On that most memorable evening in October, the right side of my brain decided to explode. I had a massive thalamic hemorrhagic stroke in front of Danny (18 yr old son).
Before entering his room, I had the most excruciating head pain. I will never refer to it as a headache – my head F-ING hurt like never before. After a couple minutes of sitting on his bed and chatting, I heard a loud POP in my right ear and then I noticed my voice sounded strange. I didn’t know if it was my hearing or if my voice sounded strange to him too.
I went to leave Danny’s room but instead of standing up like I anticipated, (how was I to know my legs no longer worked) to the floor I went, like a giant rag-doll. Muscles and bones disappeared.
Other than the head pain, I felt fine (yeah right – fine but can’t move – who am I kidding). I knew NOTHING about strokes and tried to tell Danny he could hang up the phone. I wasn’t having a heart attack, but he wouldn’t. Even though he had to call 911 a couple of times from different phones before he was actually able to connect, he looked so calm and in control. All I was thinking was “where’s my little boy”, well that and “hang up the phone, I don’t have insurance”.
Boy was he in control. By now, Freddy and Tommy were in his room too. All I wanted was WATER; I’d be fine if I drank some water. Well some water and a cigarette. Just help me to the couch, I’ll be fine. By the time I asked for some the dispatcher told Danny – NO water. I guess that rules out a cigarette as well. At least they’re in my pocket so when I’m released from the hospital I can have one…………………..(little did I know).
“What the hell are you doing listening to some stranger on the phone instead of me?” I have no idea if those words actually came out of my mouth or if I just thought they did. So it goes…..
Danny: “No water; you have to wait for EMT’s.”
Me: “But I’m THIRSTY.”
Danny: “No mom, you have to wait.”
Me: “I NEED NEED NEED water.”
I would soon come to learn that this was just the beginning of a life that others controlled. I am now the child and everyone else rules my world.
Why do people think children can’t handle the truth?
This was a big issue between my ex and me when I was pregnant and my oldest son asked about babies. He was only 4 but very inquisitive and trusting. Whatever we said then would be etched in his brain as a truth or lie we told. I opted for the truth and used a great book (Where Did I Come From) to explain it. Needless to say, the ex wasn’t happy. However, 16 years later, he knows without a doubt, I always speak the truth.
I am a firm believer not only in honesty but with providing explanations as well. Being treated like a child, who couldn’t handle the truth (at the age of 46) was extremely irritating and frustrating so I gave them a child.
EMT’s arrive – finally I can have water! NOT. I keep asking.
Lie – “You can have some in the ambulance”.
Ok, I’ll wait. Of course, once in ambulance, I immediately ask for water.
Lie– “I don’t have any”.
This is why I have always believed in explaining the truth. Why frustrate children more than they already are?
Thoroughly pissed off (just tell me straight up what’s going on), and knowing that the ambulance is in front of my garage I say – “go get a bottle out of the fridge in the garage”.
Lie – “You can have some at the hospital.”
This was so stupid, if they would have only told me that there was a possibility of choking, I would have let it go but instead with each delay I became thirstier and more fixated.
Helicopter = Water = NOT
I’m told they want to life flight me to main campus downtown. Ok, but first I want water.
Lie – “You can have water on the helicopter.”
To be honest, other than being repeatedly lied to, I have no idea what was going on. One would think that having to be life-flighted to main campus would concern me. It didn’t. It was Sunday night and there wouldn’t be any traffic, no need to fly, why wasn’t I concerned? It never occurred to me that I was dying. All I heard was that I could have water on the helicopter. So let’s fly! I would have done absolutely anything for water.
No need for the helicopter, there was a problem with the elevator so we were delayed. It would have been quicker by ambulance.
To this day I have no clue what the rush was about anyways. The doctors let me bleed for 4 days! Maybe it was to bill $23,000 for the trip, much more profitable than a couple hundred for an ambulance ride……..
Stay tuned for Part 3- My Brain is Broken – 10 days in the hospital
What were your first hours like? Let me know below.