In July of 1966, I was 22 years old, had been married 1 week. I was working in a hole 15 ft. deep, using a jackhammer, and it was 100 degrees outside. All at once , a pounding began in the back of my head that nearly knocked me to the ground. I managed to get out of the hole, went across the street to a drugstore, where the pharmacist gave me salt tablets. I laid in the shade, as much as I could, until time to go home. My head continued to pound.
I went that evening to an ER, where they said I probably had spinal meningitis, but they refused me treatment, because I wasn't sure I had insurance. The next day, when I didn't think I could stand it anymore, I went to Metro General Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee ( about 18 hrs. from 1st pain). The hospital ran tests for about 8 days, and couldn't give me anything for pain . I hurt tremendously that whole time. Finally, I had surgery.
Drs. Hightower and Karl Jacobs operated for 8 or 9 hrs. I had a brain aneurysm, in the center, where the 2 large vessels run on each side, then another comes across to form an H. My aneurysm was in the crosspiece of the H. They used a silver pin for the repair. I had 156 stitches, running the edge of my hairline from ear to ear. The nerves that control my sense of taste and smell had to be cut. I came to 3 days after surgery. I was in the hospital 30 days, flat on my back.
I went home, and was pretty much in bed for 3 more months. I slowly resumed normal activity over the next year, and finally was able to go back to work. I have lived a pretty normal life since then. Of course, I can still not smell or taste, and I have had a few peculiarities, like numbness, etc. that would be hard to explain here, but for the most part, I consider myself very lucky, and I have been pretty healthy.
I understand that the surgery I had was one of the first of it's kind, performed in the Nashville area. If anyone knows of the two doctors I mentioned, if they are still around, I would certainly like them to know what a great job they did.