Is it possible I had a mini-stroke?

Night before last something happened to me, I thought I might be having a heart attack.  I had no chest pain, but my father had what they call a silent heart attack and he had no chest pain, he just felt really, really awful, and weak, and didn’t feel like eating anything . . . For 3 WEEKS.  Silent heart attack.  (Died soon after).  Anyway, night before last I felt like I had over exerted myself and something was ‘wrong’ everywhere.  All this week I have had pain in the muscles of both my arms.  I say muscles because I have pain in my hips and knees but it’s in the joint not the muscle so I think it is weird to have pain in my muscles unless I have been exerting my muscles, which I haven’t.  So night before last, I felt awful and I still had pain in both my arms but it was no different than it had been for a week. I took ibuprofen and slept very well, but felt physically weak when I got up yesterday morning and at one point everything got dark and I actually almost blacked out for a second.  It was just for a second and as I instantly went to sit down and it passed. But that really worried me. I called to tell my one nice neighbor, asked her to check on me later. I unlocked the front door in case I had to call an ambulance, and I put my medications in a plastic bag near the door.  For the rest of the day I took it easy.  I didn’t even walk the dogs in the evening. My appetite was just fine. Went to bed.  Slept normal.

I just now got up this morning and my left hand is not working right.  Specifically my thumb and forefinger.  It’s like someone disconnected the pathways between my brain and my fingers. Like I am trying to get someone else’s fingers to work using just my thoughts. Is it possible to have had a stroke so tiny that it could only affect a couple of fingers?  (I haven’t looked it up yet, I just know there IS lots of stroke in my family.)  My uncle had a stroke and he was just saying weird things and he went to the hospital, but after all was said and done he had no permanent effects.  The only strokes I know a lot about are serious massive strokes.  My grandmother, my mother, my mother’s brother. (Not the same uncle.)  Anyway, one of the first things I do when getting up is put my hair in a pony tail, and today I couldn’t.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what was happening.  I grabbed my hair with both hands and pulled it into a pony tail. Then I grabbed my scrunchy with my right hand, wrapped it around my hair and transferred the scrunchy to my left hand to continue the wrap . . . And nothing happened.  It was disorienting.  My left hand with the scrunchy wrapped around it was just hanging there, above my head, all the while my brain is thinking, “wrap up the hair and transfer it back to the other hand,” but nothing was happening.  It seems that I can move my left  thumb and forefinger, but not very well, especially my thumb, and I have no strength in it.  I can’t seem to put pressure on anything with my thumb.  Like having a fake thumb taped to your hand.  You can use your hand to press the fake thumb up against something but you can’t really hold onto it.  No pressure.  So I spend like, 20 minutes sitting on the side of my bed trying to figure what I can and can’t do with my thumb and forefinger, and I already have limited use of my left ring and pinky finger. Though not the most crucial of fingers, they are nice to have.  And now that I am having trouble with my thumb and forefinger I am REALLY angry!

I am grateful that if I have had a stroke at all, that the parts affected are so minor.  I am also grateful that whatever has affected my fingers, that they are fingers on my LEFT hand, since I am right handed.  Now that I think about it. I am grateful that all the affect fingers that have limited use are on the SAME hand.  So instead of having two partially lame hands, I have at least one 100% good hand, and its my RIGHT one.  I am just angry because I am already struggling in the world, and as I said to someone recently, it is harder to be optimistic when you know you are NOT getting younger, or stronger, or more energetic. Quite the contrary.  If suddenly my life were ‘perfect’ I have ‘parts’ that are broken.  Today, new ones.  Yeah, I am pretty mad.

When I realized how annoyed I was, I wasn’t sure whether or not I would be able TYPE at all.  After I hurt both my hands two years ago, I had to re-learn how to type without using all my fingers.  I can no longer bend my left pinky and ring finger.  It occurred to me very early this morning that I may AGAIN have to re-learn how to type with less fingers, – argh – so since I was mad and ready to vent, I decided lets try it. Let’s see if I can type up a blog post.

The good news is, I can. It seems that I don’t even use my left thumb when I type, and the forefinger is doing ok, so at least I can type as well as I did before 😀

I am REALLY grateful for that!