A Year Ago

It was a year ago, when I had a blood clot in my brain and had surgery 04/08/13.  So much has happened and so much has changed.  I look back on the post I made that day http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/04/08/its-not-a-head-achy/ and I cringe at my spelling and I’m also awestruck that I was typing the same day I had surgery?!?!

If you are a nurse… you should read my tributes to nurses!

I’m not sure I’ve shared “how” this all came to be, what were “the signs” that we missed at the time, that would send us straight to the hospital if they happened today.  I remember “some of it” and I have been told the rest as we pieced together the couple of weeks leading up to that fateful Monday morning.  I thought I’d document it, more for me to “have a record” of what happened but also, I know many of you probably do not realize “exactly what happened.”

For Christmas 2012, we decided to spend it in Granby Ranch, which was a new experience for our family. [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2012/08/22/secret-santa-letters/ ]  The week prior, I was in a “vehicle accident” I guess you can call it.  A mudflap from a semi came flying from above and hit my suburban (http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2012/12/20/i-still-have-my-head/ ) Many of you have asked “if this could have been the cause.”  I have no idea and the thought never occurred to me until one of ya’ll pointed it out 6mo later.  We still managed to spend the week at the condo [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2012/12/23/happy-birthday-jeff/ ]

As soon as we returned and started the New Year, everyone started getting sick.  We blame Courtney because she forgot to bring the Juice Plus to the mountains 😉  Jeff had pneumonia January 1st and then it was all downhill from there, everyone was sick and passing it around. [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/01/30/tdap-the-p-stands-for/ ] and [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/03/07/lemon-flavored-face-mask/ ]

Some friends had a baby shower and we decided we shouldn’t go, just in case we were still passing something around. Heather dropped off the gift, then called them so she wouldn’t be face-face. 🙁

In mid-March, Courtney started tennis [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/03/19/courtneys-tennis-031913/] and after chaos ensued trying to organize snacks, Emily’s dad (Lou) and I, just decided to bring snacks and drinks to every match.  I went around and asked the girls what they would like and I remember some of them begging fro strawberries, which also requires, napkins and wetones 😉  I felt terrible but I arrived with snacks and went and watched from my car.

I remember turning down the elementary school for being a substitute EA teacher that week prior to spring break, that was the first time I ever turned them down.  We had purchased a new carpet shampooer, I had intentions of shampooing the carpet upstairs before we left town.  BUT FIRST… 😉  I had to rearrange the linen closet in the hallway so that I had a place to put things away so that I could find the floor 😉  I finished organizing the linen closet, looked at the shampooer, decided I had a headache and went ant took a nap instead!

As spring break approached, we were getting ready to head to the mountains and Jeff’s gout flared and he needed crutches to even try to move his foot.  It was snowing like crazy so our neighbor came over and used his tractor to plow our driveway for us.  Heather was not going (she had a different spring break) so he told her to holler if she needed anything.  AH, the joys of Murphy’s Law, when she was stranded in the snow storm and we were in the mountains! [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/03/23/rod-to-the-rescue/ ]  Her car was in the shop the entire week of spring break!

The snow was not very good so the kids did not enjoy skiing very much, and Jeff was still on crutches.  We did manage to snap some photos though [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/03/28/playing-in-grand-lake/ ]  As the snowpack worsened the kids stop skiing altogether and I was not feeling well.  I suggested that we go home (it was a day early on Friday, instead of our typical Saturday).   The beds were terrible for both our Christmas stay and the spring break stay.  Jeff’s foot was so sensitive, any movement caused him pain and basically, with everyone sick since Christmas, neither Jeff nor myself had slept well in months.  Actually, I vaguely remember feeling terrible enough that I pretty much demanded that we leave now, since I had to drive. 🙂

As Murphy’s Law would have it, we got a phone call about halfway home that Heather was really sick and since her car was in the shop, our neighbor Katie was taking her to urgent care. [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/03/29/katie-to-the-rescue/ ]  The only urgent care open at the time (it was Good Friday), was the local ER so I dropped Jeff off with Heather, took the others home to unload the suburban and then went back to the hospital.  The other kids were great about putting all the gear away (except the skies because Jeff had the ski rack keys with him at the hospital).  This was helpful because it was supposed to snow and once Jeff removed the skis from the suburban, I could park in the garage.  The other car was in the shop, remember? 😉

Some of Heather’s friends (including Drew! [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2014/01/02/jaime-met-drew-010214/ ]) came to the hospital to check on Heather and I remember telling them that I had a headache, had just driven down the mountain and that I may not remember all their names.  Fortunately, Heather did not have pneumonia!  She managed to come draw one Easter egg [ http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/03/31/easter-eggs-and-lorax/ ]

The week after Easter is somewhat of a blur… I remember bits and pieces, I remember having a headache but since everyone was sick, including me, I really didn’t give it a second thought, and neither did anyone else.

