Leslie Suffers A Transient Ischemic Attack – A Warning Of Things To Come!

Leslie Suffers A Transient Ischemic Attack – A Warning Of Things To Come!

It was Thursday morning at around 1-2 am. I was sitting on one of the couches, the farthest away from the front door, in or childhood home.

I was listing to something on my mobile device via a bluetooth headset. I heard a knock at the door and I figured it was Leslie. He had misplaced his keys sometime ago and would knock at the door to get me to open it.

However, he would knock too loudly and I would sometimes get upset as I considered it to be a bit inconsiderate to the others who were asleep.

So, I decided to pretend not to hear his knock. I then heard him trying to open the door with his keys and thought to myself, ‘Why is he knocking when he has his keys, was he being mischievous?’

I continued to ignore him as I thought he was messing with me. He laboured for several seconds with the keys at the door and I began to wonder what was really going on. Then I heard his faint voice call my name. ‘Michael.’

I realised by the sound of his voice that he wasn’t playing around. I got up to open the door for him, however, at the same instant he opened it himself successfully.

I sat back down and greeted him with the usual ‘Good night, how are you?’ I don’t recall what his reply was but I do recall that he appeared to labour in his movements. He walked past me and into the kitchen on his way to his room.

Halfway into the kitchen he stopped and turned to me and asked in a very tired tone, ‘Michael, can you do me a favour?’

Again, I was concerned by the sound of his voice and I asked him if he was feeling alright. He replied, ‘yes, joker. I just need you to give me a hand with the water outside. My arm feels weak and I have a funny feeling in it.’

I told him ‘I’ll take care of your groceries no problem, but what kind of sensation do you have in your arm?’ He replied ‘I feel like there’s something sticking me.’

I said, ‘you mean like a pins and needles sensation?’ He said, ‘yes joker.’ We’d nicknamed each other ‘joker’ as kids and continued to address each other that way.

I noticed a number of disfluencies in his speech and I told him he was talking like me. He told me he was not and there was nothing wrong with his speech.

I told him he looked like he could be having a stroke but he was too young for that. He said he was just tired and needed some sleep.

Sometime around that point I leapt to my feet, tossed my phone aside, and went into the kitchen and braced him with my arm. I told him I’d escort him to his bed.

He told me not to worry about him but to make sure no one took the water. I told him no one would take the water and I made sure he got to bed without incident.

I then went back outside onto the porch to collect his water and other items and took them to them in his room. I told him he should go to sleep right away and forgo any internet activity tonight and see a doctor first thing in the morning.

He agreed and went to sleep. I thought about calling 911 against his advice but my phone was almost dead, so I put it to charge. However, I fell asleep waiting on the phone to charge.

During the night I had a dream where my maternal grandmother came to me and admonished me for not calling the EMS for my brother. In the dream I told her he would be alright.

Later that morning I woke early to get ready for my early shift essential employee job. I checked on him around 6am and told him not to even think of going to work that day. I advised him to call in sick right then and there and told him I would advise mom to accompany him to the clinic.

I told mom what had happened earlier and told her not to let him go to work. I told her about his speech disfluences and how it all looked like a stroke.

I left for work and when I returned, I asked mom if Leslie had seen the doctor. She said no, he had sleeped all day and seemed to be fine now.

He was in his room, on his beed, watching youtube. I greeted him and asked him how he was doing. He said he felt better now and had just needed some rest.

I told him he needed to see a doctor to confirm everything was indeed ok. And hwn he saw them he had to tell them about the sensation in his arm and his speech impairment at the time. He said there wasn’t anything wrong with his speech.


Michael Hydes says:

According to our Mom and Leslie’s phone records, he did seek medical attention on the 6th of March, 2020.

As of today, I have no idea what was the result of that consultation. That is something we have to look into, and it’s on my agenda.

Leslie was very strong physically. He suffered so much severe abuse as an infant and a child, yet he was still able to carry on…incredible!

And the fact that he was suffering a TIA, yet still manged to drive himself home from work without any issues and then playing down his condition so I wouldn’t worry about him, it really gives you an insight into his exceptional character.

A character you’ll become more familiar with as you continue to read the entries in this blog dedicated to his memory.

Michael Hydes says:

Looking back at the events of that night and those that unfolded thereafter, I came to the conclusion that I made a critical error in not disregarding my brother’s wishes and calling 911 like my instinct was telling me to.

I first realised this on the day Leslie had his fatal stroke. We had a conversation and at the conclusion of it I told him I wouldn’t ask for any other brother but him. I gave him a hug and he told me he had a headache and it was ‘a pretty bad one.’

I realised then that time was runing out and I apologised to him for not disregarding his wishes and calling 911. He smiled and said ‘That’s ok, I forgive you.’ He still didn’t appear to believe that he was in any danger.

I told him to lay down and I would get mom. I went to our mother and explained the situation to her and he laughed and said, ‘people get headaches.’

At that point I threw my hands up and stormed off to my essential services role at the Fosters Market just down the street. I had already prepared my brother and I was hoping for the best but also aware of the worse that could unfold.

Although I could not be certain that Leslie would not have declined medical attention, I could have expained what I witnessed to the EMTs, who would have been able to persuade Leslie’s mother of the seriousness of his condition and her influence upon him would have been the key to getting him to agree to medical attention.

I failed to be my brother’s keeper that night. I’ve been trying to come to grips with the consequences ever since.

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