A New Lease On Life

My office during my rehabilitation

I want to tell everyone a little story about how important it is to “Listen to Your Body.”  I am here today because 7 years ago I did listen to my body and was fortunate to go to an emergency clinic and meet a wonderful doctor who really listened to me.  Here’s my miracle story.  I hope it helps you or someone you love.

I had been busy traveling the first three weeks of 2015 at RV shows.  During the last few days in South Texas, I had suffered with a horrible headache.  Of course, I assumed it was sinus related since I was traveling from one allergy area to another.  I kept taking ibuprofen and it was not getting any better.  I got home on a Wednesday, unloaded the car, and unpacked, took a hot steamy shower and thought it would help.  It did not. 

After tossing and turning all night, I went to the office the next morning thinking I would shake this off.  When I got ready to leave to go to the office, I attempted to set the alarm at my house and could not remember the code.  I was tired and didn’t feel good, so I called my daughter, told her my code wasn’t working and got hers so I could arm the house. 

When I arrived at the office everyone kept telling me I looked awful, asking if I was sick and they finally convinced me I might have a flu bug, so I went home.  In the back of my mind, I knew something was wrong, but I was not going to alarm anyone.  After all I was an independent widow who thought she could do everything for herself!  Being a little stubborn, I decided to clean the house, wash all the clothes, and then try to get some rest.  The headache would not stop.  Friday morning, I got up, got myself dressed, house cleaned and decided to go to the doctor…I just felt something was wrong. 

My doctor’s office was closed on Fridays, so I went to First Choice Emergency near the house.  I checked in and told the doctor my symptoms thinking he would give me a miracle drug and I could finally get some sleep.  After running tests, he came in and said I appeared to be in perfect condition, but he wanted to run a cat scan because I had mentioned the alarm code memory issue.  Within 5 minutes of completing the cat, the doctor came in to tell me he was sending me to a hospital.  Of course, I responded by telling him we could call my daughter and she would take me.  That was not happening.  An ambulance was on the way, and I was on my way to Memorial Herman in the Houston Medical Center.  They admitted me quickly, did some tests and told me I was being prepped for surgery.  What?  I only had a headache.  My daughter, her husband and one of our dearest friends were there with me and she asked if we needed to get a second opinion.  That’s when reality hit.  They told us we did not have time for a second opinion.  I had a subdural hematoma that was very large, and surgery had to be done now. 

Post Surgery: The Grand Opening of our Cleburne Store April 1st

Within a few minutes I was being wheeled away to the operating room.  About 9 hours later I woke up in recovery with my daughter by my side and my first words were…” Oh my gosh, my headache is gone.”  I spent the next two days in neurosurgical ICU where I was blessed to be walking and talking.  In fact, they released me to go home directly from ICU as long as there was someone with me 24 hours a day.  My daughter and sister were there along with all the family so someone was always with me. What a miracle.  Within a few weeks I was back at work, working from my patio more than the office, and within 6 months I was completely released by the doctor with only one stipulation…I cannot go skydiving!  Take that off my bucket list!

I still worry when I have a headache that lasts more than a few hours or if I hit my head, but I am back to normal, going nonstop all the time and counting my blessings every day.  Yesterday was the 7th year anniversary of that surgery and I decided to share this story in hopes of helping someone else.  I thank God every day for giving me this new lease on life and allowing me time to make more memories. 

Today is the first day of the rest of your life so live life to the fullest, hug your family and friends, make memories, help others, and find good in every day!