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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 05:44 pm
it's not a tumah

Had a bit of a scare a few days ago.

Friday night, we're getting ready to go to a friend's birthday get-together, and my left forearm and hand suddenly go numb and tingly--like I'd whacked the hell out of my funny bone, but painlessly. Nothing seemed to have caused it; I'd just sat down to check something online. Then my hand starts twitching--not like a tiny muscle thing you can barely see, but the whole hand jerking back a few times, and I found I couldn't move or otherwise control it. I'm thinking "that's weird," and got up immediately to go tell Nic. While doing so I realized that my left cheek was also numb and tingly.

Dimly aware that partial or one-sided paralysis or numbness is sometimes symptomatic of stroke, I was pretty relieved when the feeling came back a few minutes later (my hand twitched for less than 30 seconds), but then noticed a visual aura developing in my field of vision similar to those I had in my adolescence when I had semi-regular migraines. I described this to Nic, who suggested I call the dial-a-nurse service at Providence, which advised me to get to the hospital ASAP. Nic drove me to the ER, convinced by the call nurse's urgency that I was sustaining a neurological trauma. The triage nurse saw that I looked and sounded ok, but ordered a CT, a blood draw, and an EKG. Since my condition didn't appear to be extreme, we had a seat.

About 4 hours later, the end result: CT and blood draw came back normal so the doc canceled the EKG, explaining that the spasms and numbness were likely migraine-related, given my history and the presence of the visual aura.

At home, I checked Wiki's article on migraine, and there it is:

For the 20–30% of migraine sufferers who experience migraine with aura, this aura comprises focal neurological phenomena that precede or accompany the attack. They appear gradually over 5 to 20 minutes and generally last fewer than 60 minutes .... Symptoms of migraine aura can be sensory or motor in nature.
 
Visual aura is the most common of the neurological events and can occur without any headache. There is a disturbance of vision consisting often of unformed flashes of white and/or black or rarely of multicolored lights (photopsia) or formations of dazzling zigzag lines (scintillating scotoma). ...

The somatosensory aura of migraine may consist of digitolingual or cheiro-oral paresthesias, a feeling of pins-and-needles experienced in the hand and arm as well as in the nose-mouth area on the same side.

Sigh of relief. Well, until the bill comes. I'm not insured right now.

22CommentReplyShare

wuweibaby
wuweibaby
touching now
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)

hope that's all it was

yes, i was following all over the place, of course


yeah, having no insurance is, uh, about as scary as any physical ailment.

sorta. sorta not.


ya know.


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dotcombabe
dotcombabe
Naomi
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)

I'm glad it wasn't something serious!


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sistermaryeris
sistermaryeris
Bake, Love, Kickbox.
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)

Most of the hospitals will do financial assistance if you ask and fill out all the fancy paperwork.

Worth a shot!


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shebear
shebear
Won't you be my neighbor?
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 04:46 am (UTC)

Yeah, definitely.

When I went in after hitting my eye last month, I found out that Denver has some sort of miracle program that I was eligible for by virtue of living in the city limits. Total bill for emergency care: $22. Total bill for prescription: $11. I was floored.

It's a relief your symptoms weren't anything more serious, but it's the kind of thing that can be really scary. I was never a migraine sufferer, so it really freaked me out the first time I had one which only consisted of the visual disturbances. I was pretty sure I was going suddenly blind.


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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)

Yeah ... the fancy paperwork made it pretty clear that any traditional indicators of financial stability, such as owning a rental property, pretty much summarily dismisses any chance of financial assistance. I'm just going to try giving the billing department a call to see if I can work something out when I get the invoice.


ReplyThread Parent
thestepbeneath
thestepbeneath
la débauché
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)

Speaking of insurance, I was browsing OHSU's listing (I do this frequently while bored at work) and they are hiring a patent guy and it made me think of you, naturally. I'm thinking it's under the listing of "professional and unclassified" if it strikes your fancy at all :D

Migraine's sure can be tricky. My aura are auditory mostly, I get a lot of tinnitus flare ups and sometimes this sudden drop in pressure that sounds like a train going through my ears. Sometimes I pee frequently, as in every 5 minutes a full I've-been-holding-it-all-day type of pee. Craziness! Neuro shit,, pfft


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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)

Thanks for the tip, I will check it out!