The following Friday, April 5, 2013, I was picking up Courtney from tennis, in the rental car (the other car was still in the shop!).  I had a terrible headache and made a point of telling Courtney that she would be driving if this wasn’t a rental car and when we got home I was going to bed!  And I did.  I had taken some Tylenol already, and started alternating with Ibuprofen.  I spent the day Saturday, alternating the two and staying in bed.

At some point, I had a conversation with Heather when she came into my room.  I had the TV on and it was on Star Trek “something.”  She asked me which one it was and when I said I didn’t know she actually commented “there’s a Star Trek show you don’t know?”  Today, that would set off all sorts of alarms! 😉  Apparently, we had an entire conversation and then she took all the kids out for dinner and a movie.  I DO NOT REMEMBER ANY OF THIS.

In the middle of the night Saturday night, I was taking a shower to help my head (I know I had taken several) and I decided that the Tylenol and Ibuprofen were not helping so I stopped taking them.

Sunday morning, I decided that I just had cabin fever from not feeling well in weeks and I asked Jeff if we could go to Sam’s (or Costco?)… “but I want to walk really slow.”  I said that several times.  WHO SAYS THAT?  I knew we needed to pick up Courtney from work so I was planning the Costco trip around that.  I wanted plenty of time to shop and still walk really slow.  My memory of events here are fuzzy.  I remember asking Jeff the time over and over again.  I even kinda yelled at him, “that’s not the time, what time is it?”  He actually responded “You are acting squirelly, do I need to take you to the ER too?”  Apparently, I did not find that amusing since “we had just done that with Heather and I’m not doing that two weekends in a row!”  At this point, Jeff says we had left Costco and we were actually at the grocery store across the street from Courtney’s work.  I DO NOT REMEMBER THE GROCERY STORE.

When we picked up Courtney, I told her that it was my sister Andrea’s birthday and I didn’t want to forget to call her when we got home.  I said it over and over again.  When we arrived home and started unloading groceries, I burst into tears in the middle of the driveway and said I couldn’t help and maybe we should see if there is an urgent care open (it was Sunday evening).  While they finished unloading the car, I went upstairs to lie down… but first, I made the worst birthday phone call ever!  I called Andrea and got her voicemail and actually said something about being glad I got her voicemail because my head hurt so don’t call me back.  I DO NOT REMEMBER WHAT I SAID.

Jeff checked and found an urgent care open on the other side of Denver (I have no idea where, that’s just what I processed).  I said never mind, that I’d just wait until my doctor opened at 8am.  I cried all night and took 10,000 showers to try and help my headache.

I usually took the kids to school but Jeff took them and then went down to his office (in the basement, works from home remember).  At 8:00am I called my doctor and they couldn’t get me in until 2:30-3:00pm.  I actually kinda yelled at her and said I can’t wait that long so never mind.  I remembered that a new urgent care opened up just down the street from us and I called them and asked if they took new patients.  When she said they could see me now, I actually said, “well, I’ll have to find someone to drive me.”  For a headache???  Even I am thinking I am weird.  Jeff had to rearrange some calls but we were at the urgent care by 8:15am.

They handed me a stack of normal “new patient” paperwork and I burst into tears and said there was no way I could fill that out.  Jeff kinda started it for me when they called me back.  He just waited out there because I said I just had a headache….  I was just seeing the nurse practitioner and she tried to make me stand on the weight scale and I just looked at her and said “if you make me stand on that, I’m going to puke on you.”  I was dizzy and nauseous.  She sat me down, gave me something for the nausea, which worked instantly.  I was able to point to the exact spot on my head where I have the headache.  I’ve had migraines on/off for years (but hadn’t in many years) and THIS, was like no migraine I have ever had.  “It’s RIGHT HERE, in this exact spot!”

