Well where do I begin. Saturday, October 22, 2011 started out like any normal day, but how quickly things change. Billy went to work out around 8:15ish, then about 9:00am he called me and said he almost passed out and he had a severe headache and the paramedics were at the fitness place checking him out. . I asked him to tell me exactly what happend before he almost fainted and felt the pain. (Billy had been given some energy powder that you add to your water bottle at a work Trade Show. He knew some guys that had been using it before their work outs, so he thought he would give it a try. He drank his drink and started to do toning reps, which was not really heavy so he wasn't straining real hard. About 30 min. after he drank his drink his ears felt muffled and then he said he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head and thought he was dying. He knew he needed to tell someone so he walked up to another guy lifting and bent down on his knees and said "I'm not feeling well, will you get that guy on the treadmill because I know he's a paramedic." They called 911 and the paramedics show up and give him a through exam. The paramedics told him his blood pressure, blood sugar and neuro exam were all great.) I then show up with some fig newtons thinking he needed something on his stomach. The paramedics helped him to my car but said it would be a good idea to go ahead and have him checked out by a doctor just to make sure.
Billy’s brother is a doctor and was actually coming to our house so I called him and asked him if he would mind checking him out. I got Billy home and in bed then his brother came and did a full nuero exam and checked all his vitals which were all normal. He then gave Billy something to help his head and to rest. I thought in an hour or so he would be feeling much better and the day would go as planned. Boy was I wrong!! A couple of hours went by and Billy still had no relief from what he called the "worst pain of his life". The pain started at the base of his neck and went up the back of his head. No matter what he did, he was getting no relief and it was getting worse. So about 3:30pm Billy said he couldn’t take the pain anymore and wanted to go to the ER, which is a big thing for Billy because he doesn’t like taking any medicine and will only go to the doctor when he feels really bad.
We arrive at Davis Hosptial ER, we get in pretty quickly , but the doctor didn't seem too concerned, but said he would get an IV started, give him some meds and order a CT Scan just as a precaution. Billy was shaking because he was in so much pain. I really thought he was having a bad headache because of the "black powder" he took, again WRONG!!! It took a little while for the nurse to start his IV and inject the meds. but I thought he will finally be able to relax and sleep off this massive headache. The doctor didn’t seem too concerned, but honestly I wasn’t extremely concerned either. Billy had his CT scan, came back to the room and was pretty loopy, but said his head still hurt. Shortly after, the doctor came in and I expected him to say everything looked good and we would go home in a couple of hours, but instead he said Billy had a Subarachnoid brain bleed and he wanted us to go to the University of Utah Medical Center by ambulance and Billy would probably have surgery that night.
At the U of U ER a neuro surgeon came in and said Billy's CT scan didn't match his neuro exams. By the amount of blood and the enlarged ventricles they expected Billy to be disoriented, having possible seizures and even unresponsive, but Billy was completly coherent and answered all of the questions right, etc. After this exam they ordered a contrast CT scan so they would be able to see exactly where the ruptured aneurism was. Billy's aneurism was at the back side of the frontal lobe, but down about 3 inches. By the time this was all completed it was late evening on a Saturday night and since Billy was stable they decided to do the surgery on Sunday when all the surgeons were fresh.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Billy had a pretty bad night because they are very conservative on the pain meds. they give him because the pain medication can mask his neuro symptoms, therefore, he continued to hurt. Even though he was in severe pain he continued to pass his neuro exams with flying colors. That morning the doctor said they were not sure when the surgery was going to be. Finally at 1:00pm they came in and told us they would be coming to get him around 2:00pm for surgery. Well finally around 3:00pm they came and took him back to surgery. 6 1/2 hours later he came back to the Neuro ICU. The doctors said he had done well in the surgery, but the vessel was in a difficult spot so it took longer to get to than expected, therefore, they had to put his brain in a deep coma in order to complete the surgery trying to prevent brain damage. Therefore, because he was so sedated they had to leave the breathing tube in. I have never seen anyone with a breathing tube so it was very emotional for me to see my strong 38yr old husband in such a vulnerable state. Around 1:00am the nurses loosened one of his hand restraints just enough so he could turn to his side and then some how around 3:30am he managed to pull the tube out completely. That didn't surprise me one bit, but he doesn't remember it either. Luckily he was breathing well enough on his own they were able to just put an oxygen mask on him.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Billy still had a headache, which they tell us he will have one for at least 14 days, but he said it was a different headache than before the surgery. Again they are trying to keep him as comfortable as possible even though they were still limited to the amount and types of pain meds. they can give him. He rested fairly well most of Monday day, but Monday night was a different story. As they were asking him the same questions they ask him about 10 times a day, i.e. (Where are you? What's the date?, What kind of surgery did you have?, etc, etc) he began to get a little confused. He said we had 6 kids, he was there to get his teeth fixed and it was 2012. This is not uncommon to happen, but usually means something else could be going on. He started running a fever and then started having some kind of anxiety attack. He began to thrash in the bed, he wanted to sit up, lay down, sit up, lay down. Then he said he needed to get out of the bed and wanted all of the tubes and wires out of him. He then opened his eyes really wide for the first time since the whole thing started and had tears in his eyes and told me, "I can't do this, I just can't". Billy's sister Becki was in the room with me and we both just wanted to cry, but we were trying to be calm and strong for him. The nurse came in and gave him a medicine the acts very quickly, but leaves quickly as well. He finally settled down and had an ok night.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
That morning Billy was a little confused and got some of the questions they asked him wrong again plus he was more groggy than he had been and he didn't have any more pain medication than before. The doctors came back in and told me they thought his ICP(Inter Cranial Pressure) monitor wasn't reading correctly so they were going to do a lumbar puncture to drain spinal fluid and blood to see how much there was and if it changed his ICP. Ideally they want is ICP to be 20 or below and for the most part it had been staying below 20. The doctor came in to do the lumbar puncture and they let me stay and watch. It took a while to find the right spot, the surgeon had to keep sticking him over and over, which was very painful and he had to remain still. Finally the doctor was able to get the drain in the right spot and the spinal fluid and blood began to fill up this tube. When they were done they got 35 cc of fluid. The monitor was saying his ICP was 17, but in reality it had been 35 which was very high. Once the fluid was drained Billy was almost instantly a different person. He finally really woke up, started taking, making a few jokes (which if any of you know Billy, you know that is the real Billy) He was asking questions and actually retaining most of the information I was giving him). I had already planned on going home this night because I haven't been able to see Landon or Karsyn since Saturday because they will not allow them into ICU, therefore they will not be able to see their dad for at least 2 weeks. Billy was doing well and his dad said he would sleep at the hospital all night so I went home and spent the night with my kids and my mother, who flew in on Tuesday afternoon. It was nice to be home and be with the kids, but I felt guilty being away as well. The doctors and nurses keep telling me I need to pace my self because we have a long, long road ahead of us, but I feel like he needs me. This has been one of the hardest things about this whole thing because Billy needs me and I want to be there, but my kids need me too. I'm praying for guidance and peace so that I make the decisions at the right time for everyone.