I typically don’t reveal too many things about my private life or things that I feel should be kept to myself for whatever the reason. However, sometimes there are things that should be shared. And this is one of those times.
The last few weeks I have been feeling a little sluggish, tired and just didn’t have the energy I normally have to get through my day. I wrote it off. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, I stayed up too late watching the Republican Convention, I tossed and turned all night. There’s always a reason, right? A couple of weeks ago I started having dizzy spells, I thought it was vertigo or an oncoming sinus infection or a cold coming on. And it passed. There’s always a logical reason for this too. A few weeks ago the lines on the road started to double sometimes and my left eye would become very blurred just all of a sudden. And that would pass also. But it was time to get my eyes checked, another reason to disregard. My balance also was a little off, I was a little wobbly at times but then again it was so very hot outside and I was always outside. Just heat exhaustion or so I told myself. I had a lot of reasons to not put this all together because after all, these were just everyday common maladies. I even chocked it up to getting old! LOL. All of this had a very good reason to be brushed off, but, it all came together this past Friday afternoon.
I was doing my usual, visiting my clients, in and out of the car and stifling hot. I went in to a building and walked up to a woman for directions and when I spoke, she couldn’t understand the words that were coming out of my mouth. And neither could I. I thought “this is not happening” and tried again, same thing. I could not vocalize the thoughts that were coming out of my mouth. What’s wrong? Why can’t I pronounce the words that I so clearly use every day? They didn’t make sense to me or anyone else. And guess what? This too passed after 15 minutes or so. But I did know that something was terribly wrong. And I needed help.
I ran out the door and to my car and quickly drove to Clearview Regional in Monroe (just three blocks away). Something was very wrong with me and I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I was very frightened and confused.
I was admitted immediately through emergency and was given a CT scan, blood work, EKG, chest x-ray, MRI, Echo and a barage of other tests. Luckily for me all tests were negative, no permanent damage. Most of these tests were completed in a half hours time. So what was the culprit? I was diagnosed with Transient ischemic Attack or TIA. I never heard of it. Nor did I know that every one of the symptoms I had been experiencing over the last month or so were symptoms of TIA or what is more commonly called a Mini Stroke. The symptoms last a very short time, 15-20 minutes and come and go. They occur when a blood vessel or clot prohibits blood flow to the brain and damage can occur in minutes. TIA is a warning that if not heeded and diagnosed will very likely lead to a major stroke with very severe symptoms and perhaps even death. I spent the night at the hospital after completing the tests. And I will absolutely follow up with my doctors this week.
I am sharing this in the hope that my experience may help someone who has gone through or may go through the same thing I have. Please, if you know anyone who is having any of the symptoms that I had, if even one, please get them to a doctor asap. Do not let anyone brush them off as I did. They are real and it could be a matter of life or death. I was very fortunate. I was blessed.
Also, a sincere thank is being sent out to all the good people at Clearview Regional for being on the ready and performing their individual duties as professionally as they did. Knowing that you are in good hands is half the battle. And I was.
Melanie Jackson is co-publisher and marketing director of Your Local News incorporating Monroe Local News and Loganville Local News.