the cart, I felt like fragments of this dream were floating up. I couldn’t get a hold of it, but it was like me and my brain were occupied by something. The dream can be caused by the lack of medicine.

Putting together all these factor it might be that I was having a low intense and protracted panic attack. 

I am back home now, incredibly grateful about the fact that I don’t have any kind of brain damage, although it feels that way. I am exhausted, my head is not clear, I feel like my brain is lagging. I woke up this morning after a night full of dreams (although not that violent) a cloud of dream experiences above my head, feeling like if I only could pull them down and watch them it would clarify my head and I could get out of this fog. I also have a sense of jabbering a lot these past days, which I have.

Hopefully I will recover from this although I imagine it will take some time. But what really leaves me in despair is my life situation. Having it pointed out by someone looking for plausible reason for a confuse episode, makes me see it from outside and it just grabs me. And I can feel panicky glimpses from under neath. Because there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. 

My back problems, the pain and my restricted life depending on other people is what it is and will always be there. This summer my left foot has collapsed, I need special souls and shoes costing a lot of money (not to talk about the grief of all my favorite shoes I can’t wear anymore), it hurts and I have now trouble walking even between my couch and bath room. And loosing my counselor will happen. I will have to learn to live without the only person always being there.

Accepting? Yes. Coping? Yes. I do all those things. I am good at it. And my gratitude for being back home with only a scare of stroke is profound. But it might be there is a limit to what a human being can control with different strategies. And maybe I am there now. 

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