Google+

December 29, 2013

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Carter and Grandpa assembling a toy

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.  

Nick and Carter assembling a Christmas present

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:

Breathing on his own

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.

Nick in the CCU

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.  

Opening presents

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.

Carter likes his Slinky

Carter and Aunt Megan

Nick still tires pretty easily, but that just puts his schedule in line with Carter's:

Tuckered out.

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.

22 comments:

  1. Sherri, you and your family need to take time to rest and heal. Nobody thinks anything about it other than to take care of Nick, Carter and yourselves. So glad you made the decision to move Nick to a bigger hospital.

    Coming from working for Doctors and having a Doctor son right here, I understand a lot. BTW, with the huge flu outbreak here, Mike has now quarantined me to the house and stay away from people to protect the kidney. He is seeing so much and it is people who have not had the flu vaccination. So, with Sherri's micro macrame kits, here I come. I started the ZigZag Raku and taking each step very carefully. The colors are beautiful. I am used to staying in and it does not bother me.

    Please everyone get vaccinated. (My soapbox).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I'd mind being "forced" to stay in and play with macrame for a while either, Donna :) Here's wishing you good health.

      Delete
  2. Dear Sherri, this is one of those times when our lives suddenly seem to shrink to a very small circle. All that matters right now is to nurture your family and yourself. Please know I will be praying for you and hoping this difficult moment is resolved speedily and completely.

    Hugs from New Brunswick, Canada!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! You will never know how much all the prayers and well-wishes comforted me and my family.

      Delete
  3. It is the season when everything speeds up and the regular schedule disappears- for most of us it is not something as huge as you went through. I am glad to hear your son is healing and I hope he continues to grow stronger and better everyday. Love and a good support system are not a cure all but they surely help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my goodness. I am so glad that the study had a happy ending. I will lighting a candle and sending healing energy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I very much appreciate all the healing energy being sent his way.

      Delete
  5. Happened to have a movie ending in the background as I read this and as the credits were rolling they were playing Iz' version of Over the Rainbow. The pictures and your talented delivery leaves me with tears streaming down my face ... again. Hope your belated celebration was magical. Love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha - the musical accompaniment was a stroke of luck, huh :) Things are good here. We're hoping for a boring 2014 (other than Megan's graduating and getting into the school she wants!). Love you guys, too!

      Delete
  6. Sherri~ For some reason I decided to log in to google this morning and I just read your post!!!!!! I will keep you and your son in my prayers~ I know ALL to well EVERY SINGLE feeling you went through as you sat in that ICU room (the picture brought instant tears to my eyes)~ hoping and praying for that breathing tube to be removed!! There really are NO words to explain what you truly go through.. my heart goes out to you!!! If you need a shoulder to lean on I am a great listener!!!! I am so Happy your son is home and your family was able to continue your christmas together,,, I hope the rest of the Holiday season is UNEVENTFUL for you !!!!! Take Care and a Big Hug to you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kelli. You hit the nail right on the head with the "uneventful" comment - that's what we want this year! Thank you for your support & kindness.

      Delete
  7. So very, very glad to see everyone home and resting. Much hugs to you dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shirley. I hope you are enjoying sporting your new bracelet!

      Delete
  8. Thinking of you, your son and your entire family. Sending positive thoughts and prayers. I'm hopeful you will get some answers as to what caused Nick's seizure so he (and all of you) don't have to go through any of this again. Glad to see he's home and resting. Take care and thank you for the reminding us of how fragile and short life is. Even after my hubby's massive heart attack back in 2007 and being in the ICU for days,...it's sometimes easy to lapse into taking things for granted, especially when they defy all odds and look and feel so wonderful!! Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and wonderful 2014!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. And I hope your 2014 is just as happy and healthy!

      Delete
  9. God bless you and your beautiful family. I can't even imagine the torture you all went through. So happy everything is better and your son is making a miraculous recovery. Happy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only try to find an upside in all this, and I will say it made me appreciate all the good things in my life a little bit more. Thank you for your support!

      Delete
  10. Oh wow, what a nightmare. I'm glad to hear he's healing and your family is whole again. Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and here's hoping you have a happy new year, too!!

      Delete
  11. Sherri - I"m so glad Nick came through what must have been a nightmare for you all and I hopr you will all be blessed with a happy and healthy year ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh Sherri - no need to apologize for not blogging. I am still praying for you all. Very happy that Nick is recovering. May God bless you in the new year with good health, happiness and prosperity!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you!