A bit of a headache

A couple of people have commented on the lack of new postings on this blog. I’m grateful that you noticed. Here are a few words of explanation.

Three weeks ago I was doing some work on the computer when I had what I thought was a bad migraine attack. My vision became blurred and I felt nauseous. I switched off the PC and lay down in a darkened room to recover.

Normally a migraine leaves you feeling a bit shaky and after a couple of days you are right as rain again. but the feeling of shakiness never really went away.

After the attack I noticed a few symptoms that were a bit scary because they were really odd. For example I had trouble telling the time. I could see the hands of the watch but couldn’t seem to make sense of it. I also had trouble finding the pointer on the computer screen, even when I knew where it should be. These symptoms did start to wear off, but I still felt that something wasn’t quite right.

For example, if I was trying to pick something (like a Wainwright summit name) from an alphabetically sorted list on a web page I couldn’t find it. If my radio was on 145.450 and someone said they were QSYing to 145.525 I had trouble finding the channel.

I also had – indeed if you could watch me typing this you would find I still have – a lot of trouble using the keyboard. It became so frustrating that I lost most of the desire to post to the blog.

I was in denial that anything was wrong. Plus, to be honest, I didn’t have much faith that the system here would do much to help me. I hoped that if I just carried on trying to do normal things one day I would find that everything was back to normal again.

Last weekend I went for a walk to the top of Binsey, one of the local Wainwright summits. I made it to the top OK but after I finished making contacts and went to leave I felt strangely disorientated and had to search for the way down. On the drive home I almost went off the edge of the road because I had trouble judging the distance on the left hand side.

Walking around town several times I knocked into lamp posts and other obstructions on the left hand side, as if I didn’t notice them.

Eventually, yesterday, I decided finally that I should see my GP. He listened carefully as I described all the symptoms I have mentioned and did a few tests on my reflexes and co-ordination. Unfortunately it seems my pessimism about the system was not misplaced. The doctor told me that the specialist he would like to refer me to, a neurologist, is not available here.

He said – these are more or less his exact words – that the NHS is very good in an emergency, such as if you have a heart attack, but in the case of ongoing problems it doesn’t work very well. His role is just to help me get the best out of it. So he has arranged for me to have an appointment at the hospital in Whitehaven for a CT scan. which given the speed things normally move here could be several days. In the meantime I have been advised not to drive, which is obviously understandable but a major hassle in an place where public transport is very limited and it is a couple of hours by bus just to reach the hospital.

So I don’t know exactly what is the matter with me. I just  have to wait for the results of the scan and hope for the best. In the meantime I can still talk to people on the radio but it is unlikely that I shall be posting to the blog or answering emails very much.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

14 Responses to “A bit of a headache”

  • Jeff N1KDO:

    Get well, Julian. These are my wishes for you to have a speedy recovery.

    73 de n1kdo

  • Matt W1MST:

    Julian, I hope you feel better soon!

    If it happens again, don’t put it off. Call 999!

    Those can be symptoms of a stroke. If it is, God forbid, in many cases they can administer medications within the first couple of hours that can reverse much of the damage. Similar to the thrombolytic “clot busters” they can give someone suffering from a heart attack, they can now do the same thing for certain categories of stroke. The only way to tell, though, is to get to an emergency room fast for a CT. Minutes can literally make all the difference in these cases.

  • Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK:

    May the Lord God Almighty touch you and heal you!

  • Alden K6ZU:

    Julian, please know that I am praying for you, and be sure to follow up as quickly as possible with Doctors. Absolutely “Minutes can literally make ALL the difference in these cases.”

  • N5TGL:

    Not trying to freak anyone out but this might be worth a read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient_ischemic_attack

  • Jay Maxwell kj4zal:

    I hope everything goes well for you.
    73’s
    JayR

  • Fred 9h1ff:

    Always a pleasure to read your blog Julian,
    Hope and wish everything turns out well for you.
    73 and God Bless de Fred

  • Fred W0FMS:

    Hope all turns out well for you. I too would be concerned with a stroke, or a “mini-stroke”.

    The problem is if that happened, the damage is done and you will need to re-learn those connections. The more concerning issue, however, is that often this is a harbringer of a more major stoke on-coming. Please push the “system” and get the problem figured out as quickly as possible. Have aspirin available if you notice something again and get quickly to the hospital if it happens again!

    Unfortunately it is stories like yours that have us invidulist Americans totally afraid (like me) of having a public health system here. My doctor would have me in the hospital running a bunch of expensive tests IMMEDIATELY if I told him that. Our system in the US is more expensive, but it beats being dead or a vegetable.

    Political rant aside, do NOT screw around with this.. get an answer as fast as you can, please!

    Good luck, 73 de W0FMS

  • Jason ke7tdy:

    Julian~
    yaowza … scary stuff man. I hope u get better soon!
    Thought and Prayers
    ~jason

  • Matt W1MST:

    Point of clarification: asprin (324mg) is for a suspected heart attack only, not a suspected stroke. While true heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) are always caused by clots (for which aspirin is beneficial), some strokes (about 13%) are ruptures of a blood vessel and are not caused by clots. You don’t want to thin the blood and defeat the body’s clotting mechanism when you have a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke. The only way to know for sure is a CT scan.

    Our speculation does no good for our friend Julian. There are hundreds of diagnoses and I’m sure he’ll have a better idea soon. Regardless, I think I speak for everyone in hoping for a speedy recovery!

  • Tom Kb3hg:

    Geez,
    You need to take it easy, TIAs are not pleasant. BTDT. Hope you get to see someone soon that is good. That’s terrible to have to wait for the scan. Hope its only temporary, take care.

    Best 73s,

    Tom Kb3hg

  • Arnold K6JHL:

    Sorry to hear of your plight. I was wounded in Vietnam 42 years ago and am familiar with the type of failing you are experiencing.

    Hope you recover, om.

    Arnold Harrington

  • Goody K3NG:

    Best wishes, Julian. Hope you get well soon,

    73
    Goody
    K3NG

  • Ron N6MSA:

    I pray that you will continue to recover, Julian, and that you wil receive the additional diagnosis and treatment you need. It is frustrating having to push for the “extra” care but be tenacious.

    73

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