I won't be going to Pittsburgh or JASR this weekend.
Around 8:15 last night, I came in from taking the dogs out back, to find Bill in the kitchen saying something was wrong. His right arm was limp and he couldn't move it, his speech was slurred, he couldn't think of words when he was talking, and the right side of his face didn't look right. I told him he had the option of calling 911 or me driving him to the ER. He opted to be driven.
On the way, his leg started being affected as well. By the time we got to the hospital - Providence about 5-7 minutes away (and yes, should there be a next time, we're calling 911!) - he was feeling some better and could mostly walk alright. We got into the ER, explained what had happened, and they put him in a wheelchair IMMEDIATELY and took him back to the treatment area. That was scary. Good, but scary.
They did a series of physical and neurological tests, and finally took him for a CT scan. Turns out, he had what is called a TIA - transient ischemic attack, caused by a left internal carotid stenosis - a blocked artery. Because it was on the left side of his brain, it affected his right side.
They gave him the option of spending the night in the hospital and seeing a surgeon in the morning, or coming home and then going to see a surgeon in the morning. The ER doc said the condition didn't require emergency surgery but he did need to have the blockage cleared as soon as it can be planned and carried out, and referred us to Dr. Morrow.
Courtney, Bill's oldest, came to the hospital with her SO, and they stayed with us until Bill was released. We got home around 11 pm, so that wasn't too bad. I sat up until 12, Googling of course, and emailing work to let them know I wouldn't be in today.
I went to bed and spent a quiet hour reading and listening to Bill breathe. I drifted off at some point, only to wake again and listen, very quietly, for his breaths. We made a deal, see. If promised not to croak in our bed last night if I let him come home. He held up his end of the bargain!
Dr. Morrow's office hours are 8:30 to 4. I found this out by calling the office number at 6:30 just to see. I probably should have talked to his answering service, but for whatever reason, waited until 8:30 to call again. When I explained why I was calling, without giving our name, the nurse asked if I was Mrs. Bailey. Seems they had been trying to reach us, but the hospital records (which we updated the night before) had not been updated across the system, so they were calling Bill's old cell number that we no longer have.
They got us in at 9:45, and Dr. Morrow was very encouraging. Bill's carotid is 90-95% blocked on the left side. Perhaps the bloodflow slowed to a standstill last evening, or a bit of plaque debris broke free and cruised through Bill's brain, causing the TIA. Whatever it was, in a way, it was a good thing. The TIA cleared up on its own, and Bill feels relatively normal (or at least what passes for normal for him. Heh). So, while this is terrifying on its face, it's a good thing because they can go in and clear out the plaque and clean up his artery.
It was a mini stroke, and it could have been much MUCH worse. The bad part is, the surgery is scheduled for Friday at 6 am. That's great that they're not in a huge rush to get him on the table. I was flying out for Pittsburgh, though, midnight Friday. I won't be making that plane, or running for the first time with my sister, or meeting my extended Spark family, or running JASR, or spending the next week in W.Va. with my daughter and mom.
Don't get me wrong. I'm so glad and grateful that I still have Bill and that we can get him fixed up right as rain. I am so happy that I still have him with me. I'm bummed about the rest of it though, even though he keeps telling me I should go to JASR anyway.
"Would you go if our roles were reversed and I was having surgery?" I asked him.
"Well, no. But that's different," he explained.
He also tried to pull the ole "It's not that big a deal" on me, to which I replied "You had a STROKE. It IS a big deal!"
Needless to say, I won that round, too!
My sister is still traveling from Texas to Pittsburgh, as she has a dear friend who lives nearby who was going to come see us anyway. She'll spend the weekend with her. I don't think.. but I could be completely wrong.. that she'll be doing JASR. She might surprise me though. I keep apologizing to her, and she keeps telling me to stop. I understand, and I know she understands. I'm the big sister though, and feel like I'm responsible for getting her excited and committed to the run and meeting all you wacky folks and .. well, all of it.
So there you have it. Bill is currently snoozing on the couch with our lhasa princess Maggie. The other lhasa princess Millie is snoozing here in the office with me, and lil lhasa prince Bubbie is sprawled out all over the loveseat LOL The sleep of the innocents at ease. They were very happy to have their daddy come home last night, and wake up this morning. Nearly as happy as I was.
Keep a few good thoughts, positive mojo and juju for Bill over the coming days, please. Oh, and if you would, throw in a good word for me and my battle against stress/emotional eating right now. I'm winning at this point, but I could use all the backup I can get.