So, I've been neglectful of my blogging for a few days, but I have a good excuse. We were just carrying on, minding our own business last weekend when life decided to throw us a curve ball.
Last Saturday we were having family out to celebrate Christmas a few days early to accommodate everyone's schedules. We bought our grandson, Carter, a Little Tikes school bus with a slide because he's such a little daredevil and loves to climb. I thought maybe if we gave him somewhere safe to climb, I could keep him from trying to climb on everything else (kitchen drawers, dishwasher, coffee tables). My son, Nick, was doing his parental assembly duty and then suddenly starting having a seizure. Nick is 21 years old and is the picture of health and let me tell you, this came from nowhere and slapped us right across the face.
We rushed him to the emergency room, but after scads of tests including CT scans and MRIs, doctors still couldn't tell us what was wrong. All they could say is that our son was very, very ill. They were guessing some form of meningitis since the scans didn't show any bleeding or tumors in the brain, and were warning us that his brain could have already sustained damage. They put him on a ventilator and sedated him to try to stop the seizures. I have never been so scared in my life.
On the second day with no change and no answers in sight, my husband and I made the decision to move him to a bigger hospital with more resources. That hospital is about 300 miles away, so they moved Nick by helicopter. I won't bore you with all the details and minutia, but believe me, each minute he spent in the neurological critical care unit was an eternity. I spent nights in the chair beside his bed and held his hand down when the sedation would start to wear off and he would try to pull the tube out of his throat. My husband and daughter would try to get a few hours sleep at night and spend days in his room conferring with the teams of doctors caring for him.
On Christmas Eve, we got the best present ever. They were able to switch the ventilator over to where he was able to breathe for himself. This may not look like much to you, but it was the happiest sight I'd had for days:
Breaths he was taking on his own. What followed has been nothing short of miraculous to me. The doctors let him start coming out of the sedation. He was still very fuzzy and disorientated and trying to pull at the tubes and IVs and wires. The doctors were trying to talk to him and reason with him, but he was having none of it. I just kept thinking about the possibility of brain damage and worst case scenarios. They asked me to talk to him and when I did, asked him if he heard his mom. People, when he very slowly nodded his head just a little bit, I wept tears of joy. He was responsive!!! They were able to remove the breathing tube and stop the medications keeping him knocked out.
He still had to spend another night in the critical care unit, but he was improving by leaps and bounds. By Christmas day, they moved him to a regular room and let him take a shower. By Thursday, we were able to bring him home. He is healing and is doing so well.
Yesterday, we decided to have our belated Christmas celebration for our family.
Typical for his age, Carter spent more time playing with the boxes and paper than the new toys, but he was pretty fascinated with a Slinky.
Nick still tires pretty easily, but that just puts his schedule in line with Carter's:
So forgive me, friends, for my absence here. I am hugging my family a little tighter and treasuring even the mundane right now. Life seems so fragile. I just need to take a moment and regroup. Hugs to all of you and I hope you are having a great holiday season.