October 26, 2009

different strokes...

so there could be so many titles for this post-- WTF, or OMG, or why me?!?, or numbers:

40: my age, as of the end of May

5: the number of medical appointments I've had in the last couple weeks

22: the total number of vials of blood I had drawn earlier today (it really wasn't as bad as it sounds; most of them were pretty small!)

2: the number of CT scans I've had in the last two weeks

1: the number of strokes I've had (yes, I said stroke!) that caused all these other numbers

0: number of chances I thought I was actually having a stroke, while it was occurring

24: percent of women who will have a repeat stroke within the next 5 years

so, what happened, do you ask?? Well, it's like this: While we were at the art opening a couple weeks ago, I started to not feel well... the classic (I've come to find out) symptoms-- sudden numbness in my arm and hand (I couldn't pick up the glass I wanted to get), slurred speech, loss of coordination (I felt like I was walking crooked), and a bit of nausea. And what did I do when this happened?? I NEVER thought I was having a stroke, that's for sure... I hadn't eaten much that day, and it had been about 8 hours since lunch, so I figured it was because I needed something to eat. So, we came home, I made myself a bowl of soup, and laid down on the couch. The numbness and slurred speech went away after an hour or two, and it took a couple days to really start feeling myself again.

I WAS SO LUCKY!!! (and stupid--yes, I was extremely stupid not to think it could have been anything really serious.) My symptoms went away, but if they hadn't, I would only have had a couple hours to get the clot-busting drugs that could have reversed the damage...

3: the minimum number of times per week I want to go to the health club or do some sort of exercise (more is better)-- I'm keeping track, and I think I'll bribe myself by buying something if I can stick to it for a couple months.

50-60: the number of pounds I really need to lose to get back to a healthy weight

below 200: the number my cholesterol level should be-- I don't know what it is now, but I know it's too high, and the good/bad cholesterol is all messed up

never: times I thought my unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle would actually cause me real, physical harm... distress when trying on clothes, perhaps, but that's all... talk about learning the hard way!

NEVER: the chance that I want this to happen again, so I will do whatever I can to prevent it... it will be hard, I know, but I like my brain working just the way it is!! (So, as a public service announcement: don't be as stupid as me; if you have any of those symptoms, no matter what your age, please go to the ER, just in case!)


Kelly Kilmer said...

I'm so glad you're okay...scary...thanks for the reminder!!!!

WI sister said...

glad you're ok....how about an exercise challenge? it would keep me honest! 3 days/week-WE CAN DO IT!

thekathrynwheel said...

Oh my goodness, I have just returned from my hols and read this. What a shock for you. Hope you are feeling much better. It is very easy to overlook symptoms and try to carry on but listen to your body - it's telling you something. I know that in the UK the advice for strokes has changed in recent years. At one time it was thought that nothing could be done but there has been a big advertising campaign here to encourage people to seek immediate attention. Seems that there is something that can be done. Good luck to you x