Earlier in May my parents were visiting from France. We had an amazing time despite the rainy weather and we did so much.
It was also a relaxing time where I got to show them my life and routines. It was the first time my mother came to visit, so quite a special time!
One night we were playing cards when suddenly I could not see clearly anymore… I would look at my father and half his face was gone… I tried wearing my glasses, closing my eyes for a while but nothing changed.
I started seeing some kind of dancing lights, it felt like I was in a club with strobe lights. Flashing lights…
Since I know changes in vision can be a sign that something is off with one’s blood pressure I decided to check. It was low actually… 90/60.
I then checked my blood sugar, I had just started keeping track of it with finger pricks because I could not get to my OB’s office while fasting with all the nausea. Yes, still nauseous at 6 months pregnant by the way!!! My Ob said I am part of the 3%, how amazing to be in that group ?
I could not even see my fingers to do the finger prick… Then I started to feel pins and needles in my hand… I literally thought I could be having a stroke or a transient ischemic attack…
So off to the ER we went. 11pm on a week night, Brooklyn Hospital, the closest to us.
Walking in, I still feel the numbness, they ask right away about insurance. I mean let’s talk about money when I might be having a stroke.
I am then wheeled up to labor and delivery (most hospital protocols want you in a wheelchair) but I did not mind so much cause I was so freaked out.
The nurse hands me a gown and I tell her thank you but I don’t need that yet, puts the baby on the monitor and the resident arrives. We explain what happened and he says he might start some magnesium because my blood pressure is elevated and even though it is rare to develop pre-eclampsia this early, he will do some blood work. And of course I am all up for that although I tell them that my bp is fine, in fact I usually have really low bp but I have white coat syndrome.
At this point my whole arm is numb and I start shaking really bad. I am getting into fight or flight mode big time, wondering if I still might be having a stroke. That is when another Dr comes in and the two white coats are just standing over me, observing me. My husband is looking at me and we explain again what happened. That is when I suddenly could not say the words I wanted to say!!!! I could not pronounce them. The scariest moment of my life!
They call in a neurologist who took forever to show up. He came in and examined me doing a physical response test to make sure it is not a stroke. Then he wanted me to do an MRI but he had never done one on a pregnant woman and was not sure it would show anything if it was a transient ischemic attack…
So we wait and my vision starts to get back to normal, the numbness is gone and I can speak normally! Mind you I still don’t know what the fuck happened and they still have no answer. They are waiting for the blood work to be back and it comes back normal.
After almost 3 hrs, the OB resident comes back saying: “It looks like you are contracting a lot I would like to check your cervix.” I tell him I have been having practice labor (Braxton Hicks for the non HypnoBirthing people) since week 10 but I agree for them to check.
My husband follows the resident and asks him what he thinks is going on because they just left us there and I hear them tell my husband that I was probably having an anxiety attack… Calm breathing is obviously my go-to at that moment but I am furious… How easy to tell a woman her symptoms are caused by anxiety, I mean what is this, the 1950’s or is Freud still alive and I am not aware….
My husband comes back and we talk, I tell him I give them another 15 min and if they are not back, I am signing myself out. I am still waiting for my cervix to be checked by the way.
So I tell the doc that clearly he is not too worried otherwise he would have checked and that I am going home, please get me the paperwork to check myself out. They were surprised but obliged after making a bit of a fuss.
So what have we learned? That it was not a stroke, possibly a TIA. All my blood work is fine and Peanut is undisturbed.
A few days later, it happens again and of course I get anxious!! And a couple more days later it also happens in my OB’S office but she is not worried cause bp and blood work is fine.
But I am determined to find out. As per my habit, I start researching and finally: ocular migraines fit my symptoms to a T. I am relieved but obviously still freaked out that it can also affect my speech.
More research leads me to a forum where someone mentions seeing an osteopath or cranio-sacral therapist and I know just the person. I give Erin a call. More on that in my next post.