Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Trip to the Hospital

I was visiting with a friend today because she'd had to go in for an emergency appendectomy the night before. We were sitting around nice and comfortable play games on our computers when there came a point in the banter where I had something to say. Only I couldn't get it out. I couldn't make my tongue work right. It felt all fat on the left side and the left side of my face felt funny, kinda numb. I tried really hard but I couldn't talk right. My friends got concerned and we all tried to see what was wrong. I was graced by my Poppa to have these friends around me; they both have good instincts and calm heads on their shoulders. We quickly decided to call 911. None of us said anything but we all were thinking stroke. Strokes run in my family and I have had blood clot issues and physiological reasons to have a stroke. It was only a small surprise and mostly because I felt nothing happen. There was no pain of any kind -- only my tongue felt thick and unmanageable. My tongue, unmanageable -- go figure!

I've kinda been here before. 2-1/2 years ago I had blood clots in my legs that's ad broken off and gone to live in my lungs. I took a trip in an ambulance to the ER then, too.

On the way in to the hospital today, my tongue began to come back to me. It still isn't 100% now 9 hours later but it's nearly cleared up. The ER people were great! They were quick efficient and treated me very well. When they ran an electrocardiogram (ECG) it was determined i had atrial fibrillation or Afib. Afib is a condition where the top portion of the heart just quivers like jello and doesn't really pump blood. Because it isn't pimping blood, blood clots can form and cam then travel to the brain when the heart finally starts pumping again. They took me to a CT scan which showed some minor stroke in my cerebellum, the backside of my brain, but that didn't correspond to my symptoms. The current thinking is I have had at least a couple of small strokes. I have been admitted and have had an MRI of my head and an ultrasound of my legs and carotid arteries. They've found clots in both legs. Tomorrow they will do an echo cardio gram (EKG). I am feeling ok. A little unsure of myself and more than a little scared at times.

[--- The next morning ---]

Last night I was a little flip and not quite clinical when I was writing. I was [am] trying to keep from being overwhelmed by what has happened. I knew it was some kind of stroke. It scared me a lot. It scared me because I thought... was terribly afraid I would have to go through this alone. I am very aware of not having a partner to lean on. Being alone this way feels very much like shooting unknown rapids all by yourself.

Except I have been gently and lovingly wrapped in the arms of my new family. My Second Daughter, Debra, came as soon as she could and stayed the night with me. I look over by the window where she slept, where she is playing on her 'puter and she has never looked so beautiful to my eyes! Or warmed my heart more with her love. And my other friends! Lisa and Staxx took great care of me when his all started [damn lacrimal glands are malfunctioning again!]. Lisa and her husband took care of the home front and Xena. Staxx was critical with her observations and reporting to the ER team and did a great deal of the calling of my friends and family. Stax stayed with me til late last night.

And, Oh! did my family turn out! I have seen or heard very little of my brothers or their families since I came out. But both of my brothers were here and loved me. My sisters-in-law both told me they wanted to see more of me.

But the biggest thing for me with my blood family was my ex (and I hate calling her that) and my First Daughter came with their love. I have not seen my First Daughter, my Pride and Joy, since the summer of 2010. We've only recently begun to come back together. She was nervous and uncomfortable being here in the hospital. Seeing her Dad that now lives as a woman in a hospital gown. Seeing her Dad who had had a stroke. But she hugged me and she loved me. I so needed that!

So Poppa has gently led me to know that I am not ever alone. And He made me know that I am deeply and widely loved. Now, if I can only manage to remember that and rest in His Love ...

- Shannon Tucker
"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are."
e. e. cummings

Location:Issaquah, Washington

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