February 13, 2016
Russ happened to be working an afternoon shift that Thursday and had been on his way to visit when he got my call. He arrived just as I was gathering my belongings. Shaky and a little unsteady, I was in slow mode. I still couldn’t turn my head and my whole body ached after having been in bed for so long. Russ left to bring his truck to the front entrance while I finished getting ready and waited for an aid to bring a wheelchair.
The timing was near perfect … I’d been there barely a minute when Russ pulled up. He helped me into the truck and as we drove away from the hospital, I felt a overwhelmed … it was so surreal. It seemed like I’d been gone for a long time. The everyday hustle and bustle of life had just carried on, uninterrupted, while my world over those last 6 days had been entirely exclusive of all that.
It was a beautiful July day. The sun was exceptionally bright, or so it seemed after having been laid up in a such a dim environment. I fumbled through my purse and realized that I didn’t have my sunglasses. My heart sank as I was sure I’d lost them. The headache was unrelenting … much worse than I’d realized now that I was out of bed and off the narcotic and I seriously wondered if I was ready to go home.
As Russ drove away, I closed the blinds … I needed darkness again. The house was so quiet. I took 2 Extra Strength Tylenol managing to finish the entire glass of water. I sat there in the living room for a few minutes still in a bit of disbelief that this had actually happened … I mean, who’d have ever thought!
I forced myself out of the chair and started the slow climb up the stairs. Shower … I wanted a shower. And then, well … I could hardly wait to sink deep into the memory foam that tops my very comfy mattress and fall fast, fast asleep … no IVs, no monitors, no hospital noise … just the hum of the fan and the familiarity of my bedroom. It felt good to be home.
My days and nights were completely turned around that first week … I felt like an insomniac … unable to sleep all night and then only sporadically for no more than a couple of naps lasting an hour or two during the day. I was taking double the recommended dose of e/s Tylenol with almost no effect.
I saw my family doctor a few days after being discharged from the hospital, she prescribed T4s without caffeine hoping that I’d be able to sleep and although codeine has never agreed with me, I needed something stronger than the e/s Tylenol. Sure enough though … with just 1 of those T4s, I knew that codeine still didn’t agree with me. Not only did I have the friggin’ headache but now I had a gut-ache to go along with it!
When the insomnia finally “broke”, I went from almost no sleep to almost non-stop sleep. The headache was always there and was just as bad as it had been when I left the hospital. Then, in early August, the pain started to slowly subside and I began to have these moments of realizing that my head wasn’t throbbing. I was able to turn my head from side to side albeit very slowly. When I would bend down though, like to put Sally’s harness on, the back of head my would explode with pain lasting anywhere from 40 to 60 seconds. Same if I turned my head too fast. The floaters that had developed in my left eye were bothersome though not painful. (Dr. Findlay told me they could be permanent.) I still felt quite fatigued which would probably last awhile I was told.
Towards the end of August, I was ok’d to return to work on reduced hours. I was back to full time hours around mid-September and I’ve been pretty healthy since save one really bad spell that lasted almost a week. The floaters are always there but not as intense as they were. I hardly notice them now except when I’m tired or when they flare up unexpectedly every once in a while and become extremely annoying! This summer, it will be 2 years since that little vein blew. I’ll be getting a call soon from the Dr. Findlay’s office telling me it time to book the CT scan. I’m glad that I’ll be followed from now on … that way, on the off chance that something is developing, it can be taken care of before it becomes a problem!
Life is good … and very precious.