Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nanay had a stroke

As most of you probably already know, Cherrie's mom Anita (Nanay) had a major brain hemorrhage on Saturday night at about 6 o'clock. It turns out that she has a large AVM (Artereo-Venous Malformation)just like Devin. These malformations have weak walls which is why it hemorrhaged.

At first she didn't have any symptoms other than a sudden excruciating, debilitating headache. For about fifteen minutes we were with her, talking to her, trying to figure out what was wrong, we even took her blood pressure, but she didn't have any other stroke symptoms, just the headache. So we were left to either dial 911, run her to the emergency room (about 15 minutes away) or run to the insta-care clinic in Bountiful (about 10 or minutes away). I was afraid of going to a busy emergency room and getting ignored as the "Lady with a headache", so I left Cherrie and the kids and drove with Nanay and Tatay to the Insta-care clinic. Nanay was still talking to us the whole trip, but as soon as we started to get out of the car, she stopped talking and starting mumbling. She had lost all strength and could barely stand up. We hurried her into the lobby, and we were lucky that nobody was there. Just as we got inside, she started vomiting, and lost all strength in her legs. I yelled at the receptionist that she was having a stroke and everyone in the clinic jumped on it. Within a minute she was on a gurney and being evaluated by two doctors and several nurses. They're response was awesome, and they got her stats and info as they started loading her into an ambulance. It just so happened that our very good friend, Alili Perez, was also in the clinic at that moment, and she came over and got my keys to lock my car and take Tatay home while I climbed in the ambulance with Nanay.
We drove to IMC in Murray while the ambulance team stabilized her and contacted a stroke team at IMC to be ready for us. They put did a CT scan to see if the stroke was a "bleeder" (hemorrhage) or a clot. It was a bleeder, but they also thought that there was something else there too, so they put her on medicine to help control the brain inflammation and keep her blood pressure low while they did further MRI's and angiograms to see what was going on. They found that she had an AVM which sort of changed all the treatment options. If there had been no AVM they would have tried to get in and relieve the pressure immediately, but with an AVM they needed to stabilize her and let the bleeding stop on its own so that they could evaluate where to cut without causing more uncontrollable bleeding. On Monday they performed an angiogram/embolizaton (just like on Devin), where they blocked of the major feeder veins to the AVM.
On Tuesday they performed surgery to remove the clot formed by the blood which had pooled as well as the veins and arteries of the AVM itself. She is still recovering from that. She has weakness on her right side and still isn't able to talk, but the doctors are hopeful that she will make a pretty good recovery and be able to regain some of those functions.
Cherrie and I feel really blessed. We were supposed to go down south for two days to celebrate Cherrie's graduation from the dental assisting program, but Cherrie had a feeling we shouldn't go, that something might happen. Wow was she right. I can't imagine what would have happened if we had been 4 hours away when this happened.

What a change from the way she looked a week ago.

posted by Kirk Benge @ 8:42 AM

that sucks!!!

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