The Day my life changed

The Day My Life Changed

The day my life changed (February 2009) was a typical day, I had went to work and was doing business as usual. However, around noon I started to get a severe headache, looking back in retrospect I had been getting severe headaches for a couple of weeks but the copious amount of Tylenol , I would take normally took care of the issue except on this day. I remember thinking I would go for a run during lunch and maybe this would help alleviate what I believed was a stress headache. I went for my run anticipating this would help in dealing with the headache which was by now the worst headache of my life. The run didn’t help nor had the 8-10 tylenol I had taken during the last couple of hours. I went back to work and during this time I called my doctors office to schedule a visit after work to see if I could get something for the pain. I got an appointment sometime around 5: 00 P.M. Once I arrived for my appointment I was asked if I needed to see the doctor or would seeing the physician assistant would be o.k. well It didn’t really matter to me. “ I would see the first available person”. Well I saw the PA and she asked what was I there for and I told her I had a severe headache perhaps the worst I’ve ever had. She gave me a brief exam and prescribed pain medication, upon leaving I passed the doctor and he made a comment to me what was I doing there? This question was asked because I hardly ever went to the doctor. I informed him I had the worst heache of my life and informed him I had taken approximately 12-15 tylenol that hadn’t seemed to help. He seemed really surprised I was there and the number of Tylenol I had taken. I got my prescription for pain and went off to fill it. While waiting I received a call from the doctor asking me to go and get an MRI. He stated not to be alarmed he just wanted to confirm nothing was going on upstairs. So, off I went to get the MRI which was probably only 5 minutes from where I currently was. When I got there the MRI staff were waiting for me and sent me right in for the MRI. I was there probably 30 minutes. Upon leaving I asked the nurse if everything checked out o.k.? Her response was “ there’s something there” anyway off I went to to see if my prescription was filled. Upon arrival at the pharmacy I received another phone call from my doctor notifying me I needed to go to the emergency room and that he would meet me there. I told him I would. I called my wife Denita and told her the short story of what was going on she asked for me to come by home and pick her up. We arrived to the emergency room to find my doctor was in the process of checking me in. Things at this point are a little blurry and don’t really remember what was said but I do remember being checked into a room and someone coming in to check the color of my spinal fluid. I remember him telling me and my wife we wanted to see clear fluid upon fluid removal. Unfortunately, mine was not clear but had a red color to it. So we waited for what seemed like an eternity to find a doctor that would treat me, fortunately no doctor in my area would, they found a doctor in Gainesville, at Shands , that would see me. The nurses where I was informed me they were flying me to Gainesville, that’s when it really hit me how serious this must be. So off to Shands I flew,. I think I got there around 6:00 A.M. my wife drove there as did my kids (2 daughters) by this time my memory of this period is not good at all. Sometime during this time I guess I was informed I had a ruptured brain aneurysm and the doctors were going to attempt to coil it. However approximately 2 hours before my surgery my wife and I were informed coiling was too risky and would not be performed due to it may cause a massive stoke so they would clip it. This is really the last thing I remember for the next 7-8 months. I would be in what I call a hard coma for the next 2-3 months and semitose for the following 3 months . During the first 3 months I suffered respiratory failure and had to have a trach put in and I had to have the skull flap removed due to brain swelling which eventually was put back in. In addition I suffered three strokes during this time. Sometime during all this mess one of the surgeons suggested to my wife (Denita) that she should pull the plug and let me go because even if I some how survived I would be blind out of my left eye and paralyzed on the left side of my body. But if you knew my wife that was not about to happen. ((thank goodness). During this time the doctors and nurses would try and get me to perform simple instructions i.e move my toes or fingers and I would not. However, Denita could and did get me to perform these tasks (she is truly heaven sent) after surviving these first 3 months they sent me out of the ICU. I stayed in what I call general admission for another 2-3 months , after which I was discharged from Shands to a rehabilitation center. According to Denita I did not do well there. From what I understand the doctor in charge of my rehabilitation constantly pressured Denita into putting a pain medication device into my stomach of which she refused. Eventually the doctor informed Denita if she did not do this procedure there’s nothing more they could/would do for me. Well my stubborn wife told them to load me up, she would take me home and that’s what happened. Denita wasted no time in starting my rehabilitation; she scheduled a Physical and Speech therapist to work with me from home. Well the initial Physical therapist, lasted one visit and was fired due to her not working me hard enough. Denita wanted someone who would roust me out of bed and put me on feet and work me. I must say my word, this woman worked my butt off. However, she was great. M y speech therapist had her work cut out as well for I could not walk or speak at all. How I communicated was Denita made an alphabet card and I would point and spell out what I wanted. Eventually, through their therapist, Denita’s and my oldest daughter (Tina) hard work I started to come around. My first memory is a benefit Denita had for me in August 09. Seven months after my brain blew up. My therapists worked with me for almost a year three times a week and truly did wonders for me as did Denita and Tina. At this time the deficits I suffer from are: short term memory loss, constant dizziness, light sensitivity, some vision loss and have lost substantial brain reasoning and logic. However, I have been truly blessed by my wife who I thank the good lord for every day of my life and also my personal doctor and the surgeons at Shands and of course my Physical therapists. I also owe a heck of a lot to my oldest daughter Tina, she was with me everyday during those dark days and helped me get my body strong. And of course my beloved Denita for her stubbornness, love and being there for me . Again. I also and most importantly want to thank the good lord for his mercy and healing. To this day I do not ask or wonder why this happened to me but am so thankful I made it through it. I am a survivor!

