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Sunday, March 21, 2010

My crappy weekend

The hubby and I decided to spend this weekend in Bay St Louis, relaxing after a long week.
We get an F on relaxation.
The plan was to take a long bike ride, have a picnic on the beach, pick up some bargain books at a little thrift store, and then join the in-laws for a dinner of steamed crabs and corn on the cob (the in-laws were escaping a vampire party being held at their house by the dear little sister in law).

All of the above we actually did. In fact I snatched up 5 books for $2 and we did have a beer or two on the beach. But several things went terribly wrong!
1. The hubby had an excruciating toothache the whole time, thanks to a runaway filling
2. The most bizarre and random thing attacked my eye: all of a sudden my eyes swelled up and turned red and I could not open them. The muscles got all twitchy and I was in excruciating pain, especially in bright light. I took out my contacts and took a cetirazine in case this was an allergic reaction, but I spent all weekend totally blind and in pain.
3. Oh, and my father in law had a stroke.
This morning he seemed a little disoriented at breakfast, but we all wake up groggy sometimes, so no one panicked. But then my husband made a comment about his job, and my father in law, in genuine shock, asked when he'd started that job. He totally did not remember this at all. I immediately suspected stroke and started hustling everyone into the car. Oddly, F-I-L had no slurred speech and no physical signs at all. But I wasn't taking chances. We headed all the way back to New Orleans because the local hospital did not have a full-service ER.
***If you are with someone having a stroke, take them to the nearest ER. The only reason I opted to drive to New Orleans was that I knew we'd still be in the treatment window and I knew the closest hospital was not fully functional for all emergencies. Plus I recognized that F-I-L was not a prime candidate for treatment (a thrombolytic to break up a clot) anyway, so time was not AS important. But rule of thumb is that seconds count in a stroke!***
As we drove we asked F-I-L some questions to ascertain his cognizance. He had no memory of recent months - did not remember his grandbaby, didn't know he was retiring in a month, and could not recall the Saints superbowl! He actually called his boss to verify our claim that he was retiring soon. His memory was very random: he remembered me completely, yet did not remember a major political move that drastically affected his job that came about in 2006. He could pull out his iphone, call his boss, and talk about work with no problem, but when asked he couldn't name his secretary or law clerk.
Once we got to the ED, he was seen right away (I called on the way over to let them know a stroke was on the way). Oddly, while they were doing his CT, his memory began returning! He started mentioning details from dinner last night, then asked if this hospitalization would affect his retirement plans. Now he recalls the recent past up until last night. It was such a relief for him to start remembering again, but he's still forgetting conversations he's having now - so his short term is still damaged. Of course he's undergoing lots of tests to determine what deprived his brain of oxygen that would result in this bizarre symptoms. It may be a stroke, it may be cardiac, it may be vasoconstiction from plaque - we don't know yet and the doctors don't have a great grasp on his condition yet either.
He's doing better (he just texted me to ask for a slice of key lime pie, so he can't be that sick!), but we're just about stressed to the max! I think I need a vacation from my vacation!
Please keep my F-I-L in your prayers. Thanks guys!


  1. Oh Gracie, how scary. I will be thinking about yall. How's your eye?

  2. Your FIL, you and your family are all in my thoughts and prayers. How scary, I've had some experience with stroke in our family and unfortunately we have learned the hard way how important that quick reaction can be (and being near a good hospital).

    Hope he continues to improve and you are able to relax at some point.

    Hang in there!

  3. Oh my gosh - I am so sorry about your FIL. It sounds like you handled the situation really well. You FIL is my prayers. And thank you for sharing all this really helpful information. And I'm sorry about your eye and overall bad weekend.

  4. Thanks for all the well-wishes!