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I was preparing a podcast Tuesday, and noticed, for a fleeting period (seriously less than a minute) that my speech was slurred. My tongue and lips felt about three feet thick, but by the time I was at the end of the thought, it seemed to return to normal. Playing back the section, I noticed it lasted a bit longer than I had realized.
Now, I've slurred before (not because I was drinking either), but it's been associated with extreme tiredness, or a new medication, not just a random hit and run.
A little concerned, I told Mr.Shoe when he got home. He said, "Why the hell didn't you call the doctor?" Aw, c'mon. That would have made sense.
At any rate, yesterday afternoon, about 30 hours after the slurring resolved by itself, I spoke to a medical professional. Instead of the blow off I thought I'd get, I was told in no uncertain terms that I am to report to the ER if it should happen again, and make them see me immediately. I was also told that until the MRI and MRA results come back, I am supposed to take an aspirin every morning.
It's standard outpatient treatment for a TIA (transient ischemic attack). Essentially, they think it may have been a small stroke-like thing that cut off blood flow to a part of my brain. The problem is, there usually isn't any evidence it happened 30 hours after it takes place. Unless the arteries in my head are hard (hence the MRA).
My blood pressure, which normally is low (and I mean low) was borderline high yesterday. It was radically different enough that the nurse commented on it, although the doctor seemed more interested in listening to the blood swish in my head and blinding me with that... blindy stick that they shine in your eyes.
The numbers, if it was a TIA (which they may not know for sure ever, unless, like I said, the MRA shows any weird arteries) are a little disturbing. 20 percent of people have a stroke within two years of having a TIA, almost half of them within two days of it (which I've already passed, thankfully). The good news, at least, is that I don't have that many risk factors for this sort of thing. I am overweight and my family history includes strokes, but I've never been a smoker or drinker. I have good cholesterol and blood pressure, normally (although by all rights, I shouldn't).
So they still don't know really, for sure, what's causing the fatigue and pain, but this might be a clue. It's a big smack in the head, if it's what they think it was... But hoping for a positive outcome.
Aside from the usual, I feel reasonably okay.