A couple of weeks ago a buddy died. Found out recently that his family called 911 as he had stroke like symptoms. I guess he declined going to the hospital. He died the next day. I almost made the same mistake this past Spring. Had been sick for a couple weeks and had an awful cough. The type where you start to blackout. One night cough woke me up with my head in an awkward position. Felt like I had a pinched nerve in neck and had an odd taste in my mouth/throat. Figured I was sick no big deal. Next day I’m at a supplier eating a granola bar and noticed my tongue was numb on the right side. Had an odd pain from ear to chin. Texted my Wife and asked her to make a same day appointment if possible. She called me back and said they told her I need to go to the ER. I said I’m going home and sleep it off. I’m on the highway heading home and she said the Dr. called her and I needed to go to the ER immediately. Again, because I’m stupid and didn’t want to pay the $100 copay, said I’m fine I’m going home. She says she’s leaving work and will meet me at the ER. I was just about to pass the exit. At the last minute I took it. Dr decided to do a CT scan with contrast. She came in and took her mask off and said it’s time to get serious. I had been joking around and laughing while a few hours were passing by. She said you have a dissection of your carotid artery. I’m thinking I have 4 kids in high school and I’m gonna drop dead now, holy smokes. Dr said you need to be transferred immediately to a stroke center in the City. A week in the stroke center with IV’s and wires everywhere. Phenomenal people there at CPMC. Countless Dr appointments with MRI’s and CT scans. All clear now. I wish my buddy had gone to the hospital. He won’t be able to see his son graduate this year or see his kids live their lives. I had never even heard of what happened to me. It was caused from a cough. A cough! When you know something isn’t right suck it up and go to the hospital. Don’t be like my buddy and wind up dead.