My AVM Story

I didn't knew I have AVM in my brain . I didn't even knew that such thing exists. All of my life I was free of headaches and migrens. Of course, there were moments when I felt out of shape but nothing serious, nothing that could make me suspicious. My life was absolutely normal, I was in the pursue of my career (I'm an attorney at law in Bar of Bucharest) and my life. Sometimes I was complaining that my life is difficult, that fate is against me, that it will be hard or even impossible to accomplish everthing I wanted. But fate would proove me that I can stretch my limits in really critical situations and that the challenge of my life is just next to come.

Everything began in the evening of March 17th, 2009. I was at the gym. After a little work-out, I took a break to drink some water. After I swallowed the last sip, I suddenly felt an unexplicably sensation. It was like I had low blood sugar. I felt weaken and agitated. I tried to put the cap back on the bottle but I couldn't. The bottle dropped out of my hands, on the floor. I went to the bathroom, in a hurry. I washed my face with some cold water. My left hand was unresponsive. It was moving hard and in a different way than I wanted.I sat down, scared, on a bench but only to fell down on the floor. I was immediately picked by some guys and put near a open window, to breath some fresh air. I drank some water, helped by those who were near me. The situation
was getting worse. I was very sleepy. The Ambulance was called in. The last thing I remember, as if I was dreaming, is that I was being carried down the stairs by the emergency personnel on a strecher.

I woke up 5 days later, in a perfectly calm and peaceful state. The drugs made me feel totally peaceful. I felt that something keeps my mouth open. I was the intubation ring. My cousin and a friend explained me, shortly, that I had a minor surgery and I'll be back on my feet in no time. I smiled and I fell asleep again. Everthing happened in 2 minutes. I was woken up from the induced coma and my brain got tired after just 2 minutes. In the next few days, I woke up all of sudden, at different time of day and night. I hardly understood what was happening with me. I had a breathing mask on my face and I was breathing with difficulty, much difficulty. Sometimes I was feeling like suffocating because of the fluids that were accumulating in my throat and were blocking my trachea. Then a nurse would be intervening and clear it up with some kind of vaccum cleaner. It's tube was entering deep in my throat. At other times, I would be woken up by a doctor that told me to cough. I would be rapidly encouraged but without somebody (a psychologist maybe) to spend some more time with me. Family and close ones were visiting me every day, but the visits were short – under 5 minutes. The procedure wouldn't allow otherwise. Sometimes, half of this time I tried to recognize the person that was visiting me. I couldn't speak due to bronchopneumonia, but also due to a psycholgical blockage. Wearing the mask made me feel that my mouth is blocked. I was expressing myself through signs, knew only by me, made with my right

As days were passing by, I was more aware of my situation, but as same as lonely and helpless. In the morning the nurses were waking me up to change my diapers and wash me. Then the doctor would came, eventually attended by some residents or practitioners. I would shake his hand and felt a little calmer. Sometimes | woke up very scared ad agitated. I was hallucinating. I was afraid of death. I was seeing it coming to take those near me. Every day there was a burning candle for a patient. In such moments I was tied to the bed. I was praying to God. Three weeks after the hemorrhagea I was transffered from the Intensive Therapy Unit to a Neurosurgery Unit. Here family could visit me any time. I started to feel better, faster. The bronchopneumonia past too. I couldn't speak very well because my left vocal cord was paralised. I felt well near my relatives. They explained me that I had suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage due to a arteriovenous malformation localised in the right side of my brain. An aneurysm formed and eventually shatterd. It was explained to me that it could have happen at any time: while sleeping, while driving or in the court room. I
saw that I couldn't move my left limbs. After a few days, I started bed recovery. I had recovery massage sessions with a blind man. First progresses, even though small made me cry.uncontrolable. I had started a new life. And this time, I wasn't complaining
anymore. I loved God, my family and my close ones. I cherished every moment, even if it was a small progress
in moving my leg or the visit of a friend.

Four weeks after the surgery they let me out of the hospital. I got out in a wheel chair, I couldn't keep my head up, I was very dizzy but the sun was more beautiful than ever. I saw blossom trees, the waters of Dambovita (the river that crosses Bucharest), people on the bus and children on the street. I think I cried all the way to my home. Next days, I started to get up in my bead, helped by my twin sister. I had daily massage sessions at home and some walks in my wheel chair in the neighbourhood. After a month I went to a recovery center, where I spent a hour per day. I started making notable progresses, so after another month I could walk sustained by somebody else, even if I couldn't move my leg really well. After a while I managed to walk with the aid of a four-legged cane, a regular cane and now I can walk by my own. I limp visibly and my arm is spastic and with small

progresses, but, with lots of work at the recovery center, I will get better. After my last medical investigations (RMN and angiography) doctors said that I have a smaller AVM (a leftover of the initial malformation). I have to be exposed to a Gamma Knife intervention (we have one here, in Romania – the only one in Eastern Europe).

Almost 18 months since the accident I'm feeling well. Sometimes I have sleepy moods and headaches, mostly during season changes. I had two seizures (like the eplilepsy ones, but I remain conscious and only my left part of the body shakes). I keep theese under control with proper medication and after Gamma Knife there won't be any problems. I started working a little at home and in my office. In a few months I hope I could work at the office at least 4-5 hours daily and in the future to be back at my regular schedule.

Besides the severe situation and difficult moments I've been through, along with family, I've learned that God loves us and we have to cherish every moment and that there are people that can stand by us with all of their hearts, so we can recover and get back to the lives we used to have.

This is, for short, my AVM's story.

God bless you and I wish you to be in a good health.

Wow! I have nothing to complain about with my shortness of breath, headaches, and low oxygen % compared to this. I wish you the best and hope you feel 100% like yourself real soon! God Bless <3

I wish you a full recovery!

I wish you a full recovery, it makes you think in a different way doesn’t it. I think back to my daughter’s situation 2 months ago and seeing her go through that was heartbreaking. My daughter is 13. God Bless you too…

Thank you, Cynthea ! I will have a full recovery, i fight for it… I hope that you and your daughter are ok. I’m sorry you had to go through this. I try to imagine what a mother feels at such moments. My mother can’t talk to me about the first hours after hemorrhage, when my future was uncertain. I’m sure that you stay strong for your daughter !

How amazing you are keeping such a wonderful positive outlook on life after what you have been through and what you still are going through I wish you nothing but the best in life and a full recovery. My heart goes out to you and you are in my prayers. GOD Bless you and take care.

Your positive attitude is amazing. I wish you the best. Reading your story brings back memories. Continue working and god bless you.

Just hold on. everything will be alright, in God’s time. He put us in this situation for a reason. I believe that we are one of the lucky few. As my doctor said, others, a lot, die without having diagnosed or known that they have AVM. AVM can rapture anytime but ours rapture the time that there are people who could help us. God bless.