Have you ever stared into a bright light? If you have, do you know the colorful spots you see when you look away? That's how my morning started out yesterday. I was sorting through clean laundry before getting the boys up and moving when I noticed colorful spots kind of swirling around in my left peripheral. I thought maybe it was just another crazy pregnancy side effect and kept at what I was doing. I got the boys up..teeth brushed..fed them breakfast and even packed Calix's lunch with these swirling spots in my vision. I thought I was going blind. I sat at the computer and tried to look up what was going on to see if I could get an idea. And then? My left hand went numb. Oh, no. I remember now. So I pulled up a blog entry of mine from October 30, 2006..when I was 21 weeks pregnant with Maddox. And sure enough, just like my blog described..then the left side of my face went numb. I happened to have been eating oatmeal at the time and dribbled some on my face. I tried to wipe it off but could not feel my hand..or my face..so it was pretty pointless (and frustrating). My lips went numb..my tongue went numb. I called Orion who'd already left for work. He wasn't answering. I called again. I left messages. I texted him multiple times. SURELY he feels his phone vibrating like crazy! SURELY he knows *something* has to be wrong! I *never* bother him like this unless something is urgent.
I thought I should call 911. But it was 7am and Calix had to be at school in about 30 minutes. And what do I DO with both of my children in the ER if I do call anyway? I can't babysit them when I'm the one needing to be looked after..and my husband ISN'T answering his phone so I can't even confirm with him that, hey..I'm going to the hospital..meet me there and handle the kids. I was scared. I was crying. I was getting more and more confused by the second. Maybe I can drop him off and drive myself to the hospital? I could barely see and feel half of my body and this is what I was thinking. It wasn't logical. I know this.
These are the texts I left him:
6:20 - There's something weird going on with my vision
Side of left eye
It's like a swirl of colors
Kind of like if you stare at a bright light or something then pull away
6:21 - and you have that jumbled colors feeling
That's what's going on..just on the side of my left eye
And I didn't stare into any lights
6:44 - Orion
Left hand is numb
I'm scared that I'm having another TIA attack thing
6:45 - Orion
Do you even have your phone??
6:56 - Call 911.
I have to take calix to sdchool (yes, I'm aware that is spelled incorrectly..but that's how it looked in my text. my fingers felt fat and heavy and kept slapping the wrong keys)
I don't remember asking you what you have to do. If it's a TIA attack, then call the hospital.
I'll take calix to school then go to the er I guess
Are you trying to be stupid on purpose or on accident?
I am on the way.
And the answer to his question was, of course, that I was NOT trying to be stupid on purpose. Nothing made sense to me. I was just trying to go about my morning..get my kids taken care of and THEN get me taken care of. It isn't logical. I know. There's just no way to make any of that make sense. It was stupid..I knew it was stupid..but at the same time, I wanted to be normal. Does that make sense?
By the time he got to me, the numbness had gone away..as had the color swirls..but I still felt out of it and I still couldn't verbalize what I was thinking (which happened to me in a worse way later on in the day. The words strung together and made sentences in my head..but by the time they got to my mouth, I couldn't remember..or form..any of those words. So all I would end up saying is "I don't remember what I was going to say" and I felt SO dumb because of it). Names blurred together and didn't feel like these peoples' correct names (like Rachel Ray. I thought there was no way that was her name. It didn't even SOUND like it could ever be her name..and how come this magazine says Rachel Ray under all of her pictures?!? People are stupid..they don't even know who this lady is!). He dropped me at the emergency room door and went to go find parking while I tried to convince my legs with all of my brainpower that they work. Wobbly legs..shuffling into the ER to check in. It's a horrible feeling to know that NORMALLY you can make your body do these things..and here it is, acting like it can't.
I sat and stifled tears while I was checked in. I tried to act stronger than I felt. I tried to joke with the guy who did my initial screening thing. The usual long wait in the waiting room was cut down to about 5 minutes. We were called back..I was put into a hospital gown and apologized to an angry with me Orion for not calling 911. He still didn't get it. I wasn't being dumb on purpose. I just wasn't all the way there mentally and needed a decision maker for me. He's the one I run to in situations like that. That's really how simple it was. But..he was angry. He was angry because he needs me. The boys need me. If he was NOT able to get to me and I still didn't call 911 and I died out of stubbornness and took Kaydence along with me..he wouldn't be able to forgive me. He was angry because he loves me and doesn't want to lose me. It's really as simple as that. It's just hard to have the one person you want a hug from..and told everything will be okay..be so upset with you. I know. I know. I'm sorry.
The migraine that comes with the numbness and vision issues had shown up. Maddox turned my lights out and I was given Tylenol. I had to recite what had happened 3 times..to 3 different people. I had to go over my history with this thing (as in..I'd had it happen once before 4 years ago when I was exactly as far along with my Maddox pregnancy. They thought maybe it was TIA (a mini stroke)..I'd had 2 CT scans done WHILE I was pregnant with this child and after months of not really knowing what it was that had actually happened, was told it was a "complex migraine"..without any information about the thing. It felt like it was just a 'here take this diagnosis. We're not really sure what's wrong with you..so uh..have this instead'). Around 9:30, they'd come back and confirmed that it was indeed..a complex migraine and that because I've already had one while pregnant, those parts of my brain were already open and ready to be given the chance again. Or something. And because I'm pregnant NOW, they just may be more susceptible to happening because of the hormone changes..or..something along those lines. What he said made sense. What he said was detailed and made us feel better than the simple University of Louisville diagnosis of "complex migraine". At least now we KNOW what they are (ish..) and now we KNOW we don't have to rush back to the hospital with each one. They see this all the time..it's a total classic case of a complex migraine.
I was told what to look out for (because these are similar to mini strokes..mini strokes just last longer) in the future. I was told to take some Tylenol and lay down in a dark room when these things happen. After the doctor had left and I was told I could put my clothes back on, Orion came over to me and gave me a long and deep hug. The one I had needed all morning.
And then we went out to a late breakfast at the bowling alley..because that's just what classy folk do.