So this happened…
A couple of weeks ago I came home from work with an impending headache with the added benefit of sinus pressure. My favorite combination. I took some acetaminophen and went to bed, hoping to not wake up with a headache–which always is a sucky way to start the day.
Not only did I wake up with a headache, but the worst headache of my life. On a scale of 1 to 10, this one played on 11. Plus I had the added bonus of nausea and vomiting. Could not even keep water down. I was sick as a dog all day long with no sign of relief.
The next day, my wife took me to the local urgent care facility to see if something could be done. They tested me for the flu (negative) and gave me some medicine for the nausea and the pain, as well as some antibiotics to combat what was assumed to be a possible sinus infection. The pills helped a bit, but I still felt awful and was in pain.
The next day, I noticed that was seeing double–unless I closed one eye. Didn’t really matter which eye, but if I had both eyes open, I saw double. A rather disturbing development, to say the least. My pain and nausea were a little better, but not much.
After another day of pain and nausea, I went to the my general practitioner’s office. After testing me for flu (again, negative) and strep (negatory), she suggested that we go to the ER. So my wife carted my sick butt to the ER where we waited about 4 hours to see a doctor. They took a CT scan of my noggin and loaded my IV with fluids and a “cocktail” of medicines to combat the headache and nausea, as well as some Benedryl for my eye. They found nothing on the CT scan and sent me home with some new prescriptions for the nausea and pain and suggested I follow up with my doctor and get referred to a neurologist.
The ER cocktail really seemed to help. My pain went down and nausea as well. Still had the double vision, though.
A couple of days later, we saw my GP. She checked all my reflexes and looked at my eyes and confirmed that, yes, I should see a neurologist. The double vision had her concerned, as well, as I’m on anticoagulants and clotting is a very real worry. She was afraid that perhaps I had experienced a “mini stroke”. I got my referral and saw the neurologist the following week. I also bought an eye-patch so I wouldn’t strain my eye by squinting and closing it all the time.
The neurologist tested my eyes and ordered some further tests, including a CT Angiogram. His working theory and the one that we’re left with today after the test results: a mini-stroke has damaged one of my cranial nerves, resulting in the loss of vision. There’s no way to know for certain–we can only test against other possibilities and eliminate them. The good news is that my eye *should* heal itself in 6 to 8 weeks.
In the meantime, I look like Rooster Cogburn and have a definite blind spot. I’ve already had a kid ask me if I had something secret hidden under my eye-patch. Maybe he hoped I was a cyborg.
So…a mini-stroke. It sounds so, I don’t know, cute. It’s mini so it’s instantly cuter, right? It’s chibi!
It goes to show that you don’t know when or how you’re going to be struck by something. There’s no predicting it. You can be struck out of nowhere by something completely unknown and out of your control.
In many ways, this is pretty scary. But, on the other hand, it’s always been true. Despite this demonstration of the fickle finger of fate, it’s not like this is new. It could have happened any time and been anything. I was just fortunate that my damage is fairly manageable (if extremely irritating).
So what’s the lesson to learn from this? I don’t know, really. It happened. I’m dealing with it. My wife is helping me deal with it. You never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next so embrace those around you and live your life the best way you know how. It was true before the chibi-stroke, and it’s true now. That’s all I know.