While waiting for all the tests, I have the medical people asking me all sorts of questions. Who is the president? I have no idea, but in this day and age that is no question to ask a seriously confused person. It seems some hospitals no longer ask the “president question” to determine understanding because it upsets so many people.
They want to know the big dates. When is your birthday? No clue. I’d like to help you out but I am coming up empty. Today’s date? Where are you? I have nothing for them.
They ask me to repeat No ifs, ands, or buts. Tongue twisters that I garble. Even saying 50-50 throws me. For the first hour, I don’t remember any of the questions. After an hour, I still don’t know the answers, but trending positive, I now understand that these are questions that I should know the answers to. That’s a significant step out of the fog.
As for tests that evening in the ER:
The CAT scan (an X-ray image made using Computerized Axial Tomography) of my brain rules out bleeding in my brain; clearly, I am not having a stroke.
The MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which gives the medical staff a more detailed image of my brain and its blood flow, shows no lack of blood flow and again no evidence of stroke.
The heart monitor determines if there is atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, and heart failure. My heart is just fine.
The chest x-ray determines whether there are any blood clots in my lungs. This test can help diagnose and monitor conditions such as pneumonia and heart failure. I have a clean x-ray.
A urinary test would indicate whether I have a Urinary Tract Infection. UTIs cause similar confusion and again the medical professionals are trying to rule out as much as possible. I have no urinary infection.
Finally, I am screened for drugs. It turns out it is routine anytime someone comes into the ER in an “altered mental status,” which is me! There are no drugs in my system.
I was passing all the medical tests and failing all the questions. Though the medical professionals didn’t know what was going on, I was not surprised at all what was happening to me. You see 15 years ago something similar happened 150 miles from home. Stay tuned for part 3 on Thursday.