I had a wee funny turn today, and wanted to share a bit about what happened and what I think about it. September 2020, I had six TIAs over three months, followed by a bilateral, multifocal, cerebellar stroke. I have almost arrived at my second year anniversary, or as I just think of it, another year.
Today, I got up at 9 am, had a coffee, and then by about 10 am, I was ready for some breakfast. After that, I pottered around the house, organising this and that. By about 2 pm, I felt a little exhausted mentally, and took a forty minute nap. By the late afternoon, I had put in a couple of fence posts alongside the pig sty, cut down most of a fruitless wild plum, and fed the pigs some apples. I went upstairs to relax, light the fire and watch an episode of To The Manor Born which has newly arrived on BritBox. As I was lighting the fire and watching Penelope Keith, trying to beguile a crowd of party guests that she had just returned from Spain when she had, in actuality, been lying under a sunlamp in her sitting room for a week, I turned my head and felt disorientated. I wobbled to one side, and felt a discharge of panic start from my feet up to my head. That hot flush of fear that tosses all sense of security into the air. The feeling lasted for about twenty seconds at most. I immediately put myself to bed. I couldn’t relax, I checked my blood pressure, it was okay, pre-high but not ringing any alarm bells. Heart rate was normal but I felt detached and undermined by the experience. I took half a Lorazepam because that’s what I have them for. I was suddenly very tired.
I lay in bed and thought about what had just occurred. The sensation was not unlike the times I had the TIAs. A giddy, whooshing, disorientated wobble. The exhaustion was not unlike when I experienced the first TIA and slept on the couch for several hours. So what just happened? I am on anti-platelet medication, they are not foolproof but better than nothing. I have made satisfactory improvement as far as my personal measurement for improvement goes. I get giddy spells all the time, and I manage them individually.
I lay on the bed and tried to remember if I had experienced anything like that, other than previous TIAs. I couldn’t unequivocally say so. Yet, it felt distinctly different from what I have dealt with along my recovery journey thus far. But is it? Can I recall similar moments or are they lost to memory? Then I thought about what I had been doing. I was crouched in front of the wood burner, my head turned to the left, absorbed in Penelope Keith’s dialogue. I then turned my head back to the fire, I think. Was there a moment when my brain lagged between the two, and it couldn’t make a smooth transition? I did the regular tests, finger-to-nose and finger-to-finger, turned finger slaps on the palm of the other hand, heel up front of leg … all fine, except for when I put heel to toe standing, I felt after ten seconds, my body drifting to the left. My head was drained after the experience. Did I do too much today? Was I thinking too much? Have I been letting too much stimulus into my mind? Is a good night’s sleep, the answer?
I won’t know until tomorrow, but this wee blip has been the first slightly worrying moment in about six months. I am a lot more in control now, which is good. I am not letting it stress me, but I am on high alert, and certainly intrigued as to what it might be, and how I can avoid or confront such moments as I drag my feet through the recovery process. So, how do I feel now? My head is a little discombulated, and I am wobblier than usual. Nothing is screaming out to me that I have definitely had another TIA, I am a little suspicious about it though. I don’t feel physically or mentally comfortable, but this may be the aftershock of panic and anxiety.