Wednesday, September 15, 2010

False Alarm

Last Thursday night I thought I was having a stroke.

A little history:

I tend to be a pretty literal thinker. Always have been, but I've been able to gain control over it as an adult, because left unchecked, this way of being can drive you crazy!

A specific indicent that I can recall as a child is having a panic attack because I just knew I was about to die because I'd breathed in some air freshener that my mom had just sprayed in a room. I'd read that can and I knew that it said something about the fumes causing death if inhaled. I ran out of the house grasping for air, yelling that somebody had better rush me to the hospital.

Then there was this thing about the end of the world. I was raised Christian Baptist and attended church on a regular basis. I was ALWAYS absolutely terrified about the notion of the world ending. I just couldn't take the fact that this was something that was talked about--and the scariest of ways--every Sunday in church, 2-3 times. I was literally terrified all through my childhood about this whole thing. And because of the whole "no on knows the time or hour" concept and the fact that an uncle of mine would estimate that it would happen within the "next 7 years", I was expecting it at anytime. Every loud noise I heard from outside--thunder, a loud bang, something being dropped/closed, etc--and every loud noise that sounded like a horn/trumpet had me on edge. I'd stare at the moon to determine if it were turning red, because that surely meant that Chirst was on his way and the world would be in flames at any moment! Seriously.

Really, that could have contributed to my abondonment of Christianity and the church when i got older. All the fear that was instilled in me with all that was a serious problem for me when I was little. Nothing against Revelations and what it speaks of, but dangit, the way that I was made to feel about it as a child was just wrong.

I had many more instances as a child of taking things so literally that I nearly went insane.

As I mentioned, I'm not as bad about that these days due to better comprehension and understanding. These days it manifests itself in my being very analytical when it's uncalled for cause I'm trying to figure out, "Ok...do they mean this or this? They said this, but that can't be right or what they really mean. Well, lemme just do this, because this is the literal form of what they said/asked." Then it turns out that they didn't mean what they said/asked literally at all!

The most recent episode of this was when I was helping out with sewing at a local monogramming shop. A co-worker and I were sewing patches onto uniforms, and the pins that we sometimes used to hold the patches in place were in a container near where I was sitting. She asked could I pass her a few. Ok, here goes my mental state:

Few.
now, to me, a few is three.
(I was taught that in elementary and it's stuck with me; i'm realizing that to a lot of people, though, that a few is just an arbitrary amount.)
But I'm sure she needs more than three.
Well, I'll just give her three, cause I mean ....that is a few afterall.


I literally picked up 3 pins--and it would have been much easier to just pick up a handfull--and handed them to her. She took them with a bit of a pause but no comment or facial expression and went back to sewing. I turned back to my work, thought about it some more, and asked, "You need more than 3, huh??" To which she responded, "I was wondering why you specifically gave me 3 pins." I let her know about me and this word "few" and told her to just ask for some or several pins, cause then in my mind I can equate some or several with more than 3. We had a good laugh about it and went on. It's really a trip.

So to bring it up to date, last Thursday night I was tingly, numb and just overall uncomfortable in my right arm/hand and leg/foot. I've read before that this is often equated with a stroke (one side of the body being numb). So naturally (lol!) I went to the mirror and smiled to see if only one side of my face responded. It didn't feel numb and the smile was ok, but I just knew I was headed for a stroke. I started talking to see if my speech was slurred, walked through the house to see if I stumbled, etc.

Well, suffice it all to say that, after talking about it with 3 people, it was concluded that what I was experiencing was due to nerves and anxiety. In the mainstream medical world, it's referred to it as Restless Leg Syndrome, a new name for a not so new issue. It usually comes at bedtime, you're numb and tingly (in legs and arms), can't really sleep, etc. I was anxious and worried around that time, so I'm sure that was the problem. Since then I haven't had the issue.

So yes. Thankfully for me, it was a false alarm. However I know that stroke is a real issue (a few people in my life have suffered them), so I advise all to be on top of and knowldegeable of your health and body in general. Although they can drive me crazy at times, I'm grateful that literal mindedness and slight paranoia keep me alert of what's going on in this body of mine!

peace!

:-)

6 comments:

Amanhecer said...

Wow...this post could have been written by me! I, too, was raised Southern Baptist in Smallbany, GA. lol I was the sweetest person ever all my life because I kept thinking "what if I act up and the end of the world comes?"...I am about as Type A as it gets, and have had anxiety issues since I was a runt.

I totally relate to this post. Glad it was not a stroke ^_^

Also, your dresses are gorge. Find this site via Erika B.

Barbara said...

Glad it was a false alarm! I can totally relate to the whole Christianity thing. I didn't exactly have the same level of fear, but I've rejected the ideology all the same. I just can't be a part of "that" world anymore, it gets much too intense for me.

That's a GREAT dress and head wrap btw!!

Gallery Juana said...

Glad it was a false alarm too. Good thing you knew what other symptoms to check for.

I probably would have handed the person 3 pins too, so I had to laugh at that.

Love the dress and pattern you're wearing in the pic.

Jessica said...

you are terribly cool. and your blog is sick. I am checking it out more often. :)
Check itttt... http://dysfunctionalbeginnings.com/
Humorous literary, nonfiction, fiction, etc. about growing up, and beginnings in general.

JASMINA said...

Hi Fly Tie :),
I know,I know I haven't been checking your blog in a while.I'm really sorry for that!But,believe me,I've never forgotten about you...how could I?And so today I finally come to your place and sorry my dear but I had a good laugh :))...I mean in a good way with all my love...I guess it's just your way of thinking or taking things in your own perspective.But,you know what,it's fine like this!!!...because that's exactly what makes you so unique and special.
On a more serious note,I wanted to tell you that I do understand very well your fear of the end of the world.All religions are pretty good at installing fear into us!Even me,as an adult when I study or read about Islam,some things really scare me...I mean God knows best,but sorry what is true is true...And it's quite the same in the catholic church...you wouldn't imagine what kind of fears some of my friends have...and this from childhood on,despite all sorts of logical thinking :).But,I guess that's just the way things are.
In the end let me just say that you look very nice in the picture.Natural beauty...so preatty my dear :)!
Mwah,and sorry again for neglecting your blog.
Love!!!

P.S.:Actually you should make a club of people who think that
FEW = 3.It's a nice thing...I'll be your first member :)!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

First, few is three-it isn't arbitrary for me either!

The whole Christian upbringing, the apocalypse and the host of the other 'don't do or else's' I bet I've tried most of 'em. I was textbook rebel child. Still am, I suppose.

Now on the serious stuff, it's a VERY good thing that you took those symptoms seriously, two very close friends of mine have suffered strokes and NEITHER had any clue what was happening. Each in there early 30s thought they were somehow exempt. So kudos to you on that, but don't worry so much 'cause, well that's not healthy either! :D