My name is Carolyn. I live in Champaign/Urbana Illinois, US. First of all I want to thank all of you for being here and congratulate you all that you have the ability to be here. I have been reading this site for a few weeks and have grown fond of you all. Wish I could hear Win sing!
I don't remember any of the following: June 3, 2014 my husband and son woke to the sounds of me screaming and vomiting. My husband realized something important was happening and called for an ambulance. Initially I was taken to a hospital that - after an hour or so of examinations - turned me away to be treated at Carle Hospital in Urbana. Thank God and unbeknown to me this hospital has one of the best neuro men in the country. The ambulance guys were thrilled, I'm sure, to be able to dump me somewhere as I fought them every step of the way.
Dr. Wang discovered I had a ruptured aneurysm on the right side and set about to perform the coiling procedure on that. After that emergency procedure it was discovered I had 2 more aneurysms on the right side and these were clipped the following day. After a few days of measuring how much spinal fluid was draining from my brain Dr. Wang implanted a shunt. My family were told I had approximately 30% chance of survival.
I was held in ICU/CCU for approximately 4 weeks where I was mostly blissfully unaware of anything. As I began to slowly come around it became apparent that I was going to be difficult to deal with. I wouldn't eat and had to have a feeding tube installed in my stomach.
I said very bizarre and sometimes insulting things whenever I was lucid enough to talk. i.e. A very sweet young Mennonite nurse told me she had a chicken that laid green eggs and I told her that sounded like a bunch of horse.... to me!
That became a theme for me. I also announced we were all in the Pacific Northwest and that I had an account where anybody could donate funds to plant trees for Israel!
I know a lot of you are familiar with the crazy behavior thing. I guess I lost my filter for a while.
My memory kicks in here:
4 weeks in I was transferred to the Therapy Unit where I stayed another 3 weeks. My recovery rate was astounding the docs and nurses. In a week or so I could walk without assistance and perform most therapy tasks in record time. A therapist took my husband and I (at my husband's request) back up to the CCU where I walked around unaided and hugged the nurses I don't remember and thanked them all for helping to save my life. It was very touching.
Meanwhile I fell in love with most of the nurses in the therapy ward and actually have gone back to visit them. I'll never forget them.
Forgot to mention that, while I was still in CCU, my second son was in a serious car accident and came to the same hospital with a head injury. Crazy stuff! He is fine now.
Anyhow...I am home now - since 7/17 and am doing relatively well. There are a lot of things that frighten me such as weird feelings in my head, etc. But I read your stories and I feel much better.
The things that are the most annoying are the changes in my senses, i.e. taste, scent, sound etc. I hate almost everything I used to like to eat and it is heartbreaking to me. Today I had a great moment in that I made chocolate chip cookies and still loved the cookie dough! Win - this one is for you - I played my favorite Beatles CD the other day- and couldn't stand the racket! I almost wept!
I'm losing weight - 24 pounds so far; not sleeping; still taking anti-seizure medication and narcotics for post-stroke headache. But, all in all, we are doing much better. Doctor says I can't work for another year or so so if I can live that long with the boredom and lack of paycheck I guess we'll be good.
Thanks for listening and bless you all! Stay healthy and happy. Me...I'll be singing for Win.