Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thunderclaps

There are lovely buttery daffodils sitting upon a table in my living room. They are from my coworkers. My refrigerator is full of food from these same people, providing dinner for several nights for my family. While I would not suggest spending time in the hospital to receive such perks from your fellow man, it does soften the edges of my worry. I am blessed.

Sunday I experienced something I hope never to experience again. While meeting with my sister Julie at Fircrest to visit our sister Cheri, I was suddenly struck in the head with an axe. Not a real one, to be sure, but the feeling, oh the feeling, was very real. I crumpled and am told that I began screaming. Thankfully my sister called 911. Medics soon arrived and I am told six men were soon working over me. They were unable to find a vein, though that did not stop them from shoving needles into arms, hands, feet and fingers. While the pain of the needles barely pierced through the intense pain I was experiencing, I was aware of it happening on some level.

There ought to be another word for what I experienced---pain and agony do not convey the correct level of distress. I would experience ten natural childbirths at the same time rather than ever have my head explode again in such a manner. I regret using Google to look up images for Axe to the Head. Trust me, do not make that same mistake.

The Medic One unit brought me to the hospital. It was there they finally found a vein. Medication to calm me and relieve some of my pain was pumped into me. I remember being told that they had to do a lumbar puncture on me. I was writhing, eyes squeezed shut and saying no no no. Then it hit me that what was a lumbar puncture to what I was experiencing. Nothing. A mosquito bite. Zero. I didn't care. They worried I was having a stroke, or a brain bleed or one of a number of other terrible no good bad things that can happen to a brain. All I knew was that there was a pulsing axe deep in my head and oh how I begged them to take it out.

Then I was suddenly holding the hand of my 80 year old father, as my sister spoke to me and they continued to work over me. Then my husband was there, speaking to me, wiping my brow. Oh how I wanted him there with me. I begged him to make it stop. Give me a blessing, I begged, eyes screwed shut, clutching the sheet, feet moving on the bed. Please...a blessing. My father anointed me, my sweet husband gave me a blessing.

An MRI, CT scan, Lumbar puncture, ABG, pokes, more pokes, Open your eyes Pam, let me see your eyes, no...please. The light seared. It burned.

Please.....make it stop.

Finally, the horrific pulsing agony subsided into a pulsing migraine. I was admitted for four days. Hooked up to heart monitors, IVs and numerous medications. My electrolytes were out of balance, I was experiencing a prolonged QT heart rhythm at one point so severe that a group of nurses swarmed my room at 2:30 a.m., flipping on lights and working over me.

I kept my drapes closed. Sunglasses on. Minimal movement. Barely ate and what I did eat came back up. I wanted to go home....

Finally the pain become more or less bearable and last night they released me. I am told that I probably experienced a very rare event called a Thunderclap Headache. That, and an abnormal heart rhythm. It's like being struck in the head by a bolt of lightening---but worse. Oh, so very much worse. I am thankful to be better. I am tired, I am exhausted, my eyes are still very much light sensitive and my head aches but it is manageable.

I am to meet with a cardiologist, a neurologist and other 'gists. So many, many 'gists out there, aren't there?

I am so very sorry to have frightened my sister and my family like this.... and I am grateful Julie was there when it happened. Had I been driving I would have crashed. I am thankful for prayers lifted on our behalf. I am grateful for Petra Haderlie, Visiting Teacher Extraordinaire, who has brought dinner and is picking up my girls early each morning to take them to school until I am able to drive again. Thank you.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Oh Pam! All these trials have gone to your head--literally! I am so sorry that you had to endure that kind of pain and fright. I am grateful that you have people to take care of you and a husband who can bless you.

    I'm sure there is a Sacrament Meeting talk in there somewhere. Maybe in 30 years you can give it without wincing.

    I will continue to pray for you as I have always done. Lori

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  2. Anonymous7:54 AM

    Wow! You are loved by so many! Prayers for you and your family. Missy

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  3. A Sacrament talk.... Perhaps. I just don't want it to ever happen again. I appreciate your prayers and your friendship. :)

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  4. Oh wow....amazing! Take care! I hope it NEVER happens again!! ;(

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Go ahead....tell me the truth :)