Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 1 - The Rebellion Starts

Hindsight is 20/20.  Now I know this set of poor choices triggered my angioma to bleed.  It was the perfect storm.

My wife, kids, and I went up to Lake Tahoe to bring in the new year for 2011 with friends.  So we pack up the kids and go up.  Typical gig from the Bay Area 4-5 hour drive, and I am sure we landed around 8PM at which point I lug our many bags and suitcases out of the car while my wife sets up the kids in the condo.

Its cold and snowy.  Its supposed to be.  Kids on skis, building a snowman.  Perfect.

Now I love the snow, skiing, etc, and have not thought much about the fact that I get a little light headed and spacey when I go high altitude.  Its a typical part of high altitude sickness where the body is adjusting to the lower pressure of oxygen.  Normal recommendations are to take it easy the 1st day up the mountain, get a good night sleep, and so on.  Where we are parked in around Lake Tahoe its about 6200 ft elevation.

But what do I do?  I work all night until 4AM because the systems are melting down under record traffic.  Turns out lots of folks get new smart phones after Christmas, and business is booming on our mobile service.  The Android cluster in particular is melting down for no good reason, and I am going to figure out wtf is going on.

Its 4am, I am done, and I try to get a good nights rest for the few hours left of it by popping a benedryl.  But it does not work.  I am tossing and turning for the next several hours unable to sleep and with a terrible feeling that I cannot shake.  I am also making sure our little 6 mo. old baby boy is OK while my wife is sleeping with our other 2 kids in another room.

Come morning I wake up, if you can say this since I never really slept.  I am numb all over.  Not totally numb, but a faint numbness.  Its hard to explain.  But I didn't sleep so I figure that its normal.

I am sure sometime this past evening my angioma bled.  As you will read events unfold over the next days.  So lets recap some stupid things I did:
  • went high altitude
  • super stressed about work
  • workin, working super late
  • taking a benedryl to sleep
  • not sleeping
Stupid, stupid, stupid.


  1. If these symptoms just didn't creep up so slowly on us...we would have got our diagnosis sooner. On one hand, I figure it wouldn't have mattered as it can't be removed anyway, and on the other - maybe I would've stopped popping all those aspirins! Then maybe the initial bleed wouldn't have been as devastating - but as the first line of your post, hindsight is always 20/20.

    1. It is ironic isn't it. All those symptoms, headaches, etc, and popping more ibuprofen in my case leading up to my first big bleed. At least we have still tylenol for a rough day (ok I have tramadol for a really rough day but have not had to tap that yet thankfully).

  2. P.S. I think it's kinda cool that I have another 'cavernoma twin' :D