July 9th, 2014. A-day. The day after our anniversary. I was 49 years old, thin to average build, and a smoker, had been for about 35 years.
I had been having some pretty beastly headaches for the last three weeks. That morning was like every other, I woke up with a head ache. And like every other morning, I showered and got ready for the day.
I went to see my chiropractor, now most times this offers relief but not for the last two weeks..I should have listened to my body. I also think as a medical professional he dropped the ball too.
After my appointment I went shopping with my youngest daughter (Adeline 20). My head hurt more and more. Addy suggested that I eat and have some water, so I did. No relief so we came home.
By the time we got home I had started vomiting. Addy went to change her clothes and in the few minutes she was gone, I found the floor. She came back and asked if I had fallen, I said no, but I felt like I was having an aneurysm. Addy helped me up and took me to the couch along with a bucket since I was still barfy. I complained about being hot, so she went to my room and got me looser clothes.
Addy then called my husband to tell him there was something wrong...he was five minutes from home. He came in to talk to me and I made no sense so he had Addy call 911. We are right down the hill from the fire hall so it was only a five or ten minute wait.
The EMTs were sure I was drunk. When my girl lost it on them and told them I had not had a single drink or any drugs. They then decided I was dehydrated, again Addy said that was not the case. So they stood me up and made me walk out to the ambulance (which I can't believe!). My husband and daughter were to follow in our car.
Not three minutes in the ride the ambulance pulled over and the driver got out and into the back. My family was having a fit now. I think I had a seizure, because my clothes were cut off me.
I arrived at the first hospital where they put me in a trauma unit and put me in a coma. My husband and all three of my daughters(Melissa, 28 and Cynthia, 24) and my in-laws were there by now. the doctors spoke to Addy about our day, and by process of elimination decided to transport me to a second hospital with a leading team of neurologists.
When I arrived, they sent my family to the family room to wait. I think at one point there were over 20 of my family in the family room. They sent in a grief councilor to speak with my family before they spoke to a doctor, it scared the daylights out of them all. They were told that the chances of my pulling through were two - three percent. My bleed was huge and they would do their best.
I had one surgery that day, and a second one the next morning. I, being the world's best patient was extremely violent. I had fourteen IV's and things poked into me, arms and legs were a mess of hoses. I also had two large holes in my head, one of which was the EVD. I ripped all the hoses out of my head, arms, legs and chest. Then I ripped off my hospital gown and started to head-butt the nurses..screaming the entire time.
Can you picture it? I told my husband he was horrid and I was going to divorce him when I got out of there, I said the meanest things to my kids...breaks my heart. So they sedated me and restrained me. I don't remember doing any of this.
I was ten second Tom from 50 first dates. I would ask why I was there and before they were done explaining to me, I asked why they would do this to me, what have I done...and on and on it went for about three days.
There tried to move me from ICU to the neurology ward, but I took a turn for the worse and went right back down to ICU where I stayed for sixteen days. In those sixteen days, all I wanted was to go home and to see my dog.
I got to go home with restrictions. No driving, no alcohol, no getting my heart rate up for three months. Addy quit her job, and missed a semester of university to stay home with me. I turned 50 sixteen days before my three month check up...no wine on that day. I had cut my beautiful long auburn hair short and dyed it platinum blonde in honor of turning 50. The OR nurse didn't recognize me. She told me that I was the neurology wards miracle because no one in the ward thought I would make it. But I was cleared, I was now able to drive, fly and do things again.
I am approaching my first anniversary and I have to say I'm okay. I still have a lot of headaches, can't do yoga and have some deficits that I am trying to work around or with. I am a non smoker now, and will never put a smoke to lips ever again. My husband quit the day I came home, and my middle daughter quit too. I can't believe my grandkids had a grandma that stunk like that!!
I am angry, confused, guilty, a little sad and I am blessed. But I am here. Recovery takes a long time, and I don't like to sit still. I am trying to accept the new me. I am trying to get my drive back. I am going to do this, and I'm going to make it a trip to remember.
Next time I'm going to listen to my body better!
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