Friday, May 27, 2016

The Big Reveal: My Stroke of Luck (1 of 3)

In the morning of April 27, 2016, I woke up with a leg cramp. Strange, I told myself. The last time I had a cramp this bad was when I was seven months pregnant with Zoe. I shook my left leg, but the cramp won't go. It got worse. I felt numbness in my left leg. Gathering my will, I stood up to leave the bedroom so I can start my day. I made a couple of steps: right foot, then left.

I fumbled for support. The door handle. The wall. The nearest chair in the living the room. The numbness moved up my body and that brief electric shock that ran up my left arm surprised me. I knew I fell because, I found myself bent on my right knee and my head was so close to the living room floor. That was when I realized that something abnormal happened to me.

I am a very active person. I rarely fall and wobble. I did cross fit training for two years. I asked myself what went wrong.

The weight of the fall was tremendous. I lay on my back and that's when a throbbing pain made me realize that a lump was growing on my left head near my forehead. Zoe was sleeping in the next room so I crawled to where she was. I woke her up.

I wanted to go to the nearest hospital and have myself checked, but that week, there were deadlines to beat and meetings to attend to. Zoe awoke and she was surprised to find me breaking out in a cold sweat. I told her, I need to go to work. But I fell and my head was so painful. I lay on the floor for a couple of minutes to catch my breath. When I finally came to, I stood up, went to the bathroom and washed my face. The lump was staring right back at me when I looked at the bathroom mirror.

No to work. Yes to hospital.

I told Zoe to get ready. I called my husband and told him what happened and where I intended to go. I then called a family friend who drives a van so he can bring us to Makati Medical Center ASAP. My fall happened at 6.28AM. We were hitting the exit toll to SLEX at 7AM. All the while I was praying despite my fears. The painful lump on my head grew as big as my palm. I sent text messages to our HR, Head of School and school leadership telling them I couldn't go to work; that I am on my way to the ER of Makati Med; and that I need a lot of prayers. At 7.50AM, I was at the ER of Makati Medical Center. I narrated what happened to me to the nurse on duty. In less than three minutes, the nurse at the triage section endorsed me to Acute/Critical Care.

I was brought to a bed and a very young female doctor, whose name I can't remember now, asked me to smile, to stick out my tongue, to grasp her hands with mine, to press my hands on her hands as hard as I can. She proceeded with more tests on both my legs by asking me for feelings of numbness and weakness. I said none. She ran a finger on my legs, on my arms. I told her I can feel the sensation. She told me to lift my legs as she pressed on each, left then right. I responded. She told me to look and follow her forefinger from left to right. I did that too. She asked me to touch her forefinger using my own, then back to my nose several times. Got that right as well. We were like two kids playing a game.

When it was over, she said, "Ma'am, you had a stroke. It can happen within 48 hours so we need to run a set of routine tests for you. You have to be admitted. Now."

1 comment:

Candy Gourlay said...

How awful. But I'm glad you went to the hospital instead of to work - your friend probably saved your life! Take care PLEASE! Love and hugs!

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