I said goodbye to Connie and I was wheeled into my “room.” I called it a cubicle with curtains around the perimeter. As I laid foggy in my head, I wanted to figure what had led to a stroke since I left the veterinary hospital yesterday (Wednesday). My headache was still there as it was the previous night. I went through my memories as I had got ready to go to my bed. I went to sleep, but I could not think of any incidents that equaled my having a stroke. When had the stroke occurred? I drifted off to sort of sleep without an answer.
The nurse came in and checked on me and took down my vitals (my blood pressure, my temperature, my pulse oximetry, etc.) throughout the rest of the night. The nurse and I were the same when the morning came. I remember her vaguely. Now I could not recognize her if we were in an old-fashioned phone booth. I was still stable and the doctor had me transferred to another department somewhere in the hospital. They put me in a real room on one of the upper floors. The hospital has at least 12 floors and I did not know or frankly cared where I was. Slowly, I reckoned that the stroke had happened while I was sleeping. Crazy!
To get you up to speed in my story, now it was Friday, January 15, 2010. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday weekend. The presentation by the CEO of the company announcing that my company was going to merge was on Wednesday night. I thought that while I slept, I had a stroke. When I fell was Thursday morning, January 14th. That is the day I left work early and got some sleep that morning and the early afternoon. That evening was my son’s recital and my trip to the emergency hospital. I am just recapping events leading up to this Friday.
Connie arrived in the morning. I remember in the afternoon a female neurologist came to give me an exam. She did not find any physical abnormalities except my speech function. I could say yes and no and I understood her perfectly well. She was part of a large group that provided services to the hospital. She was a newer associate to the neurology practice. I was the Hospital Administrator of a veterinary teaching hospital and “newer” meant less experienced and green. I was worried. I found out through my wife that she did not have any answers to the question of what had caused the stroke. That doubly worried me.
Also, I found out a couple of troubling answers to some of our questions. First, our primary family doctor did not see any patients because of a health disability that he had for some time. When you are having a life-altering event, you want your primary doctor in your corner. This was the first that we had heard of it. It was alarming to my wife and me. Then we heard that most of the experienced doctors in the area were away on trips to places like skiing in Colorado or sunning in Acapulco. That was a problem when we wanted some real answers! Basically, I was put on the holding pattern until next week. My wife and I were fuming.
To be continued in a later blog. Please leave your comments!