|My parents, Karl and Faye Brown, and me in April after my stroke in January.|
But, I know people want to know.
Did it hurt?
Was I conscious?
Well, I can answer those questions.
About September, 2011, I was so tired. People told me that I was drawn, pale, and gray.
On December 23, 2011, I had a unusual headache. My vision on the left side was odd...almost fuzzy. And, on my right temple, I noticed array of colors. I kinda hurt, but not too bad. I have had normal headaches, so, other than the "aura" on December 23, 2011, that pain was not much. The headache was gone in less than 10 minutes.
I thought, "wow. That was weird. Maybe a migraine? Oh well."
But, those unusual headaches continued, and the duration was got longer.
I went to my doctor, and he ordered an MRI. That was January 6, 2012. They could not figure out what was wrong. The next step was to order a EKG.
January 9, 2012: I had another episode during a breakfast at the College of Western Idaho where I am a Trustee. Later that day, I attended a legislative social. I left early because I was so tired.
On January 10, 2012, I got up early about 5:00. Our son decided to sleep with us, so I did not sleep well. But, I got my newspaper, my routine Mountain Dew, and I got ready to turn on the TV.
But I could not.
I could not figure out how to turn on the TV. How odd. So, I thought I was too tired so should go back to sleep for a bit. When that did not work -- getting the TV to work -- I realized something was really wrong. I stood up, and I collapsed. My right side was paralyzed. Oh my God!
In my head, I was calling out saying "Help me!" and I was struggling to get to our bedroom door. Also, I was so concerned about my son. I did not want my son to see what was happening to me.
Again, in my head, I was coherent. For my wife and son, I was babbling. My son shouted "call 911!" My wife had the presence of mind to realize I has having a stroke.
I was conscious and there was no pain at all. I remember the ambulance ride. I remember the room in the ER. I remember my wife and son, and my friend that took my son to school.
I was just relieved that I might be OK.
Fast forward, I was making a remarkable recovery. The doctors said "you'll need some speech therapy and take some time off." I was moved out of intensive care.
On January 13, 2012, the nurse (she was from Russia...I remembered) check on me. I was fine and my vitals were fine. I asked her to turn on the TV and she did. She shut off the lights and shut the door.
Then something happened. I could not move. I was so scared. I could not reach my call button because I was paralyzed. I remembered that I was saying "help me" in my head, but I could not speak.
But, there was no pain at all.
It seems like hours before the found me, but I assumed it was just a few minutes. I was crying. Though I was conscious the whole time, the concept of time was foreign to me.
Then there was so much activity. Nurses galore. I realized there were getting me ready to do another CT scan. I remember the long almost dark hallway. They were was so urgent.
That hallway seemed so long, and remembered my dad telling me that I will be OK. I am not a really spiritual, but I have a vivid memory about my dad saying "you will be fine." My dad died on December 28, 1993.
The rest of the morning was a blur. I remember crying a lot. I remembered that my wife kept telling me that "I will be fine." I was so confused and I was so upset that my Mom, stepdad, and my oldest brother, Dan, were coming. They lived out of town? Why are they coming to see me?
At that point, I realized they were coming to say goodbye. To me!
I was convinced that I was going to die.
It took some time for me to realize that I would not die. But, for several hours, I was convinced I was dying.
So, when people ask me about my stroke and the "pain," I did not really experience physical. Emotional pain? My emotional pain was worse that the physical pain.
No pain? Oh yes.