After my wife called 911 and we went through the stroke questions over the phone, the paramedics came and examined me. They asked me the same questions again. The answers were still bad. They seemed to spend a long time on asking what happened and stuff like that. My nine-year-old daughter was able to fill them in pretty well. I thought I was doing OK with the narrative, but they seemed to prefer her version. They referred to her a couple of times as "our best historian." I was kind of proud of her, but kind of annoyed at the paramedics at the same time, because I thought I was doing fine telling the story.
Then it was finally time to get me into the ambulance. I worried for a second if they would have trouble getting me down our front steps (at 270 pounds/122 kilos; I've lost 25 pounds/11 kg since then, although I can't really recommend stroke as a weight-loss method), but it was no problem. I tried to raise my head to look at my wife and daughter before I left, but I couldn't. I thought for a second something else was wrong, but I'd seen enough football players on TV get carted off the field with head injuries to know that they always strap your head down when there's any kind of head or neck problem, and I could feel a strap across my forehead, so I quickly figured out what was going on.
Well the CT scan found my right internal carotid artery was blocked. A neurosurgeon inserted a catheter through my thigh and pulled a blood clot out of the artery. Then he gave me a clot-busting drug. When he was done, I could move my arm again. I was left, though, with possible damage to the right basal ganglia, right temporal lobe, and right frontal lobe.
So, I was hospitalized, for the first time since my birth.
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