Emergency in Ottawa

Fat red girl acrylic painting with texture

I have been very worried lately.


I had a big health issue while I was on a project in Canada recently…I’m fine, all is well. I didn’t call my dear friend and neighbor who is a doctor, nor my sister who is a nurse, because I thought they would tell me to quit the project and come home, plus I am a bit of an idiot about my own health, which will become evident to all who read this. 

 A buzz zipped down my left arm and my fingers became numb for a couple of days. I thought I might have had a stroke and began taking 500 mg tablets of aspirin to try to get through the project. I read on the internet that aspirin was the thing to take if you think you are having a stroke and I figured more aspirin would be better than less aspirin. This is not true. I’m not telling how many of these tablets I took over a 3-day period before I became extremely dizzy with terrible stomach pains and finally went to emergency, worried that I was having another stroke. Because of the stomach problems, I was unable to drink coffee which is probably why I also had a terrible headache. The doctor at Ottawa emergency thought I had had a TIA (miniature stroke) and that my carotid arteries might be blocked! It was a nightmare. I didn’t sleep the entire night before flying home the next day, so was a total mess by the time I arrived in SF.

The doctors in SF asked me if I could have done anything to have pinched a nerve. No, no I didn’t do anything, I told them earnestly. After a barrage of tests, I was given the good news that I hadn’t had a stroke and that my arteries were fine. Mylanta had cooled my bleeding stomach and my caffeine headaches were over. At that point, an image of me hauling a 30 pound purse around with me everywhere for a couple of weeks passed through my empty head, as well as falling TWICE on black ice one evening, with aforementioned purse.

The doctors here also asked me where I got my hands on 500 mg tablets of aspirin. I felt like I had been dealing in illegal contraband. Apparently we don’t even sell such high dose aspirin in the U.S. Canada really is the place to buy your meds these days!

My fingers are no longer numb, I have no pain…all is well. However, deals have been made with the universe…the universe came through on its end, now I must make good on mine.

I first told this sorry story to my younger brother and told it in chronological order…omitting the “I am fine and I didn’t have a stroke” part until the end of the story. He advised me to re-think the telling of it and add the I’m fine part in the beginning so that no one else has a stroke, stomachache or headache while hearing it.

By the way, no one has as much sympathy for you when you have a pinched nerve, major stomach issues and bad headaches caused by your own stupidity as they do when they think you have had a stroke.

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