Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that the last few days have been pretty tumultuous for me. On my flight home on Thursday night, I had a weird cognitive issue where I lost my ability to read/write, and understand language. It started pretty extreme, where all of a sudden the words in the book I was reading made no sense whatsoever. Then it gradually lessened, to where if I stopped to think about each word separately and what it meant, and then tried putting the words together, I could slowly understand a sentence…. but that’s still pretty impaired.
Writing was the same way – I tried to send out an SOS via email so that at least someone would know what was going on, but it took about 20 minutes for me to edit my writing enough that it kind of made sense. (Even then, reading it later, there were a lot of weird words that didn’t go together.) The whole thing was really scary, and lasted about an hour – throughout which I was in flight and couldn’t really do anything about it. By the time I landed a few hours later, I was still pretty freaked out by how my brain had malfunctioned, but I just wanted to get home to bed and deal with it in the morning.
So, Friday found me canceling all my work / meetings (not something I do lightly), and spending the day at various doctors. My GP was awesome, and took my symptoms really seriously even though I wasn’t experiencing them anymore. So that’s the good news. The bad news is, we still don’t know what caused it, and worse, pretty much all the possibilities are really terrible (e.g., if it wasn’t a stroke, it’s likely a brain tumor).
The only non-major possibility that’s been discussed is a specialized kind of migraine, but that’s unlikely given that I’ve never had a migraine before and also didn’t have any kind of headache during this episode.
Video of a reporter who had a migraine with aphasia while on air. It’s scary!
Next week, I have a brain MRI and echocardiogram planned for Monday/Tuesday, and then I’ll be meeting with my new neurologist on Thursday morning to discuss the results of those and also the billion blood tests that I took on Friday. I’m trying to stay positive right now, and remind myself that even though all the possibilities are bad, there might be some totally obscure diagnosis that isn’t a big deal. After all, you never know until the actual diagnosis, right?
In the meantime, I’m coping with lots of dark humor and fabulous support from all my friends. And for the next few days, in lieu of a better plan, I’m just going to pretend like everything is fine.
Hope your weekend is going a bit better…