Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In which I ask my husband "are my arms still attached to my body?"

The other night, I had another migraine aura. I didn't realize it at the time though.

My evening started out very pleasantly. I had been super uncomfortable at work, so when I got home, I took a relaxing bath and listened to music. (I should note that I typically hate baths, but that's a story for a different day). The puppies were so cute and confused because they had never seen the tub full of water before. They kept coming up to the side and trying to drink from the tub, but were too small to succeed.

Afterwards, I got a tall cup of ice water and sat at my computer to browse the internet and sing along to my Pandora station. Eventually, Smiley came home from work and hopped on his computer to check his Facebook. I turned to him to discuss our plans for making dinner.

This is when things started to be a little "off."

I noticed I felt thirsty, so I went to grab my water cup and take a drink. As I watched my left hand pick up the cup and bring it to my mouth, I realized that something didn't feel right. I stared at my arm. In my mind, I knew it was still part of my body, but as I watched it, it seemed to be interacting with my field of vision in a way that indicated it was not part of my body.

"Whoa." I said. "I think I need to eat something soon."

Smiley wasn't looking at me at the moment. "What do you want to eat?" he asked, expecting our familiar back and forth of me not knowing what I want and him suggesting things until I agreed.

Instead, I was using my right hand to feel my left hand and arm and confirm that they were, in fact, attached to my body. I felt a small amount of panic trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me. Did I relax too much? Was my blood pressure too low? Perhaps I was about to faint.

"Uh, I don't know." I closed my eyes, willing them to look at things correctly when I opened them. "I don't know but I feel weird." I opened my eyes and tried to pick up my cup of water again. It still looked like my arm was coming out of nowhere.

"Are you ok?" Smiley asked, turning towards me.

I stood up and tried to explain how I felt. "Hon, are my arms still attached to my body?"

He looked at me, really looked at me, as if trying to figure out how serious I was being.

"Yes. Of course they are."

"Ok. I mean, I know they are. I'm not on drugs or anything. I just feel like my arm isn't attached to my body. It's like, I look at it and it isn't right."

He shrugged. "Your arms look like they normally do."

I kept feeling my arm as I got up, but I wasn't sure if I was light headed or not, so I went over to the couch and sat down. "I guess, uh, can you look and see if I'm having a stroke?" I tried to remember the tests they say to do to test for a stroke and raised my arms above my head. "I'm talking in complete sentences right?"

"Yeah," he said, as he typed. "Ok. Look at me and smile. Ok. Raise your arms. In front of you. Hold them there." He paused. "Yeah, you look fine. Let's go make dinner."

I nodded, and kept talking as we walked down the short hallway to the kitchen. "Yeah. No, I don't think it's a stroke. I just feel really weird. It's like things aren't - they don't look right."

Once we got to the kitchen, I sat down on the floor, and covered my face with my hands. Wait, wasn't there something about being pregnant and having blurry vision? Something to do with high blood pressure.

"We don't by any chance have a blood pressure cuff, do we?" I asked. Of course we don't.

"What about doing grilled cheese sandwiches?" Smiley said as he looked through our fridge and pantry. "Didn't you want to do those one night?"

"Yeah." I still sat on the floor, and uncovered my face, looking again at the world. Slowly, I noticed that my left field of vision was diminishing further. Suddenly, it clicked. "Wait. I could be getting a migraine. Let me call my mom."

As I called my mom and explained the events of the past few minutes, I could practically hear her nodding on the phone. By the time I hung up, the next part had started - a "c" shaped jagged tear in my vision. It was bright white in the middle, with flecks of color towards the edges and an outline of the darkest black. I closed my eyes. It was still there.

I opened them and looked at Smiley. It was so weird. My brain knew that he should have a face with two eyes, a nose and a mouth. My eyes were reporting that the left half of his face was missing. I had to look away as I found myself becoming nauseated over the sight. It was much easier to focus on the dogs, or to close my eyes.

"Well why don't you go sit down while I make dinner?" Smiley suggested and I nodded, heading to the couch.

"This is why I could never do drugs," I muttered as I looked at the room. I sat down but then remembered that Smiley buttered both sides of the bread when he made grilled cheese, so I got back up.

Vision half gone or not, I only wanted one side of the bread buttered! I leaned against the counter in the kitchen and offered to butter the bread while he got the soup going.

I was pretty certain that I got butter on the left and right side of the bread, but I made no promises. Once the bread was safely buttered on one side only, I went and sat back down with my eyes closed until the food was ready.

I'm lucky to say that the aura went away fairly shortly thereafter and that I did not get the headache - I think that I am very agreeable to only having part of a migraine.

Smiley brought out the sandwiches, soup and some water. I marveled as I watched my hand pick up the glass of water. Finally, it once again looked normal. Everything seemed so much clearer. It was a great relief to know that I wasn't having a stroke, or pre-eclampsia or anything crazy.

Oh, and the grilled cheese had the perfect amount of butter and was cooked to the perfect doneness. My husband and I make a pretty good team, whether it's self diagnosing a lack of a stroke or making dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment