“What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been”
Been a hell of a couple of dayz. Woke up Saturday Morning with a sod-busting headache on the left side of the ol’ cranium. No big thang as we say in the “D”. The cure for that was to just take a nap. After arising again, it was worse. While watching a little bit of the news on TV, my left eye was slightly blurry. As time progressed, it became hard to close the eye-lid and the left side of my mug took on a weird vibe. With a bathroom vanity mirror being replaced by the landlord, it seemed prudent to take a look in a small mirror in the kitchen.
That was no fun.
Not being big in the vanity department, the countenance reflected in the mirror did not look right. The left side of my mouth was droopy and I could not close the left eyelid. Furthermore, a couple of extremities took on a numbness. So…I called my big sister and a brother and they promptly diagnosed my condition. That’s how we Hurley’s roll. My pastor and his wife encouraged moi’ to get my derriere’ to the hospital. After a few hours of procrastination, on to Beaumont ER I went. The initial diagnosis was what’s called a Transient Ischemic Attack…the mildest form of a stroke. From ER, a nice guy named Patrick wheeled me to ICU to be hooked up to various machines where a battery of tests were to be run. Yesterday brought a move to a room on the 8th floor of Seven South, where more tests, (i.e. CAT, MRI and blood work) were conducted.
By close to discharge today, and after reading the results of more tests, a neurologist determined that I’d contracted a case of Bells’ palsy. The other is/was leaning toward a mild stroke. Perhaps they differed in their professional opinion. All I know is that it rattled this cage. Hey…there was no attempt to alarm anyone. Things were shared and reported as they became available off the Hospital Newsfeed Ticker. I’d sure rather roll with the Bells than the Stroke. Amen?
The cool thing about Beaumont is how well the staff converges on a patient to act as a team of commandos. It’s quite funny to watch them discuss/argue about arriving at a correct diagnosis in a group of five at the head of your bed. Initially, my main concern was being too young to have any kind of condition that would impact my symmetrically, handsome, smile. “Your so vain and I finally think this blog is about you.” The whole gig was fairly unsettling, but my roommate Tom was a cool guy. The Lord was present in the room as we commiserated about landing there, largely as a result of not Taking Care Of Business.
In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, upon admittance, my BP was at 194 over 121 with an elevated glucose level of 496. One Doc called it “A Perfect Storm” and promptly got all over my shit about letting things get so out of hand. After explaining my travails with the lack of SS Part B and a Part D being administered through the anti–christ of Wallyworld–which is like not having any coverage at all, I told him I could not afford the test strips for the Diabetes Meter. Without missing a beat, he said; “Oh, let’s see…you can afford cigs but not test strips”. Boy, was the Hurls ever busted on that one. So there went the cigarettes. Besides, I was close to quitting anyway. Having just ordered a dream guitar, I can’t afford it anyway. This incident provided the necessary benevolent coercion to focus down on an intentional change with laser vision heretofore absent.
So the silver lining in all this is indeed, a very good thing. This was a classic wake-up call to quit screwing around and get a tune-up…which Beaumont provided. They put Humpty Dumpty back together again, lowered the glucose level and BP down from moon orbit aaaaand sent me out the door with a bag full of scrips (no narcotics…amen?) including some kind of steroid, a glucose meter, test strips, blood pressure meds and a some other stuff with no recreational qualities but designed to get my Face Back In Place.
Without a fan to run and being jacked up on steroids, I’ve been up for 48 hours…but could not crash before providing you guys with an update. Thanks so much for the phone calls, IM’s, Texts, Emails & prayers. You guys are the best. I recall a time in my life where after having burned out every good & precious relationship I’d been blessed with, the general prevailing attitude upon getting locked down was “good riddance”. After a proper Irish Nap, I’ll be sure to get back with you who reached out and emailed, texted, IM’d called, and visited. Much thanks to Kevin & Nora’s original diagnosis…to Tommy, Kristen, Timmy & Josh who stopped by…and to others who understood getting visits was not at the top of the list.
Stay cool and I’ll do the same. God Bless Your Hearts and thanks again for all your mad love.