My family experienced a Christmas Miracle several years ago. My mom and dad were in town, staying with us for Christmas. It was Sunday afternoon when my mom called me into the bedroom. She was laying on the bed, complaining of the worst headache she has ever had. She had the same thing happen over Thanksgiving, her Dr. told her it was probably the flu. She spent the day resting, the next day I took her to see my Dr. who sent her to the hospital for a cat scan. What happened next would change our Christmas that year, and proofed to us that Christmas Miracles really do happen, and Christmas wishes come true.
I was with my mom at the hospital, once the tests were done, the radiology department had to call my Dr. at her office, and she had to call us back at the hospital with the results, it seemed to take forever to get the results.
Meanwhile, my mom was sitting in a wheel chair, because we didn’t take her to the ER, she had to sit up in a wheelchair and wait. We were sitting there when the call came in, my mom asked me to talk to the Dr., she wasn’t feeling very well. The Dr. told me that my mom had a brain aneurysm. She said “your mom has a brain bleed, they need to admit her.” I was in shock, alone at the hospital with my mom, how do I tell her? How do I call my dad and tell him? I called home, told Joe, and asked him to tell my dad, and bring him to the hospital. It didn’t take the hospital long to get my mom into a room. The rooms at Waukesha Memorial were new, spacious, really nice. They let me bring in a small fake tree, that I decorated with Angels.
Let’s talk about that tree for a minute, it was beautiful, It was about 3 ft tall, lit with all clear lights, everyone that came in the room commented on it. It was special. The amazing thing about it is that one morning we woke up and found that someone had added an angel, this happened for the next two weeks.
The aneurysm was in the front of my mom’s brain, so the surgeons at Waukesha consulted with a neuro-radiologist at Frodetert Hospital, who would coil the aneurysm after the holiday’s as he was on “holiday” until January 5th. So for the next 18 days, my mom was sedated at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. They would transfer her right before the surgery.
It was Christmas Eve, normally we would have all been at our house, eating, drinking, opening gifts and enjoying each other’s company. This year we all came up to the hospital and were able to wheel my mom to one of the larger visiting areas. We had to be quiet, and try to keep it together as my mom was obviously very ill. In retrospect, I can’t believe that they allowed us to wheel her anywhere!!
I was spending the night at the hospital with my mom, in the morning my dad would come up and I’d go home and take a shower, see the kids, etc. It happened at a time Joe was off work, so I could stay up at the hospital and not worry about the kids, the house, etc.
After the celebration, I ran home to help Joe with all the Santa preparations, after-all we had two little boys that were anxiously awaiting Santa’s arrival. After we had everything ready at home, I ran back up to be with my mom. Christmas morning I got up early and ran home to see the wonder of Christmas in my kids faces. I stayed home for a few hours and then back up to the hospital. This was pretty much the routine for the 21 days of our ordeal.
I wanted to be at the hospital 24/7, when someone is in the hospital for any amount of time, they need a patient advocate, between my dad and I we had that covered. He would spend the days there, I would spend the nights there, it was exhausting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. One night my sister came and spent the night too, it was fun.
Christmas came and went, then we had New Year’s Eve. Pretty uneventful. Now that it’s January, we’re all anxiously awaiting the day of the transfer to Froedtert.
When we got to Froedtert we immediately realized how lucky we were to have spent the first 2 weeks at Waukesha Memorial. The room was small, not even a place for me to sleep!!! We remedied that with a small cot, which didn’t really fit in the room. I never mentioned the food situation at Waukesha, let me say that it was wonderful. Everyday I would order breakfast, lunch, dinner off the menu. It was for my mom, but let’s face it, she wasn’t eating much. The food was good, it was like having room service at a nice hotel. When my mom settled in at Froedtert, we ordered her food, she was starving. When her tray came up, there were a lot of little hairs in her Stroganoff! It was so gross, we even had the top person in charge of patient relations called in on that one. Thank God she was at Waukesha until now.
The day was here for the procedure. The Dr. gave us the scary details of what could go wrong, she could die on the table, the aneurysm could bleed again, and then that would be it. We sat in a special waiting room, for families with loved ones in the same kind of circumstances, life or death situations. While we were in there we saw a family receive the worst news of their lives, their loved one didn’t make it. Your heart hurts so bad for them, it’s almost unbearable.
After a couple of hours, our Dr. came to us with the remarkable news that mom had made it through the procedure, they coiled the very large frontal lobe aneurysm, and that after spending the night in the Neuro ICU, she would probably go home tomorrow. WHAT? TOMORROW? Are you kidding me? She had a brain bleed, a huge one, two in fact, one at Thanksgiving, and one at Christmas. Are you crazy? Sending her home one day after her aneurysm was coiled?
Two days after the procedure, I think 18 days in all after my mom was hospitalized, she was coming home. As we walked out of the hospital, the Dr. told my mom that she was a walking miracle. Not many folks walk out of the hospital after experiencing a double brain bleed.
I wanted them to stay with us forever, but my dad was anxious to get mom home. My sister and I drove them home to KY, my dad was so nervous he could hardly stand it. We could only stay a couple of days, then it was back home, and for me back to my family.
When I look back at that time, I realize that this was a true Christmas Miracle. We are blessed to have Christ in our lives, he does amazing things for us everyday. Oh, and that Christmas Angel tree, my mom still has it, proudly displayed in her dining room.