Life #5: Lost a week. Thought I had a stroke.

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Blog entry by Ocelot posted 07-15-2017 05:16 PM 2222 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Woodworking in Alabama Part 5 of Life series no next part

I woke last Friday morning (8 days ago) and found that I could not hold my phone nor button my pants. My left hand (with which, by the way, I am now typing) was completely numb. I had lost fine muscle control as well.

So, as soon as my brother’s wife could get here to stay with the kids, we were off to the local hospital ER. I assumed that I had had a stroke, although now I know more about strokes, I wouldn’t guess that today. Only the hand – mostly the fingers – was affected. I didn’t lose any strength (at that time), only feeling and dexterity. No other body parts were affected.

So, they starting doing the stroke assessments over and over again. Squeeze this, track that with my eyes, smile big, stick out my tongue, etc. All the while I was pacing around like a caged animal. Then x-ray my wrist and hand, echocardiogram, ekg, CT scan….

Then they wanted to do MRI. Wellll… I’m claustrophobic, and have twice before in my life balked at MRI’s. I’m an engineer. I think MRI is really neat. I wanted to know what was going on my my head. But still, the idea of clamping an antenna (in the form of a mask) on my face and stuffing me in a gun barrel – just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

So…. they offered me a little IV injection of Atavan. They said “some people, it does nothing. Some it calms for a couple of hours. Some people it shuts down for 3 days.” (or something like that.) When it came time, I joked. “Give me the zombie medicine”. No joke. I didn’t eat for 3 days. I was dizzy. Felt like sleeping all day. Somebody had to help me to the bathroom. I went from caged tiger to garden slug. I’ll never take that stuff again.

So after 5 days, 3 MRI’s, 2 hospitals, half-dozen doctors etc., my hand got better by itself. They determined that it was a pinched nerve in my neck and recommended doing nothing for now.

I feel like I’ve lost 1/2 my stamina and strength. Milk now comes in 2 gallon jugs apparently and all my children have doubled their weight over the week.

Monday I’ll go back to work.

One think I’ve learned: Even though I have a job, and a wife, and 5 children and a house that’s falling down and a yard that looks abandoned and a shop full of lumber and tools that I never seem to have time to do anything with, I have to visit folks in the hospital. The visits of freinds and the attention of family made it all bearable. My boss came almost every day to see me and never said a word about work. My wife had brought my laptop up there at my request. He took it back to the office. I have the best boss in the world, and the best wife too!

9 comments so far

View htl's profile


5119 posts in 1930 days

#1 posted 07-15-2017 06:31 PM

Sounds like you had one really big scare but also if you didn’t know it already some great folks around you!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 1837 days

#2 posted 07-15-2017 09:30 PM

We walk around with our eyes closed to our blessings, till we get them forced open by the reality that they can be taken away in a blink of an eye or a Pinched nerve. ,!! Happy to hear this was not more complicated. Always a pleasure to see your post.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View Ocelot's profile


2535 posts in 3409 days

#3 posted 07-15-2017 11:36 PM

Thanks, htl and turtle. Last Saturday about now, I was wondering if I need to sell my power tools. Now I m sitting by the grill.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3906 posts in 3022 days

#4 posted 07-16-2017 11:27 PM

Scary stuff, there. I am glad to hear that it was “just” a pinched nerve. Prayer and best wishes for a full recovery.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View HokieKen's profile


14002 posts in 1909 days

#5 posted 07-17-2017 01:01 PM

Man Paul, that’s scary stuff. Glad it worked itself out and I hope you get your “zip” back soon. Some of those drugs can take a toll for weeks on some folks. Good to know you’re back at it!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Ocelot's profile


2535 posts in 3409 days

#6 posted 07-17-2017 01:38 PM

Thanks Don & Ken. I”m back at work this morning for the first time after missing 6 workdays.

No time for LJ. I’ve got some catching up to do.


View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2961 days

#7 posted 07-19-2017 03:17 AM

Glad to hear you’re doing brother head a stroke at 43 nothing to mess with.Glad it was a pinched nerve.take care.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16695 posts in 3389 days

#8 posted 07-19-2017 03:23 AM

Welcome back, Paul. Good to hear things aren’t what they once appeared to be!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Ocelot's profile


2535 posts in 3409 days

#9 posted 07-19-2017 01:36 PM

Thanks Marty and Smitty. I’m still struggling to get my stamina back. Truth be told, even before this I found most afternoons at work a tough slog, but man, now I get sleepy and am very unproductive. In general, laying around in the hospital is definitely not good for me.


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