Last night while preparing dinner, the usual array of random thoughts drifted through my head. I recalled a line from a movie I'd seen recently, in which one character told another, "Go fuck yourself, sweetheart." It was one of those stories where someone finally gets told off, right and proper. But I discovered to my dismay, that I could not form the beloved phrase in my head. In fact, any phrase I attempted to construct mentally came out jumbled. Words would not gather themselves in any sort of logical order. This went on for 10 minutes or so, and then I went out to where Carl was watching TV in the living room and began trying to describe to him this problem. Those words didn't come out jumbled, just very halting. I kept having to close my eyes and center myself in order to finish a sentence.
Then, just out of plain curiosity, I picked up my phone and punched up CNN. I read aloud the first paragraph in a story about the guys who broke out of prison in upstate NY. Unlike my usual fast, fluent reading style, I sounded like a third-grader stumbling over a passage in a textbook while the teacher and classmates waited for him to finish. The word "Wednesday" just wasn't gonna happen.
"Do you want me to call an ambulance?" he asked. I said no, but a visit to a hospital down the line was starting to appear as a likely scenario. Instead, I called my regular doctor and since it was evening hours, I had to attempt to explain my problem to an answering service.
"Well...I'm having...trouble...trying to...um...put...words...together and...speak..." It didn't take too much of that before the service took my number and got my doctor back in touch with me. After listening to my description, he told me to get my blood pressure tested somewhere, take an aspirin, and call him back immediately if the symptoms got worse (they were by that time getting better), or if my BP came out over 150 systolic. I visited the nearby Walgreens and my reading was 141/92, not in the extreme range, but by far the highest reading of my entire life -- I'm normally 120 systolic or lower.
Pharmacist: You should keep an eye on this. You have a blood pressure monitor at home?
Me: Um, no, that's why I'm here...
So today sometime I can expect to go for an ultrasound on my carotid artery and then visit the doctor. Glad I've got a 3-day weekend ahead.
I really don't need this right now...I've got two important meetings today and plans for the whole summer.