What a year it has been!

It is just over a year since my AVM diagnosis.

April 12, 2011--day 5 of a migraine, maxed out on meds & no relief for that day. Went to the e.r., where I was told, "A migraine isn't an emergency." Finally convinced them to give me something to help with the pain & knock me out.

Got up at 4:00 the next morning & wrote IEP goals & objectives for one of my students--had my husband drive me to school to drop of the IEP paperwork & do lesson plans because I was still too woozy to walk straight, much less drive.

That day, I went to see my PCP & my husband convinced him I really did need a CT. Had a CT that afternoon. Went back to teach the next day. At the end of the day, my husband called & told me to find a sub for next day (Friday) because I needed an MRI.

Friday, April 15--went for my MRI. They told me to call my doc that afternoon to check if he had the results yet. Went home & napped. Called doc's office that afternoon & they were closed. Doc called at 4:00 pm, told me the lab was staying open late so I could pick up a disk of my scans & asked if I had a neurologist & where he had hospital priveleges. I called my MIL to get the name of my FIL's neurologist & ask which hospital. Doc told me to head straight to e.r. & not do anything that might jar my head & he was calling ahead.

Waited hours in the e.r. convinced I was going to be admitted & have emergency brain surgery. Read the report that came with disc of MRI scans, but had no idea what it meant. Was finally seen by a resident who called & spoke with a resident, and I was sent home @ midnight. Nobody looked @ my scans.

PCP called the next day & was furious with the e.r. He did some research & recommended I see Dr. Dong Kim. My husband popped the disc in the computer & we looked at my scans. He picked a few & emailed them to Dr. Kim.

Monday, April 18--While I was teaching my classes, Lawrence kept calling Dr. Kim's office until they agreed to see me the next day.

Tuesday, April 19--met with Dr. Kim & we discussed my unruptured AVM. He told me the three usual options & some of the risks. He wanted me to have an angiogram to get a better look at it. My angiogram was scheduled for the following week.

I taught my classes for the rest of the week & scheduled a sub for Thursday & Friday of the next week so I could have my angiogram--and was really nervous about asking off from work since that would be during "TAKS week" (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). I had been keeping school administration informed of everything going on, and they were very supportive & told me to take care of myself & they'd worry about making sure there was a certified teacher in my room to administer the test.

Here it is--April 26, 2011--and Thursday of "TAKS Week" and I am going strong.

Since this time last year, I have had 2 Gamma Knife treatments (and a third is scheduled) for my AVM and have had a craniotomy to clip two aneurysms. In addition to seeing Dr. Kim to deal with the AVM & aneurysms, I am also seeing a colleage of his, Dr. Anita Madan, to manage the migraines. I've only had to take 4.5 sick days this school year--and that includes getting another MRI when the headaches changed, going to the new neurologist, my 2nd GK and only 1/2 day off for an actual migraine! I've been able to function with Tylenol and/or Maxalt & make it through the school day otherwise. I've even gone a couple of weeks at a time without so much as a Tylenol, when previously I was taking Excedrin almost daily.

What a year!

Wow, I hope your students appreciate you! It sounds like you are still going strong after a wild and crazy year. Thanks for posting your success story.

Congratulations for not just surviving, but thriving!