It was 10 pm on February 28th, 2020. I was in bed catching up on my favorite shows such as This is Us, and Blue Bloods. I went to the bathroom because I felt a funny feeling on my face. As I was brushing my teeth for the night, I looked into the mirror and noticed the entire right side of my face was swollen and very droopy. The feeling was so bizarre because it happened while I was in bed. I ran downstairs to Nick, and I asked him what the heck this could be. Nick was like, “we have to go to the hospital, I think you’re having a stroke”. I’m like a stroke at my age? No way!!! I said could it be allergies to something? He said we didn’t eat anything different. I said to him “ Let me sleep on it.” So I slept on it. Maybe the swelling and droop will go away in the morning. Of course, Nick was very mad at me and didn’t talk to me until the next day. The next day I woke up and ran downstairs for Nick not realizing he was at work. I don’t like to bother Nick at work unless it is a dire emergency. So I waited until he was on break. I explained to him my lip is extremely swollen, and that my face is so droopy that I am having trouble speaking and I was drooling! I had to take an Uber to my local emergency room.
The team was incredible. I wanted to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They are truly the best. I thank you for saving my life. They took me immediately and all of a sudden 3 Doctors and 10 Nurses came in. I have never seen so many people in the ED in my life. I was considered a stroke patient. I didn’t even know how to breathe, so the Doctor was telling me to remain calm. I was so scared. I couldn’t speak right and my face kept drooping more. They had to give me something to calm me down through IV. All I remember was a Nurse running like a lunatic while I was on the stretcher to get a CAT SCAN within 2 seconds. Then everyone came back into the room one Nurse was sticking me in my left arm for IV and meds. The other Nurse was doing an EKG on me. Then I had three Doctors talking to me one by one. Then, in came another machine. I had to talk to 2 Doctors on a screen and a woman from the stroke unit at the main hospital. I had to do a bunch of crazy stroke testing. One by one, I completed everything. Boy, that was just by far exhausting. My Cat scan of my brain was normal. You usually cannot detect a lesion (stroke symptoms) on a cat scan. I can’t get an MRI done because I wear a Cochlear Implant on my right ear because I am Deaf, so that’s why the ED had to do the CT SCAN. The Doctor ran all my blood work. Four hours later I am still at the hospital and I was told that I most likely had a Mini Stroke due to my migraines and that they have to transfer me via ambulance to the main hospital where they will admit me. I was told by the ED Doctor that my sugar was normal (because they pricked my finger upon arrival). I do not have diabetes, I do not have high blood pressure, and I also don’t have high cholesterol. All three Doctors and Nurses were baffled because usually one of those causes a Stroke. I explained I had the worst migraines for so long. Finally, I was transferred to the other hospital which was 30 minutes away from where I live. I had to stay for a couple of days for more extensive testing. I was just beyond exhausted. Just when I thought I had been through plenty, this happens out of nowhere. This is a lot to take in all at one time. Days go by and I am finally discharged. I officially had a Mini Stroke after all the testing was completed. I have to take Aspirin for the rest of my life, to prevent another Mini Stroke.
I had a Mini Stroke due to something called a PFO. A PFO is a small hole in my heart which causes strokes and migraines. I have to have the hole in my heart closed, ASAP. But before I can do that I have to have a TEE procedure done and a loop recorder placed. I am currently waiting for insurance to approve both of them.
What a learned from this scary experience was DO NOT WAIT. I got yelled at by the Doctors. They have until 4 hours to give me medication. Waiting over night was a big no no. Yes, I had a great excuse because I was so sick and tired of being in the ED, but this was extreme. Lesson learned. Sometimes we learn the hard way.