September 4, 2012

The time my boyfriend saved my life, literally.

June 21st, 2011
I'll start off by showing you something Tyler wrote for his English class last year.
This will show you how things happened from his point of view.
I cry every time I read it.

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She was lying motionless in a hospital bed. Tubes protruding from her bleeding mouth and into the machine that was now her lungs. Buckets of vomit suctioned straight from her stomach hang behind her head. Above her head hang multiple bags of fluid being pumped into three different puncture sites in her arms. She was unresponsive and completely unaware of my presence. These visions are unfortunately easily and too often recalled. 

It was a day the same as any other. My girlfriend Ashley and I had returned to my fathers house to relax on the couch after a long, hot day in the sun. Ashley states “I am having trouble breathing.” Being accustomed to this common occurrence, seeing as Ashley has severe asthma, I thought nothing of it. I grab a fan to help her cool off as she takes a puff of her inhaler. Typically, this is all it takes to restore her breathing to normal. Today, that would not be the case. The situation would quickly escalate. 

Ashley states “I need you to take me to the hospital.” I stumbled over my words, not knowing what to say other than “really?” The tears beginning to fill her eyes left me with my answer. I scrambled to grab her belongings, and within thirty seconds, she began repeating “call 911.”  I began to panic. I grabbed my cell phone and began dialing. While on the phone with the dispatcher, I was yelling to Ashley to try and get upstairs, we had to be ready for the ambulance. All she could do was lay on the bottom stair, yelling to me “I can’t do it!” “You have to!” I screamed back, trying to force her up the stairs. She finally gathered the strength to rush up the stairs, out the front door, and into the hot summer day. 

Ashley was pacing back and forth in the driveway, tears now streaming from her eyes. All I could do was attempt to comfort her with my words, as she repeated over and over “I’m gonna die”. We sat in the car with the air on full blast while waiting for the ambulance. My head was turning from Ashley, to the street, attempting to keep an eye on both Ashley and the arriving ambulance. Upon looking back at Ashley, my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. Ashley had began to seize. I screamed “Ashley! Ashley!” Time and time again I yelled, hoping in some miraculous moment she would come back to me. I leaped out of the car, picked Ashley up, and placed her on her side to keep her from aspirating. She began turning blue. The warmth began to leave her face. I needed help. 

I watched as a police officer drove by my house. “Help me!” I screamed. He turned around, only to slowly get out of his car and state, “is everyone all right here?” The police officer would be of no help other than to tell me to leave her on her back and not touch her. I refused to do so, and continued to keep her on her side.

In similar fashion, I watched as the ambulance drove by. The police officer would finally be of some use and flag down the ambulance. The emergency responders set Ashley up to vital signs. Being a nurse, the site of her vitals made me break down further. Oxygen saturation of 53. A pulse of 190. These numbers stain my mind. “I’m a nurse, but this is completely different,” I stated to the responders. They followed with requesting that I write all pertinent information I could think of down on a clipboard. My eyes were shaking. I was unable to even make out the words on the paper they handed me. I scribbled what I could bring to my mind, only to have the clipboard be left behind as the responders loaded her into the ambulance. The last words stated before Ashley was driven away were “should we do it?”  “No, she’s too young,” the second responder replied. 


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It was about 5 PM on a Tuesday. The last thing I remember is walking outside into 90+ degree heat telling Tyler I felt like I was going to die. I don’t remember getting into the car, I don’t remember waiting for the ambulance. It was the scariest thing that had every happened to me. To this day I can only imagine how scary it must have been for Tyler. You know how they say things happen the way they do for a reason? I understand a little bit more what people mean when they say that. That day my mom had asked me to babysit my 6 year old sister. I had argued with her that I had stuff to get done because we were getting ready to move into our apartment. Thank God for that argument, thank God I wasn't with my 6 year old sister when this happened. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be here right now. I am so thankful to have been with Tyler when this happened. I'm so thankful that he knew what to do to save my life. He knew to keep me on my side, even when the police officer told him to leave me be. He knew how to give me CPR and how to try and keep me breathing. All these things he knew what to do. I don’t know if anyone else would have been able to keep it together enough to do what he did.

The next thing I know I am waking up in a hospital bed Wednesday around lunch time. A room full of Tyler’s family, my family and Tyler at my bedside. I have tubes down my throat that felt as if they were 2 inches around. I have IVs in my hands and arms. I remember starting to cry as I look at Tyler and point to my mouth trying to tell him to take it out. At this point I have no idea what had happened. I couldn’t talk being on the ventilator. I was panicking. Little did I know that this thing I wanted out so badly had been my life support for the past 24 hours.

For almost 24 I had been put into an induced coma. The scariest thing is, I remember nothing. It’s like I was dead for that 24 hours. I heard no one talking, no light, no vision, no dreams ... it was black and silent.

