Patti Harris Patti Harris Journal

First post: Feb 26, 2018 Latest post: Sep 5, 2019
I've decided that it's time to update this story.  At  first it was all about Ron.  Now it's mostly about the TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF PATTI.  I really appreciate everyone caring so much about what's going on with me,  I am starting with what is going on currently and have listed the past in reverse chronological order.

I liked that department because they had everyone together in a room watching TV and interacting.  And they started Physical Therapy.  The first time that I saw him sitting in a wheelchair after being in bed for over 3 weeks was amazing.  He was also standing up and walking a few steps.

2/14/19 I FLEW TO AZ

Luckily Terry is very strong and we have very good genes.  They hydrated him, gave him anti-biotics, etc. and after a few weeks he was medically stable.  He was still confused and he was weak from being in bed for so long.  

My older brother, Terry is 69 and lives in the house that my mom and dad bought in 1989 in Sun City West, AZ.  He bought the house after mom passed away in 2013. (dad died in 2005)  

Terry had been calling me every night to see how I was doing ever since Ron went in the hospital on 2/24/18.  He continued to call me until the Super Bowl 2019.  After that I couldn't reach him.  I called the Fire Department just to ask the procedures about a welfare check and they went out immediately.  Luckily when our mom lived there, the Fire Department installed a lockbox on the house with a key so they were able to get in to check on Terry.  They found Terry on the floor, he had fallen and was mostly unresponsive.  His temperature was only 95, his BP was very low and he was dehydrated.  They took him to Banner Del Webb Hospital (BDWH) which is only a few miles from the house.  

I have had many conflicting stories as to how long the doctors think he was laying on the floor.  Terry doesn't remember what happened so we will probably never know the truth.  He has been diagnosed with Dementia - hopefully Temporary but probably Permanent.  The brain is adversely affected the longer you lay on the floor.  We will never know how much that affected his diagnosis.

He was in BDWH until Thursday, 3/7/19


Ron had a stroke in November 2016.  He had a really, really bad headache on the left side of his forehead (which affects your right side) and was having trouble seeing out of one eye, especially peripheral vision. He had it for hours & hours before he finally let me take him to Kaiser Urgent Care in Largo. He probably still wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for his lifelong friend Trish Hill. She kept bugging him and bugging me, thank goodness. She knew that he very rarely got headaches and suspected that something was wrong. 

Kaiser did an MRI and said that he had a stroke. Neither one of us could believe it because we were sitting in the room talking to each other after the MRI. They immediately took him to Holy Cross Hospital. He had a HEMORRHAGIC STROKE ON THE LEFT SIDE (brain bleed) as opposed to a stroke caused by a blood clot. That’s the kind that you have to administer TCA in a certain timeframe. TCA is not given for a brain hemorrhage like Ron’s.

The Neurologist told us that Ron had a BIG brain bleed and that it was in a weird place. They couldn’t give us any reason as to why it happened. 

Ron only stayed in Holy Cross hospital for a few days and then came home to recover.  It took a while but he  pretty much recovered almost completely from that stroke.  When people saw him, they couldn't believe that he had a stoke.  He looked and acted pretty much the same as before the stroke.

She had not been doing well so it wasn’t a total surprise. We had her services on February 10, 2018.  Ron seemed to be handling everything pretty well.  We were planning our next 20 years and talking about where we might want to go and what we wanted to do.  

Ron got another really bad headache that afternoon on the RIGHT side (which affects the left side). Unlike before, he lost all use of his left side almost before the paramedics got there.  I'm sorry if this sounds dramatic but life as I knew it for 32 years ended that afternoon.

I had to call 911 and Ron was taken to MedSTAR Southern Maryland Hospital Center and would have been immediately flown to MedSTAR Washington Hospital Center but it was a rainy and foggy night and all helicopters were grounded. So they had to take him by ambulance.

He had an emergency Exploratory CRANIOTOMY a few hours after he arrived at Medstar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) which turned into a CRANIECTOMY. This is the definition that I copied - “Decompressive craniectomy is a neurosurgical procedure in which part of the skull is removed to allow a swelling brain room to expand without being squeezed. It is performed on victims of traumatic brain injury, stroke and other conditions associated with raised intracranial pressure”. 

Once surgery started they discover that Ron had an AVM (ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATION) and that’s what caused the MASSIVE brain bleed. It was explained to me as TWISTED VEINS in the brain. Most people that have it are born with it. Here is a paragraph I copied from Wikipedia - “Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins, bypassing the capillary system. This vascular anomaly is widely known because of its occurrence in the central nervous system (usually cerebral AVM), but can appear in any location. Although many AVMs are asymptomatic, they can cause intense pain or bleeding or lead to other serious medical problems”’

The doctors said that there is no way to know that someone has this and that there’s nothing Ron could’ve done to have caused this.  And is very rare and only happens in one in 10,000 people.  

So they call this brain bleed MASSIVE/VERY LARGE and said that he was/is VERY, VERY, VERY CRITICAL.

The origin of the AVM was the LEFT COMMON CAROTID. That caused the bleed in the RIGHT TEMPORAL LOBE.  He had numerous other bleeds in the next few days/weeks and those are called SUBARACHNOID.

THANK GOD Ron's mom passed away before any of this happened.  I am so glad that she was not around to see what her only child was going through.  I know what it was like for me but I'd only known him for half of his life.  I can't imagine what it would be for a mother.