Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Brush with Death - Part 1

On April 28, 1999 I was in New York City giving clinical working group training on clinical development to my colleagues from two states via a power point presentation. It went exceptionally well.

On the train back to our home towns, I sat with a new friend, Kelli, and we discussed how she could easily build a koi pond in her back yard. She was very excited at how easy it could be and all in all it was a very pleasant and distracting conversation. She later told me that I had complained of a headache on the train ride home.

I drove home from the station and came into the house at around 9:30 PM exhausted from the long day. I just stood in the doorway dazed with my coat on and the LOML looked concerned and took my coat. He led me into the house and had me sit down at the kitchen table. I told him that I was worried about my annual review the next day. My boss, Dr. M, a cardiologist, was very critical and would never cut me a break; there was just no winning with her. I had worked so hard this past year, well beyond expectations, and I would never be rewarded for any of it. He tried to soothe me and speak rationally, but to no avail. I was bordering on panic. I felt trapped and my head was pounding. I told him I really didn'’t feel well at all, and I would go to bed in the spare room, hoping to feel better in the morning.

So up the stairs I went. During the night I felt nauseous. I dreamt that I was throwing up and having diarrhea and had stripped naked and was freezing cold on the floor. Should I call for help? But, I didn'’t, because I figured that one couldn'’t die from throwing up.

Everything from this point on I only know because the LOML, and others have told me. I was out of it and don'’t remember anything that happened for a good week and a half.

The LOML was awakened by his alarm on the morning of April 29. He got up and went in to make sure that I had gotten up for my review that morning. He entered the spare room and was horrified by what he saw. There I lay, naked, shivering, the bed stripped, bed clothes on the floor, they were covered in vomit, urine and diarrhea. I was semi-comatose. I was unresponsive and could not walk well. He carried me to our bed and put me under the covers.

Then the phone rang, it was my secretary from work. She said that I was expected soon for my review. The LOML answered that we had a medical emergency that we needed to see a doctor about right away and he would stay in touch when possible.

Then he dressed me and carried me to the car, straining his back, and took me to our doctor'’s office. Once there, the doctor lifted my head which made me grimace and called the ambulance immediately. The ambulance sped me away to a nearby emergency clinic.

There a CT scan was performed on my brain that revealed a huge brain hemorrhage in my left frontal temporal lobe. The ER doctor met with the LOML and asked where he wanted me taken and the LOML insisted that I be taken to a large university hospital that we had both previously agreed upon. At that point the LOML made a call to an oncologist we both know and are friends with, Dr. L, who I used to work with and that time worked at the university hospital, to appraise him of the situation. The LOML also called my secretary to update them that I was going to the hospital.

The LifeStar air ambulance was summoned and on its arrival I was loaded aboard, the LOML came along and we flew to the university hospital. Wish I had been conscious, I just love helicopter rides.

Once at the hospital, I was off loaded and the LOML met up with Dr. L. Medical personnel were busying themselves. Then, the director of Oncology Neurosurgery walked in to make sure I was getting the best care and everybody snapped to and started bustling. It'’s not what you know, it'’s who you know. Too be continued...

9 comments:

Ryan said...

omg i am waiting on the rest of the story,

Sue said...

Not to worry Ryan. Obviously I lived. :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yes, she lived! I can attest to that happy fact!

love,
evie

Sue said...

Oh, Evie! Don't spoil the surprise ending! (kidding)

Mike said...

Can't wait for the rest of the story.

Sue said...

Good things cum to those who wait. Oops, spelling error!

Tony said...

Jesus...even though I know you survived this, it's scaring the shit out of me.

Sue said...

It was pretty scary Tony. I'm glad I wasn't there, if you catch my drift. I don't know how the LOML handled it.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »