I had just finished what I felt was the best workout, for being in my 50's anyway. I have a home gym and got a bit carried away. I did about an hour of cardio (eliptical 30 minutes and recumbent bike 30 minutes) because I got hooked on a good movie that was playing on my 37" flat screen. Then I did my hour of weights on my Bowflex, and sets of reps in between on my AbCycle.
Feeling quite refreshed, I drank a big glass of water and headed to CVS to buy, of all things, toilet paper. Just after checking out and heading to the car, I felt this sharp pain in the back of my head. I'm not one to get migraines or even headaches, so I knew right away something was wrong. I kept trying to tell myself I must have turned my head the wrong way while bending down or something like that. Having worked out since I was 16, you just have these aches and pains after. I put my tp in the trunk and got in the car as it worsened. I was 3 miles from home. I prayed, "God, please help me make it home." The road home is hillly and winding. I made it home and thought if I just sat on my bed a minute and took deep breaths, this would pass. I finally gave in and went to my neighbor next door and asked her to drive me to the hospital. Luckily, it is only 3 miles away.
I went straight to ER and you know how it's hard to convince them that you are really an emergency when you're conscious and not bleeding? They seemed to know and got me right back to CT scan which showed blood in my brain. The rest is kind of a blur.
My daughter showed up, having just come from the airport after celebrating an early Thanksgiving with my parents in Minnesota. She had to celebrate early due to having to defend her thesis that week, as well as take her license exam for her. She slept in the hospital every night in my room with me. She has not yet forgiven me for what happened, blaming it on the fact that I drink.
Six days after I was in the hospital, I had some kind of "episode" where I got out of bed, ripped out my PIC line and said I was going home. They put it in my chart as "acute alcohol withdrawal delirium." When I spoke to my family physician later, who has known me for 20 years, she said that was impossible as any withdrawal would have occurred within 24 hours of having no alcohol/consumption of whatever the drug was to be going through any withdrawal of that type. I had the entry removed from my chart (after much effort) because I did not want it to appear that I was an alcoholic, because I am not. After all, how can someone who follows a healthy diet, works out 3-5 times per week (1-1 1/2 hours) and drinks 3 times per week be considered an alcoholic?? The nurses told me they quickly put that tag on anyone who admits to drinking anything.
The meds they have me on now make me feel drunk all of the time. They are Neurontin (600 mg 4 times per day), Losartin for blood pressure, Atarax and Cymbalta (60 mg). None of it takes away my head pain completely. When I read stories of people going back to work, I am amazed.
I also have pain in my left leg, right at the site where they ran the catheter to my brain for the angiogram. I had two of them. One on the day I was admitted and one on the day I was discharged. I found out that femoral nerve neropathy was a rare but known complication of the angiogram procedure but no lawyers will take it as a medical malpractice case. When I went back for my follow-up with my neurosurgeon, all he was concerned about was scheduling me for yet a third angiogram, because of the large amount of blood that was in my brain, and I said no due to the pain in my leg and the fear that they would do further damage to my vein if they ran the catheter another time. I had heard that some people end up with paralysis in their leg from this. Plus, I had had numerous MRIs and CT scans, with and without contrast, after leaving the hospital and felt that if there was still a problem, it would have been found through these procedures.
I was in Intensive Care for 12 days and on the regular floor for 2 days. I went 12 days without a shower. It was horrible ! I could not understand why I was in the hospital so long. They said because the drugs they were administering could not be given at home. I had a PIC line with 8 bags hanging from it. They could not get my salt level to where it should be. It is called cerebral salt wasting. When I went home, I was taking 6 grams of salt a day.