Below is the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
I was informed at the first hospital on the lakeshore that I had a rare brain condition called an arteriovenus malformation (AVM).
I had no idea what they were talking about, but I understood that my situation was delicate. The procedure to remove the AVM required a specialist. Grand Rapids was the nearest location with such a doctor. Praise the Lord for a specialist in my rare condition so close to where I lived!
Transfer to Grand Rapids
Saturday afternoon (November 14), I was transferred to Spectrum Butterworth via ambulance. I’ve only ridden in an ambulance twice in my life. The first time when I was 13. I don’t really remember much except I was PETRIFIED! The paramedic was putting an IV in my arm, and I hated it. I was so scared. I wanted my mommy.
This ride was very different. It was extremely bumpy. Didn’t they think to put some shocks or struts or whatever makes my car drive nice and smooth in an ambulance? Seriously, injured people are riding in these things, and they are being jarred out of their minds on their trip to the hospital.
Which makes me think of something, at this point in the story I’m officially on bed rest and no diet because I’m heading into brain surgery as soon as we get to Spectrum. The bed rest was because any change in pressure inside my head could start another bleed that might not be able to be controlled. Great. Oh and I can’t blow my nose, cry, or go to the bathroom. Who knows, if they let me go to the bathroom, I might have to push out a BM and my brain would explode. (slight exaggeration) They were so concerned about my internal cranial pressure, but what if a suffered a concussion from the potholes on I-96? No big deal?
Here is where the grace of God comes in. I was not scared. The thought to cry did not pass my mind. This is very against my nature as I am a worrier and deathly afraid of all things doctor related. I was more than at peace: I was high on life (no paid meds at this time)! I was chatting it up with Dan, my friends, the paramedics, anyone I saw, without the least bit of concern about what was happening. God definitely gives you the strength you need to get through each circumstance before you.
Now maybe my body was in shock, who knows. I think God was protecting and comforting me.
Our lovely friends followed the ambulance to the hospital and brought our car with them. I was admitted right into the ICU. They had a room ready and waiting for me by the time I got there.
Next: My AVM Story – Part 6