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sevensees 05-14-2014 09:23 PM

Stroke Symptoms, waited in ER over 6 hours before doc
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to help me.

On Sunday evening, while sitting at my computer my vision went blurry followed by a slight dizziness and "fog" like state of mind. I didn't think much of it.

The following day (Monday), I had a metallic taste in my mouth all day. Later in the evening, I felt weak (all over). When I was sitting down, I felt tingling in the top of my head and then my hands. I started to look up these symptoms on various sights and most of them were looking stroke like, but many sites said it would have to be one side of the other for that to be the case. I then looked up stroke with tingling on both sides and found that its definitely possible and that there are different types.

While looking it up, I found the mental fog from the night before had returned and my thought process felt slow like I couldn't connect all the dots with my thinking. By this time I decide that it seems like it might be a stroke and I went to the hospital (Christiana Care in Delaware). The hospital was about 25 minutes away and in the car (I had a ride) I noticed a slight numbing in my left cheek/eye area, like after you get Novocain at the dentist. I also had developed a slight headache about a 2 out of 10 (pain).

Before I left, I wrote down my symptoms so I wouldn't forget any of them. The nurse was upset with me for reading symptoms to her that I found "on the internet," (before I even opened it).

The time now was 12am and I went to triage about 20 minutes after checking in. She asked what medications I take (not the dosage) - Adderall and Metropolol. She said my vitals were fine, but my pupils were "huge" and if "I was on something". She sent me to the waiting room.

After an hour in the waiting room, the tingling spread to my right leg and my headache was getting a little worse (intermittent, about 4 out of 10 in pain), I asked if they knew I came in with stoke-like symptoms and had it written down correctly. Of course this aggravated them. They wouldn't tell me what kind of priority list I was on.

Another hour later and I went to the desk again and I explained that time was not on my side if I was indeed having a stroke. The triage nurse came out and told me that I wasn't on the highest priority and that I was stable. I requested a phone so I could call 911 and have an ambulance take me to another hospital, and 911 said that they don't transfer patients from one hospital to another.

I was in the waiting room for over four hours before I was given a room. Another hour before I saw a doctor.

At this point (after 5am) its been many many hours since the onset of my symptoms. It felt like my numbness in my cheek might be getting better. I still had the strange mental state and some tingling. Two doctors finally came into my room. One asked me a lot of questions, and had me do various things to check for stroke. He said my exam seems fine. He ordered a blood test to see if I was low on electrolytes, which came back fine.

He came back later (7am) to tell me that a lot of the symptoms resemble stroke, but it wouldn't be one because I experienced symptoms on both sides and with stroke its only one of the other. He said he wasn't sure what was causing my symptoms, but to follow up with a family doctor.

After I went home and slept finally, I looked up stroke again and confirmed that stroke symptoms can happen on both sides.

I'm not a doctor, but why wouldn't they have done more to rule out a possible stroke. I also learned that the symptoms can go away in just a couple hours sometimes and I wasn't seen for about 6 hours. So maybe I passed the question and arm lifting test, but there's a possibility that I wouldn't have if I was seen immediately, and then again, some strokes are mild and the symptoms may not show up with that.

Does this seem like it could have been a stroke to anyone else? Does it seem like the hospital just didn't care if it was one? Apparently, a triage nurse can look at you, determine you're not having a stroke and put you on a low priority.

Sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to be complete. I'm very upset an confused about how it was all handled and eventually diagnosed (misdiagnosed?). Thank you again for your time.

Jill P 05-15-2014 11:55 AM

Re: Stroke Symptoms, waited in ER over 6 hours before doc
Hello sevensees

Every stroke is different and people do not experience the same symptoms. I completely understand your confusion and it can get scary. Why not simply get a second opinion? I understand that it is tempting to look up the symptoms online but the internet is also rife with misinformation. I suggest you openly voice out all your concerns to a second doctor. Hope you feel better.

sevensees 05-15-2014 12:13 PM

Re: Stroke Symptoms, waited in ER over 6 hours before doc
Well the symptoms have gone away.

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