It was October 5, 2005.
I got ready for work and headed off to drop my youngest daughter off at school and then to work.
I was in the break room with my boss and the other employee's, we were all talking and waiting to clock in. At 8:59 I looked at one of the girls and it appeared she was in a dark grey tunnel, a warm feeling went over the top of my head and then I had a headache; I knew something was wrong but was unsure what.
I grabbed my bosses hand and told her I didn't feel well, they grabbed a chair and told me to sit down. The clock struck 9:00 and everyone clocked in and left. I asked my boss if she had anything for a headache and she said she would go upstairs and look in her office, and she left.
A bit of time went by, I am not sure how long it was, everything was in slow motion, I wasn't scared I felt so calm. I finally made my way up the stairs to my bosses office where I found she had just sat down and started working. So I walked to my car and called my husband Jim on my cell phone and tried to explain what had happened. He knew something was wrong and told me to get someone to take me to the doctor. So I went back in to the office and asked for a ride and the secretary agreed to give me a ride. Everything seem to take so long.
I got to the doctor and went in to the waiting room... I could not seem to fill out the paper work. The secretary left me there alone. They called me in and began the questions. Meanwhile, my husband arrived, he was working an hour and a half away he got there in 45 minutes, thank God... because they were treating me for a migraine. I get migraines, I knew it was not a migraine. I could not touch my nose or reach out and touch something in front of me. if anyone tried to touch my face I would turn away. I could not focus and I had a hard time answering simple questions. Jim looked at the doctor and asked him why are we not talking stroke. At that point he decided to send me for a CT scan.
I went in and they started the scan and stopped before they were done and came in and took me back out to Jim and told him get me across the street to the emergency room they would be waiting for me.
We got to the hospital but they were not waiting, Jim took me in and told them we had come from a scan and you are suppose to be waiting for me. They took me in the emergency room, a nurse came in and started giving me oxygen and then an IV and finally a neurologist came in and explained that I had a SAH behind my left eye and I needed to to be air lifted to Bend, Oregon, 2 hours away from where we lived. Jim rushed to go get the kids so they could see me before I left. It was around 4:00 before I finally left the hospital for the airport. I stayed aware until I reached the hospital in Bend and then everything is a blank. Jim said we talked all night long but I have no memory of it.
October 6, 2005
I woke up in the CCU after being coiled. They told me I was singing a german song in recovery; my daughter was taking a german class in high school at the time and had been practicing this song weeks before. I don't speak german and cannot repeat this song to this day. (strange) And, so began the questions what is your name, what day is it, where are you? I did fine with these questions. But I could not remember my oldest daughters birthday and strange things like that.
Everything stayed calm for the first night, but the second night was horrible. It was shift change for the nurses and they asked Jim to step out while they did... so he did. I started hallucinating and hearing things, I could swear that I could hear Jim trying to get in and fighting with the nurses and then I thought I was seeing the police arrest him. I was hysterical exactly what the doctors did not want and the nurse would not get him. The second nurse came in and I finally convinced her to get him (simple fix duh). Later, the nurse said if your seeing things we need to talk about this. We found out it was a reaction to the meds and the doctor told them my husband was not to be asked to leave again.
I spent three days in CCU and then they moved me to a private room were I began to learn what challenges I had ahead of me. I felt emotionless. I did not want to watch TV or talk, I just felt like I was in a glass case and nothing was important. Walking was not so easy and they told me I had to walk to go home. I could not hardly sleep especially at nght, I would just lay there. Jim stayed most nights but had to go home and shower and check in with the kids. My oldest son stayed with the kids the first night, told my oldest daughter and my grandaughter could fly in and stay with them.
I was in the hospital a total of eight days and I went home a little to soon, but my daughter had to return home and Jim would not have been able to be there except for visiting on the week ends and I could not stand that, so I told them I was ready to go home. So they released me, Jim dropped my daughter off at the airport in medford and had to drive three hours to where I was and pick me up.
At home, it was difficult, walking was very hard and painful for me, so painful at one point I passed out from the pain and Jim had to catch me. The meds started making me sick mostly the steroids and blockers. So I quit taking everything I have never been big on meds and I wasn't about to take something that made me sick. The blockers actually made it painful to eat I would get these horrible spasms because I was starving. you could not read my writing it, was if a flea was writing, it was so small and my brain did not want to inlarge it. My right side from my middle finger to my pinky were tingling and I had trouble getting them to work. Mentally and emotionally I have the most lasting affects, it has changed me in a lot of ways. My inhibitions are more liberal, things that scared me don't, I anger more easily, I used to be a pacifist but not so much anymore.
I have not been back to see the doctor since I left the hospital on October 12 2005. While in the hospital they would not answer our questions they would just stare at us, they sent me home with no information on what to expect. Jim called to talk to the doctor and had a assistant call him back, he told Jim they wanted to do another angiogram and go back in and look at there work. Jim told him I wasn't comfortable with that, so he said we would talk about it, a couple weeks later the hospital calls and wants to verify my procedure to be done the next morning. They had scheduled it with out my permission so I never went back.
There are a lot of details I forget and later I will remember them after I have sent this to you. But that is a normal thing these days for me. My family knows it will come out in bits and pieces.
ALBUQUERQUE NM. USA