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A Stroke of Bad Luck

I reach down and ran my hand along my calf. I should have shaved my legs that day.

The funny things you think about when you’re sitting in a hospital gown waiting for a CT scan to find out if you’ve really had a stroke.

I can tell you the upcoming mortgage payment or the garage that needs organizing did not cross my mind.

My daughter wasn’t home that afternoon I left to go to the doctor’s office to get a simple flu shot. She was at her friend’s house.

It wasn’t supposed to be a big deal anyway. It was just a flu shot.

I lay on the table under the CT scanner wondering what the technician was seeing. Praying there was no damage, all I could think about was, I didn’t kiss my daughter goodbye. My sons, daughter-in-law and grandkids didn’t know this was happening to me.

I had to stop myself from thinking I may never see them again.

I had kissed my daughter goodbye that morning thinking I would see her at supper. I never dreamed it could be our last time seeing each other. Laying in that machine I was thinking I should have held her tighter. I should have talked more. I should have made eye contact when I told her I loved her. I wouldn’t have just said it on the fly.

Funny things you think about when you’re sitting in a hospital gown waiting to find out if you’ve had a stroke.

I was wheeled into a hospital room with three other ladies.

The lady in the bed across from me tells me she has cancerous tumours throughout her body. She has a 19-year-old daughter, a year younger than mine. Her daughter came every day and sat with her. When she left, the lady spent the evening writing birthday cards and letters for all the occasions she knew she was going to miss. In between stuffing envelopes, she was throwing up and crying.

The funny things you do when you’re sitting in a hospital waiting to die.

By the second day, I had read my second book. I had binged watched a series on Netflix and finished a movie at 4 AM. Sleeping in the hospital is impossible with the sound of the machines and moans from other patients.

I can still taste the smell of disinfectant mixed with bodily fluids in the back of my throat when I think about it.

Every time I thought of my children I started to cry. So, I searched for another Netflix movie.

The funny things your brain will do to distract you from thinking about those you love.

On the fourth day in the hospital the nurse unhooked me from the cardiogram machine, and I was allowed to get a shower.

Coming back to some degree of normalcy lifted my spirits. Afterwards I tried to plug in my hairdryer, but the plug in the bathroom is for razors only. Hospital rooms much like hotel rooms are not made for women. They are made from men.

The things that piss you off when you’re stuck in a hospital bed waiting to find out if you’ve had a stroke.

It was the weirdest thing. I had a pain in my left jaw. It felt like a toothache. I had a dull headache, but doesn’t everyone? The left side of my face felt numb, like it was asleep. My neck hurt but it always did. I didn’t have any numbness or weakness down the left side of my body. I was a little confused but thought I was only tired.

My plan was to get my flu shot and go home, take an Advil and nap for an hour. The plan could have killed me.

Funny things women will put off until they have everything done for everyone else.

The stroke of good luck came when my husband picked me up to go to get our flu shots. I told him about the headache and jaw pain. He told me the left side of my face had drooped but I couldn’t see it. He told me to mention it to our doctor. I told him he was crazy.

The doctor took one look at me, checked me over and said, “Take her to Emergency. She’s having a stroke.”

I didn’t believe it.

The CT scans proved me wrong.

Men and women often feel similar symptoms such as face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty. Other common signs include problems seeing out of one or both eyes and balance or coordination problems. But some women have symptoms subtle enough to be missed or brushed off. That can lead to delays in getting time-sensitive, lifesaving treatments.

Additional Symptoms in Women include: General weakness Disorientation and confusion or memory problems Fatigue Nausea or vomiting

The funny things women pass off as everyday annoyances that could lead to their deaths.

My advice is, listen to your body, listen to those around you. I would hate to think of what would have happened if I went home and lay down like I planned.

What I didn’t know was if you get to the hospital within four hours of having a stroke, the doctors can stop it and save your life.

It’s better to be safe that sorry. Don’t let those funny things be your stroke of bad luck.

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