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.