As you may know, I had a brain aneurism rupture in November 2011. I haven’t been writing much while in recovery. My heart wants to share so much, but my mind has difficulty putting together what I might write to you.
I find myself feeling incredibly fortunate, yet scared and confused. There is a pain in my body that reminds me, I was in the hospital and had brain surgery, but my real pain is found in my emotional places.
Returning from this experience, it took some time for Alyssa to reconnect with me. I feel so bad; there hasn’t been a way to explain all of this to her. I wish I could comfort her and she could understand why I was gone for a month and why I have limitations with her now. There are times, she will give me a hug and I become emotionally overwhelmed. My emotions play tricks on me and I can fall into a feeling of what it might be like to not be with her. Then, I fall apart. I realize what a gift life is. Not that I didn’t before, but now, there is a side of me, emotionally feeling the pain, of what it would be like to lose the opportunity to be with those I love.
I think back to the evening this all started. There have been so many of you have asked about my experience. I thought I would share it with you today. It was Wednesday, November 9th. I went to take Alyssa upstairs to get her ready for bed. At the bottom of our stairs, she reached up to be carried up the stairs. Loving this special moment, I carried her, like I did most nights. As I approached the top steps, I felt “odd”. I knew something was significantly wrong. There was no denying the feeling; I knew I was going to need medical attention. I walked Alyssa to the bedroom, quickly readied her for bed. I began to lose my balance, but used my arm like a kickstand to hold myself up. It’s a bit foggy if I put Alyssa in bed or if my husband did. I remember feeling ill and sitting down on the floor. I yelled across the house to my husband to come quickly. As he arrived, everything was very confusing. Had I fallen? What was wrong? He led me down the stairs on my request. I called our neighbors to see if they could come over, as we would need to go to the hospital and have someone at the house for Alyssa. I could hear my husband calling the paramedics. I leaned over the kitchen sink and became very sick. A few moments into vomiting, my neck stiffened and I had a wall of shooting pains from the base of my neck, up and over to the front of my forehead. This pain, this awful pain, was worse than anything I have ever felt before. Woosh, my head was engulfed… a migraine would be an understatement as to the intensity of the pain. It was more like an explosion inside my skull. I remember a paramedic arriving and standing behind me offering me relaxation because he had medication to offer. Being placed into the ambulance was my last memory for the next 19 days.
Looking back and thinking about this whole experience, I would have thought the woosh, the shooting pains, were the worse thing I could ever feel, but I was wrong. Waking up from this experience and knowing I could have died and lost the opportunity to be with all of you, my friends, my family, my sweet Alyssa… oh how that pains me more than anything. I believe I can rejoice in my existence!!! Yet, I have to be honest, I am not relaxed about the rejoicing, I am still scared, frankly scared. I am sure this experience is like that onion, peeling off the layers, until the fears are all gone. I trust in God and believe there is more I haven’t learned from this yet, so I will do my best to let go for now and try to celebrate, as I have every reason to!!! I am trying to enter each day, one day at a time and with an open heart and mind. And, I find myself feeling incredibly fortunate to have Alyssa’s smiles. She guides me into the celebration!
I don’t know where we would be without all the wonderful people in our lives that have been helping us through this time. I can only tell you, I am more appreciative than ever. I do not have words to express the mountain of our gratitude, but I want everyone to know, your part, no matter how big or small, has been huge to us. Thank you!
As always, thank you for reading and have a GREAT week!!! Much love, Angie