6:35 pm I walked out of work and realized I couldn’t read the Kiehl’s store sign across the street. It was odd because I have 20/20 vision; one of the few things my autoimmune condition doesn’t usually effect.
I shook my head, wiped my eyes and put pressure on the veins inside my eye sockets in an effort to clear my vision before I got to the number one train on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
For a second, I thought that I might get dizzy and fall onto the tracks. So I took a few steps back from the edge and inhaled deeply a few times. I waited for the train then took it to Penn Station.
I boarded my NJ Transit train and slumped into a seat. By then, I was weak, shaky and my eyesight was even cloudier.
I could barely see the gap between the train and the platform when I got off at Newark Penn Station. Every step down the stairs was extremely cautious; every block home looked like a tunnel. When I finally got home, I collapsed on my bed.
At 5 am, a stabbing pain in the left side of my head woke me from my sleep. I I took pain meds but nothing helped. So, I tossed and turned in pain until 9 am.
By then, I was up and out, waiting to hear of I was having my third stroke. Sitting there alone, I wondered how I’d get home or care for myself if my condition worsened.
Thankfully, I didn’t have another TIA. Central nervous system issues caused the muscle contractions and sharp pains in my head, neck and shoulders that were unbearable when combined with my usual knee and lower back pain.
Now, I’m checking my blood pressure hourly to look for sudden spikes. I’m also taking Fioricet and Tramadol every four hours. But, I have no medicine for the concern that fills my heart because my body is so unpredictable.