Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Thursday, 2/6/, 2014
 Suddenly, I couldn’t speak clearly. My mouth was full of saliva; my tongue wouldn’t work so I could speak my thoughts when I spoke to Ann. This was Sunday night 2/2/14, at 11:00 PM as I was getting into bed. Ann asked, “Have you been drinking?” I thought, I wish I had been. She quickly asked if I was having a stroke. I mumbled. She ran to the kitchen for the fridge magnet message about strokes. FAST meaning. F “How is your Face?” she asked. We agreed it was not drooping. ARMS - ”Lift up you arms.” I did so showing no weakness, SPEECH. I could speak but, with difficulty. T-TIME to call 911. Ann did so immediately.

Within ten minutes the San Francisco Fire Department was in our flat, two women and two men firefighters. The woman in charge was quick and efficient asking all the FAST questions again and some others. She confirmed that I should go to the hospital immediately. Two minutes after the Firefighters came the Emergency Transport Team with two more women and two men. At one point there were eight emergency people in our bedroom.

The ambulance team walked me down the stairs and into the ambulance and whisked me to the hospital, Ann riding in front with the driver.

I am so grateful for their quick response and sensitive caring to me and to Ann. They are to be commended and congratulated for their expertise and humanity.

The Massachusetts General Hospital, Institute for Vascular and Stroke Care put out this item which we had on out fridge door in case of just this emergency.

I spent from midnight Monday February 2 to 6:00 PM at the California Pacific Medical Center.
I was immediately placed in an emergency room single room. The nurses administered IVs and drugs. I saw Dr. Duncan, a cardiologist, within ten minutes.  He, Ann and I consulted on Skype with Dr. Yee, a stroke neurologist, to determine a course of treatment.

I was then sent to a regular intensive care unit to await a C-Scan and MRI, and a barrage of other delicate and indelicate tests. I was a specimen for a team of internists, medical students, neurologists and cardiologists.

Final results indicated a small stroke in the cortex on the right side of my brain. I was essentially told to go home and enjoy my life with a full recovery from that stroke.

In an interview with Dr. Zumwalt, I told him how grateful I was for the quick, efficient care provided by the nurses, nurses’ assistants and doctors. I was quite choked up as I expressed my gratitude.


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