I spent Saturday night fighting muscle spasms all over my body, possibly from a reaction to the nausea medication given to me in ER at Renown Medical Center. I was also feeling weak and disoriented. The right side of my face felt like I been punched by a massive fist, but with no pain, just numbness. I had no idea why my body was malfunctioning so badly with no obvious trauma. A stroke was the most plausible cause, but no one really knew.
Sunday morning brought new symptoms. I now had double vision. My right eye took the same image of my left eye, but put it above and at a 20° angle, which was higher on the right, lower on the left. In addition, both images seemed to spin and skip. I have not been falling down drunk many times in my life, but that is the only way I could describe this sensation.
I was incapable of functioning as a normal adult. I couldn’t stand, walk, eat, drink, see, read, or write. I now relied on an IV to supply my fluids, and by late Sunday, would need a tube inserted for nourishment.
The answers did not come after initial MRI scan. The Radiologist found no visible sign of any type of hemorrhage in my brain. More tests were scheduled, but the diagnosis would eventually come after a second look at the MRI scans. I had a tiny stroke on my brain stem. The doctor told me that this type of stroke caused Wallenberg’s Syndrome or Lateral Medullary Syndrome As it turns out I am almost a textbook case.
While I was in the neurological unit I learned that I had lost heat and prick sensation on my right side of my face and the left side of my body. I could sense touch, but not pain, nor temperature. I also discovered that if I closed my eyes and relaxed, once I opened my eyes, the visual image would be turned at a 90° angle for about four seconds and then would spin and become horizontal. By the end of Sunday I had a good understanding of how much damage my stroke had done. It would be Monday before I would see any signs of hope of recovery.