This will definitely be a different post, as the past few have been about my attempts to get pregnant. I am beyond happy that all of my attempts to conceive have been unsuccessful. On December 1st, I was admitted to the ER due to severe pain on the right side of my neck.
This is a pain I have been feeling for months and got really severe in October. I thought I had pulled a muscle or injured a disc (and I remember telling someone that I wondered if I broke my neck somehow). The pain was BAD and nothing would touch it. I went to my family doctor on Oct. 5 and had x-rays done. The doctor told me that I had no curve in my neck. This is something I was told years ago by a chiropractor. My doctor thought that I had weak muscles and referred me to physical therapy for three weeks (one session a week). I did not respond to physical therapy and my therapist told me to go back to my doctor and insist that I have a CT scan. He told me he thought something else was going on, such as a pinched nerve or maybe nerve damage of some type. We thought that had to be the case, because not only did the pain not go away, but my vision would periodically go crazy. In July (that is when I first started feeling the neck pain), I would black out. Within a few weeks, the pain and the blacking out got better. When things intensified in October, it was while I was in physical therapy that my eyes did not see correctly. My right eye vision would go up, and my left eye vision would go down (for lack of a better description). I also experienced lines and auras out of my left eye.
Thinking maybe I just had knotted muscles, I found a chiropractor and immediately started chiropractic muscle therapy and adjustments. I had 2 sessions a week for about a month before taken to the ER. My chiropractor thought my muscles were trying to pull a curve in my neck and she saw some rotated discs on my x-ray taken in October. Still, that offered no relief. At this point, starting in October, I was in severe pain all the time. Since Lortab and muscle relaxers did not work, I started taking Aleve and walking around all the time with an ice pack. A few weeks before going to the ER, I pretty much did not sleep well. I could only sleep on one side, and if I sat up to change positions, my neck would almost feel as though it was spasming, and the pain was horrible. If I slept on my back, when my head rolled on the pillow, then the ceiling would spin like a record. I had a lot of vertigo with this. I was fortunate that when I drove to work, my vision never went crazy and I never had vertigo.
I had a REALLY bad day the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and went straight to my doctor after work to beg for a CT scan. She was closed for Thanksgiving. The Friday after Thanksgiving, I made an appointment and as soon as I entered, I had a neck spasm so severe that I was unable to do much. I was put in a back room to lay down. The doctor saw me, still thought that I had weak muscles and documented me as non-responsive to any treatment, so she referred me to an Orthopedic Surgical center. She said that if they wanted to do a CT scan, then they could make the choice and go from there. I was told they would call me on Monday to schedule an appt.
On Sunday, I was in the ER. I woke up that morning in horrible pain and was throwing up. I was unable to lean over the toilet, because my neck hurt terribly. So, I was holding a large bowl trying to keep things in it. My husband insisted I go to the ER, and he picked me up and sat me in my recliner, so that he could dress and get some things together. At that point, everything in sight appeared on the ceiling and I thought I was on my back. I told my husband to leave me on the floor, that I was done with the pain and the weird vision. I was ready to never, ever feel it again. He got me out of the recliner, helped me down the stairs, and got me to the car. In the ER, after I saw triage, I apparently had a seizure and blacked out. I was taken for a CT scan and a brain tumor was seen on my scan.
I was emergency transferred to another hospital and after spending 7 hours in their ER, was put in the Neuro-ICU. My mother said when she first saw me, my face and lips had the color of a person who was dead. She also said my neck and face were swollen. I had surgery on December 2nd. The surgery lasted about 4 hours and it was speculated I would come out not doing well. The doctors thought that they may have to leave my tubes in my throat, so that if my brain started swelling, they would hyperventilate me to reduce the swelling. I guess things looked good enough for them to remove the tubes, because when I came out of anesthesia, I was disoriented, afraid, and talking. Once my mother heard me talking, she knew I was fine. I stayed in the neuro-ICU from Sunday to early Wednesday, and then I was put in a private room early Wednesday afternoon. I was discharged on Saturday, December 7th.
The tumor (hemangioblastoma) was the size of a golf ball. It was located on the lower part of my brain above my brain stem. It caused fluid build up and pressure on my brain, and it crushed one of the ventricles in my brain (I do not know to what degree). It was also pressing on my optical nerve.
I am currently staying with my mother as I recover. She lives a good hour from where I live My husband and I have never been apart for this length of time. Bless his heart, he has gone through SO much. He saved my life. I love him for that. He started working a new job in July and we just did not think it wise that he take off for fear they might let him go. He also carries our insurance. I will be with my mother until mid-January. This way, I can be out and about (I am not cleared to drive) and recover with no stress. If I were home alone, I would not sit. I would clean and take care of my 5 cats. I go for another CT scan on Jan. 6 and see my neurologist on Jan. 13. From there, he will decide if I can go back to work.
God is GOOD!!!!! I am a walking miracle. Had I been pregnant through all of this, then that would have been harder for both my husband and me. I had a scan of my pituitary gland 2 years ago. My thyroid went bad and my endocrinologist wanted to see if I had a small tumor on my pituitary gland. My neurologist saw that scan and said that the tumor I had removed was there (minus the fluid cyst). The radiologist who read that scan apparently did not see my tumor. I did not have one on my pituitary gland, but this tumor was missed. This tumor could have been in my brain for years and my brain learned to live with it.
I will NOT waste this second chance at life. I plan to pray more, go back to church, and just make the difference I have always wanted to make.
Merry Christmas! The gift of life is the best gift I have ever received.