Friday, October 12, 2012

October 17, 2006 - Upsidedown

This time of year always gets me. No matter how hard I try. This year was no different.

It's been nearly six years, but still seems like yesterday. The joy. The fear.

Back in September 2006, we welcomed our baby girl into the world. My hubs and I had it all planned out. We were going to wait five years into our marriage before we started our family. Right on cue, I was pregnant. We planned. We tried. It actually happened. We were so blessed.

Then, October 17, 2006 happened. It changed everything. I was sitting in the living room feeding my precious baby girl. Out of nowhere, I felt something happen. Something scary. I knew something was wrong. As I was feeding her my left hand twitched uncontrollably. Thank god I had enough time to look over at my husband and tell him to take her and call 911. Looking back, I don't know why. I just did. She was barely five weeks old. Luckily, he grabbed her. My body took over, and went into a full seizure. I had never experienced this before.


I remember very little. I do however remember the chaos that took place. Kind of. I remember waking up in the hospital. Confused. All of my family surrounding me. There was at least fifteen people. I drifted back out of reality.

Finally, I awoke. I was told I had brain cancer, and had about six weeks to live. Who were these people telling me this? I cried. My husband cried. My family cried. I can still hear the haunting sounds of crying that night. I had a newborn baby. This could not be right.

He was wrong though. He had no compassion. He just had an arrogant way about him, and he was wrong.

Reevaluate. Deep breath. New doctor.

My new doctor reassessed my CATScan. It was a smudge. It wasn't cancer. You could feel the air in the room begin to move again.


Many test later. Many evaluations. My surgeon knew what to do. It was a blood clot in the right frontal lobe of my brain. I had a stroke during child birth causing these events. Two days later I was headed into surgery. They would remove the blood clot, and give me my life back.

I was scared to death. I was a first time new mom. My baby was only five weeks old. She depended on me. We were bonding. We were getting into our groove. Then it was abruptly interrupted. I felt so much guilt, but I knew what I had to do. Even the breast pump taunted me. I still had to use it, but my child couldn't consume it because if the medication I had been given. So much gained, so much lost in an instant. But, I was still here.

I went in for my brain surgery. They gave me a rocking haircut and a horseshoe scar, but I was alive.

I woke up in ICU without the use if my left hand, but I was alive. Amazing. It was only two days before I was given a death sentence. Now there was hope.

I am so thankful to have made it through, and to hold my baby girl. It was a long road to recovery, and every October I'm reminded of it. I try to block it out, but my body and mind remember it all too well. It was traumatic. I will never take for granite the time I have with my baby girl and my family. Things could have turned out so differently. I'm thankful that didn't.


  1. Wow. That is quite a story, Kari. I had no idea. I can't imagine only having two days to take all of that in. I had two WEEKS with my news. I'm so glad for you and your sweet girl that things turned out the way they did. Say a prayer, wish on a star and throw some salt over your shoulder tonight. I think I might, too. :)

    1. I tried to reply the other day, and my comment disappeared damn it. Any who, Looking back I'm glad I only had two days. I can't imagine two weeks. I'm so glad with the way things turned out as well. I'm reminded of how lucky I am every day, and with very little lasting effects. It really has been helpful to start writing again. It's a bit harder, and more intimidating than it use to be. I'm thankful to Mel for encouraging me. That's how I "bumped" into you. Even though you thought I was silly for saying you inspired me, you really did. I read your post, and they made me laugh. Then, I read what you went through. I could relate. I'm so glad yours was caught. Strange how things work out. So I'll say a prayer, wish on a star, and toss some salt right along with you.

  2. Holy cow. I can't imagine. Writing it out might help you. Glad you have this outlet. So glad they were wrong. Xo

    1. It seems like so long ago, but sometimes the feelings come rushing back like it was yesterday. Thank you for encouraging me. You were so right about writing it out. It does help. xo!

  3. I don't know why my comment didn't post from the other day? I had said that reading your story made me cry! What a scary time that must have been for all of you! And what an incredibly strong woman you are for coming through all that and being such an awesome Mom! You and Ryan are truly blessed to have each other!! xx

  4. Oh, Kari, we are all so very lucky to have you!
    Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for fighting! Thank you for knowing that you had to win. Thank you for being inspired to write, and for inspiring me every day.
    You are a gift, my dear friend, to all who have the privilege of being touched (virtually or otherwise) by your kind, loving, generous spirit.
    Celebrate this October, even as those scary painful memories return. And know that countless multitudes of us are celebrating with you because you are here in our lives today.
    With love, light, and gratitude,