Part 10 – Out of sedation, my sunrise.
3 days later
Three days after my brain aneurysm had ruptured and following my surgery, my neurologist decided that it was the right time to wake me from sedation. My family were surprised that they chose to wake me so soon, but at the same time were happy as this was a positive sign.
My immediate family which is my mum, dad, sister and eldest niece were all there at the time when the Doctors brought me out of the sedation. My family were fearful at this point due to the uncertainty surrounding the damage that had been caused, as they didn’t know if I would be left with severe brain damage or a permanent disability.
Prayers from Jamaica
My partner later told me that he was praying for me every single day since hearing the news of what had happened to me. He said that he prayed before he went to bed and the next day he woke to a message saying that I was awake and doing well. He said that he had never felt so thankful for anything in his life!
When I was woken out of the sedation my family asked me if I knew who they were. To their shock, I was talking in a child’s voice and I didn’t recognise any of my them. I thought my mum and my sister were sister’s rather than mother and daughter, I thought my dad was my uncle and I didn’t recognise my niece at all, apparently, I looked at her and said I don’t who you are…At this point my niece started to cry and left the room, she thought that she had lost the auntie she had known all her life.
They then proceeded to ask me if I knew what year it was and where I was…the start of many observations…I’ve been told that my response was 2015 and that I was at a Travelodge! I can laugh now but out of all the places I’ve travelled to I thought I was in a Travel Lodge hotel, it goes to show that the interior design of Travel Lodge hotels needs a lot of work if I thought it closely resembled that of a hospital room. Lol.
Not long after they asked me the same questions again and apparently I said why are you asking me that? I know who you all are and I went round one by one and told them who each of them are; my mum, dad, my sister Michelle and my niece Simone. At this point, I can only imagine the huge sense of the relief they must have felt!
My voice eventually returned to normal but I was left feeling confused and upset for some time. The after-effects of the sedation, the damage to my brain plus the medication brought on an immense cocktail of confusion and emotions.
Initial physical symptoms
In addition to the confusion and memory loss I have been told that my symptoms consisted of strange bodily movements and at the same time no movement in my hands and legs, my eye’s were constantly rolling back which I can only imagine must have been terrifying to see.
Memory loss and confusion
Apparently, I would continually ask what had happened to me and where I was. My family would explain and then I would break down and cry. I have been told that I was so confused and I didn’t believe what had happened to me. It was as if we were talking about someone else and then the shock would hit me and I’d break down emotionally in a way that my family haven’t witnessed me do as an adult ever. I would then go on to say;
“This isn’t me, this wasn’t meant to happen to me, how could this happen to me? Take me home I’m not meant to be here.”
Then I would forget the conversations we had and ask the same questions over and over again. My family had to witness me reliving this moment and the emotional breakdown that came with it time and time again.
I can’t even imagine how this must have been for them to go through this, for me I was experiencing this news for the first time, but they were reliving my sadness over and over again…This is heartbreaking for me to imagine!
On a brighter note, I would say to my niece over and over again.
“Your nails look nice, have you just had them done…do you follow me on Instagram?”
There needs to be something that I can laugh at out of this crazy ordeal right!
Smiler’s my name
In amongst the madness of the confusion, memory loss, emotions, extreme fatigue and physical pain. The one thing that my niece said hadn’t changed was my smile. She said that I’d often look over at her and she could see how much effort I was making to try and smile.
I would then try and find every ounce of strength in my body to reach out to her, hold her hand and tell her that I love her.
I have no memory of any of this and being told these things brings a lot of emotion to the surface for me, but also a huge sense of comfort that even in moments of great darkness and despair the core of my personality still existed.
I was still Danielle, the smiling and positive person that I am, I didn’t even know it but I was desperately trying to hold onto my character. I guess this is the fighter in me that my mum was telling me about and the warrior spirit I have often been told I have since my brain aneurysm ruptured.
My first visitor
My Uncle Claude came to visit me the day I had been woken up, he sat down and my mum said to me do you know who this is? I responded it’s Uncle Claude why are you asking me these questions?
Thank you Uncle Claude for coming to see me on this day, sadly I have no memory of him visiting or the conversations we had. I sometimes have flashbacks as to things I think I remember, but I’m not sure if it’s because I have been told about these events or if I actually remember.
“Take me home, can I go home now, take me home I’m not supposed to be here. I turned to my dad and said don’t leave me, can I come home.”
I was told that it was as if I had retreated to a childlike, vulnerable state and I was upset to see my family leave. I cried and my dad, not one for showing affection patted me on my head and apparently, I laughed because I knew that was his way of trying to comfort me.
My niece, protected memories
Everything I have just shared with you is an account from my eldest niece, when she talked me through these past few days it was highly emotional and I had many questions, it didn’t sink in for some time and it still felt as though she was talking about someone else and not me.
After we went through what happened it took me a good 3 weeks to revisit my notes and write my blog posts as I just needed some time to digest, reflect and feel the emotion from what I had been told. I’ve had many emotional roller coasters both consciously and unconsciously over this past year and this was another one that I needed to face and overcome.
March 21, 2018 7:30 pm
P.S. “Thank you to my niece for sharing this with me. I’m so proud of you and how you’ve supported me during this difficult time. I’m so grateful to be here today to see you grow into the wonderful young woman that you are. I love you to the moon and back!”