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sudden onset confusion
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sudden onset confusion

A couple of days ago I had something very odd happen.  I had gotten up to get ready for work and was a little tired but suddenly got VERY tired just before I left, but I went on to work anyway.  I got to work and became more and more confused and certainly not like myself at all.  Words were harder to think of and speak and I forgot that I had 2 customers standing right in front of me.  It seemed that I had a couple lapses of time where I  lost track and time passed without me being aware of it.  It was scary.  I am better now but not quite back up to full speed.
I am in my mid fifties, I have right sided heart failure that responds well to medication, my blood pressure is usually pretty good.  I do have a lot of trouble with low potassium and take a lot of it by Rx.
I did not have any significant head ache or other symptoms.  I guess that I should have gone to the ER but I did not want to find out I had a huge bill to pay and that no one could figure anything out.  I do not have health insurance.
Any ideas on what happened?  Suggestions?
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144586_tn?1284669764
You really have to go to an ER when having such symptoms to rule out stroke. Generally (but not always) such transient neurological symptoms are due to hypoxia. A portion of the brain is being deprived oxygen. This could be due to a clot blocking the microcirculation, a spasm of a blood vessel, or momentary cardiac insufficiency. It is probably wise to get an EKG while having symptoms as well as cardiac enzymes. You lucked out, but remember that there is an interval of time in which intervantion may dissolve a clot, and if that window is missed you might end up partially paralyzed or blind. You are right about the absurd prices charged by the ER's. You can easily end up with a bill that will wreck your credit rating. You might want to look up on the internet "Hill-Burton" hospitals in your area that are teaching facilities. These facilities must allocate a certain amount of care for free for those who cannot pay. In any event any ER in the United States will evaluate you without regard for ability to pay - but you will end up with a bill. You have a tough decision to make if these symptoms come on again. My vote is to make it a 911 call.
144586_tn?1284669764
You really have to go to an ER when having such symptoms to rule out stroke. Generally (but not always) such transient neurological symptoms are due to hypoxia. A portion of the brain is being deprived oxygen. This could be due to a clot blocking the microcirculation, a spasm of a blood vessel, or momentary cardiac insufficiency. It is probably wise to get an EKG while having symptoms as well as cardiac enzymes. You lucked out, but remember that there is an interval of time in which intervantion may dissolve a clot, and if that window is missed you might end up partially paralyzed or blind. You are right about the absurd prices charged by the ER's. You can easily end up with a bill that will wreck your credit rating. You might want to look up on the internet "Hill-Burton" hospitals in your area that are teaching facilities. These facilities must allocate a certain amount of care for free for those who cannot pay. In any event any ER in the United States will evaluate you without regard for ability to pay - but you will end up with a bill. You have a tough decision to make if these symptoms come on again. My vote is to make it a 911 call.
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