Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back to the ER...

Yesterday started out as one of the most stressful we've had in a while.  Abby had a fever of 103.4 and was acting strange, and somehow I knew it would only get worse.  I dosed her up with some Motrin and got her into a comfy position on the couch where she fell promptly asleep.

After grabbing a quick shower, I ran to check on Abby to see if she was still sleeping.  Instead I found her seizing on the couch.  I really only glanced at her before running to get her emergency medicine.  I gave it and then ran around trying to get ready to head to the hospital.  Poor Josiah just sat and watched me, probably thinking I had really lost it this time.

As the minutes melted away (8 of them) I realized I hadn't called her neurologist.  I told the nurse what was happening and I could hear slight panic in her voice as she instructed me to give Abby a 2nd dose of Diastat and to call 911.  At hearing this my stomach dropped and I don't really remember the next several minutes as I waited for the ambulance to arrive.  

Until yesterday we've managed to avoid using an ambulance to get Abby to the ER for seizures.  I think the Lord arranged it so that Patrick was usually close by or friends were near to help with Josiah.  Because her seizure was only getting worse, even after 2 doses of Diastat, I have to admit that I was a tiny bit relieved to see the trucks driving up.

They gave her oxygen and more Diastat in the ambulance as we sped through traffic and red lights.  I couldn't help but feel very overwhelmed remembering the other times Abby and I have been passengers together in an ambulance.

Once we arrived at the ER it was nice to be rushed to a room where a large team of people were standing ready.  They got her IV on the first stick and gave her more meds.  She seized for a total of 1 hour.  One terrible hour.

The rest of the day was spent getting lab results, a chest x-ray, urinalysis and CT scan of her brain.  All checked out ok except for a questionable chest x-ray.  Her chest films are rarely clear and typically are found to have some spots of "something".  The radiologist couldn't say for sure what he was looking at, but noted it could be a pneumonia developing or maybe spots of atelectasis (collapsed air sacs) from not breathing well during the seizure.  Just to be safe the doctor gave her antibiotics through her IV and some for home too.

Thankfully, the doctor was amazed to find her blood gases to be ok, considering the length of her seizure.  She kept her o2 sats high even after removing the oxygen mask.  The main problem was her high fever, which crept up to 104.2.  She remained agitated until we brought her home where she could get some real rest.

Today she is mostly out of it, but coughing and restless when she is awake.  I can tell in her eyes that she feels pretty lousy and her temp is around 102.  We are just glad to be at home.

After 7 weeks of illness and too many seizures to want to mention, we have prayerfully decided that she will NOT be returning to school.  Although we feel that it has been good for Abby to have the interaction with other children; to hear them talking, singing and laughing around her; it is clear that her health must be our #1 priority. The therapy has been great too as it has allowed our family be together at home more.

Fortunately we will be meeting to change her IEP soon to arrange for homebound services again.  We are hopeful she will receive some therapy each week at home, along with meetings with the teacher for the deaf.  This is the part we really need help with.  Communication with Abby is our biggest, most discouraging challenge.  We want to connect with our little girl and give her a way to express her heart and mind with us.  

Our hope remains in the promise that our Lord created Abby and has given her as a gift to us.  His purposes for her life are far reaching and beyond our comprehension at times.  But we are certain that He will provide all that she needs, and sustain our family through difficult days.  The daily trusting is my personal challenge.  

"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths;
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 
Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old."

Psalm 25:4-6