The Monday afternoon when things started revealing themselves, there came an admission. My admission to Sharon. I told her that I thought something bad was happening. I told her of my symptoms and I used the “S” word for the first time. The fear that had been solely mine to this point was now shared. I could see it walk across her face and stomp the “everydayness” of the moment right out of her. Her response was immediate and expected. “Let’s go to the emerg” right now!” What does a man who hates going to the doctor say to that? Of course you know! I told her the plan was to go to the emergency in the morning. It was a very un-Christmas like silent night.
After the night of somber second thought, the morning of discovery came. For some reason, Sharon didn’t want me to drive to emerge on my own. My constant companion of 30 plus years had to come with me to find out what was going on. More evidence had arrived on Tuesday morning. Weakness on my left side made walking slow, and my back uncomfortable. But I was still able to walk myself across the parking lot into the emerg. There was no rush, no hustle, no real reaction to me describing my symptoms. Maybe it was because I didn’t show any traditional symptoms strongly enough. In looking back on it, maybe I should have put on my best hypochondriac.
Things from this point took on the hallmark of my life from that point on. Slow motion. I waited for the CAT scan, I waited for the doctor, I waited for any kind of information. All the while, my speech became more difficult, and my left side was falling asleep. Finally the doctor met with us to do some final confirmation tests to make sure that I had had a stroke. At that point though, he was calling it a TIA or ministroke. That almost makes it sound cute, like a box of Kellogs ministrokes that go good in a bowl for breakfast. But it was a hidden monster inside my head that was chomping through precious real estate. At least the doc gave me a blood pressure pill and sent Sharon and I to the waiting room once again. There was a CAT scan in there somewhere as well. I’m sure of it. They had to confirm that there was damage. No one needed to convince me anymore. I could feel the strength draining from my arm and leg on the left side. From there, it became my own personal version of a surreal and twisted Stanley Kubrick movie.