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On Friday, October 7, Bob and I began the morning having coffee and visiting with each other. He shared that he'd had several dizzy spells, fuzzy vision and vertigo the previous evening(Thursday)...which he just attributed to some medications he had just started. Later that morning, Bob shared that he was experiencing a sudden severe headache. When asked, he rated his headache as a 10 on a scale of 10. If you know Bob, you know that the pain has to be bad for him to even acknowledge it....so we headed to the ER.
When we got to the ER, the Dr.'s initial thought was that Bob could be experiencing a migraine. One thing bothered the Dr,: Bob did not have a history of headaches much less migraines. The Dr. was puzzled...apparently one doesn't suddenly develop migraines when in their late 50's. Bob's pain was managed and two CT's were performed, one without contrast and one with contrast.
We were told that both had come back clean, with no evidence of a brain bleed or other issues. We were told that these tests, in combination, were 96% conclusive. To have 100% certainty, a spinal tap could be performed. The second shift Dr. also shared that he would council his family to be confident in the two scans. We accepted his conclusions and decided not to have the spinal tap. The Dr. said that he was okay with that choice. Bob was released.
Bob's condition had continued to deteriorate throughout the night. Gravely concerned for his well being, an ambulance was called Saturday morning. By the time EMT's arrived, Bob couldn't stand or walk and he couldn't talk.
We returned to the ER where an additional (third) CT was eventually conducted. Bob was diagnosed has having had a stroke.
We ultimately learned that a mistake had been made. One of the CT's which had been conducted on the previous day had shown a blood clot and restricted blood flow to the brain. The third CT now showed damage.
Another Knoxville hospital, which holds Comprehensive Stroke Center certified and has reputation as being one of the best in the country, was advised of Bob's status and agreed to treat him. Bob was transferred. A neurologist and an interventional radiologist were standing by and used a micro-catheter to remove a 3cm blood clot from the base of his head. Once blood flow was restored to the brain, Bob began to show some improvement.