Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A False Sense of Security

The title of this entry is inspired by how much we had settled into the "new normal" of our lives, including the ability to go to sleep each night with relative lack of worry. For me that was in part a gift of nearly 2 years passing without much incident, health wise. Also, what I consider part of the "WTF?"reaction to trauma. As much as I somewhat believe life hands you only what you can handle, and that there are good lessons to learn from challenges, there is also part of me that believed– or at least wants to believe – that misery begets a certain amount of immunity. Life's unfair, but it's nice to think there is some balancing act at work.

When I went to bed last night, I had no reason to suspect that I would not wake up in my own bed. All things considered, I've been feeling fine. As it turned out, when my eyes opened this morning, I was in an ambulance headed to the Emergency Room. While I had experienced seizures early in my health crisis, they were mild and manifested themselves as a sense of déjà vu and anxiety. In actuality, those seizures helped save my life, since without them I would never have received the MRI which identified my aneurysm. While I was immediately put on anti-seizure meds, my neurologist believed they were caused by the physical interaction of my aneurysm with the rest of my brain.  my surgery supported that hypothesis, since I hadn't had a conscious seizure since. Early this morning, however, I experienced what I would consider a much more traditional seizure. Often in the morning – when waking – I have some spasms on my left side, caused by my yawns'neural misfires. At first, Jamie thought my thrashing today was just that. Once she realized I was struggling to breathe a bit, she called 9-1-1 (for me) and her mother (to watch the kids). Though the EMTs arrived quickly, she did have time to get me on the floor and start CPR. In retrospect, that may have not been necessary, but it's a good reminder of  lessons learned long ago – that chest compressions should be performed to the beat of the Bee Gees' "Staying Alive" and that you cannot perform proper CPR while someone is lying on a mattress (which she recalled from Michael Jackson's death).

So the important thing is that despite the trauma of the way she was awakened and the fact that Wyatt unfortunately entered our bedroom while the paramedics were working on me, I was and am no worse for the wear. I did bite my tongue in a few places as well as Jamie's fingers while she was trying to unlock my jaw, my left shoulder hurts a bit from its standard slight dislocation and the fact that Jaime pulled me off the bed using my left arm. I also lost patches of hair from my legs, arms, and chest where EKG leads were attached at the hospital. They did a quick Cat Scan which thankfully showed nothing new and  took some blood work, which should show whether my anti-seizure medication is dosed to low. For now, they have increased it slightly. I'll see my neurologist next week and see if he thinks any more action need be taken. There's nothing anyone can point to as an obvious cause. Recently, I have not been more stressed or exerting myself more. I had been told previously that even mild seizures could lead to stronger ones. So maybe if I had been having them in my sleep.... I am certainly hoping that the extra thousand milligrams of medication today at least allow me to wake in the same place I slumber.


  1. Dear Ken, I am just so relieved to hear that you are okay...and so sorry to imagine how scared Jamie must have been. Thank goodness you are all okay. Love, Jill

  2. Oh, no! Sorry you all had to go through that...but so glad you're alright. So scary. Love to all of you.


  3. Wow, Ken . . . I'm just reading this now, as I was at my uncle's funeral all day yesterday. My heart was racing as I read it. You truly are blessed with good luck (and bad!!), to what purpose?! I hope your neurologist appointment brings you some answers and that your recovery goes back to being smooth and steady!

    love, Amy