I Didn't Get My Trophy...
December, 2009... the day that set a few changes in my life in motion.
DAY 1-I woke up on a nice Saturday morning about 6:30 to get ready and going before my kids were up. I went to get into the shower when suddenly I had this painfully loud ringing in my ears. I remember literally cupping my hands over my ears to quiet the sound. My eyes were tightly squished shut and when I opened them I could tell there was something seriously wrong with me. I had double vision. Thinking just like most moms I don't have time to not feel well we have a soccer game to go to. This was not just any soccer game it was Maddie's last soccer game of her first season ever. She was getting a trophy that day! So I hopped into the shower ever so carefully with my eyes closed and washed up for the day. I do remember that I skipped shaving my legs...good call I think! I remember getting out of the shower to dry off and I wiped the steam off of the mirror to see just what the heck was happening to my eyes. Of course I tried in vain. Double vision you can't focus on a darn thing no matter how close to the mirror you get. Realizing that this was something more than just a passing migraine I went to wake my boys. I remember going to them with my eyes closed and saying to them,"Mom doesn't want to scare you, but I really need you to sit up and look at my eyes. I think there is something wrong with them." One of my boys hopped up and grabbed my phone to video my eyes to try and show me what was happening. Of course I could not see it. I remember Joe'l telling me,"Mom I think you should go lay down for a while." I took his advice and laid down. I had one of the boys call Maddie's dad to let him know that we were not going to make her game. He could come get her, but I was sick and was not going to make the game. She did not end up making her game that day.:(
A few hours passed and it was about time for Maddie to go to a movie with my ex-fiance and his daughter. It was her birthday and she wanted Maddie to go to celebrate. He came to pick Maddie up and he took one look at me and said,"wow what is going on with you?" The boys kind of filled him in. I tried my best, but by then my left side of my face was drooping and my speech was all slurred and funny. I had weakness on my entire left side of my body. I told my ex-fiance that I just need to rest and that it would be better. He took the girls to the movie. When he returned things were not getting better they were worse. He told me he was taking me to urgent care. I did not argue. We got to urgent care and the doctors told me I need to go directly to the ER. Don't stop go straight there. I heard him mention stroke. I started to cry. Those words terrified me (I used to take care of patients who had been stricken by strokes...I knew what a stroke meant). I was feeling confused as it was but stroke seriously?
We went to Banner Desert hospital and I remember barely being able to walk with Alex and my ex-fiance's assistance. Some medics saw us struggling across the parking lot and brought me a wheel chair. So, we sat there and I had CT scan showed no abnormalities. They doped me up with meds and sent me home saying that I had a migraine. Which shocked me. I had been plagued with migraines since I started the Yaz and the Yasmine birth control and this was nothing like any of those!
DAY 2-I slept a lot. Don't remember much other than still had weakness and the vision was still not good. Slept for the rest of the day.
DAY 3-I woke up in the am and called my OBGYN and told them what happened and they wanted to see me right away. I went in and they said stop taking your birth control and take some aspirin immediately. You have had a stroke. I was advised to see my regular dr. He said that he thought I just had a bad migraine too. Since I had been on the Yaz and Yasmine I was plagued with migraines. So, I went home feeling defeated. I slept and slept some more.
Day 4-Frustrated thinking ok fine if it is just a migraine then you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and just get on with life. The paralysis was dissipating but my vision still was crazy weird. I am such a stubborn person (not much keeps me down) so I decided that it was going to get better and I had a friend drive me to work. I fumbled literally through my day falling over and falling into everything. Spent most of my time in my back office.
DAY 5- I had a friend drive me to work again for second day of torture. I was there for only about an hour and I could not stand it anymore. I know there is something wrong with me! This is not right. One of my clients was kind enough to drop me at the ER Banner Gateway. Within 30 min I had my first of many MRIs and CT scans. Within an hour I was admitted. They were concerned that I had a tumor. I spent the next four days in the hospital. It was so crazy to hear a Dr talking about MS, Cancer/tumors. They were concerned because my vision was still so affected and I still had so much weakness and numbness in my leg and arm. I sat there by myself listening to all the doctors telling me or course not absorbing 3/4 of it. I heard cancer, I heard MS, and I heard tumors.. I am sure that I had the deer in the headlights look going on. It was so scary. They said that I needed to have a spinal tap. That was seriously no fun. They struggled to get spinal fluid and could not after several painful attempts could not manage to get it. Finally the nurse said enough she can't take anymore and they sent me down to x-ray to have them do it. That was so, so painful. Never would I wish that on anyone.
The results from all the testing started to come in and my neurologist came in to tell me that I had a couple of lesions on my brain. Lesions? I had no idea what that meant and then he explained to me that it was damaged tissue in my brain caused by blood clots...a stroke. He drew me a nice picture to explain where the affected areas were. No MS, no cancer- I was somewhat relieved that it was not cancer and certainly not MS. I wondered why this was happening to me? I was only 35. I just ran 3 miles the night before. Frustrated...my life did not allow time for being sick! Seriously who has time for that?
During all the chaos my kids were picked up by their dads and Alex went to stay with my ex-fiance until my mom and dad flew in. I was lucky I had several clients from work stop by and check in on me. I even had a client who knew I had been planning to go Christmas shopping that Saturday that I had gotten sick, ask if my kids had presents for Christmas. I was so darn lucky and blessed to have such good friends.
After I was discharged from the hospital I slept really for the next several weeks. Don't really remember much about that time or the time my parents were here. I had completely missed out on Christmas.
I had a couple more ER visits because of spinal headaches from the spinal tap. I stopped taking the birth control. Take the aspirin every day. I was told to slow down eliminate stress. That in itself was going to be no small undertaking, but it was going to be a necessity. Slowly over the next few months I began to eliminate negative people and circumstances in my life.
My kids like to reminisce about that time. My daughter likes to remind me that she never got her trophy and my boys talk about how they felt responsible for me getting sick. They thought it was because of them that they had stressed me so much that I got sick, then the conversation quickly changes to how much they got away with while I was sleeping. Mom even let us play nerf darts in the house!!! Lol!
I am so thankful for all my great blessings that I received from this experience. I am so thankful to all my friends and family who helped me and my kids during that time. I am so thankful that I still have the opportunity to be mom to my kids, a daughter to my parents, a sister to my sisters and a friend to my friends. I am so grateful this year to have the health that I do have. I thank Heavenly Father for it all!