Around 10:30 this morning, I felt a dull, throbbing pain in my neck, near the back of my skull, on the left hand side. I took some aspirin, hoping to stave off a headache. Little did I know that a headache would be the least of my worries.
I became aware of a sudden, tingly numbness on the left side of my face, and my left forearm, the kind of feeling I usually have in my fingers when the weather is bad. It was most noticible along the rim of my eye socket, my cheekbone and along my jawline at first, and as an almost glovelike feeling on my arm (yes, there is sensation in numbness, as I’ve learned entirely too well). The sensation became more of a true numbness, and traveled to the left side of my mouth and my nose, and I could almost trace a numb path along the underside of my arm upwards toward my armpit.
My first thought was: stroke.
I called my neurologist’s office around noon, all in a tizzy, wondering if I needed to go to the emergency room with this. When it became apparent that I wasn’t going to be getting an answer anytime soon, I called my GP’s office. They connected me with the answering service, who connected me in turn with the nurse practitioner. She tried to reassure me, telling me it was probably Bell’s Palsy (which actually freaked me out more, for reasons I’ll explain in a bit).
In any case, they worked me in as an appointment, and I called my husband’s work, all upset, and asked for him to come home. Then I made arrangements with my friend Karen for the kids to be picked up from school. She was such a blessing and kept asking if there was something she could do for me personally. She ended up picking up Hubby when he was finally tracked down and I made it clear that I didn’t trust myself driving, and she made dinner for the kids (since this is Circus Night at Awana, the boys wouldn’t have gotten to eat by the time we eventually got home). While I was waiting for Hubby to come home, the neurologist’s office finally called back and asked if I needed an appointment. I said that I had gotten one with my GP, and the woman on the other end said, "Oh, that’s fine."
Got to my GP, and waited for a while, mostly because I had been shoehorned it. My GP, who I think is the bee’s knees, put me at rest about the Bell’s Palsy and the possibility of stroke, because I had no muscular weakness or paralysis. (My MIL has Bell’s Palsy, caused by a tumor that’s sitting on a key nerve in her neck in a spot where they can’t remove it. She’s had to have surgery just so she can close her right eye.) My GP went back and forth with the neurologist’s office (which told her they had offered me an appointment for tomorrow — someone’s covering their butts there). Turns out they can’t see me until next week. But in the meanwhile, I’m to have an MRI tomorrow. The sharp pain that I started out with has been explained as an inflamed lymph node and it’s back with a vengeance.
Hubby has asked for some family medical leave time, and will take me to and from the MRI. Which is good, seeing as they’ll practically have to knock me out to get me in the thing (unless, by some fluke, this place has an open air MRI, for which I will bless my GP forever!).
In any case, that’s my excitement for today.