Her words are a total blur, telling me to go to the hospital and get a CT scan.  “But I just have a headache, can’t you just give me something for the headache?”  She kept insisting hospital and I just held up my hand and said, “hang on a second, you aren’t making any sense and I do not understand and if I go out there and tell my husband that I need to go to the hospital for a headache, he’s gonna ask me why.  You just need to go out there and bring him in here and tell him so I don’t have to understand it.”  So she did.  I was VERY IRRITATED that she would not give me something for the headache.

Jeff drove me up to the hospital (the same one from last weekend, it’s 10min from our house).  They were waiting on me.  I do NOT remember the CT scan… and based on the pain, I now know it causes me to hear loud noises, I suspect I blacked out???  Maybe they gave me something for the pain?  I do not remember.  I do remember that we were in the same room Heather had and for some reason our phones didn’t have service when they did the other night?!?!  Somebody said something about bleeding on the brain… “and now will you give me something for the headache?”  I never processed….  Something about doing more scans, taking me upstairs…. blah, blah.

Jeff had to go outside to make phone calls.  Obviously, a lot of time passed in this scenario but it was all just seconds to me.  The next thing I remember, is a whole bunch of helicopter pilots (there were 6) plus the doctor, telling me that they are going to put me on a chopper to a different hospital.  UM… NO!  If you know me at all, you know my feet do NOT leave the ground!  I was screaming and crying and hollering that they were NOT putting me in a helicopter… who cares that my brain is bleeding… NO CHOPPER!   That’s when Heather walked in.  This is how I know time passed because she had been in class no where near here, and now she is here, Jeff is not here and I’m freaking out.  FREAKING OUT!

Finally, one of the pilots said “You know what, we’ll just put you in an ambulance and drive REALLY FAST.”  Jeff walked in about this time and is confused too because last thing he knew was “more tests and taking me upstairs.”  The helicopter guys got his phone number and told him to meet me in the ER of the other hospital (they have a stroke center).

Only 5 of the pilots could go in the ambulance, which went really fast 😉  They gave me one of every drug in the vehicle, my head still felt like it would explode, but I was really happy about it 😉  When we arrived, there were doctors standing outside waiting for me.  I was VERY HAPPY to see them 😉  They already had an ICU room ready and waiting on me so they took me upstairs.

Now we are all in my ICU room with the glass walls, 5 helicopter guys, the “hospitalist” doctor, the surgeon, the neurologist and the nurse (every is male).  One of the doctors asked me if I was married “I AM MARRIED TO JEFF SCOTT!”  And do I know his number “NO, BUT MY PHONE DOES!”  After they all stop laughing, one of the pilots handing him Jeff’s phone number.  My nurse (male) comes over and says “Mrs. Scott, we need to get you prepped for surgery, I don’t know which type they will do, but usually they go through and artery in your leg.”  blank stare… “I need to get you undressed” as he looks around at all these men in my room.  my very loud response “DUUUUDE!  I GAVE UP MODESTY 4 KIDS AGO.  YOU JUST DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO!”  They all agreed that they should give every patient one of every drug prior to all surgeries. 🙂

I don’t remember anything else, I woke up hours later back in ICU and obviously I made a post:  http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/04/08/its-not-a-head-achy/

Needless to say, Jeff’s version is probably more accurate and a lot more scary to hear.

If you browse through those few posts I made while in the hospital 04/08-12/2013, it’s obvious that I had some stroke effects.  But for the most part, I healed up in ICU, watched the Rockies and the Nuggets games at night, and chatted with the staff.  Many evenings, anyone that was on the ward would roll their chair up outside my glass walls and watch the games with me.  I remember talking to doctors about buying a suburban vs. other SUVs, and some were having their first kids and most everyone was like “you don’t seem like you should be in ICU, you are doing fabulous!”  Everyone signed up for my blog, especially after all the practical jokes when I was moved off the ICU floor.

However, even though they had moved me from ICU, the NEVER let me get up alone, etc. and then suddenly at 6pm on Friday night, they released me….

I’ll post about surgery #2 later, this one has tired me out!  http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2014/04/08/a-year-ago-and-surgery-2/


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