Ah, if only I HAD been drinking!

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.


for a stiff drink, I say. Hopefully the next incident will be because of it.

People die from stroke. If you ever feel or are told you are having stroke like symptoms call an ambulance. Don't go to the hospital (unless you live next door) but call an ambulance and have them come see you.

Pre-hospital treatment for what is sometimes termed 'brain attack' can begin as soon as the paramedics see you.

First they will stick you on a EKG to make sure it is not your heart doing whacky things and causing your symptoms, then they can deal with any hypertension, they will start a line and follow their pre-hospital protocols for anyone exhibiting stroke like symptoms.

There are four levels of 'need' for care in an ER: Routine, non-urgent, urgent, and emergent. Any stroke symptom is emergent. It gets no more serious than that. Somebody doing CPR on you at home - you are probably going to die, but it is still an emergency. Stroke symptoms - as deadly but there is an effective treatment for ischemic stroke (the same drug they have used for heart attacks to clear blocked coronary vessels for years) However in heart attack where time is cardic muscle in an ischemic stroke time is brain cells.

When you get to the ER - and believe me they will use the lights and sirens- they will run some labs and bang you into CT so fast your head will spin (it probably already is) if you have ischemic stroke - a blockage- they will bust the clot with drugs.

Patients with ischemic stroke who are treated with these protocols within 2 hours go home an average of five weeks earlier than patients who are given the same treatment more than two hours after onset of symptoms. Studies are showing that each six minute delay means another day in rehabilitation.

Learn the signs strokeassociation.org> If you have them call 911 or an ambulance now, before you stroke out and die.

There are advances in non-ischemic stroke (bleeds) and time is of the essence in any insult to the brain. Save time, save your life.

If you have any questions about stroke, ask an RN, ask a libriaian or ask me. I am both.

Yes, I think you had a TIA, but the MRI and MRAngio seem like great idea.

If you -or anyone else reading this- ever notice the signs of stroke call an ambulance. Don't call your husband, your doctor, your priest, or anyone else. If you ignore the warning signs of a stroke you will die. Soon.

I may be an opinionated SOB but I'd rather have every library put porn in the children's department than someone neglect their health. Emergency healthcare is guaranteed to everyone- not just citizens, not just the employed, not just rich folks, but everyone in the US- by law. Hospital administrators and bean counters may care about your payment or insurance, but trust me the doctors and nurses in the ER only want you well.


Thank you. I needed to hear that. For as often as I see doctors, I neglect my health a lot. I tend to only want to see them as a last resort. I would feel like a real tool calling an ambulance for something that really did only last a minute, two at the most, but to hear you say it, Matthew, as a nurse, means a lot. So rest assured, should it happen again, I will be calling the paramedics. (Interesting I'm such a dork when it comes to doctors... my dad was a paramedic in his younger days).

Also from what I'm reading, I am guessing I should most likely prepare for this to happen again. I hope it doesn't (oh god, I hope it doesn't). And if it does happen, I hope it's another TIA, and not a big one.

It's scary. I know of two young people in the past two years that have had full blown strokes... One with a good outcome, one not so good... I just didn't think I'd be a candidate for number three.

I haven't told my mom yet.

Never too young - almost lost my daughter (6 years old) from stroke.

Your mum isn't going to kill you - but the guilt will make you wish she had.

Tqft, ouch... Hope your little one has made a good recovery.

I did finally tell my mom on Saturday. She took it pretty well (although, as expected, dad took it better. I know they both were worried, but mom's so much more verbal about it.)

Off to the MRI on Sunday. My lovely insurance will not approve the MRA until the MRI comes back. From what I can tell, they don't care so much how it comes back, they just don't want doctors ordering the tests at the same time. Gotta love HMOs.

My best wishes to your daughter.

How ya doin shoe? We worry when we don't hear.