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What Does an Aneurysm / Stroke Feel Like?

Posted 11-17-2008 at 11:07 AM by By~Tor

[SIZE=3]So, yeah. . . . I can tell ya’ what an aneurysm . . . and what a stroke feels like.....[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]And, from what little I know about them, there’s not too many people who can explain it, because most of ‘em are dead. Dead, like I’m supposed to be, but ain’t, because either God loves me enough that he’s personally protected me from the death that 97% like me experienced.... or maybe because I’m just not done yet, being a bastard to people who really deserve it... and we all know those types seem to live forever, right?[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]And speaking of God, let’s just go with explaining the feeling of an aneurysm as experiencing the full and total wrath of God, without any of the beauty that might come from at least visually seeing God’s true nature, in the process. It is a maelstrom of pain and hatred, with your very own body the epicenter of the storm, even though you cannot calculate where the “center” of it is coming from. [/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Best way I’ve got it figured now, is that I’ve “had” at least three Aneurismal “episodes” that I can directly attribute, but looking back over the years, I suppose there may have actually been dozens. Caused or triggered on by things as relatively unconnected as business stress, emailing friends, breathing deeply, or even singing. [/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]But this last one is the one that’s had me so scared, as I sit even now writing this from my hospital bed, after having been out of commission for almost two full weeks.... because, you see. . . THIS time, it ruptured and became a “stroke”, and I didn’t know that either. I thought it was just a flu bug.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]This whole latest ordeal started out Monday, November 3rd, about 10AM. I had the day off since I had worked each of the previous 7 days, including the overnight before, helping setup the Christmas decorations at the mall where I run the housekeeping department. It had been a long week, and my girlfriend Anita had even helped out the night before with me, in exchange for a Halloween function at her work I’d helped out with earlier.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3] I was relaxing w/ my morning Java and a cig, answering a few emails on Answerology, when it hit me out of nowhere.... first, the cold, steel pain creeping up my front leg sides into my abdomen, chest and upper extremities, then, the sweats and finally, the lightheadedness that only comes from good prescription downers or really bad bathtub drugs....neither of which I was under influence of. [/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Then, as I got up to go get some water, the floor attacked me and I fell into a heap, unable to move for about ten minutes or more... at which point, I felt miserably fluey, and crawled into bed to crash.... [/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]The phone rang throughout the day as my gal tried to call me, but I wasn’t moving from bed; my equilibrium entirely gone, and me in the throes of this horrid flu.... so at 6pm, she was astounded to find me laying in bed, a virtual cretin. I told her of my ordeal and told her I’d be staying home until this thing passed. I didn’t eat dinner that night, but only drank ice-cold water.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Tuesday, she stayed home with me to baby me, but still all I did was lay in bed and sleep as I could, my head pounding and my body aching, only broken by occasional spates of vomiting and loose BM’s...this was the worst flu I’d ever experienced in my 41 years, and I wanted no part of socializing... Wednesday was the same, and by Thursday, I told her to go on back to work, that I wasn’t going to get any worse. Friday also came & went, and that night, she insisted that if I wasn’t better by Saturday morning that we’d need to go to a doctor.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Saturday morning, I came to the realization that it wasn’t better and that I’d need some sort of help to shake this thing, so we went to an Urgent care facility nearby. Their studied opinion was that I likely had contracted Meningitis, so they sent us to St. Clair Hospital, nearby..... where THEY discovered that I did NOT have meningitis, but rather, a burst aneurysm on my lower brain stem... basically, a 'stroke"..... so they sent an ambulance to take me to Allegheny General Hospital for immediate brain surgery.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Upon arriving at Allegheny, I was informed that only about 3% of people who’d had the injury I had had survived as long as I had already, and that a spinal tap, angiogram and brain surgery would be needed, immediately. So, with no options available, I relented to the knife... and they peeled back my skull, cauterized off the affected area, and placed me in the ICU for evaluation, where I stayed for the next two days and nights. Along with some crazed gal, also a stroke victim, who screamed a lot about no one helping her and who had bitten nursing staff when they tried to sedate her so they could save her life... of course, there was no sleep to speak of, as they tested my reflexes every two hours and the fentanyl pain meds made me sweat profusely, even as they gave me blood pressure meds to try to bring my diastolic down below 150...[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Bear in mind, that throughout this whole week now, I’d not been eating any regular food, but simply a liquid diet of water and “Ensure” protein drinks. I had my first BM on Thursday, once they moved me out of the ICU and into a semi-private room, and it was nothing short of a rapturous moment even if it did take me thirty minutes to squeeze out a minimal amount of poo. My equilibrium still shot, I remained in bed the rest of that day & night, as well.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Friday, I managed to get out of bed and walk around a bit, even managing to go down to smoke a cigarette in the smoking area down near the cafeteria. The BIGGEST of all no-no’s, but in my mind, a stress-reliever desperately needed, after all I‘d been going through. I spoke with my son & daughters who had no real idea of how close dear ol’ dad had come to death, and caught up with a few friends who DID know, as a result of my gal’s having contacted all my lifelong and online friends to catch them up to speed and request for their well-wishes and prayers. [/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Saturday (today), I walked a great deal and even bought a walking stick to help me in those moments when my equilibrium failed me, which was probably about 30% of the time. They offered for me to go home Sunday, but I actually requested to stay until at least Monday, to be sure I was as rested as possible, before having to maneuver three flights of stairs at my domicile.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Now, 1:06AM Sunday morning, and I can’t sleep; the gravity of the situation hitting home and realizing just what a small number “3%” really is.... my entire life will have to change if I don’t want to revisit this scenario again and again, with less luck likely each time going forward.... I’m no longer bulletproof, even if my attitude speaks otherwise... I am human, frail, and the only god thing about this is that I’ve lost about 30 unneeded pounds from my frame, during my liquid diet, which blissfully ended Thursday afternoon....[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]Friends from all over the country have been calling and writing in support and prayers, which I am eternally grateful for.... and I am to be released Monday, barring any horrid changes in my recovery, so we’ll leave this essay open here for updates as they become warranted. Suffice it to say, that good friends, a large prayer circle and the luck of the Irish are all that have kept me above ground this past two weeks, and every breath is cherished like the first breath I’ve ever taken. I hope never to count them among my last, and that my death comes at an old age, from more natural causes. [/SIZE]
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[SIZE=3]But even if it doesn’t boil down that way, I know I am loved, and my life has already been justified by the love I’ve been shown...thanks to you all, for more than You’ll ever know!!![/SIZE]

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  1. Old Comment

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