A neurosurgeon’s personal account of recovery from a potentially catastrophic event
On 30 December 2011, I, a 77-year-old, semiretired neurosurgeon with a 16-year history of controlled auricular fibrillation, awoke at 3:00 in the morning with intense vertigo, nausea and vomiting. After vomiting I collapsed on the bathroom floor, with painful spasms in my left leg. I was then unable to move, speak, cough or clear secretions from my mouth. I was still conscious and able to see and feel, but was unable to move any voluntary muscles. In the absence of headache I reasoned that an ischaemic event involving the brainstem was occurring. At that stage I hoped that I would not survive in that state.
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