It was a few weeks after a softball game when I woke up late with a terrible headache and a crick in my neck. Michelle texted me from work, and when I couldn’t respond promptly she raced home. When she arrived, my eyes were bouncing around in my head, unable to track or focus on objects in my field of view. I was nauseated and vomiting, but she somehow carried me to the car and rushed me to the emergency room.
The firmware, so to speak, that tells me how to see, walk, swallow, and breathe was being erased with frightening efficiency by a lack of blood flow. Vertebral artery dissections account for a quarter of strokes in the young and middle-aged.