Not what I had planned


Everyone else has left the office.  It’s about 5:20pm and I’m trying to finish something off because my partner is working late anyway. Everything is normal.

Suddenly my ear feels like it’s popping.  You know that sensation you get when you go swimming and get water in your ears. Within minutes a numbness spreads across the right side of my face like an ink blot running through tissue paper.

It’s too late to call my doctor and I think I’m probably over reacting anyway.  I dial 13HEALTH.  The nurse asks many questions,  ending with instructions for me to go to emergency at my nearest hospital.  This can’t be good.  I check my face in the mirror for drooping but see none. That’s got to be a good thing.

I ask Mum to drive me to the hospital. My partner comes after she finishes work. A CT scan completed after midnight shows I’ve not had a full stroke.  My face is still numb to touch but the numbness is slowly fading. 

The Logan is a public hospital and the wait for the necessary MRI will be lengthy. A nearby private hospital can see me tomorrow if I pay my health insurance co-payment. A long wait ensues because,  while my partner could easily drive me there,  admission rules require me to travel by ambulance. 

It’s 4:30am by the time I get a bed at Greenslopes Private Hospital. I’m too tired to answer questions or converse. I’m asleep before the nurse takes my details after almost 24 hours awake and 12 hours since this frightening experience began.

In 4 hours from now I’ll have an MRI. Hopefully I won’t have to wait long to see the neurologist after that test. I haven’t had a stroke but a mini stroke (TIA) is expected to have occurred. 

A warning that I need to seriously consider whether I continue to take testosterone. A confusing thought given I’ve been on T for over 15 years and I don’t know what would happen to me if I need to stop. But if given the choice of cycling and adventuring or taking the T, I know that I would not be me if I had to slow down. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. The coming days will tell.


19 comments on “Not what I had planned

  1. So sorry to hear this about my newest blog buddy! I’ll be praying for swift, complete recovery.

  2. Thinking and praying for you, Andrew. Thankfully you caught it early before it could get worse (if that’s how it works). Keep us posted.

  3. Oh shit. Overwhelming and hits you like a brick with all the implications. After the confusion major life events always distill down your important priorities. Hope you start to mend soon. Of all your blogs turning a cracked frame, cancelled Tassie trip into a positive impacted me the most. This time the hit is bigger than your bike frame but follow the same process ,take some time and you will be through this obstacle too.

    • Yep … you are so right about priorities. I am back home and the neurologist is happy that, so long as I get my haemoglobin count down, there’s no risk of recurrence. Sometimes a wake up call is necessary to help us recognise where we need to focus our energies. I have had a couple days to think about stuff and that’s probably been a good thing 🙂 And I know just how lucky I am to have a mother and a partner who both came and spent literally all of Monday night in Emergency with me (we were the loud laughing group who were passing time by having a social time ;))

  4. Get well quickly. Hopefully the MRI has some good news. When my husband thought he was having a stroke it turned out to be Bells Palsy.

  5. Holy moly, my friend. 😦 The implications of all of this no doubt have to be incredibly overwhelming. You are in my heart and thoughts throughout the day as you learn more about what has happened. Oh my goodness. Hang in there. Be strong. Have faith and find strength in those around you. Including all of us, out “here”.

    • Thanks Sandra. I’m home again and feeling very lucky to have had a warning rather than a stroke. I’m all good. Am at a point in my life where I can take things like this in my stride. Off to my local doc to start talking about how to get my Hb count down over the next week and then off to a transgender specialist doc next Tuesday to discuss hormone options. Am feeling positive and optimistic about things. Sometimes I need the Universe to yell at me because I can be a bit pig-headed … haha

  6. Oh my heavens, how scary I am sending strength, prayers and healing thoughts your way!

  7. Get well soon. Hopefully there has been no infarction. I love your adventures and your amazing ability to enjoy the little things.

    • Thanks Pete 🙂 I am back at work today and will be out bushwalking tomorrow. I won’t be pushing myself any time soon but will just enjoy some easier adventures in the outdoors. Should be a lot of fun 🙂

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