Saturday, December 30, 2017

Desert View - Day 50 - 1 Million & Testing, testing testing.....

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7:53 am - Saturday - December 30th - Grand Canyon - 17º F, humidity 38%, wind 1 mph out of the east.....partly cloudy.....good not to be in the hospital, and home!  All is symptoms have almost completely disappeared, and my blood pressure is under control.....153/95 this morning before my pill.  Forecast high for today is 61º F!

First of all, let's do a little housekeeping before we get on to the events of Friday......on Friday we passed a big milestone on 'Whatsnewell'.....we passed ONE MILLION page views!  Both TLE and I thank you for your loyalty, and faithfully coming to read each day about our vagabond lives.  As I have always said, it is not much by blogosphere standards.....for some that is 1 day, or 1 week, not just over 5 years as it is in our case.  Again, thank you for reading!

Now, back to regularly scheduled programming.....we'll go back to Wednesday morning, because that is where the story really begins.  

As you know, we had planned to go hiking Wednesday morning (you can read about that here......Bright Angel).  I woke up Wednesday feeling kind of 'off'...not sick, but not feeling myself.....I just wrote it off to going to bed late, and getting up too early.  When I began to type my blog I noticed I kept hitting the wrong keys with my right hand.....again I just wrote it off to a 'bad day at the office'.  But when TLE got up and I spoke to her it seemed to me like I was slurring my words a bit....she didn't notice, and I didn't say anything, but I was now a little concerned, but still not sure anything was wrong.

We went on our hike as scheduled, and I felt fine the entire day, and into the night....not 100%, but fine nonetheless.  On the way home from the hike I noticed when I would press the brake pedal to slow down I would push too hard causing us to slow down way more than I planned.....again I was a little concerned.

We got home, I took a long shower, and sat down to relax.....I felt completely normal at this slurring, and no other symptoms....I thought whatever was going on had resolved itself.  I went to bed, and slept very, very well, and woke up feeling refreshed and normal, but within minutes of getting up I began to feel weird again.....I told Elaine I thought something was wrong with me, and that I thought maybe I had had a stroke the day before.  I related everything to her going back to Wednesday, and then  asked her to look at my seemed to me that the right side of my mouth was drooping.....she agreed.  We decided on the spot that she should drive me over to the Grand Canyon Clinic at the South Rim Village. It's about a 45 minute drive, and we arrived sometime after 12 noon.

I walked in to the admittance room, and told the receptionist I thought I had had a stroke....within seconds a doctor and nurse appeared, took me into the back room to begin a stroke assessment.  Then another doctor, the head guy I think, came in, asked me a lot of questions, also assessed me, and concluded very quickly I needed to be transported by ambulance down to the big hospital in Flagstaff (Flagstaff Medical Center) where they have the proper testing equipment and specialists to assess me.

TLE followed the ambulance in the VW, and we all arrived in Flagstaff at the hospital about 2:30 pm.  They knew I was coming, and immediately whisked me into a room and began assessing me again.  From there I met a lot of people who names I will try to remember as we go along.  The first person I met was an ER nurse named Chris (female).....very professional, and attentive.  She was like the quarterback orchestrating all that had to be done and it all got done very quickly.  

First up was  a 'CT' scan (no bleeding was observed....good), then an MRI to see if there had been a stroke.....if you have ever had an MRI done on your head and neck you will know what I mean when I say the SOUND is overwhelming.....the MRI took almost an hour, and I had to stay still for that entire time......needless to say I barely made it to the end without freaking out, and I am not exagerating!

By time the MRI was completed it was after 7:30 pm and I was still in the ER....they advised me early on I would be admitted, but they were quite full due to an influenza outbreak....they were wheeling in one sick person after another.  I had one more test to determine the condition of my heart (all fine), and finally was taken to my room for the night around 10:30 pm....totally exhausted, and very hungry and thirsty. I had last eaten a bowl of  Cheerios about 9 am that morning, and had not had any water to drink since about 11 am....they could not let me have either until they had been able to assess my status.  Finally about midnight I got a cup of ice to suck on, and then an actual meal.....YAY!

I had an IV installed when I got in the ambulance, and now in my room they had me on a saline IV drip, which made me have to go to the bathroom every 45 minutes. I had about 5 wires attached to my upper torso area, a blood pressure cuff (took my BP every hour on the hour the entire time I was there), and my index finger had a device attached that read my pulse.  Every time I had to go to the bathroom I had to have everything unhooked, then hooked back up when I came back.  I slept 45 minutes at a time, and by morning I was ready to be done with it all.

Around 7:30 am Friday morning a new doctor came in to give me an update on my condition (Dr.  Micheal Mortensen)....I had had a small stroke in the back of my brain on the left side.  They had ruled out anything else except for blood clots coming from the heart, and that would be checked via an 'echo cardiogram' later that morning (came out negative).  My prognosis was good, but they wanted the 'echo cardiogram' done, and reviewed, and they wanted a neurologist to review everything and talk with me.  Once that was done I would probably be discharged and sent home later that day......GOOD NEWS!

My neurology nurses were Caleb and Jenn (12 hour shifts), and they were wonderfully attendant to my every need......they made me feel like visiting royalty.  There were many others, and to a one they were all very professional and genuinely concerned about my comfort, and made sure I was kept up to date about the progress of my assessment/treatment.

At any rate I eventually talked with the neurologist (Dr. Zarkou, female)....she gave me a very good prognosis, and remarked that I had almost returned to normal as far as my facial features, and speaking.  

Finally, about 4 pm my nurse, Jenn, came in to advise I was being discharged, and that my medicines would be delivered shortly.  I took my first blood thinner (baby aspirin), and my first blood pressure medication, got dressed and was walking with TLE to the car by 5 pm.  We stopped off at a local CVS Pharmacy to buy a blood pressure monitor machine so I can check my blood pressure daily.

Before I knew it we were on our way north on US-89 and could see the headlights of hundreds of cars headed south from the Grand was about 5:30 pm.....

In the car headed for home!

.....we were home by 6:50 pm......that was a jam packed 30 felt more like 5 days.

I feel incredibly blessed that I came through this with such little inconvenience.....I could have been much worse like paralysis, or death.  I got a little wake up call, and if I take my meds, and watch my diet it should not happen again....'God willing, and the river don't rise', as they say.  

Thank you for stopping by every day like you always amazes me that anyone besides my children read my blog!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission.


  1. WOWOW !!! Miss just one day and this happens. I hope you are doing much better and stay that way. I guess you really don't know what gona happen day to day !!!

    1. Colleen, no one knows when their number is up until it is....just a reminder of how fragile life is, especially when you think you are pretty healthy.

  2. Glad to hear you are home, Clarke. Follow the rules and take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you Pasty...I am a rule follower, and I will be extra vigilant from now on!

  3. Congratulations on you first one Million page views keep up the good work and more people keep on reading.
    Glad you came out the other end in good shape, make sure you take the meds and monitor your blog pressure, we have had the machine over 10 years and do like to keep and eye on ours as well, Mine was dangerously high about 10 years ago, So the meds, healthy eating and exercise got it under control.


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