The 62-year-old engineer struggled as he put on his pants. His left arm, which had hurt for the last couple of days, now felt weak, and his left hand hung limp and useless, as if it were somehow paralyzed. When he went to brush his teeth, he noticed that the foamy toothpaste was pouring from his mouth. He glanced up at the mirror and was startled to see that his face was lopsided. The right side, from shaggy brow to toothpaste-covered lip, was lower than the left. The eyelid sagged, revealing the pink inner lid, and that side of his mouth was immobile.
Was this a stroke? He didn't think so. But his wife wanted to take him straight to the emergency room. He considered the option but decided against it. He had a follow-up appointment that morning with Dr. Isaac Moss, an orthopedic surgeon who was treating him for the arm pain. He figured that seeing a doctor who knew him might be better than going to the E.R. So late that morning he went to Moss's office at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.