I woke up at 0430 and I couldn't get out of bed. Oh, that's weird, I thought. My right arm was completely numb from the shoulder all the way down to the fingertips. After about two minutes I jumped out of bed but I fell straight down onto the floor with a crash. My legs were weak -- it was like the right side of my body didn't exist!Lucky thing too... it sounds like you had a mini-stroke or what we call a"transient ischemic attack," (TIA) -- a temporary event. The residual numbness suggests more long term damage though. Since you're right-handed, you are most likely left-brained -- and your language is controlled by that side of your brain too. When you had the brain ATTACK (as threatening as a heart attack!), you wiped out your left brain, paralyzing your right body and knocking out your ability to talk.
My wife awoke in the commotion and asked me what was wrong.
I opened my mouth to talk to her, but nothing came out! I could understand her but my words weren't there.
After about three minutes, I got up and I said "oh, I'm okay now." I took a shower (there was still some numbness in the arm) and went to work. I figured something was probably going wrong so I called the doctor and he told me to go to the ER.
We call this right-sided Hemiparesis (weakness) or hemiplegia (no movement), right hemineglect (inability to register things on the right side of the world) and Broca's aphasia (inability to verbalize thoughts; staccato, halting speech.)
I went over the ABCD2 scale with him and calculated a moderate risk for stroke:
2-Day Stroke Risk: 4.1%.
7-Day Stroke Risk: 5.9%.
90-Day Stroke Risk: 9.8%.
We started him on clopidogrel (Plavix) and he is undergoing a cardiac workup to rule out an embolic cause for his TIA/stroke.
In stroke patients, further assessment is done with the NIH Stroke Scale.
An pdf of the NIH Stroke Scale is available at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/doctors/stroke_scale_training.htm
An online course for provider education is available on