If there was anything I could do to make this NOT happen I certainly would keep some of these details to myself, but since this is probably going to result in my having a dramatic new haircut, its better to share, and avoid some of those awkward double takes.
At the beginning of April I was diagnosed with the flu. I had high fevers, night sweats- ended up also getting pneumonia and having an asthma exacerbation… it seemed to just keep going. Twice, while I had high fevers at night, I was woken up by my left arm moving up in the air– and I had no control over it. I tried to stop the movement but I couldn’t– by the time I had woken up, said: “What the ****!!” – it stopped. And my arm seemed back to normal– and since I was feeling sick anyway I just went back to bed. When I saw my PCP a few days into the illness I mentioned this strange experience– but I was sick with the flu… and the flu does what it wants. We both shrugged. I gradually got better.
Fast forward about 3 weeks. I had recovered from the flu. In fact, I was preparing the first Passover Seder of my adulthood — and I went all out to ensure everyone had edible options including making vegan chopped liver (it was awesome), and strawberry coconut pie, along with other more traditional dishes. I decided to take a break from meal prepping, and do a quick workout on my Peloton bike. 10 minutes into my workout my left arm felt like it went to sleep– felt completely numb. I could move my fingers, but I am not sure about the rest– I was too scared to do much other than call my husband over immediately to help me get off the bike. Was I having a stroke? Was I going to pass out? I didn’t feel dizzy or anything, but I was worried it would get worse. When my husband got there, he helped me off and my arm seemed back to normal within 2-3 minutes. We called my PCP’s office (this was on a Saturday) and decided to follow up in a few days.
I saw my PCP on Tuesday and had an MRI on Friday 4/26. I got a call from my PCP about 3 hours after my scan was done telling me that it had found 2 non-enhancing masses in my right parietal lobe. One was about 3.5 cm and other just over 1 cm. They didn’t look like metastatic lesions — they looked like primary brain tumors– the radiologist thought either astrocytoma or oligodendroglioma.
The next few hours were a mad rush. My husband, a surgeon, was not available by phone right away. I texted him to call me when he was free. I called my parents. I was urgently referred to a neurosurgeon, who I was luckily able to see that same afternoon. I collected my things, left the office, and haven’t been back since.