Friday March 31, 2023 (Journal 2023)
This narrative was given to me by a loved one. I’m sure I would not have been able to provide this detail. The events described have not recurred. These and similar episodes occurred over a period of six days between 3/15 and 3/20.
On Thursday 3/16, during dinner, at approximately 8pm, a group conversation was occurring. Andy directed a question to you (not by name) and you didn’t respond in the first couple seconds, so I said your name to cue you into the conversation. Andy repeated the question. You looked up when I said your name, looked around the table, and it looked like you were thinking or starting to say something, but then you looked down and shook your head. You were not able to get a response out. This lasted for a few seconds and appeared as a noticeable inability to either process the language input or formulate any output (answer or get any words out).
The next day, we talked about what happened and you said you were having one of the dizzy spells at that time.
On Friday 3/17 in the evening at approximately 6pm you were sitting at the head of the table, actively engaged in conversation with me and Scott. You were getting Scott up to speed on your scheduled heart procedure, as well as actually describing what your dizzy spells are like. Polly was in the kitchen cooking dinner. In the midst of relaying all this to us, you went from speaking normally to struggling to get your thoughts out. You were still speaking, but you were getting tripped up on specific words, using a large amount of fillers like “uhhh”, and “ummmm” while searching for the right words, occasionally Scott or I would say the word we guessed you were looking for and you’d say “yes” and then move on with another sentence. Over the course of 3-4 minutes, you continued speaking while we listened and about once every utterance you got stuck on a word (couldn’t find the right word), or you used the wrong word in place of what you meant. I believe when you used the wrong words a few times (2 or 3 times total), that you may not have comprehended that the wrong word came out because you continued your utterance without hesitating. (Here is an example of the word replacements that were tripping you up: “I was riding my bike over the balcony when I got a flat tire,” you substituted the word “balcony” when you intended to use the word “bridge.”)
On Friday 3/17 during dinner, at approximately 8pm we were all engaged in conversation. You were mid-sentence when you trailed off into a pause and stopped speaking all together. The empty pause was noticeable and lasted about 2 seconds, so I asked, “should I get the blood pressure cuff?” (since the plan was to take your blood pressure the next time you had a dizzy spell). You nodded in the affirmative but did not say anything. You stayed seated facing forward and I placed the cuff on your right arm. You pushed the button to turn it on with your left hand. You didn’t speak the entire time the cuff was taking your blood pressure. After about a minute you said something like “thank you, good call” and then a few minutes later, after the blood pressure reading was complete and the cuff was off, you resumed normal speech.
You reported to us that you had dizzy spells about a dozen times while driving on Thursday 3/16 and another dozen or so times while skiing at Deer Valley on 3/17. Then they decreased and all but went away by Sunday/Monday 3/20.