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My Turn for a Medical Drama

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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3460
Topic starter  

Hi all,

Apart from offering occasional sympathy to Roy Parker, Vic, Kingpatzer and others, I generally manage to stay out of the medical disasters section of the news here, but apparently it was my turn yesterday….It seems that I suffered some kind of mini stroke. Weird stuff.

There was no obvious precise point at which it began, but I started to notice that I was losing part of the vision in my left eye. I also developed a headache. When I went to the cupboard for some tablets I discovered that I couldn't read the instructions. Not just because of blurry vision but I could not longer understand or read words. They just looked like symbols in a foreign language that I couldn't decode or understand. This was starting to get a bit on the scary side…

I looked over and over but just couldn't get any meaning from the words, or put a sentence together in any way. So I went into the bedroom and sat down in the music corner. I couldn't read the words on the song sheet either. I tried to turn the amp off, but I couldn't work out how to do it. There's a switch on the back, which isn't obvious, but I've used it many times. I also now turn it off using a switch on a power board, but I'd forgotten that too.

So I tried playing a few chords. Interestingly enough my fingers still knew where to go, which was encouraging. Maybe the ‘muscle memory' lives in another part of the brain? I then took down another guitar. It took me a little while to work out where to plug the lead in, but I then had trouble trying to work out how to tune it up properly (at least I did recognise that it was out of tune). So I put it away again.

I was on my own in the house, with no neighbours nearby, so I just sat it out and hoped to recover. Over the next few hours it all slowly returned. I still have a bit of a headache, so I'll try and see a doctor today. My wife is insisting on staying home from work today, so I'd better go along with her instructions to get it checked out... Nice to be able to read again! Interesting that I lost the ability to read (I read every day and have around two thousand books in the house) but could still play chords. I'd like to say that when I came round I could play like Jimi Hendrix…. But no, still the same old strummer…

Maybe it was the pressure of “stardom”! 8) I was recently asked to join a local trio to play every Wednesday in the local music shop and we played together for a couple of hours for the first time this week. It went well, and the occasional ‘audient' seemed to like it (I don't think that we ever had two customers in the shop at the same time – so we never quite cracked it for an ‘audience' as such…). I played acoustic 6 string rhythm, and the other two mostly fought for control of the melody line - one on banjo and the other on mandolin. Playing traditional tunes, so lots of fun and not too tough.

I hope that everybody else's various problems are healing or improving too.

Cheers,

Chris


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2198
 

Ouch.

I'd definitely suggest getting to a doctor asap and getting yourself looked at. That could be lots of things, and some of them are probably very serious . . .

Hope you're ok.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@bennett)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 297
 

Glad to hear you're okay mate.

But I agree with King: get thee to a shrink asap! Mini-strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are not to be trifled with. :(

Hope to hear good news soon. Keep well mate!

From little things big things grow - Paul Kelly


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(@elecktrablue)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4389
 

Most definitely get yourself to the doctor as soon as possible!!! Strokes, even mini ones, can do major damage and we don't want to lose you!! Do you have high blood pressure? If so, do you take the appropriate meds?

I have a nephew (stands 6'7" tall and weighs about 260 lbs and is 31 years old) who, knowing full well that his blood pressure was out of control but wouldn't go to the doctor. He had one excuse after another for not going. Then he checked his pressure with my little pressure checker (my pressure also runs high without meds) and it was 195 over 108!!! He was a stroke waiting to happen. When I saw what it was I made him call a doctor and make an appt. for the following day and drove him to the office myself to make sure he didn't blow it off. The doctor prescribed medication and after taking it for a day I had him check his pressure again and it had come down to 125 over 80, which is close enough to normal not to quibble over a few numbers that will probably come down as he gets more of the meds into his system.

A stroke is one of my biggest personal fears, and I wouldn't wish one on my worst enemy, so PLEASE get to the doctor quickly!!! And let us know what he says!

I'll be praying for you, Chris!

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Hi Chris, I hope that it is not a stroke. That was my biggest fear when this latest wave hit me. Very similar mental abilities, a MASSIVE headache ensued. Weirdest thing about it was that I was so incredibly angry. Scary angry, as in scared my wife and son something fierce. Also, my speech slurred, vision got blurry, etc. Bad scene. Good news though, is that the MRI showed no signs of stroke and that was a huge relief. Since, my speech has gotten a bit better, vision a bit better, less confused, etc. Still got the headache. Been with it since early August off and on and since early September steady. One possible thing that will get verified (or not) come Monday, but if it is, it's treatable <knock on wood>. The headaches are migraines that went on for a few days and down to splitting headache for a couple of days and back and forth. Thankfully, no massive Migraine has nailed me for a few days. I can't imagine a bad one on top of what Im feeling now. I think I'd end up in the hospital.

