I just found this site and it has helped me more than I can say. I have found that I am not alone.
My name is Summer,and I am twenty years old. During the summer of 1999, I began having headaches. For four months I was told by doctors that it must be my eyes, stress, and then hormones. I began feeling nausea along with the headaches bad the week of Thanksgiving. My head felt as though it was going to explode. Thanksgiving day I was taken to the emergency room and admitted. The following days had all of the tests run and was diagnosed with AVM. I was sent to a Texas Hospital and they found two on my brain stem. I was put on meds and sent home. That seemed to help.
In July of 2000, I went in for my first operation. I was scared to death. The operation consisted of splitting them. After the surgery I felt like a new person. No headaches, no nausea. I was planning on returning to college in the winter. I have not been able to return.
December of 2000 I suffered a stroke. That was the most horrifying ordeal I have ever experienced. I have always been told that I am a very pretty lady, and then to see myself in the mirror. My mouth was crooked. My hand and my speech was irregular. I wanted to die right there. Somehow I didn't. With support I was able to get past that. The only after affect I have now is my index finger on my left hand, as you can see, I have trouble hitting the right keys. And a crooked smile when I begin having numbness on my face.,
I suffered only mild headaches after that, but my depression was more powerful. My blood pressure doesn't want to stabilize.
In March, the docs suggested another surgery for the bad AVM. It needed to be removed completely. I had a choice of having the surgery or definitely having another stroke. With the love and support of my family and my angel (my boyfriend),I had the surgery.
It has been a month now since my last surgery and the surgery was not a success. IT could not be removed.
I am still suffering with headaches, mild nausea, I can't control my blood pressure, and most of all, disorientation and confusion.
I have read where a couple of people here are experiencing the same confusion. I have to know if there are any others that are having trouble concentrating and feeling confused. It is basically taking over my life right now and causing me greater pain inside than the headaches ever did. I am pushing the people away that care about me the most.
Update 5 Oct 2001
Hi. First I want to thank everyone that has emailed me to give me support and to enlighten me on my condition. It was after reading other narratives that I realized I did not know much at all. I am still having severe headaches although nor as frequent. The nausea, depression and confusion have not let up at all. I still have a great amount of confusion and am finding myself not expressing or saying what is on my mind. It is like it will nor come out. But I want it to. And I try. It just does not work.
Anyway, It looks like I could possibly be a candidate for radiosurgery. My doc has sent all of the necessary records and we are just waiting for an answer from the university when they decide. Waiting is not easy. LOL Like I don't have enough on my mind. I have heard from a woman that had this procedure done, but if anyone has had it, I would like to hear from them also.
Thank you for all of your support. God Bless you all.
Addendum by Summer's father, 24 Aug 2002
I would like to tell you a little about my daughter Summer. Summer was a beautiful young woman taken from those who loved her much to early. She had not yet began to live. Summer was beautiful on the inside, just as much as she was on the outside. She would get embarrassed or deny how pretty she was, when complimented. I always taught Summer and her brother, that beauty is what a person can see, and can be deceiving, and if you want to show your true beauty, it must come from within.
Summer had the warmest heart of anyone I know. She respected people. She was not one to become close to others, but when she did, one could not ask for a better friend. Summer was quiet, not outspoken, did not want to "step" on anyone's toes, poised, a real lady.
She and I disagreed on her treatments. I now know, she was learning from this site. She never told me.
I have gotten to know my daughter better after her death, than I ever had. I made the mistake of not allowing her to live her life fully and trying to protect her. When I look back, I was not protecting her from anything, but life and happiness.
Thank you to those that have written to me and expressed your sympathy. I wish you all well. God Bless You.
Summer's father, James Breaux
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