So Thursday AM, awoke with a weird, rushing sound in right ear and a change in hearing I couldn’t quite label. Speaking on the phone later that day, I realized I was lisping, and when I tried to correct it … I couldn’t.
But by Friday, though the hearing hadn’t improved the lisp had, so even though I suspected I’d had a TIA, it was so cold out and I hate the emergency room so much, I didn’t do anything. Saturday afternoon I was still worried, so I rallied courage to go to a local walk-in health center.
They were busy, so I saw a PA, who agreed it might have been a stroke, and since they didn’t have imaging equipment, recommended I go to an ER.
But when the PA saw the EKG, or ECG as they now call it, she told me I was having a severe, extensive heart attack (!) and called an ambulance. I remained calm, just trying to make sense of the whole thing.
The two stocky, competent-looking EMT’s took a look at the same ECG and said: “You’re not having a heart attack!” They told me how much experience they’d had and it was a lot! I believed them. In the ambulance, they gave me another ECG and … no heart attack. Lots of relief and laughter followed.
In the ER … oh look, I’m not going into all this — I’ll just say that after a CT scan I was admitted into the hospital at 5 AM because they found a small lesion. I was happy to have a better bed and some food, and to catch a couple of hours of sleep.
Doctors and nurses came and went, all doing the same things — I’m sure you know the routine — and they requested a second CT scan with dye to have a better look at the lesion. The head of the unit came to see me early Sunday AM and said they wanted to observe me for 24 hrs.
But in fact, they discharged me towards evening — they hadn’t found anything and the 2nd CT scan with dye showed there was nothing to worry about re the lesion. They still don’t know what happened — why the sudden hearing loss and lisping.
I probably had some kind of small stroke and if I’d come in right away they might have I.D.’d it. On the plus side, I saw a wonderful doctor who spent 1 hour with me (yes, 1 hour!) and gave me all sorts of hope and courage. He’s affiliated with my PCP, so I won’t lose track of him.
Life. You never know. I guess I feel lucky — well maybe not just yet, but I’m on my way to gratitude.