Good luck Chris, and keep us posted.

Oh, and Electrablue, 110 over 72. Highest at any point during this whole mess was 117 over 76. I'm such a vision of health.

Sorry for rambling. It's the meds man, it's the meds.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3460
Topic starter  

Thanks for the support. :)

I went to the doctor's this morning and they were booked solid, and only 3 doctors on duty instead of the usual 6. But they put me on the 'wait list' and rang back with a cancellation a couple of hours later. So I got to see my usual Doc, who is good.

They gave me some basic on the spot tests, which were OK, and a referral for a CT brain scan (My musical mates said to be sure to let them know if the scan found any actual brain matter.... ) and a neck artery doppler study. So I'll get them done early next week. The Doc said it sounded like a TIA, but also that similar symptoms can sometimes be caused by migraine, as Roy Parker said. (Nice BP by the way Roy - I'm envious!). It sounds like you've been having one heck of an unpleasant time Roy. A friend of mine ours gets migraines every couple of months and they complete cripple her for a couple of days. Nasty stuff.
Do you have high blood pressure? If so, do you take the appropriate meds?

BP not bad now - but I had many years of it due a fairly obscure condition called Conn's Syndrome, which came very close to killing me. So I now have a sphygmomanometer at home (if I've spelled that right...). BP High than Roy's, but not bad like it was back then. I also did all the weight loss, fitness, healthy eating thing a while back and have stuck to it since. So not on meds now. I expect we'll review that in that next few days and double check it though.

Thanks for the encouragement. :) Amazing what some men will do to get out of doing their music practice for a day or two.... Looks like I won't be able to skip that lesson tomorrow either...

Cheers,

Chris


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Keep us posted after your CT.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4166
 

sheesh, scary story.
hope you sort it out and it's nothing major.
guess i should take the cosmic hint here and get myself checked out.

#4491....


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(@dan-t)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5072
 

That's really scary Chris. I'm glad you're feeling better, but being alone & going through that... like Electrablue said, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Take care of yourself & get to those follow-up appointments.
and a referral for a CT brain scan (My musical mates said to be sure to let them know if the scan found any actual brain matter.... )

You gotta love band mates for their morral support heh?!

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Here's hoping it's nothing serious, Chris. I'm glad you're still eating normally and the BP's pretty reasonable - I'd say, "take care of yourself" but it would seem you already do.

Nothing worse that breezing through life thinking you're invulnerable and being hit with something out of the ordinary - couple of years back, I woke up one morning with awful chest pains - I couldn't move, could hardly breathe, and I was soaked in sweat. All sorts of thing run through your mind - history of heart disease in the family (my father was one of the first people in the UK to have an artificial heart valve fitted, my mother's father died from heart disease) etc etc....turned out I'd twisted in my sleep and pulled a muscle! Although it turned out to be pretty trivial, it was pretty scary for a while.....

BTW, the symptons you described - the blurred vision, the hieroglyphics, the seizing up of the brain - happen to me every time I'm confronted with an instruction manual......you haven't been sneakily buying new equipment, by any chance?

All joking aside, mate, fingers crossed it really is nothing serious!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@bgdaddy316)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 189
 

My wife suffers from migraines and has progressed to TIA's. Very scary. The first time she had at TIA, she was unable to put words together and explain what was going on. She's been through a CT scan and they haven't really been able to find a cause.

I pray that all goes well for you. Keep us up to date.


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

My wife suffers from migraines and has progressed to TIA's. Very scary. The first time she had at TIA, she was unable to put words together and explain what was going on. She's been through a CT scan and they haven't really been able to find a cause.

I pray that all goes well for you. Keep us up to date.

That's some scary stuff.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1226
 

Boy, all the best, Chris.
My sister had a brain aneurysm several years back. She had some sort of episode (whether a stroke or not I can't recall) when she was on the phone with her boss and she suddenly couldn't speak. Luckily her boss was a doctor and realized what was happening.
After the fact, her boss told her a really interesting thing: often when you can't speak during one of these episodes, you can still sing! I kid you not. Hope you don't need to find out, but it might be a handy thing to remember.
:)

Don


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 Bish
(@bish)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

I hope everything turns out ok, Chris.

Hey, Roy, the slurred speech, headaches and other symptoms you describe sound vaguely familiar....LIKE A HANGOVER.

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

Chris, I hope it is not serious :?

Please, keep us informed!


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