To The Left

Pins and needles on fire, jabbing into my left arm and leg. This is what pain truly feels like.

I reposition, but it’s getting worse now. Something must be wrong. I try to lift my left arm to move over, and it just flops like a fish out of water. I’ve lost control of it.

Something must be wrong. I feel confused, and don’t recognize the person next to me. I don’t know what day it is or what year it is. I start to cry. I text my friend, “something must be wrong.”

My head starts to pound. Pressure, tightness, and throbbing. I get up to walk to the mirror and realize my left leg won’t move. “I think I’m having a stroke,” I text my friend.

I look in the mirror and find my left eye droopy. F.A.S.T. I remember the acronym, but I’m too scared to go to the hospital. So, I wait, and the symptoms just get worse.

My friend calls me and asks me what is going on. I know what I want to say but all that comes out of my mouth are grunts and sounds I don’t recognize. Why can’t I speak? I’m scared, so scared. This isn’t me. This isn’t my brain.

Later I found out it was a hemiplegic migraine. I get them often now, every few days. I don’t get as scared anymore.

My bravery has increased. I recognize that this is my new normal brain, and I just must adapt to how it has changed. My hemiplegic migraine has changed me into a stronger, more resilient human who can overcome challenges that once seemed impossible.

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