Background Story: Valerie had a ruptured brain aneurysm at her San Diego home on the morning of January 3rd, 2019, Thursday. Smart Valerie said "I need help, call 911" and Bill quickly got her to a chair and made the call. The EMT's arrived within minutes, followed quickly by an ambulance, Gayle, and Brittany. She was talking but in extreme pain. She was quickly taken by ambulance to UCSD (Hillcrest - the closest hospital and with the best stroke team in San Diego). She was assessed in the ER and within the hour a team was assembled for a surgery to insert a coil into the aneurysm to "scab it" and stop the bleeding. The surgery was successful. She was lucid and talking before and after the surgery, passing all neurological tests. She was placed in the ICU (called SICU at Hillcrest: Surgery and Trauma Intensive Care Unit). She was given hourly neurological tests to assess her status during the first four or so days. She was very lucky to be treated so quickly (time is of the essence) and there are great neurosurgeons at UCSD. (Definition of subarachnoid hemorrhage in journal entries below).
After 2 weeks in the ICU and one week in the medium care unit, Valerie went home to her second home in San Diego. With 24 hour Care Givers, she gets around with her walker. She has had many doctors and therapy appointments. Her physical and cognitive exercises keep her busy, but she loves short visits, phone calls or cards from friends. You can call the San Diego house directly. Her continued symptoms of poor balance and gait, incontinence and confusion, along with her MRI, has led the neurosurgery team at UCSD to conclude that a shunt to drain excess spinal fluid could possibly help her symptoms (search Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus). She has a consult May 9th then her surgery will be scheduled. We will try to keep Caring Bridge updated. Thank you all for your love and support.