March 4, 2017

Health Scare, with No Answers

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that the last few days have been pretty tumultuous for me. On my flight home on Thursday night, I had a weird cognitive issue where I lost my ability to read/write, and understand language. It started pretty extreme, where all of a sudden the words in the book I was reading made no sense whatsoever. Then it gradually lessened, to where if I stopped to think about each word separately and what it meant, and then tried putting the words together, I could slowly understand a sentence…. but that’s still pretty impaired.

Writing was the same way – I tried to send out an SOS via email so that at least someone would know what was going on, but it took about 20 minutes for me to edit my writing enough that it kind of made sense. (Even then, reading it later, there were a lot of weird words that didn’t go together.) The whole thing was really scary, and lasted about an hour – throughout which I was in flight and couldn’t really do anything about it. By the time I landed a few hours later, I was still pretty freaked out by how my brain had malfunctioned, but I just wanted to get home to bed and deal with it in the morning.

So, Friday found me canceling all my work / meetings (not something I do lightly), and spending the day at various doctors. My GP was awesome, and took my symptoms really seriously even though I wasn’t experiencing them anymore. So that’s the good news. The bad news is, we still don’t know what caused it, and worse, pretty much all the possibilities are really terrible (e.g., if it wasn’t a stroke, it’s likely a brain tumor).

You know you’re in bad shape when you’re a grown woman and the phlebotomist feels so sorry for you that she’s drawing happy faces on your bandages.

The only non-major possibility that’s been discussed is a specialized kind of migraine, but that’s unlikely given that I’ve never had a migraine before and also didn’t have any kind of headache during this episode.

Video of a reporter who had a migraine with aphasia while on air. It’s scary!

Next week, I have a brain MRI and echocardiogram planned for Monday/Tuesday, and then I’ll be meeting with my new neurologist on Thursday morning to discuss the results of those and also the billion blood tests that I took on Friday. I’m trying to stay positive right now, and remind myself that even though all the possibilities are bad, there might be some totally obscure diagnosis that isn’t a big deal. After all, you never know until the actual diagnosis, right?

In the meantime, I’m coping with lots of dark humor and fabulous support from all my friends. And for the next few days, in lieu of a better plan, I’m just going to pretend like everything is fine.

Red wine is good for heart health, right? And it is DEFINITELY good for my mood when I’m alone thinking about this stuff.

Hope your weekend is going a bit better…


30 thoughts on “Health Scare, with No Answers”

  1. Sending all kinds of positive vibes your way. Enjoy your wine and HGTV. I hope you get some (non-scary) answers soon.

  2. Wow, I’m so sorry to hear this. Finding health answers is never easy, but try to stay your positive self. Sending good thoughts your way!

    1. Thanks, Cassie! I also just signed up for a 4 miler in FoCo on the 26th so will be in your area soon… and posting a giveaway later this week for free entries, if you’d like to join 🙂

  3. I follow you on IG and was wondering what was going on, so sorry to hear this! I hope you get some good answers on things this week!

  4. I’m so sorry that happened, that sounds so scary! Sounds like you are in good hands, though.

    I do want to say that it could still be a migraine. Oddly enough, some people get migraine symptoms without a headache.

    1. That’s what I’m hearing from the doctor boyfriend of another friend, too!!! I am now SUPER hopeful that’s all it is…

    2. Not that migraines are fun, but they are definitely treatable! I used to work with a woman who got migraines without a headache. She would lose parts of her vision and get really nauseated, but her head never hurt so she never thought it could be a migraine. It didn’t happen often, but when it did it was scary. Getting diagnosed and medicine definitely made it less scary for her! Fingers crossed that you get an answer soon!

    3. Honestly, if I know what it is, I don’t even care if it happens again. It wasn’t TERRIBLE not being able to use language; it was just terrifying to not know what my brain was doing and wonder if this was some sort of permanent condition 🙁

  5. This must have been so scary, I cannot even imagine. I hope you are able to get some answers asap! Sending lots of good vibes and wellness wishes your way.

  6. I used to suffer from really bad migraines in my 20s and had something similar to that happen. I was in the grocery store and couldn’t come up with words. It only lasted a minute or two and I was fine, but it was terrifying. I hope you’re able to get some answers this week.

  7. I am so sorry to hear the news. It’s also scary to be on a flight and not sure what is going on. I hope the flgiht attendants helped you. I’ll be thinking about you!

    1. I didn’t end up talking to the flight attendants about it, because I couldn’t really talk at the time and I also didn’t know what I’d want them to do. Thank you so much for the kind thoughts!

    2. I understand. We can communicate with a medical team inflight & must flights have a medical professional than check vitals etc. but I’m sure you know all of that. We see a lot of passengers with Dehydration issues on flights. Hopefully, you’ll find out what happened.

  8. I see what you’re doing! Setting up a glorious, spectacular April (summer) of 5K PR’ing, with a sobering March!

    Yet, in all serious, you are strong and solid to persevere through this scare. I hope you receive neurological test results that come back with enlightening information.

  9. Lloyd D Fuller

    Ever had a B12 shot to give yourself an energy boost before a marathon? I have. Just yesterday I was told by my doctor that B12 shots can cause neurologic problems, so let your doctors know if you’ve had shots in the past. I hope you get answers soon and all is well!

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