I literally mean, I lost my mind. I lost the Big Three – I couldn’t speak; I couldn’t remember; I couldn’t think. Let’s make it four – I couldn’t read. There is a diagnosis, but it certainly sounds like something that happened to me 15 years ago in Connecticut. More on that later.
It’s Tuesday afternoon this late June at home with Hannah and our grandsons Owen and Max when all hell breaks loose. I don’t remember a thing. I am speaking gibberish such that Hannah doesn’t recognize me. She calls friends for help and says, Dan is acting weird. Our preschool grandsons look quizzically at me when I can’t remember their names. I am speaking but the words are not making any sense.
Calling our local friend Corky, Hannah explains my incoherence, babbling, and confusion. To which, Corky replies that there is no time to waste. You have a small window in which to get something done if it turns out it’s a vascular event (i.e. involving a blood clot).
If I am having a stroke, time is of the essence. Medical professionals will have a three-hour window to determine if I need the necessary medication to dissolve a blood clot. Corky follows up with, Don’t call 911; take him directly to the hospital, which for us is York Hospital three miles in town.
Hannah has seen enough and so packs the boys and me in the car. On the drive in, she remembers me wondering why I need to go to the hospital. I am Clueless with a capital C. Fortunately, she just smiles and keeps driving down York Street. Nothing registers in my mind and I have no memory of the trip to the ER.
So, let’s recap what Hannah is dealing with as I enter the emergency room of York Hospital: I don’t know what is happening to me; I am very confused, I have lost my memory (amnesia), I can’t speak sensibly (aphasia), and I didn’t know where I am. I am a scary package of incoherence and technically-speaking – I am out of my mind.
Once in the ER, they aren’t messing around. They schedule:
- a CAT scan of my brain
- an MRI for a more detailed picture of the blood flow in my brain
- a chest x-ray
- a urine test – urinary tract infection?
- a urine drug screen
and they also slap on a heart monitor to determine if there is atrial fibrillation
Hmmm, drug screening for Danny Boy? Part 2 follows Tuesday