A Stroke Of Bad Luck

, , , , | Healthy | May 8, 2019

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(While clocking into work, I unexpectedly suffer a stroke. I am a 35-year-old school bus driver and I do not take illegal drugs or drink alcohol. As the EMTs bring me into the ER, the doctor asks what my condition is.)

EMT: “She’s having a stroke.”

Doctor: “Nonsense. She’s too young. How old is she?”

EMT: “35.”

Doctor: “See, too young. Must be a drug overdose.”

EMT: “No, do the FAST test. Face; her smile is crooked. Arms; her left side is paralyzed. Speech; her words are slurred. Time; we got her here in time. Give her clot busters to break up the blood clot causing her stroke.”

Doctor: *angrily* “You’re just an EMT! I say it’s a drug overdose!”

(The EMTs leave, and the doctor turns to me, yelling.)

Doctor: “What drugs did you take?!”

Me: *slurred because the left side of my face and tongue are not working* “I can hear you fine; you don’t have to yell. I took some Nyquil last night for a cold.”

Doctor: *sarcastically* “Nyquil?! More like Meth!” *to nurse* “I need a meth overdose kit here!”

Me: *trying to yell back at him* “I. Don’t. Take. Drugs.”

Nurse: *reluctantly bringing kit* “Are you sure? She shows classic stroke signs.”

(As the doctor gets an overdose injection ready, my husband enters the room, having met and talked to the EMTs in the ambulance bay as they were leaving.)

Husband: “Stop. Don’t touch her again.”

Doctor: *sputtering* “She’s obviously a drug addict. I’m giving her the best treatment for that.”

Husband: “And you’re obviously an idiot.”

(My husband and the doctor are circling my gurney during this exchange. The doctor is trying to stay out of my husband’s reach.)

Husband: *to nurse* “Please call for an ambulance; I want her treated at [Hospital ten miles away]. Not by him.” *points at the doctor*

(The doctor practically sprints from room.)

Nurse: *to husband* “I thought you were gonna kill him. I kind of wish you had caught him.”

(The same EMTs returned. As they were loading me into the ambulance they told my husband that they told that doctor I was having a stroke, but he’s kind of a know-it-all a**hole and they were glad I would be treated somewhere else. I was greeted at the other ER by a neurologist with clot-busting drugs at the door. He says that, luckily, that delay won’t impact my recovery.)

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