Monday, May 27, 2013

The Stroke

So about that stroke that Tank had.

It was December 12, 2012. Yes, 12/12/12. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he planned it that way.

Anyway, that was a Wednesday. It started off as usual. Tank dropped me off at work and went on to his job. When I went to lunch that day, there was a text from him telling me to call him when I got the chance. So I did and he told me he was at home. Said he had a bad headache and his boss sent him home to rest. Then he asked me if his speach sounded slurred. That sent up red flags of course. But I told him he sounded fine, which he did. We hung up and for the most part I forgot about it.

My sister came to pick me up that day and I told her what had happened. Oddly enough, she got it right. She said it sounded like a stroke. I thought "surely not" and kind of dismissed it. When I got home, Tank was in bed and said he was pretty sure he had the flu. He had started throwing up and he said he had body aches. Wonderful.

So Tank laid in bed the rest of the day. The next morning he didn't seem any better and he was still throwing up. I asked if we should go to the doctor but he said no, he'd be fine. I was off that day and I'd occasionally go check on him. He slept most of the day. He'd get up every now and then to use the bathroom or get something to drink. And when he did, he'd lean to the left when walking and sometimes bump into the wall. But, stupid me, I let it go.

That night he was still in bed and still throwing up. His headache hadn't gotten any better. That's when I knew something was up. Tank never got headaches and if he did, they were the garden variety that went away after 30 minutes and some Advil. I asked him then if we should go to the hospital. "No... I'll be fine... it's just the flu and I don't want to pay them $300 for a Tylenol." Whatever. I felt like I should try to do more, but what was I going to do? Drag him outside? Looking back now, I should have called an ambulance. But I was clinging to the hope that he was right and this was just some bad flu.

Next day, Friday, more of the same. Before I left for work I asked him again if we should go to the doctor. And he still didn't want to go. So I went on to work after making him promise he'd call me if he needed anything. When I got home, it was still the same. He was in bed, his head was still pounding, but he wasn't throwing up anymore. We thought that maybe he was getting better.

Saturday was kind of a repeat of Friday. I got up, asked him if he wanted to go to the doctor, then went on to work when he said no. I got home that afternoon, checked on him, no change. Asked about the doctor. Once again, he said no. Then about 3 hours later, Noah said he heard Tank calling for me. I went in the bedroom and he asked if I'd help him get dressed. He'd finally had enough and was ready to go to the hospital.

I helped him get some shorts and a hoodie on (he used to wear shorts year-round). We slowly went out to the car, and he was moaning the entire way. We almost weren't able to get him into the car, either. Tank's a tall guy and our Grand Prix might not be a tiny car, but the roof is low, so we had to maneuver him around some so he could slide his head in. Even so, he still bumped it a few times and it brought him to tears.

Even through all that, I kept thinking "Surely this is just some freak migraine... gotta be..."

We got to the emergency room in about 8 minutes since we live really close to the hospital. I walked him in, pointed him at a nurse, then went back out to park the car. He told the nurse that he had a massive headache. But that didn't send off any alarm bells. They got his vitals and they must not have been *too* out of whack, because we sat in the ER waiting room for three hours.

Tank rested his head on my shoulder for the most part and kept his hoodie pulled up and over his eyes because the light hurt. Every so often he'd ask me in a joking way "Do they know I'm dying? Because I'm dying. You should tell them I'm dying." He was kidding at the time, but now we know how close to the truth he was.

Ok, that's it for now. Back here in May, 2013, I have to help him with his antibiotics now. I've turned into a regular home care nurse. Yay.

Jack, our cat, tried to help last time. He's not very good at it.


  1. That time when you were keeping us informed was scary as hell. I can not imagine you guys having to really deal with that. Hugs!