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Iola C.


Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

On Apr 9th, 2013 I was in Philadelphia, PA (for work) just sitting down for dinner with my boss and co-worker around 8:30 pm. It was a beautiful warm spring night. Next thing I knew I was not feeling so well. I felt dizzy and almost as though I was being pulled away from everyone. Next I felt "the worst headache of my life." A ferocious headache that would not go away. Then my neck became paralyzed. I could barely move it and I became very afraid.

I am 47 years old, very active, and in good physical condition. I never suffered from headaches or migraines so I knew something was terribly wrong. After 15 minutes or so (which seemed like a lifetime) I told my boss to take me to the hospital. Little did I know I was at one of the finest neurological centers on the East Coast. Next thing I knew the CT confirmed a brain bleed. Then I was told it was an Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, which I would later learn is a type of stroke. Since I never lost consciousness and was able to talk they were not sure if the bleed was an aneurysm rupture. I remember the doctors telling me the bleed pattern looked like it could be but they had to confirm with an angiogram.

In the mean time my husband had been called, given some pretty grim news, and had to put our seven yr old daughter on the bus and drive five hours to PA not knowing my outcome. As the powers that be would have it, the angiogram results did not show an aneurysm rupture and I had to wait nine days in ICU for a second angiogram to confirm. It was a very stressful time and honestly I do not think I understood the true severity of the situation and the frailty of my life. The second angiogram was also negative, which was a blessing. There would be a third angiogram six weeks after my release to confirm the bleed or if it was from an unknown source.

I was released after two weeks and felt stranded on an island unto myself. I knew nothing about my condition or if I was going to live or die. I had to walk with a cane and my head felt like I had a helmet on at all times and the pressure was terrible. The fear of reoccurrence was all consuming at that point.

After six weeks and the third angiogram, I was told a had a benign Perimesencephalic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and reoccurrence was very low. I am now four and a half months from the day that would change my life forever. With the help of my husband and daughter I feel hope and the will to live, be healthy, and watch my daughter grow up into a beautiful woman.


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