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Why I have been MIA this week: A concussion and a sub-dural hematoma

 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Have you taken the time to be still lately?  Have you taken the time to be quiet and listen, and hear God’s voice?  I have.  I have had no choice but to be still! I think God is trying to tell me something here…

On September 23rd, I went to the YMCA with my new friend Lisa.  We got in a great visit while working out, and I felt great!   We were walking out to our cars and without any warning whatsoever (feeling 100% completely and totally fine), I got tunnel vision.  My son had started to take off towards the car and Lisa went after him.  It was in that moment that I started to tunnel vision and I remember thinking “I need to get over to the car and slide down it, so I don’t crumble to the ground in the middle of the parking lot.” But I don’t remember making it.  Lisa said I made it to the car and she saw me start to sway.  She ran towards me, but couldn’t get there fast enough and I fell.  I hit the car beside hers on the way down and then landed on the asphalt with the back of my head.  Lisa said my eyes were open the entire time, but I was totally unresponsive.   I’m pretty sure Lisa is never going to work out with me again!

I remember coming to and seeing a doctor (who happened to be walking by). I heard him telling those surrounding me not to move me, then I blacked out again.  I woke up once again in an ambulance and I remember crying out “Where is my son?! Where is my son?!”  I didn’t get an answer because I blacked out once again.

The next thing I know I am in the ER in Los Alamos, surrounded by medical professionals.   They are all frantically working on me.  They were struggling to get my blood pressures up over the 80s/50s and that is scary, especially when you are 31 weeks pregnant.  After about 4 attempts, they finally got an iv started and began pumping me with fluids so that they could get my blood pressure up.  Not only did I have the emergency team there, but there were also L&D nurses there to monitor the baby.  Oh, it was so scary!

Once I was stable, they sent me for an MRI.  I am not claustrophobic, but prayer is the only thing that got me through that.  Being squeezed into a tiny little tube where you can’t move for at least 30 minutes…oh wow.  I prayed the entire time I was in there.  I prayed for healing, for protection for my baby, for the anxiety that my spouse/parents/friends were going through, and for the medical team.

The MRI showed a white spot the size of a quarter on my frontal lobe.  They think that it is a brain bleed or a mass.  A CT scan could confirm it, but that would expose the baby to radiation.  As of right now, I have a concussion with a subdural hematoma.  Basically, when I fell, my brain sloshed back and forth and broke the blood vessels on a part of my brain.  This is causing a bleed and putting pressure on my brain.  As a result, I have the headache of the century (which just won’t go away!) and I get extremely dizzy.  I will go back in October to discuss doing a CT scan to confirm that it was indeed a brain bleed and not a mass.  Right now, we are going with a bleed.  I am 29.  I cannot imagine being a mom of young children and having a mass on my brain.

After the MRI showed the white spot, they transferred me to the Santa Fe hospital so I could be under the care of a neurologist.  After I finally got to the hospital room, all I wanted was a shower.  I had completed a workout before all this happened and I had blood in my hair from the fall.  I felt so disgusting!!!!  At 2 am that night, I was able to take a shower, with help of course.  My hair was so knotted that my nurse spent 20 minutes helping me feel like a human again.  She got detangler and brushed my hair.  That, my friends, is a great nurse!

While in the hospital, I had to do occupational therapy, physical therapy and pass a cognitive test.  Not to mention, they did nuero checks every few hours so I didn’t sleep much.  I’m a nurse! I’m usually the one on the other side of this…not the patient!

The neurologist and my OB both believe that what happened was pregnancy related.  For some reason, my blood pressure dropped suddenly, which caused me to black out.  It is crazy because I am a healthy person.  I have been working out my entire pregnancy and only gained 11 lbs so far.  I eat healthy.  I don’t drink soda.  I drink tons of water (apparently not enough though!) and I am very conscious about making healthy life choices.  How could I go from being completely 100% feeling fine to unconscious with a concussion and a brain bleed in just a single moment?

After a couple days in the hospital, I am home now.  The only reason I was able to come home is because my sweet, most amazing sister in Christ, Emilee, drove from Texas (with her toddler and baby!) to stay with me so my husband could go back to work.  The doctors said I could come home only if I had someone to stay with me at all times.  Yes, that is right…I have to have a babysitter.  Falling again on a subdural hematoma could be life threatening.  Scary stuff!

