I had a brain hemorrhage on August 10, 2001. But it wasn't my fault. I'm still alive though.

I had two brain surgeries:
Brain Aneurysm
Cavernous Malformation

Here's some pictures of me in the hospital after the first surgery:

(Click any picture to see it in gory detail)

So let me tell you about it.

I had never been to Yosemite, so for my birthday I wanted to go there. I made it to the front gate. But to this day, I still have never been inside Yosemite.

It was early in the morning on August 10, about 3 am. I couldn't sleep. I felt a cramp in the back of my head which I never remember feeling before. I remember thinking to myself "I hope it's not a brain tumour", which is odd since I usually don't think those kinds of things. My girlfriend rubbed the back of his head for a while, and then it felt better. But then when I tried to prop myself up in bed, it was like I had no strength in my arms. I was totally wobbly and couldn't sit up. Then I started feeling nauseous, so I had to go to the bathroom and vomit. I discovered that my legs were having the same problem as my arms, so I had to crawl on the floor to the bathroom. I wasn't getting too worried yet, I thought this was something that would just pass, but my girlfriend suggested we call an ambulance and I went along with the idea. Turns out this was something that would have passed, but I probably would have passed along with it.

The ambulance people came. They suggested it was food poisoning, and that I should just go to bed and see how I feel in the morning. We didn't think that was such a hot idea, so we had them take me to Saint Agnes hospital in Fresno.

When I got there, it took the doctors a while to figure out what was wrong. They did a bunch of tests including an angiogram. I remember hearing someone suggest that it could be menengitis. My girlfriend was on a menengitis kick, so I had thought she planted the idea in their heads, although she denies doing so. As I was beeing wheeled off for a Spinal Tap (I thought "That was a funny movie"), they stopped me since the angiogram showed something. This was a good thing since I'm told that spinal taps are unpleasant.

So what they discovered is that I had a brain aneurysm and I had also had a brain hemorrhage. They could tell that my brain aneurysm hadn't ruptured yet, which left them wondering why I had a brain hemorrhage. But they wanted to fix that aneurysm right away.

So they popped my head open and mucked around inside for about 8 hours. When I woke up I was excited to find out that my aneurysm was clipped with titanium clips, and I had titanium plates in my head to keep my skull together. Titanium is what PowerBook G4s are made of.

So I spent 10 days in Saint Agnes hospital in Fresno and then 10 days in Stanford Hospital, closer to home. More tests were done to try and figure out the cause of my brain hemorrhage, but there was still too much blood in the way from the brain hemorrhage to figure out why.

Remember when my arms and legs were weak and wobbly that first night? Well it didn't come back right away on its own, so I couldn't walk for a while. I needed wheelchairs, walkers, and canes for a long time.

I went back to Stanford for an MRI, and it was finally discovered the reason for my brain hemorrhage. I had a cavernous malformation, probably a birth defect thing. I asked if I could take a pill for it, but those kinds of things need surgeries. Hense my second surgery.

(To Be Continued)

Here's a picture of my scar following my second surgery:

I made a movie recently showing how healthy I am now. It's too big to show here, but if you know me, ask to borrow the DVD.