I was sick for over two years, since the birth of my daughter. I went to numerous different doctors, 5 to be exact, only to be diagnosed with vasovagal syncope episodes. I was having about 5-10 “episodes” a day and still working as a teacher, trying to deal with it on a daily basis. During the first week of summer break, I had a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night that sent me to the hospital in an ambulance for the first out of three times this summer. They did a CT scan and found a calcium deposit, but said that they wanted to do an MRI. Within one week, I had it done and I was told that they found a “golf ball sized mass” and that I needed to make an appointment with a neurosurgeon to get it removed.
Apparently the previously diagnosed “episodes” were actually complex partial seizures. I was told that I was lucky to be alive by numerous doctors. I survived a successful brain surgery as of 7/9/15 and have been seizure free and tumor free since then. The recovery was they worst thing that I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never been more scared in my whole life. When I woke up from surgery I couldn’t do half the things I could before. I couldn’t walk, write, or text normally. I went crazy and suffered from ICU psychosis which only extended my stay in the hospital. I was released on two different occasions, only to pass out and have to ride back to Swedish Medical Center in Denver, in an ambulance again.
I’m a teacher and did not get to start the school year with my students because I was so weak and still recovering from the brain surgery. As of 11/2/15, I’m back in the classroom full time and feel better than ever. My school has a moral focus curriculum with virtues of the month such as perseverance, respect, courage, gratitude…so I created a presentation for my students to see my “journey” and how it related to our virtues, and gave it before I came back to work part time. It was compelling and answered a lot of questions for the students. After that presentation was when I decided that I want and need to use my outspoken personality to raise awareness for brain tumors.
I want to use this terrible situation as a positive one, and try to help others! I recently had a discussion with my students as I was crying tears of joy, that I was an example of what gratitude feels like. I literally was crying tears of joy because after going through what I went through, my perspective on life has changed and I don’t take ANYTHING for granted. I know that we are not promised tomorrow so make the most of today! I tell these things to my students and I want to tell it to the world!