Had a big surprise over the week-end. Thought I was flying to San Francisco early Friday morning to spend a week with my daughter's family, make a visit to Madera to see the Schoettler's and also have good visits with dear friends. Instead I was at Suburban Hospital being evaluated for a possible stroke.
Thanks to all who sent me good wishes while this was going on. I appreciated hearing from you. Writing now to tell you what happened -
Friday morning I woke up early. Bags were packed and ready to go. Just had to dress and pick up the last minute bits in time for the "pick-up". Instead, when I stood up from my bed my head was spinning and I could hardly walk across the room. I assured my self it would "clear-up" so took a very un-stable shower and gradually realized this was not going to clear up. And, I know enough about medicine - from my long-ago nurses training and living with Jim for 58 years - to know what this symptom might mean.
I called the "on-call" in my doctor's medical practice. When he called back he told me "you are not going anywhere but the hospital." Fortunately the limo to pick me up was already on the way. When I called my son I told him to meet me at the hospital. When the limo arrived we re-routed to Suburban Hospital. Everything was working out - except that Jim was not with us. I tell you that part was really hard. He is my first-choice doctor.
Fortunately for me or anyone arriving at 6:30 am with possible stroke symptoms Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD is now associated with NIH and Johns Hopkins Hospital and it is deemed their "stroke center." I was taken right in. Within 30 minutes I was checked over, had IVs inserted in my arm, and found myself in one of those very tight MRI tubes for a scan of my brain. Let me tell you I hate all that stuff -
Anyway -the brain scan was clear - no evidence of a stroke. But they questioned whether I had had a TIA - which is a warning sign that I could have a stroke - sometime. As a result they decided I should stay over-night in a "WATCHING" ward. In this ward they wire you up for the heart monitor and draw blood samples every six hours looking for any indication you have had a heart "blip". AND - you are tucked in on the most ghastly bed I have ever tried to sleep in - ever.
My family came in shifts until 10 PM when I said, "please go home." And then, since all hospitals have Wi FI these days, I watched Net Flix movies on my iPad until I went to sleep. Believe it or not I did sleep, even with noises in the halls and people coming in an out to take blood and check on me.
Yesterday, mid-day, I came home with Medicines to take, "doctors orders," and things to think about. I will see a Neurologist for follow-up asap next week.
Now what? I wonder.
Well, for sure, some reevaluating of what I am doing. I heard Wayne Dyer say this morning that Carl Jung said " we are all doomed to making choices."
By that I mean - - this scary thing was a wake-up call for me - a reality check. None of us have all the time in the world - at 77 a lot of my time has already been used.
How am I using my time these days? I had started this kind of thinking when I did the recent TEDxTalk - "Your Story is your Legacy". I have been asking myself, "Am I telling the story that means the most to me?"
Then I attended a storytelling workshop led by Donald Davis last week-end and voila - out came a story I want and need to tell - for myself and for my family. Its a long-time love story. Anybody can listen - if they want to - but it will be for my children.
My tough choices will come as I decide what I have to jettison from my list to give the new story the priority I mean for it to have. More will be revealed.
Posted by ELLOUISESTORY