Survivor’s Around the Globe – Diane Lee

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I am a 2-time survivor of Brain Aneurysm (Subarachnoid hemorrhage.) – I want to be an advocate/spokesperson for Aneurysm in Women and how our voices are not heard.
On 12/6/2020 Saturday, while watching the KC Chiefs play the Den Broncos[9:20pm] I suddenly experienced a severe headache on my right side, with severe episodes of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and stiff neck. I took an Aleve and went home and went straight to bed.
On 12/7/2020, I woke up with the same headache, called and made an appointment with my PCP @ College Park Family Care Center due to still having this severe headache for the very next day, they could get me in.
On 12/8/2020 – I attended my appointment at College Park Family Care Center in, Overland Park. With the symptoms I was having, severe headache, stiff neck, vomiting and diarrhea – They had me tested for COVID-19, while I waited in the room for the results. My test came back negative for covid-19. Dr. Rahto told me I had an upper respiratory tract infection? I asked about my headache, again, and the nurse said, “he is going to give you something for that”. I had a reported history of aneurysm, but there were no accepted standards of care to identify or communicate with me about any other testing. My head hurt and I had no to strength to find my voice. I took the prescription given with no relief from the headache pain.
On 12/10/20, I called College Park and asked if I could come back in, as the headache was not going away and that despite this treatment my headache persisted. I had no vomiting or diarrhea symptoms at this time. They told me I should take Naproxen and call back the next day if the headache did not go away.
On 12/11/20 – the very next morning, I called back to CPFC and asked for a nurse and they said that I could walk into their clinic the next morning, that was Saturday12/12/20.
On 12/12/2020 – I woke up and I heard something inside me say” You can either get up or lay here”. I got up! – called a family friend to drive me to CPFCC this time. [thank God]. Once at my PCP facility, I walked thru the door of the clinic and told the lady at the front entry that my head was hurting very bad and that they told me to walk in. She told me “that it didn’t mean I had an appointment and that I had to take the COVID-19 test (again first)”. I then asked for an angiogram and was told “that we don’t do that here, but I’ll find someone who knows what you are talking about”. They went for a doctor who came out. I remember thinking “why does no one care?” At that moment I started to get weak and sat down on the bench. I went into a full stroke – They called an ambulance, and I was taken to Overland Park Hospital 1 mile away and they did an MRI and said that I had brain bleed and was having a stroke. Yes, I could hear them, I felt so happy that somebody was paying attention to me. I called my Director from the ambulance and told her that I would not be at work – I do not remember that at all. The same ambulance took me to another hospital 14 miles away – passing over 3 capable hospitals back to KCMO. I ended up at Research Medical Center in KCMO were they saved my life with a 9-hour surgery treating an aneurysm with stroke like symptoms.
My diagnoses: Ruptured RMCA (this was a new aneurysm), facial weakness and anemia. I now have 2 aneurysms that have been repaired. Subarachnoid hemorrhage in my brain. My first aneurysm was “found” and repaired on 12/6/1993 while looking for something else they thought was causing my “headache”. I kept pushing for reasons why and they finally did an angiogram and coincidentally found an aneurysm behind my right eye.
These two headaches were the sign my body gave that something was wrong. Nobody was listening to me until. I have No other existing medical issues just these aneurysm incidents. I thankful to be alive and so blessed. Living my best life by the Grace of God.

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