Epic. Catastrophic. Over the top.

Those can describe yesterday.

I was doing….”Okay”. I have been fairly okayish many days. Not fine, not free, just….okay.

Christmas started out rough. I had disequalibrium which just scares the Crap out of me. However, I’ve learned taking ibuprofen helps a great deal which leads me to believe it is indeed swelling in my neck causing the floating, pre-fainting feeling. I get it badly when I look down a lot or am turning my head side to side like walking in a store looking for something. I also get it when I tense, which is what I do. I often feel like my shoulders are stuffed inside the base of my skull.

So, Christmas with the family went well. I was proud. I was good at work yesterday morning. Half day. Was headed to see my friend who is in her final stages of cancer after but had a chiropractor appointment first. I figured my neck is my problem, I would start being proactive.

We meet. He takes xrays, we do a minor quick adjustment and I’m out the door. I feel better….then, tingling creeps into my cheek. I joke about getting ready to have a stroke….then it creeps down my neck into my left deltoid, forearm and wrist.

I go see my friend. When I arrive, her dog runs to me and I pet her. I stand there figuring out who and where everyone is at, as I always do. Her son comes around the corner and….something is different. He comes over to me. He looks distant. Dazed. He says “Didn’t anyone tell you?” No, tell me what? Did something happen? “You don’t know?”

I feel sick. I sure know now.

Is she gone? “I can’t believe no one told you”.

Me either.

I’m so sorry. Are you okay? “Not really.” I know. I’m sorry.

He walks away. Dazed. Her other son comes around the corner. Same look. Shit. It’s true. She’s gone.

Indeed her sister. Same conversaton. “I’m sorry, I thought you’d see it on Facebook.”

I don’t get on her Facebook. I was at work. I don’t get on anyone’s Facebook.

“I thought you knew”

I keep hearing that, but clearly, I did not. I saw her the night before. As we were alone, I talked to her.softly. She can hear. She knows what you’re saying. She can only respond with restlessness.

“You made it to Christmas. You’re amazing. I know you did that for your kids. You’re amazing. Now, its up to you. You’re free to go tomorrow, the next day or never. You get to decide. I promise I’ll take care of your sister and watch over your boys. I’ll do it even if she fights me. So, if you’re tired and want to go….go. Its okay. We sure don’t want you to but we know this is miserable for you. We want what is best for you. Always.”

She died the next morning and no, no one told me.

So, I head home. Dazed. Numbness in my face and left arm. I start to fret its really a stroke.

I get home, have lunch and order the food I was to bring back at 6.

I feel worse and now I’m starting to panic. I recall the doc doing the wrist strength test. He repeated my left one three times, clearly concerned. It stuck in my thoughts. I wonder what that means.

I Google. Epic mistake.

I run into a blur about chiropractic adjustments on the neck causing stroke. That’s it. All alarms start sounding. Stroke. A MAJOR trigger.
The alarms become louder.

Vertibral aortic dissection is what I diagnosed myself with. It’s something that can happen after a neck adjustment. I read a case study on a 38 year old male. Went in after a month of headaches. Had an adjustment and then immediately had balance and speaking issues. Waited an hour in the waiting room before driving home. Had to be driven home from work the next day and by day 3, was headed to the ER for major issues and a long not totally unresolved recovery. Smoked 20 packs a day. No other notes.

That was it. I’m going to have a stroke. I call the doc. Leave a message.

By now I’m checking pulse ox and bp like crazy debating driving to the ER.

I Google like mad. 5th common reason for stroke. More common in young and middle age. Sneezing, picking up something too heavy….blah blah.

The doc calls back. Questions about both arms, one arm, which, oh left. Dizziness? Room spinning? Vision issues? He sounds relieved. Thinks the nerves are irritated. He will take a loom during my appointment tomorrow.

We hang up.

Um, not going. Thanks.

So, I had to cancel the food and call my friends sister. There is no way I can drive clear across town in rush hour while having a stroke.

I let them all down. I promised to take care of them, and right out of the gate….I failed.

Distraught. Pleading, praying, bartering and begging…..

I spent the next 4 hours in a state of chaos and agony. Utter despair. Bawling. Hating myself. Hating who I’ve become. I should be morning my friend. Praying for her and her family, not wollowing in my Crap!

My spouse is helpless. Probably sick of it. More guilt.

I woke up this morning. Still guilt filled. Still forlorn. Still sad.

Still here.


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