A Christmas Nightmare
Updated: Jun 20, 2019
It all began on 12/25/18 with the worst headache I have ever experienced in my 26 years. I had been sick the week before with a horrible sore throat and high fevers. I had tried to power through my family's annual Christmas Eve party but as my headache began to get worse, I asked my sister if it would be alright for us to leave early. I thought I was just getting a migraine. I had been getting migraines for about 1.5 years and had no reason to think this would be different. When I woke up on Christmas morning, I knew something was terribly wrong. The headache was beyond anything I had ever felt before. And my mind was racing through potential diagnoses.
I was in my first year of working as a Nurse Practitioner in Worcester Massachusetts in an outpatient addiction clinic. I had a great apartment. I was a new cat mom to a cute little fur baby named Layla. And in October I got engaged to my boyfriend of 5 years Matt. Things were going great. But as I lay on the couch of my mom's house in 10/10 pain, I feared something was wrong. I was terrified. They say that medical professionals often make the worse patients, which is true. I often underplay illnesses because I'm too busy taking care of everyone else. When my mom walked in from her night shift and saw me writhing in pain, she knew immediately we needed help. As we drove to hospital, I tried to control my fear and kick my mind into NP mode.
A few weeks prior, I had thought that this would be a memorable Christmas due to being recently engaged and spending time with Matt and my family to plan the wedding. Little did I know that this truly would be a Christmas I could not forget, but for all the wrong reasons.