In 2009 at age 19 I was in class in College when I had a weird feeling overcome my body. As I left class I called my mom to explain this feeling to her and she told me to go back to my dorm room and call her when I got there. I never made it there, as I crossed a 4-lane road my eyesight went as well as my hearing. I don’t remember much after this but I remember grabbing someone and telling them to call my boyfriend. As they were doing that (it was starting to snow pretty heavy, we were supposed to get a pretty big snow storm) I got really hot and started to undress my coat and boots and laid down in the snow. My boyfriend called the paramedics and I was taken to the hospital. I don’t have anymore memories of what happened but the accounts of everyone who was there for me are just as much aa part of my story.
My parents got a call from my boyfriend that I was in the Hospital and they were doing tests for meningitis. My grandfather is an exceptional oncologist in Florida and had gotten in touch with the team of doctors working with me and had them do a CT scan because of the symptoms I had. The CT showed blood all over the brain, they needed another to find the source. I was in Dayton OH, I lived in Pittsburgh and my parents knew nothing about the hospitals/Doctors there, so they wanted me transported to a UPMC in Pittsburgh, but they were told I would not live that long. My Dad was on business in Washington D.C. when he received the call, my Mom at home. My mom grabbed her purse and headed to the airport in the snowstorm with her phone close for updates. The surgeon explained the surgery to them and the outcome as well as prepared them to not expect me to be alive due to the severity of the burst and bleed. My Dad was stuck in DC pacing and waiting for a flight to Cincinnati because no planes would go to Dayton. My mom was in a plane being de-iced hoping to get to Dayton, and I was in surgery getting a coil placed in my brain to fill the berry burst. They arrived and I was on oxygen support and heavily sedated. The biggest concern was brain swelling, my surgeon who was off of my case would come to visit because he couldn’t believe I survived. I started to talk and the headaches started.
Now I have no memory of anything prior to my aneurysm burst, childhood or college. I am just getting into emotional therapy and facing the hard emotions I put aside after the rupture.
I was able to go back to school, then I got a Masters in Education. I know I’m a miracle and I know I am nothing compared to most, however I have my own things; anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive behaviors, emotional roller coasters, memory loss, etc but I am lucky. There are some days I would give anything to get rid of the immensely painful headaches, the blue days that turn into weeks, or the inability to remember a name or place in the middle of a sentence, but when it comes down to it, I’m alive and that’s all that matters.
I recently have been hit with news of a good family friend who suffered an aneurysm rupture while at work and he was much older than I was when I had mine, he is currently 3 months into recovery with no speech, little to no movements, a trach, and many other things. With a daughter my age, I try to be there for her and try to give hope.
Since this is my 9th year post rupture it’s as if I am entering my 9th year alive and want to ensure I do everything I can to live my life as brightly and encouragingly as possible.
Thanks for listening to me babble