Those of you who have known about Trystan Photography for a while know that I am a pretty dedicated blogger about our weddings and sessions, and about being active on Facebook.
You might have noticed some cobwebs growing around here this year.
That’s because my wife, business partner, creative genius, and general spirit behind Trystan Photography almost died in January, and life has been pretty interesting since!
Charlotte, my lovely wife of 6 years, had a stroke.
Yup, a stroke. While she was driving. With my 4 year-old son, Trystan, in the back seat.
Luckily, she did not crash the car and managed to get it (kind of) out of traffic by stopping across the entrance of our local Barnes & Noble. At least Trystan was safe.
By the time I got the phone call, the EMT were already on scene. They were pretty sure whe had suffered some kind of stroke and advised me to take her to the ER. That’s right, I drove her to the ER. No big deal, right? Can’t be too serious if I can drive her myself, right?
Wrong. Within an hour of arriving at the ER she was on a Flight for Life helicopter on its way to Swedish Memorial in Denver. I guess it was serious after all.
Turns out, my extremely active wife, had suffered a vertebral artery dissection (VAD) while doing yoga the weekend before.
She’d known she was hurt. We didn’t know it was a torn artery, but we definitely knew she had hurt her neck. It was excruciating. She described it as “someone stabbing” her neck. We immediately went to the Urgent Care, but it was misdiagnosed as a neck strain or torn muscle. The only way to detect a VAD is by CT-scan. The only reason they would order a CT is if she had stroke symptoms.
Consequently, Char lived for about 5 days with this ripped artery clotting inside one of four main arteries feeding her brain, and then finally the clot got so big and unstable she threw a clot and stroked. Then the ER docs knew to order a CT.
So basically having a stroke saved her life. Huh, ironic, isn’t it?
I was shocked. As I watched them load my wife, doped out of her mind because of the pain and fear, into the helicopter, I couldn’t process that I had just kissed her goodbye as she ran to the store 3 hours earlier. How could she possibly be dying? How could she possibly be paralyzed? How could she possibly have trouble communicating? She was just fine a few hours ago…
From that moment on, life has been… interesting.
We spent 4 days in the Neurological Unit of Swedish as they treated the clot and she stabilized. It was really scary. At any moment she could have thrown more clots and caused even more damage to her brain. We didn’t know how much damage had been done, if she would have any lasting effects… (please continue to page 2…)