Sometime within this past week, my mom had a thalamic stroke that caused her to experience an interesting manifestation through abnormal movement of her right arm. She had nearly no control of neither her gross nor her fine motor movements.
According to the American Stroke Association and Stroke Connection, the thalamus controls the following:
-It manages our sensitivity to temperature, light and physical touch and controlling the flow of visual, auditory and motor information;
-The thalamus is involved in motivation, attention and wakefulness;
-It’s in charge of our sense of balance and awareness of our arms and legs;
-It controls how we experience pain; It’s also involved in aspects of learning, memory, speech and understanding language;
-and Even emotional experiences, expression and our personalities involve the thalamus.
The signs differ from person to person, case to case. My mom's experience went a little bit like this:
While at work last Friday, my mom experienced dizziness and a sense of palpitations. She chose to ignore these feelings. Then, she felt numbness on the right side of her body from her face down to her arm, but she chose to observe the sensations without making a big deal about it. Being the company's Physical Therapy clerk, she writes all day, day in and day out. As she was writing orders and notes, she began to notice that her writing became illegible and huge. She couldn't seem to transcribe the words from her mind through her hand onto the paper using her pen. That's when she knew something was wrong. She went on throughout the weekend without medical treatment, thinking she could control the symptoms.
At the time, she was staying with her mom in Glendale. My grandmother suffers from cardiac issues as well and has her own set of medical supplies at home. By Sunday, my mom took her blood pressure because she wasn't feeling well. I was at work when she called me saying that her blood pressure was 220/111. I told her right away to either call 911 or get to the ER immediately. My sister was already on her way to pick her up at my grandmother's, so I called her an instructed her on what to do and where to go.
I met up with them at our local Kaiser Urgent Care where they were already beginning to see her around 6:00pm. They ran a CT Scan and found nothing. The Urgent Care doctors were perplexed and wanted to get to the bottom of her symptoms and reroute the cause. We collectively decided to have her admitted for further tests and monitoring. We were redirected to the ER, waited until about 12:00am, and were finally placed in a room. I slept over for that night and observed her. The next morning, my mom underwent an MRI. It was with this test that we discovered signs of a stroke within the left side of her thalamus. From there, everything made so much more sense! The dyskinesia. The slurring. All of the symptoms!
We are grateful to have my mom recovering so well already. The power of love, faith, will, and prayer truly allowed us to find peace through this world changing event. Here's a photo of my brother, sister, and our significant other's supporting us at the hospital!
Stay Healthy + Be Well,
Growing up, I was an avid blogger on Xanga, Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress--you name it! Somewhere down the line, I felt like I lost my voice and stopped writing.