The nurses came in and took out the ventilator. I could finally try and talk. Easier said than done. My throat was so sore. It took a while to be able to talk, eat and drink again. I was just so happy to be alive and have Tyler by my side. He’s amazing. They allowed Tyler to stay with me the first night while I was in pretty bad shape. The day I woke up I didn’t want to be left alone. I really wanted him to stay with me and they wouldn’t let him. They told me they only let people stay if things aren’t looking good. So pretty much they didn’t know if I was going to make it. Comforting, right?

I have had asthma since I can remember, probably about 9 or 10 years old. My asthma attacks are triggered by a lot of little things but my biggest problem is dogs. I have been hospitalized before because of my asthma. So when I started to have a hard time breathing we both thought it was because we were at his dads house and they have dogs. I have a rescue inhaler that I use in these types of situations. That day, the inhaler wasn’t working for me, that should have been clue number one that it wasn’t an asthma attack this time.  It turned out that it was not only my asthma that caused this to happen but also a hyperactive thyroid. My thyroid overacted. I had what they call a thyroid storm. A thyroid storm occurs when you have a hyperactive thyroid that is untreated with medication to keep your levels normal. A thyroid storm happens when your thyroid glad suddenly releases a large amount of the thyroid hormone is a short period of time. This is more likely to happen to people who have a serious health problem in addition to hyperthyroidism. Such as my asthma. Not only was my thyroid hyperactive but they diagnosed me with graves’ disease which is the most severe type of hyperthyroidism.

I was kept in the hospital for 4 more days and released on Tyler’s birthday. Best birthday ever. I was put on thyroid medication to try and regulate my levels. It has been over a year since this happened and my levels are still not where my doctor wants them to be. They are better, but they aren’t at the point where she can take me off the medication. At my last appointment we decided we are going to have a procedure done called radioactive iodine treatment which will destroy my hyperactive thyroid.

That was the longest post I have ever written on my blog. If you read my whole story, thank you for caring. If I left you confused on anything please feel free to ask a question. I tried to cover everything I could. I know it’s a little bit all over the place but remember, I wasn’t awake for most of this so I did the best I could.

20 comments:

  1. Participating in the MNB Hop for the first time!

    Please check out my blog, if you haven't already. (And follow back.)

    Kristina
    http://www.yomichaelmichael.com

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  2. found you through from mrs to mama. your story brought tears to my eyes. thank goodness your boyfriend was there!

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    1. Thats what I tell myself everyday! Thanks for reading :)

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  3. New follower from Mrs. to Mama :)


    Wow! What an amazing story! I couldn't imagine how scary that was for the both of you. So glad you are alright!

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  4. Wow! i read the whole thing! Thank God for Tyler and glad you are ok! I have Hypothyroidism. I (am supposed to) take Synthroid daily but I dont. I may start now! Does HYPER make your heart beat fast? If you do the iodine treatment, will they put you on something like Synthroid to speed it up once they have slowed it down?

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    1. Thank you, yes hyperthyroidism plays a part in my high heart rate. I am also on a beta blocker for my high heart rate. Especially when this thyroid storm occurred, one of the symptoms is high heart rate. When I do the iodine treatment I will eventually become HYPOactive and will be put on Synthroid since I wont be producing enough of the thyroid hormone.

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  5. Oh my!!! What a scary day! And to read it was caused by your thyroid really hit home with me. I have an underactive thyroid, so I just wonder if something similar to what happened to you could happen to me if my levels were to get way off?! Guess I really need to be proactive with my thyroid treatment. T hank you for sharing your story!

    Glad that you are here to tell your story!

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    1. I don't know for sure if it could happen to someone with an underactive thyroid. A thyroid storm happens when the thyroid produces TOO MUCH of the thyroid hormone .. which is what hyperthyroidism is .. the storm occurs when there is like a surge of too much of the hormone. Either way I would be careful because you never know!

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  6. wow girl! What a story you have to tell and how lucky are you to be with someone who knows exactly what to do when this stuff happens. I'm glad you are OK and doing well, thanks for sharing your story!

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  7. Wow, such a scary story! My mom has hyper-thyroid, but I had never heard of a thyroid storm before, how crazy! I am also a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I'm so glad Tyler was there to help you!

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    1. Is your mom on medication to treat her over active thyroid? .. I was diagnosed with what they call graves disease. Which is the worst type of hyperthyroidism. I was on medicine to help regulate my levels but it wasn't really working which is why I am having this procedure done.

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  8. Wow you have such an amazing story! It is just crazy how our bodies can go from healthy to deathly ill in hours! So thankful for Tyler and that you are telling your story from a healthy body!
    ~Clara

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  9. Wow. That is definitely the most intense blog post I have ever read. You're totally right, everything happens for a reason. I always think about every step that got to a certain point. Like what made tyler become a nurse? why did you choose to move that day? I'm sure you've gone over that in your head a million times, but that is really incredible. Thank god for all those pieces that saved your life!

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    1. You're right, I have gone over it a million times in my head .. I will never understand .. But it happened that way for a reason! Thanks for reading!

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  10. Girly, you are SO strong! And so lucky to be alive! I cried reading your story! Stay healthy + strong! xo

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    1. Aw thank you so much! Thanks for reading :)

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    You can check out our website here: http://www.barcroft.tv/

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