1 Like

Oh wow glad your wife never lost hope & that she didnt listen to those surgeons that told her to pull the plug. Sending many blessings your way.

Thanks for sharing your story :)

Thank you Araceli and God bless you!!

Wow- It's good to see you on here sharing your story- You are a miracle! I want to ask you lots of questions, I will send you an e-mail in private sometime...Dana

Steve...first your story had so many similarities with my own it was eerie, other then I was no where near as fortunate to have the love of a caring spouse. Denita....you are an Angle !

You gave me hope that love does indeed exist!

God Bless,

dee =)

Darcy---funny, your response is similar to what I had written originally, I went back to edit it.

I, too, wrote (something like...) Steve, your story is eerily similar to mine.....Just wanted to share that with you----

I, like Steve, am fortunate to have a caring and supportive spouse- and his name is Steve! We have been together for- oh my gosh, it will be 20 years in August!

Darcy,

Yes, I am married to an angel. A stubborn one but an angel. I hope all is well with you?

Dana,

The good lord did give me a miracle, he truly blessed me.

Dear Steve,

Thank you for this wonderful testimony. Yours is a true story of survival. What a blessing your wife and daughters are!

Thanks be to God for your recovery thus far and may he continue to bless you with healing and recovery.

Carole

Carol,

Thank you! Indeed I have been blessed for them. I honestly don't know if I would have made it without their love and support as well as the good lords of course. Hope this note finds you well?

Steve

Steve,

You have quite a story; you were blessed with your level of health care and of that wonderful, magnificent, loving wife...

Prayers for your continued recovery.

Pat

wow your story is "ringing alot of bells"thank God for the help we got-when i first moved my arm to scratch my eyebrow or adjust the blanket i was being visited by the hr ladyfriend & her husband (from work)and she skrieked"HE MOVED HIS LEFT ARM"!!!!!!iwas completly unaware that i couldn't move it-this still baffles meWhy a visitor would notice this ??I never heard anything more on the subject,the next thing i remember was being retrained to walk??h well let's move onward &upward!!!ps i have the same deficits but im still thankful for what i CAN do,Good luck to you and yours, oh by the way you write very well

Pat,

Thank you very much and yes, I was.

Steve

Ronald,

I am so thankful for what I can do. I have been truly blessed in many ways. Hope you're well and doing good with your recovery?

Steve

Hi Steve, from Italy.
The day in which my life change was 16 february, 2009 early morning in the gym I had my rupture.
I’m a survivor too, god is great!
Take care of you,
Giovanni

Wow! I'm speechless. I thought what I went through was bad. Congratulations on your recovery. Thank God your wife made the decisions she did.

hi steve-yes, but recovery is slow but am not complaining.I can do all bathroom duties but cant work.the therapist said it could be 7 weeks or 7 yrs.Hope this finds you well.my memory is bad & I'm getting everyone mixed up- i always have to backtrack to recall,good luck to you and your's& may God Bless-ron

Ron,

Keep up the hard work. I too can't work any longer this thing really messed me up as well. My short term memory is horrendous. But with all that went on with our brains/bodies we are alive. Just try as remain positive.

Steve

Hi Giovanni,

Glad to hear from you all the way from Italy and yes, the good lord, is great. Hope this finds you well?

Steve

Julie,

Thank you! I am one hell of a fortunate man for her. Nice to hear from you.

Steve