May 22 – Wednesday – Nothing much happened at work. I remember coming home feeling tired. Had some leftover pasta and sat at the computer to (play Skyrim) and life literally stopped. Like a dreamscape full of fog, Dan was sitting in the chair next to me saying something, but I couldn’t understand any of the words he was saying. I couldn’t see the screen in front of me and as I was slowly placing my spoon down into the bowl, I turned my head (seeing multiple images of Dan) and said, “I am about to fall out of my chair”. Promptly the world swirled around me like a hurricane and I followed it falling flat on the floor. Instantly I felt nauseous and knew I needed to start praying to the porcelain gods.
What is ordinarily a 2 second, 3 pace walk to the bathroom took me a good minute to get there. I was crawling, hands on knees, going nowhere. I would reach forward to move and fall over. I am quite certain that I smacked my head off the wall, then the door on the opposite side. After the wave of nausea passed and no more porcelain throne needed I took a nap. Several hours later I woke up, around 7:30pm still crazy dizzy. Went back to sleep, waking up a few more times and then finally at 8am the next day. A boatload of Gravol and ginger tea, Bryan my co-worker lead our Fishway Tour as I tried to cope with seasickness on land.
Early to bed, early to rise. Left work early on Friday and went to the walk-in clinic on Plains Road as my family doctor is about 3 hours away. That one visit has lead to dozens more, many with no answers, many with referrals. For the past three months I have been bouncing from specialist to specialist and no one has any answers. I have had a CT, MRI/MRI-contrast, loads of bloodwork and am working with a Naturopathic Doctor. The ND has been by far the most Lyme Literate (LL) of all the specialists. Although my MD is familiar with Lyme’s Disease he is baffled by me as I am “very inconsistent with symptoms and do not fit the protocol for Lyme’s Disease diagnosis”. Not surprising when most doctors are not LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors). I myself am not LL. What I know, I learned from my mum doing research for me as a co-worker is battling chronic Lyme’s.
So a trip to the walk-in meant bloodwork, going home and getting rest and considering some time off. Come back in a week, and bring the tick. A few days later, things got very scary. I cannot remember much of the weeks after my “episode” but I do remember the days when I was overly frustrated because I would have problems moving the muscles in my face (it was the right side), the overt problems with speech (massive slurring of words, stuttering), numbness and tingling down my right arm, and the dizziness leading to falling over. Symptoms were not recognized immediately but I fit the bill
Common stroke symptoms seen in both men and women:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Women may report unique stroke symptoms:
- sudden face and limb pain
- sudden hiccups
- sudden nausea
- sudden general weakness
- sudden chest pain
- sudden shortness of breath
- sudden palpitations
and was told to go off my birth control (Ortho Evra) immediately. For as quick as the symptoms came they disappeared. Apparently most long-term users of many birth controls have been reporting transient ischemic attack (mini-strokes). Now I still occasionally get slurred speech, which is very unusual considering my public speaking skills and my job as an interpreter have eliminated the ums- ahs- and so-s, and I have almost daily dizziness (I am moving), vertigo (world is moving), nausea, and extreme pain in my joints (which I have had for many years). But the kicker is the crazy amount of fatigue I have. I have been feeling tired and wiped out for years – practically as soon as I returned from Scotland. I would get home from work and just want to sleep.
Some days I sleep in excess of 18 hours.
Getting up to make food, eating it, going to the washroom, only to go back to bed.