The neuro stuff is kinda fun as long as I know it's transitory and migraine-related.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 04:49 am (UTC)

yeah, the bill will be scary when it comes. However, most hospitals will let you set up a payment plan. If you'd rather pay it off over a few months, that is usually pretty easy to do, just tell them what you can afford each month and they should help you out.


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obsqurity
obsqurity
owner of this corner, and not much more
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
ooops

The anonymous, payment-plan comment was me. I didn't realize I was not logged in. :(

I'm glad to hear you are healthy!


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anywhereanyone
anywhereanyone
Anywhere Anyone
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)

Can't Nicole just triage you at home? That sounds like a medical situation!


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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 06:40 am (UTC)

She actually suggested the possibility of a stroke immediately, but the nurses on the call line have years of practical experience that she doesn't. We only got the sense of urgency based on the call nurse's advice, and this was despite the fact that I was speaking to her pretty calmly and clearly.


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thatsassylassie
thatsassylassie
thatsassylassie
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 08:06 am (UTC)

I tried. I was almost peeing myself. I realized I am very calm as long as the crisis doesn't involve someone I love.


ReplyThread Parent
circumambulate
circumambulate
Circumambulate
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 08:48 am (UTC)

Yeah, my wife and I have an agreement that she doesn't try to be doctor for anything bigger than routine colds, etc.. Doesn't work out well for anybody.

Glad you're well, LBD - saw the tweets but hours after you were all clear.


ReplyThread Parent
cheekyassmonkey
cheekyassmonkey
tori
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)

very glad you didn't have a stroke.
very glad you aren't dead.
very glad you wife has had you sign a "i will never do that again" contract.

:)


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cheekyassmonkey
cheekyassmonkey
tori
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)

also, providence does have a pay in full discount, too. i realize it may not be an option for you, but it is at least 10%, and for the insured, the full bill amount counts towards to total out-of-pocket, so i end up getting a break that way, also.


ReplyThread Parent
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)

What do you mean?


ReplyThread Parent
nemo_wistar
nemo_wistar
Nemo Wistar, Escaped Lab Rat
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)

I have been having auras the past few days myself. No numbness though.


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kathyrhino
kathyrhino
kathyrhino
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)

Yikes, that would be scary. I am glad you got medical attention right away and that it turned out to be a simple explanation. Ther's a book called the Migraine Brain which I found to have a lot of good information (though the link might not be to the newest edition). I hate how some migraine symptoms mimic stroke. I'm just glad you're ok.


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ellettra
ellettra
Na zdraví
Thursday, January 13th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)

Oh gosh! That is scary! I am really glad you're ok. Well, migraines suck, of course, but glad it's no more than that.


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dryad271
dryad271
nitemare hippie girl
Friday, January 14th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)

Migraine auras are so damn creepy. The first time I had one I was in high school. All of a sudden the left side of everybody was missing. FUCKED UP. I still get them, but fortunately, only about 3 times a year max.

I hope they don't soak you too badly :)


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krazyfelioness
krazyfelioness
sarcastic bubblewrap
Saturday, January 15th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)

Haven't been able to check LJ in a while and this day has been eventful in people's updates. Glad you're ok!

Migraines have all kinds of light shows, etc. don't they? lol :)


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eticket
eticket
an idiot walking a tightrope of fortune and fame
Monday, January 17th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)

Good to hear that's all it was.

I emphasize on the no insurance thing. My wife and I have been without it since early 2009 when she got laid off. This made our bout with the swine flu super awesome fun.

Thankfully, we're getting insured again as of Feb 1st. Less than 2 weeks to go. I'm kinda scared to go outside til then lest I tempt fate.


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