Bridget Adams

First post: Feb 6, 2019 Latest post: Feb 26, 2019

On Jan 28, 2019, I got up early to leave by 4:30 am, to take Nate to the airport for a training he was doing in DC.  I got home around 5:15am and went back to bed for about 45 min.  Around 6 am, I logged in to work from home.  I made myself some coffee and settled into my work from home routine.  Shortly after 8:00 am, my left arm started feeling heavy and Iike it had "fallen asleep".  I wondered if it was just the way I was sitting, but while moving around, I noticed my left leg was feeling heavy, too.  I stood up, took a few steps and fell from the weakness in the left leg.  I started to get a little concerned, but again, figured it was a pinched nerve or something due to my sitting position. I called Dustin to see if he could take me to the hospital if necessary, but he had been really sick, himself, and while talking to him, all my symptoms resolved.  It obviously wasn't a stroke, then.  I sat back down to work and the weakness returned.  I got up and walked a little further this time before falling again.  This time I had to roll back to where my phone was located.  I couldn't pull myself up at all.  I called Carrie to see if I was over reacting.  She agreed I should be worried.  I hung up and called 911.  About 15 minutes later (thanks to slick roads), the NLFD and JCEMS showed up.  When they got there, my symptoms had resolved AGAIN!  I felt pretty silly. They checked me over and asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital for a head CT.  I declined to go, because obviously this was not a stroke.  Symptoms coming and going?  No headache?  Nothing seemingly "off" in my brain?  Maybe 20 minutes after they left, symptoms came back.  I happened to be drinking a glass of water and when I took a drink, my left face felt like it was numb and tingling, like after novacaine at the dentist.  At that point, I knew I made a mistake not going to the ER.  I called 911 again.  I walked, with help to the ambulance, and even the paramedics thought this was a pinched nerve situation.  But...a few miles down the road, the facial droop was setting in, so they flipped on the lights and sirens and IV was started so if this was the right kind of stroke, tPA, a potent clot busting drug, which as I mentioned has incredible results for those who receive it in that critical 4 hour window from onset, could be quickly administered.  However, that drug is not without risks.  7% of patients have complications.  Ok...that's still not a high risk, but 50% of those who have complications die from them.  Up until those stats were given to me, I hadn't even considered that this might result in my death.  I was terrified signing the consent form for the tPA, but as long as I didn't have internal bleeding, and it was an unconfirmed, but an apparent stroke, this was definitely the way to go.  No regrets now, but whew!  Scary!   
So...I hope hearing my experience will help any of you or someone you know, if ever found in this confusing, unfortunate situation.  DO NOT WAIT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL.  If you have weakness and numbness on one side of the body, even if it is coming and going, go in for treatment. Immediately!