Jun 122014

Dear Reader,

Thank you for coming back to read my story. If you are new here you should refer to part 1. Let’s continue with the story.

Last time I said that I had to see a specialist in infectious diseases. We were referred to The Hospital Of Infectiuos and Tropical Diseases “Victor Babes”, and a neurosurgeon at the Bagdasar-Arseni Emergency Hospital in the capital, Bucharest. Me and my parents arrived there on the 27th of November. Firstly, we went to see the neurosurgeon. He looked through my files and asked for the MRI scans. However, we didn’t have any because weren’t given anything of the sort when I was discharged. There was only the review made by the radiologist. He immediately lost interest in my case and his attitude expressed that I was wasting his time and that he was in a hurry as he was scheduled for a surgery. He basically kicked us out of the door.

Next, we went to he hospital of infectiuos and tropical diseases. This is when the order of events sort of breaks for me, everything becomes blurry. All I remember from that time were the fear, the pain, the confusion. I had to undergo all sorts of tests, every 6 hours they would come and take blood samples, I was pinned to the bed with IVs on both arms. I was gradually losing my eyesight and everything felt one hundred times more terrible. The people that I shared the room with didn’t make my life any easier. In the first days I stayed with two women with meningitis and all day long all they did was to talk about food while I was throwing my guts out. Two days later they brought in a baby with meningitis who cried day and night. I wasn’t bothered by the baby crying, I was more upset at the fact that why would the hospital mix children with adults?

So far, everything that I have told you was from my perspective. Here is what my parents told me that happened:
-1. the sudden coagulation disorder has finally become the primary concern – the blood tests showed no signs of infection. They suspected that the birth control pills were the main cause. (I took birth control pills mostly for medical purposes – for uterine fibroid – four months at the beginning of 2013, and four months the year before), so I wasn’t on birth control pills when the incident happened.
-2. an university professor specializing in neurology showed some interest in my case, and after learning about my symptoms he believed that the cause might be a tooth infection. (I was having some problems with one of my molars, but the pain was inconsistent, so I didn’t pay much attention). And then he asked his students to do experiments on me.
-3. later that day I was taken to the dentist, I had a dental scan taken. The scan showed that there were two molars that needed to be pulled out, there was no sign of infection, but he didn’t completely ruled it out either. That is way, for a long time we believed that these were the main cause for my coagulation disorder.
-4. the doctor that took care of me believed that I was never infected with anything, and that everything was happening because something wrong was going on with my brain. He insisted that I take another MRI. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the weekend when I checked in the hospital, and, unless you are in mortal danger, there is little chance to find available personnel to do MRI-s.
-5. on the 2nd of December I took an MRI in a different hospital. They discovered blood clots in one of my dural venous sinuses, on the right side of the brain. My father kept in touch with the neurologist that treated me and told her about the blood clots. That is when she looked at my first MRI and, indeed, she noticed the blood clots as well. She neglected to check the radiologist’s review and just went along with his opinion. Unbelievable, right?

Pinned to the Bed catalinastan.com

Hospital in Bucharest

Finally, after two weeks of tests and examinations they found out what had happened to me. I had a cerebral venous thrombosis caused by hypercoagulation (the blood thickened at an alarming speed) and caused a minor ischemic stroke. They checked me in that hospital and was put under immediate treatment with heparin through IV. Sadly, by then I was 90% blind, partially death (my right ear was affected) and a hemiparesis on the right side of my face. I began to have trouble understanding people, they had to talk to me near my ear. My left arm was also moving uncontrollably up and down and when I was touching my face with that arm I felt as though that wasn’t my arm but somebody else’s. I had some problems with my left leg too. But I was never aware of all of these because I was on the bed all day and all night.

The doctors started investigating the cause of my excessive coagulation. Some doctors believed that the birth control pills were the cause, some that it was something else. None of the doctors agreed that an emotional break down could have caused this hypercoagulation. They suspected that I could have been drugged with some harmful substances. But none of the tests showed anything out of the ordinary, so it remains a mystery even to this day.

The treatment seemed to work because I was experiencing some improvements. I regained some control over my left arm, I was able to get out of bed on my own and I was even able to see some things. I remember seeing my orange tank top, my trousers, the pink robe of my doctor and the fact that she wore black makeup, the window in front of me with its’ blue curtain and my mother’s loving face, she looked so worried.

The otolaryngologist did some tests to my ears and she discovered some problems she couldn’t explain. She believed it might be an infection, so I was given antibiotics in addition to my initial treatment.I am very confused about the 5th of December. My parents told me that I was sent for further investigations regarding my eyes. Here is when all the craziness begins. The doctors discovered that the cerebrospinal fluid (“water on the brain”) was was very high and was pressuring the vessels. They feared that the blood vessels will break leading to hemorrhage. I was sent immediately to The National Institute of Cerebrovascular Diseases. The last thing I remember seeing was the back of the ambulance and a sign saying: “Attention…something.

This concludes the second part of my ordeal. On the 5th of December I became completely blind, I was 70% death and extremely scared. That is the day my whole world became darkness.

  6 Responses to “I had a stroke at 26 – part 2”

  1. Catalina thank you for sharing part 2. (Already read part 1). What a frightening ordeal you have been through and are still going through. I have thought about you many times. I hope and pray that you are seeing improvement everyday and recover completely. Miss watching your crochet videos and look forward to seeing you show your talents again. Never give up. There is always hope. Take care and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Thank you so much. Your words made her really happy. That is exactly what she is doing: she is trying to gather all her strength to hope for a better future for herself.

  2. Just found out about your horrendous ordeal. I am so so very sorry. I have added your name to my prayer list. I will continue to pray for you. “Dear God I pray Catalina’s sight is restored”. Thank you.

  3. My Dearest Catalina! I just read about your horribly scary experience. I crochet and absolutely love all your YouTube projects; I made the bobble blanket.

    I’m so incredibly sad about what happened, but I know that you’ll continue to strengthen day by day. I’m so happy to know that you’ve started your crochet YouTube projects again.

    All my love and prayers!!! And it’s great to know that your mother and sister are helping with the videos too!!!

    Many, many blessings and many years of beautiful crochet projects.

    Love, Light, and Life, Donaca in NYC

    • Yes, and I pray also that your sight will be restored and that you will be blessed very soon with the romantic love you deserve with the very best person for you💙💙💙

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