June 10th, 2005


(no subject)

Well, that was unsettling.

I was in the bookstore, having just picked up a copy of Catie Murphy's book "Urban Shaman" and thinking "Hey, I should get this--" when one of my fingertips felt weird.

My first thought was that there was a bit of plastic or something covering the tip, since it was still pressure sensitive, but there was no tactile input. Puzzled, I looked at it, and it started to tingle. "Hmm," I thought, "what's up with that?" I shook my hand--left hand--a bit, thinking perhaps my fingertip had just fallen asleep, but the tingly numbness continued to spread down my finger. A minute later, it started on the next finger. I put the book down and shook my hand a bit more. The thumb started to go. It was absolutely baffling, like nothing I've ever experienced, as if my hand was falling asleep in rapid stages. I could still move everything, I just couldn't feel it.

I thought "Holy shit, I'm having a stroke."

The first finger began to return some weak sensation. I wasn't sure if I was relieved or not. Perhaps I'd pinched a nerve somewhere? I generally associate a pinched nerve with a savage pain, not creeping tingly numbness. The other two fingers went numb to spite me. The heel of my hand started to go. Carpal tunnel? My right arm's the one that's gonna get it, the left arm just hangs around and mooches.

I thought "This is my left arm. Left? Left. Fuck. Am I having a heart attack? I better get home NOW."

I got in the car--and now I realize that this was probably not terribly smart, since if I'd had an actual incident, at least on the floor of Barnes & Noble, I'd be likely to get help, whereas in the car, at best I'd die alone behind the wheel, at worst I'd plow into a tree--but I got into the car anyway, since I live like three minutes away. Checked the mirror. Left side of my face still mobile, not sagging. Recited part of "The Raven" (it was the first thing I remembered.) Speech wasn't slurred. Heart rate normal. Stomach...roiling, but then again, I was starting to get kinda unsettled, so I chalked that up as stress rather than symptom.

As I drove, my hand came back on-line, somewhat grudgingly. Probably not a stroke. I hope.

Got home. Told James what had happened. Took two asprin just in case I'd had a heart attack. Checked the internet. There were lots of things that had hand numbness as a symptom, many of them involving the cheery phrase "sudden death." Called the doctor. They said that I'd probably have my whole arm go if it was a stroke, and a heart attack would not just be numb and tingly, but that it was sufficiently weird I ought to come in, since sudden death would put a damper on my plans for the evening. So now I have an appointment in two hours. My arm still feels weird, sort of...mm...internally cold...but if I'm being honest, I cannot say that it's actually weird, and that I'm not just hyper-aware of it because I'm paranoid.

It's possible I'm just a total hypochondriac, mind you, but that sorta shit is not in the owner's manual. It's probably nothing, but it freaked the hell outta me--at 28 I expect aches, pains, and wear and tear, but that was kinda beyond the pale.

Wish me luck.

(no subject)

I return!

Since I got the feeling back, this was a Good Sign, and probably meant that sudden death was not in the cards. Cardiac episode was ruled out after it was revealed that my blood pressure continues to mosey along like a sea cucumber on quaaludes. Stroke was highly unlikely, since I did get the feeling back, although if I lose the whole arm suddenly, or develop any other symptoms in that genre, I am told to get to the emergency room as fast as I can go.

But it was a good thing I went to the doctor--she thinks it's inflamed nerve sheaths, which means that, now that they're nicely inflamed, it'll almost certainly keep happening all weekend. This would have freaked me the hell out, and I'd be in the ER hyperventilating. Monday I get scheduled for some tests that involve hooking little electrodes to my arm.

It's my left arm, though. It can wither and fall off if it has to--the painting arm is sacred. The doctor was a little surprised that the left should go, rather than the oft-abused right, but I am deeply grateful to the painting gods for taking that side, and not the one I really REALLY need, since I have two cons next month. The most likely culprit is that I've been reading alot of science writing lately, which involves holding the arm up, more or less immobile, clutching a heavy hardcover, and evidentally the weight and the position is compressing the nerve sheaths in my wrist, causing them to swell. We'll know more once they zap me a few times and see what bits twitch.

So I feel a lot better now.

Edit: And my gratitude to everybody who posted with well-wishing--I feel da love! Thankfully turned out to be nothing much, but man, it was pretty freaky while it was happening. *grin*

(no subject)

This is not my day.

I had recovered from my terror that I'd had a stroke, I'd gone to the doctor and had a pleasant visit, I abandoned hope of painting today, and picked up some James Herriot books, which I haven't read in a long time, and which I figured would function as comfort reading. I slouched down on the couch, made some Earl Grey, got a Red Vine, and was working through "All Things Bright and Beautiful," and just as I was feeling that the universe was perhaps not out to get me and that life was worth living, and no matter how bad things were, at least I wasn't shoulder deep in the back end of a cow--and my SECOND temporary crown popped off.

I have determined that A) I hit the Tooth Fairy with my car one night, and B) my teeth can smell Friday. They know when it's coming. They attack just as there is no hope of getting a dentist anywhere on the state. But the licorice's betrayal was a savage blow. Et tu, Red Vine?

I hauled out the "Dent-Temp" crap that for some reason I have on hand, conducted a little alchemy in the bathroom to mix the cement, and plastered the crown back in place. My lip started burning. I read the manual. In case of burning, remove Dent-Temp and rinse with vegetable oil. Oh. Joy. Some of James's 100% Extra Virgin olive oil was pressed into service to rinse my lip. James poured out a shotglass. I stared at him. "A paper towel, maybe? I don't want to do shots." Except that I had to keep my teeth pressed together to set the cement, so it came out as "Ahayer-owl, ayee? Iohnunnahoo-osh." James stared at me blankly. He's a good man, but he does need consonants. I gesticulated wildly. This appeared to work. Olive oil did the trick.

Inside of my mouth seemed okay. Fingerprints appeared to have been filled in with dental cement. Began scrubbing out fingerprints. If I commit any major crimes, I'll probably regret this moment as they're hauling me away, but still, didn't seem right. Inside of mouth started to burn. Curses! Tried to remove Dent-Temp as suggested. Hmm. Dent-Temp works quickly. It will take a crowbar, or perhaps toast, to get it off now. Sonuvabitch. Well, it wasn't burning too badly. Surely it'd be fine once everything set. I gargled a few more times.

"You could gargle with olive oil," James suggested. I looked at him. He remembered urgent business elsewhere, perhaps trying to locate some of those missing consonants. Glumly, I settled on the couch. Burning mostly subsided. Okay. I can handle this. I'll keep an eye on things, make sure there's no swelling or weird reaction. If it comes off again, it can stay off. It's not like the tooth hurts or anything. Monday I'll call and make an appointment to get the damn crown, insurance company pre-billing be damned. If they won't pay for it, eh, life is hard all over.

And at least I'm STILL not shoulder-deep in the back end of a cow.