Kim Doucette Kim’s Flight

First post: Dec 15, 2020 Latest post: Feb 17, 2022
Welcome to Kim's Flight, her journey to recovery and getting back to what she loves most - seeing and experiencing the world. 

On Friday, 12/11/2020, one day after returning from her first working trip (to Paris) in over 9 months, Kim suffered a brain hemorrhage in the basal ganglia area of the brain. All indications from the neurologists I have talked to say the cause is from hypertension (high blood pressure). Kim has been treating her high blood pressure for a few years. 

Earlier that morning, she was not feeling well and told me she had a headache, and because it was a “domesticating day” after a long trip, I knew she would spend the day relaxing, sleeping, and playing Candy Crush. I went to work and came home a bit early, at 3:30. When I checked on her, she was sleeping. As I tried to wake her, she acted a bit like “under the influence of Ambien”, nothing new and unexpected, since staying up 24 hours on her Paris trip. It did not strike me as too odd. However, over the next 90 minutes, I would check on her, and she remained groggy and unresponsive. At 5:00p, I decided to really wake her up. She had nothing to do with it – she wanted to sleep. I knew something was wrong, so I checked her blood pressure (while she did not fight me off), and it was very elevated. I called 911 at 5:07p, and they were in the bedroom at 5:14p, checking her vitals (which were good), and taking her to the local hospital (Southdale/Fairview Medical Center) a mile away. 

I arrived a short time later, and they let me come into the emergency operating room, where I remained until 8:00p when she was taken to ICU. During this time, they did periodic stimulation checks, and took a CT scan. A Neurologist nurse talked to me about the bleeding on her brain and showed me the x-ray. It was explained that there are typically three things that will happen in the next few days; 1. the “bruise” will begin to be absorbed back into the body and the swelling will decrease (slowly); 2. The blood could interfere with brain fluid and it won't be able to drain, thus causing the need to drain the fluid externally; 3. The blood continues to flow and interrupts important parts of the spinal area, and a larger hole would need to be opened to remove the blood. In order of risk, we want the first scenario. 

They intubated her at 7:30p because she had lost the ability to swallow saliva on her own, and they needed to have her remain relaxed as they brought the blood pressure down.

We are on day 4, and we are in the first scenario. Time is the healer, as well as all your prayers. I have been told she will remain in the ICU until she can swallow voluntarily, lift her head, and respond to commands. She was taken off the ventilator about 1:30p on day 3 (12/14), which was a milestone for us. She will take weeks and months to recover, and she is under great care.

My children, Nick and Jaimee, are with me here at my house. Because of Covid, we will not be able to see Kim until she is cognitive and able to “Zoom” with us. That could be weeks from now, we just don’t know. If ever there was a need for the meaning of “one day at a time”, this is truly the embodiment of those conditions.

Thank you all for the continued prayers and love. Kim is a fighter and she only wants to do one thing in her life that is consistent from the days she was a little girl – “take flight”. She will be back soon. Trust me. 

- John