Friday, December 17, 2010

15 years ago.....

today I was laying in an ICU awaiting emergency brain surgery.

Looking back to the 16th of December 1995 it was to be a day of celebration. My in-laws were about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Breanne, who was about 6 months old at the time, had the most perfect red plaid dress for the festivities. I woke up early in the morning to the familiar headache on the right side of my head and an ear that had gone practically deaf. I made it up the small flight of stairs in our town home and landed on the couch which would be my home for the next several hours. We only had one vehicle and my in-laws, who were in town from Tulsa, Oklahoma, were borrowing it at the time I had decided a trip to the emergency ward would be the best place to get a prescription for something, anything that would take this six month headache away. We phoned my parents to drive me but they totally thought I was faking it LOL! Rick, my husband, was supposed to give a toast at his parents party and he totally didn't want to...they saw this as "his out"!

We decided that because I could no longer stand on my own that an ambulance would be the quickest route to getting that prescription! I arrived at The Foothills Hospital early in the afternoon on December 16th only to be told that "there were sicker people here than me so I could wait for that codeine". I had no problem waiting as I was basically comatose. Many hours later I finally received that pill and was almost discharged...we would make it to the anniversary party! I got up to use the bathroom and I collapsed. The nurse decided to call neurology for a consult.  Within minutes I was under a CT scanner and was told if they didn't find anything the next step would be a spinal tap. I prayed that something would be found on that CT scan because a spinal sounded very painful. Sure enough, a tumor the size of a baseball was found on the left side of my brain. Rick called my parents, who were at the anniversary party, to tell them that they needed to come back to the hospital and speak to the neurology resident. The same nurse who told me that there were sicker people in the ER was called to start my IV. I laid in that small bed thinking I was going to die.

Before I knew it I was in the ICU. The neurosurgeon, Dr. Sutherland, soon arrived to let me know he would be removing the tumor the next day (which was a Sunday) as I wouldn't make it until Monday.

I'm pretty sure I got a bit better drug than the codeine I was hoping for as I was so out of it! The last thing I remember was being taken down to surgery with my husband at my side and finally in the room where the surgery was to take place. There was loud music playing in the room..this struck me as very funny!

Several hours later I woke up and I was the most thirstiest I've ever been in my life! My husband spoke to the anesthesiologist who told him that they lost me for a bit...my heart breaks when I think of this news and feel very happy to be alive.

I felt so blessed to have a wonderful family around me as I learned to walk all over again.

Each year I reflect on the 17th of December on how my life was saved. The MOST amazing part of this and my most favorite is the fact that 4 years later I surrendered and trusted Jesus with my life. Praise HIM!

In all honesty I never thought I'd be here 15 years later...a happy, loving marriage and three completely amazing children. Dr. Sutherland asked me if I wanted to have more children after Breanne and I said "no!". Am I ever glad that God proved that wrong :)

Our 2010 family Christmas card...



Enjoy today, I know I will!
Love,

4 comments:

Ki said...

WOW Andrea, I had no idea! Truly a miracle...thank God! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

Charlee said...

Oh my Andrea...I had no idea!!! Thank God that God had your back...he is sooo good and knows what we need when we need it. Thanks so much for sharing your story...you are truly an inspiration in so, so many ways!

Kelli said...

I had heard but had no idea how serious the situation was! I'm so glad it turned out the way it did!

Maggie said...

Andrea,
In all the years we have crossed path, I had no idea you had such a life experience.
Thank God you went to the Hospital and God has kept you in his hands.
God Bless,Happy New Year!
Maggie