• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Victoria Perez

Hello, my name is Victoria.

My story starts in January 2016; I was a healthy active 32-year-old single mother. My son and I both developed bronchitis, and I was given prednisone and an inhaler with steroids. After my cold was gone I woke up in hives. Not thinking anything of it I took a Benadryl and played it off, as I was allergic to the pizza we just ate. Considering the older you get the more your body changes. Unfortunately this lasted for 4 days. On February 27th I was rushed to the ER because I had hives everywhere and was going into anaphylactic shock.

I was able to take a Benadryl right before being rushed to the ER. The doctors rushed me back and gave me a steroid shot of Selu-Delta. I was sent home with an acid reflux medication and more prednisone.

The second day of taking prednisone I noticed my face starting to swell up. I didn’t think anything of it until the end of March when I noticed my weight was increasing, my swelling was increasing, and I developed this hump “buffalo hump” on the back of my neck.

I was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease late March. After many blood work test and MRI’s and Cat scans I was told I had a tumor in my pituitary gland at the base of my brain.  With all the swelling my vision started to get foggy, my memory and sense of knowledge started becoming very bad. I was disoriented and afraid. All the swelling in my feet, arms, legs, back, neck and face where very unbearable. My brain was now TBI and the effects at the time, would lead to permanent damage.

I had not 1 but 2 surgeries back to back. June 23 the neurosurgeon removed 1 tumor. I had more lab work done and another MRI. While I was getting a ultrasound to see if there was a tumor ectopic the Dr. came in and said we have to have surgery right now. You have another tumor in your pituitary gland. June 27th changed my life. The second tumor and pituitary gland where both removed successfully.

During recovery I have had memory losses, unable to speak with out pausing because of confusion. I have horrible migraines almost everyday. I was wheelchair bound for a month. Having to depend on family to help me stand up and even walk from my bed to the bathroom. I still have vision issues and retention seems to be worse then before. I almost feel permanently disabled but I know with God I can over come this. As of today I am now walking and can barley pick my 5 year old up.

But I am thankful I can now function better then before. I still feel as though my brain function is not as bright as it was before and will be getting another MRI on the 29th of September to make sure the tumor has not returned. I will never get those memories back that I lost. Or the time this disease has taken from me. TBI will haunt me for the rest of my life, but I pray I can get better and not relapse.

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