Thursday October 29 started out like any other day.  Ryder and I had a nice walk around Batitiquos Lagoon with another mom and baby team and we headed in to the office.  Mom had taken dad into the ER at Pomerado Hospital because he was complaining of chest pains.  I was worried but after speaking with her, she let me know that he was doing better and they were going to keep him overnight for observation.  She was worried sick – literally and nauseous.  Ibuprofin wasn’t working.

We were planning on meeting some friends out for pizza that night when we got another call from Mom.  She was really sick and didn’t think she should drive home.  Gus was all set to leave for the hospital to pick her up when she called and said, “you’ll never believe this.  Now I’m at the Emergency Room.  They want to do a CAT Scan.”

An hour later, we got the shocking news.  There was blood on her brain.  Sub arachnoid hemorrhaging.  It was suspected, and then later confirmed, that she had a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.  After doing some research, I was floored by the statistics.  40-50% of people who have this happen die within 24 hours before they even reach the hospital.  Another 25% die within 3 months.  Of those that survive, there is a high likelihood of moderate to severe brain damage.

aneurysm.jpgMy world fell apart. 

After a grueling wait at the ER, waiting for a bed in an ICU at a facility with in-house neurology, she was finally transferred to Scripps Memorial in La Jolla – the same hospital Rydee was born in just 4 months ago.  By 1:30am, we were at the MICU ward and she was admitted.

The diagnostics followed by the procedure to stop the bleeding was an all day event Friday.  She survived the procedure.  A coil of platinum wire was injected by catheter into the aneurysm.  Clotted blood stopped the bleed.  The procedure was completely non-invasive – the catheter is inserted through a groin artery and threaded all the way into her brain.

coil.gifMy dad was released from Pomerado on Friday afternoon.  He came over to Scripps right away to see mom.  My wonderful in-laws parked their motorhome in the parking lot Friday and Saturday so that we could leave the baby in between feedings and I could nurse him every three hours while still attending to my mom and speaking with the nurses and doctors.

Saturday morning, my dad experience the second round of angina – chest pains – and was walked by the ICU nurses to the ER.  He was released again that afternoon. 

Early Sunday at 2:00 am, I get a call from Dad that he is having severe chest pains.  I tell him to hang up with me and call 911 which he does.  I arrive in a sleepless stupor right as they are wheeling him downstairs to the waiting ambulance.  He is taken to the third hospital of the weekend – Palomar Medical Center.

Dad is kept overnight at Palomar and has his own angiogram procedure on Sunday.  The culprit artery is found to be 99% blocked.  Basically, he almost died.  I’m still not sure why he didn’t but he got lucky and they saved his life.He was released Monday and is feeling a lot better now.

Meanwhile, Mom continues to recover at Scripps MICU.  She is doing incredibly well.  She can now sit up and watch TV.  I can call her cell phone when I want to hear her voice.  I am starting to relax.  I spoke with her neurosurgeon today – who incidentally is the same age as me – and if she can somehow manage to stay well for the next 5 days or so, she may very well escape the jaws of death this time around.  What’s more, she may also walk away with any brain impairment which is just wonderful.  She can come back to work whenever she feels up to it. 

There is a danger of vasospasm which is caused by the fluid on her brain and hydrocephalus which is fluid surrounding your brain.  Both are very dangerous so she must be constantly monitored.

We aren’t out of the woods yet but the doctor is very encouraged by her condition and I am feeling a lot better.  I haven’t had much sleep in the last 4 months anyway but the last few days have been just torture on me.  I am still sitting upright to write this blog but after I get the news that she is in the clear, I may just pass out for a week.

I always imagined how painful losing my mother would be but I was always able to put the thought out of my head for the time being.  After all, she is so healthy and I figured I would deal with it way in the future.  This brush with death has made me realize just how much I take my mom for granted.  What hurt the most was imagining Ryder growing up without her.  She loves him just as much as me and the thought of him losing her was too much to bare.

I hope you read this soon, Mom.  I love you more than you will ever know and I will thank God for every day I have you in my life.