Anatomy of a Stroke – part 2


The first signs of my stroke happened on Friday at around 6:00 in the morning.  I woke up before my alarm.  The room was spinning out of control; REALLY spinning!  It was not like being dizzy but it was definitely vertigo.  The closest analogy that I can give you is that it was like being on a speeding circular carnival ride except that I was not moving; the whole room was doing the moving.  My head was killing me so I decided to sleep in and tried to bear the wild ride.  Luckily, the vertigo stopped after about two minutes.  This was an extremely frightening experience because I had no control whatsoever of the rapid spinning.  I had had a TIA and did not recognize the symptoms.  

I finally made into work around 8 am.  My neck and head were killing me all day.  We knocked off work around 8 pm and headed back to our hotel.  There was a group of about eight of us over there from work.  We usually did everything together and decided to meet for dinner around 9 pm.  We met at an outside café and I had a tasty dinner of entrecote and frites, steak and french fries.

I had just finished eating when the vertigo struck for the second time.  It was probably about 11 pm on Friday night.  It scared me to death.  Everything around me was twirling wildly.  I asked one of my colleagues to help me back to my hotel room.   I only had to walk about 100 yards but the muscles on my right side would not work.  I was walking like I was totally drunk.  Finally, my friend put my right arm over his shoulder and almost carried me to my room.

I was in my room for two minutes when suddenly things took a turn for the worse.  I was scared to death that I would collapse all alone in my room so I called my buddy and asked him to come to my room, ASAP!  I had not even hung up the phone when the twirling got so bad I could not stand it any longer.  I am talking about extreme vertigo!

My stomach started churning severely.  My mouth suddenly became all juicy.  I knew these were the symptoms of having to throw up.  It was over in a second.  I had made a mad dash for the toilet.  The bathroom was literally two steps away.  I made it to the threshold of the bathroom entrance when my entire stomach contents erupted through my mouth!  The wonderful entrecote, frites, salad, two glasses of wine and the delicious hot fudge Sunday all spewed out of my mouth with the force of a fire hydrant exploding.  Sound gross?  Well, it was gross!  I think I hit every wall in the bathroom.  I have NEVER thrown up so violently in my whole life!

Just about then, two of my buddies came flying through the door.  Both of their faces were panic stricken when they saw me.  There was no doubt in their minds that something serious was wrong with me.  One of them scrambled for the phone and yelled for the front desk to immediately send up a doctor.

The doctor arrived about 20 minutes later.  By this time it was almost midnight.  The doctor spoke little to no English and all of our French comprised of ordering food at restaurants.  We could order dinner really well but beyond that our French stunk!  The doctor made me lie flat on my bed while he took my blood pressure.  If I remember right it was like 160/100.  I know now that is not terribly high but he still looked very concerned.  He had seen the catastrophe in the bathroom.  He knew something serious was happening with me.  He waited 20 more minutes and then took my blood pressure again.  It was unchanged and he grew more concerned.  I made sure he understood that I had a bad case of vertigo.  If I remained very still the room would not spin.  If I was perfectly still I was okay but any movement and the room started twirling.  The doctor called for an ambulance.  I was scared out of my mind.  What was happening to me?  To be continued…





4 Responses

  1. This is a Great Site, my father-in-law had a stroke and I truly never really understood what happens during and following a stroke. Thanks for this site, it has given me a new found respect for Missy, Tracy and Erin, they are truly God’s gift to you. One of many blessings. Keeping all of you in prayer.


  2. Ewww! Way to graphic even if it is true! Seriously, everyone needs to know to listen to their bodies and if you think something serious is going on, SOMETHING SERIOUS IS GOING ON! So don’t wait, get to a doctor! Thank goodness you had the forethought to contact your buds!


  3. Even though 14 years have gone by it still seems like yesterday when I heard the news of your stroke. I still don’t understand how this could have happened to YOU of all people but I understand your purpose and that is to bring information and support to all who have been effected in some way by stroke. I am proud to be a part of the StrokeNetwork and am humbled by your story! My brother….My Hero! You are a true inspiration!


  4. I enjoyed rreading your post


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