I am still crazy dizzy. I walk around like I am an 95 year old lady, and most times I have to be holding on to someone because of the lightheadedness.  I have a constant headache too.  Sometimes the headache is just a mild throb and sometimes it escalates to a migraine type throb.  Watching tv, looking at my phone, talking on the phone, and even being on my computer worsens the headache.  I have been working on this blogpost for 6 days!!  About 15 minutes of screen time is about all I can handle at most times.  It just makes my brain hurt!

brain trauma cuddles

I’ve been getting lots of toddler cuddles 🙂 That can make even the worst brain trauma feel a bit better!

As much as this sucks, we have seen God in just about every detail.  God protected us by having this happen in a parking lot and not in my car.  We have to drive down 800 feet of elevation to our house from where I was.  I could have just as easily blacked out while driving and drove myself, our unborn baby and my toddler off the mountain.  God was definitely protecting us.

I am so thankful my new friend Lisa was with me.  I could have been alone and blacked out in the parking lot, leaving my toddler to fend for himself near busy streets.  The fact that this happened exactly when and where it did very much could have saved our lives.

When I fell, I fell backwards.  Had I fallen forward and landed on my 31 week baby bump, both baby and I could have been in a possible fatal situation.  I will gladly deal with this headache and dizziness, if it means protecting my little baby.  I am so grateful that every test they did at the hospital confirmed that she was okay.  God protected all of us.

We also recently started going to a new church- White Rock Baptist Church.  We tried a couple other churches, but we knew right away that this was our new church. They immediately embraced us as family. We have only been going there 3 weeks, but we plugged in quickly into a life group and we put Eli into Awana. We have already been incredibly blessed by this church.  God knew that we would need a church family pronto, and He provided it for us so quickly.  Our pastor came to see us both in the ER and the next day in the hospital.  Lisa and her family kept Eli for a couple days while we were there as well.  That was an incredible blessing!  Lisa has been such a sweetheart.  She has only known me for about 3 weeks, and she has loved on me like she has known me her entire life!  I am so incredibly blessed to have met her and can’t wait to grow our friendship !

Not only all that, but our church has been bringing us meals for the past week so we haven’t had to worry about that either!  When Emilee leaves to go home, a few of my new friends have set up a rotation to come be with me so I am not alone (cuz ya know, I need a babysitter!)  I haven’t really minded being “babysat” though. I  have really, really, really enjoyed my visit with Emilee (love you girl!), and I am eternally grateful for her coming to take care of me, two toddlers and a baby!  She is amazing and I just love her with all my heart!

Sorry if this post is not my typical well thought out flowing message.  My brain has defintily seen better days.  I may be MIA for a little bit on the blog as I recover, but I will try to keep yall updated.  Hopefully it won’t take me 5 days to write my next blogpost … 😉

I want to thank all of our friends and family in Missouri, in Texas and in New Mexico for all of your prayers, sweet messages, phone calls, facebook messages… We have certainly felt all of those prayers!!  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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Comments

  1. Oh Stephanie!!!! Oh honey, I am just so glad I felt the need to come and check on you!!!! I had NO IDEA this happened!! I am so so so sorry…

    I will be praying for you, for your precious babe, and toddler and hubs! I will be lifting you up each day into His Arms- and it seems you have seen them holding you through each detail of your story. Oh, how I love that my friend.

    Bless your heart.
    Chris Carter recently posted…That Dirty Rag of DiscouragementMy Profile

  2. Dear Stephanie!
    Oh I am so grateful you are ok! I’ve owed you a note for so long and now I come across your post in the Fellowship Friday Link up!
    Praying for you, your family, your friends and the medical professionals taking care of you. God bless you!
    Julie recently posted…Guest Post: HonestyMy Profile

  3. Oh my! I can’t believe all that you’ve been through lately! I am so thankful for all of the people that have stepped in to be the hands and feet of Jesus to you. I will be praying also and please please let me know if I can help you in any way!
    Stephanie Cole recently posted…What We Are Up ToMy Profile

  4. That was SO scary! I got chills and nearly started crying, and I don’t even know you!!!
    I am so thankful for the Lord’s protection in how the situation could have played out.
    Praying for you as you continue to heal, and for the rest of the pregnancy to go smoothly.
    Jenn recently posted…Number one: Listen fullyMy Profile

  5. Oh, you poor thing! I teared up reading this – so thankful that you are all okay. I can only imagine how scary all of this was (is), but your perspective is truly a blessing. I will pray extra hard for you all, and if there is anything we can do for you, let me know! If I lived closer, I would LOVE to take a shift as your “babysitter!” 🙂

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  1. […] often times, it doesn’t feel like it!  We moved in 2014.  Shortly after our move, I suffered a head injury which has left me in a brain fog this past year. In December of 2015, I gave birth to our daughter […]

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