Monday, April 25, 2011

(un)Comfortably Numb

It was a great ride. My flow was finally coming back. Gone was the obsessive braking and the jangly cornering. I was finally riding faster and smoother, a combo pack not seen since my return. L.W.B. was not up for the ride and I was enjoying being alone and stopping to see the lake, at my favorite over looks. The nagging voices from the last month, the doubts, the over thinking, were finally melting away as I forgot the bike beneath me and found something resembling a center. Whenever things come together, and I am on the verge of delight, the McCortian, Irish warning light starts to blink on my dash.

On the way back into Tom Brown I became aware of a dull numbness in my right leg. The new trail improvements lower the need to get out of the saddle, so I chalked it all up to needing to stand on the pedals. On Blairstone I really started feeling tired. I lowered the pace and settled in for the climb back to the hood.

Easter with the In Laws was good. We watched the little ones look for eggs. Everyone (but me) had cake and ice cream. Just as I was reaching the edge of my tiredness we headed home. An uneventful dinner drifted unceremoniously by and soon I was by myself in the kitchen, lit only by the dim white of my lap top. As I typed out a vapid review of my great day, my cheek began to feel a little tingly. Nothing alarming just enough to notice. I am hyper aware of all ticks and changes (post stroke) and as this development occurred, I immediately started talking myself out of any bad possibilities. I decided to give in to sleep.

This morning I woke up rested, got dressed turned on the news, and lost feeling in my right arm and left cheek. It felt exactly like it was asleep, right before the blood rushes back in with life. The punchline in my case is, I never got the payoff of the feeling returning. I have a bizarre cold limb that responds to touch but has the added bonus of phantom chills and faint pins and needles.

After seven hours at T.M.H. with "I'm trying not to look like you are going to die" expressions of the fine heath care providers, and an MRI with dye, I am home. The diagnosis? Hemipalegic Migraine. I had a little preview of this thrill ride about a month after my heart surgery....(I can't recommend it in good conscience). It feels just like a stroke (to the uninitiated) and carries all the same fear, without the brain damage. Good times. There is nothing like a karmic bitch slap to get you back into a "live in the now" mentality. They say the numbness will go away in one to five days. The only upside is, I never went into to full blown "oh shit I'm going to die" mode.

Some things you don't want to get good at, and this was in that category. See ya out there when my arm wakes up.