Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ischemic Attack!

The word is out on the digital street that I was in the E.R. last night, standing in for George Clooney. That's not entirely accurate.

Last Tuesday I felt a tingling sensation in my right leg, as though my leg were asleep. After a couple of hours the feeling passed. Thursday the sensation returned and covered the entire right side of my body. Friday night I checked my blood pressure and it was high. So Mrs. Islander drove me down to the Island Emergency Room.

Checking into the ER when you don't have a broken limb or gaping wound seems a bit false, as though you are malingering. At those prices, though, it's no joke. I could feel the money flying out of my wallet.

Because the issues involved are your own health and life, yet you spend so much time alone in a strange room, time spent in the ER swings from boring to fascinating. Lying in a bed, connected to different monitors, I couldn't get up and walk around, so I had to devise my own entertainment.

The monitors to which the nurses hooked me up are set to sound an alarm if the patient's bpm drop below 50. I have a normally low resting heart rate (49 beats per minute). After responding to the third alarm, the nurse reset the monitor alarm to 45 bpm.

I laid back, relaxed, and slowed my breathing, timing it to my heartbeats. I dropped my heart rate to 44 bpm and triggered the alarm again.

Good times, good times.

I was given a diagnosis of TIA Transient Ischemic Attack (mini-stroke). A CT scan could see no lesions (brain damage), so I'm doing well so far. (No snide remarks from my siblings--I have doctor's proof of no brain damage. Do you?)

Monday morning I report into my own doctor's office and get an ultrasound of my neck and schedule an MRI.

I'll post more as events warrant. You are free to go about your daily lives.

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