my sister’s brain.

shut up.
it’s how i process stuff.

so this was probably the worst day ever.

Amanda is sleeping now. She’s awful loopy, but I’m pretty sure she knows what’s going on. And she’s cracking jokes. Decent ones at that. Maybe that’s a bad sign. Anyway so I guess I’ll start from the beginning for those who have only a panicked call from me at midnight yesterday. I mean today? I’m not sure.

Yester-today was my mom’s 47th birthday.
Twenty-three years prior, she gave birth to a little blond-haired brat with legs till Tuesday, a tendency to fall in ditches and an Arterio-Venous Malformation. For 23 years, four arteries fed her brain with oxygenated blood. One of these “brain trees” one was missing some branches. This increased the pressure on the trunk of the branchless tree, and it became weak.

Twenty minutes into my mother’s 47th birthday dinner, this brain tree started to bleed. She said she had a bad headache and her boyfriend drove her home. We thought she had better parties to attend, so when we called to check in about a half hour later, we were surprised to learn she “was in a bad way,” B.J. said, asking us to come over to her apartment.

Just picture a trying to pick up a pale drunk girl passed out on the bathroom floor and every time you touch her she screams and vomits. Except she hadn’t had a sip of alcohol. Fast forward twelve hours later and we still don’t know anything about brain trees, headaches or why my sister can’t move her head without barfing.

I don’t think there is anything worse than waiting on test results for a loved one in the wee hours at a hospital. When your little sister is lying on the bed, scared to death, “unfortunately we did find some bleeding,” being all that they would tell us.

There was a lot of staring until I picked up father at the airport at 6:40 a.m. He had been navigating his way through LAX three hours earlier. We had some Pizza Hut. I felt stupid for all the things I’ve thought about ever.

Around maybe 11:30 a.m., we met with the Brain Pasting doctor, of the Neurological Cut and Paste team. We learned about AVM then. We learned this was a rare case because she is so young. They treat about 20 bleeders like this per year. Most of them are older. The AVM is small, but in a tricky area near the brain stem. Lots of words no one understands, etc.

So next, the blood clot in my sister’s brain has to dissolve without damaging any of the surrounding tissue. They’ll probably keep her in the hospital at least a few more days.

The cutting and the pasting doctors are meeting tonight and will decide tomorrow how best to proceed. The likely scenario is bedrest followed by gluing part of her brain, and then cutting some of it out in 4 to 6 weeks.

I think I went to Cleveland.

This is so … Effed up.

Thank you guys so much for all the calls and texts and prayers and blubbery-talking. I have the best friends ever. You mean the world to this little Teterbot. I know I can call you if I need anything.

1. This happened when we were with her.
2. She wouldn’t have gone to the hospital if she had been alone.
3. In the ER, her physician’s name was Dr. Kwak.
4. God is a tricky, tricky man.

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  • jessi

    It seems very lame to leave a comment to express my sympathy and support – but that’s all i got lady. Hang in there. Keep us posted. You are loved.

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