Thursday, November 22, 2012

Peanut's first diagnosis

     Once we arrived at the hospital, things moved pretty quickly although every minute felt like an eternity. The staff was very professional and quick to provide the care Peanut needed. However, it was clear this was a big deal. We had one doctor come in and ask the staff what had been done. Once she heard what was going on she said, "She needs a CT scan." When they said they were preparing her for that she replied, "NOW!" My husband and I were incredibly concerned. Doctor's asked us lots of questions - most of them more than 2 times from different hospital staff. They began asking about aneurysms. One doctor asked us if we had a history in our families of children dying from aneurysms. That really scared us. We were barely holding ourselves together. We walked to the CT scan with the doctors at our side and Peanut on a hospital bed - unconscious. They began the CT and reviewed yet another time the events that led up to the migraine. My husband was mid-sentence as the scan began displaying on the computer monitor. The doctor cut him off with a curt "OK" and the room became silent as everyone stared at the monitor. There was a clear picture of her brain - with a large dark area on the left side. It was confirmed - she had an aneurysm. They took her back to the ER room and began hooking up all sorts of monitors. They gave her some meds to sedate her and then tried to start an IV. She woke up and started fighting them. They gave her more meds to sedate her and every time they tried to sedate her, she awoke again. They discussed between themselves how quickly she was metabolizing the meds they gave her. A nurse continued to try to start an IV but after the 3rd poke a doctor quickly looked at her and said sharply, "That's enough." Although she needed an IV, I was so grateful for the doctor putting a stop to the repeated pokes. They intubated her and put a neck brace on her as they were unsure whether or not there was any trauma to her neck. They quickly informed us that this was not a case they were prepared to handle - she would have to be sent to a larger hospital - most likely by helicopter. My husband began quietly crying as I struggled to keep myself from crying as well. We had difficulty contacting any family or friends to let them know what was going on because there was no cell signal in the hospital. However, some of my texts must have gotten through because it wasn't long before my dad walked through the door. We hugged and cried and tried to explain to him all that had happened. We decided that we would have them take Peanut to U of M Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. Once we had decided that, they let us know that she couldn't go by helicopter - it was too windy - she would be taken by ambulance but would still have the Life Flight Team - which at this point was imperative. While we wanted to get her to a hospital that could care for her as quickly as possible, we were glad that she could go by ambulance - that meant I could ride with her. It seemed like we waited a long time - crying, holding Peanut's hand and whispering to her, and trying not to think about what this might mean for us.
     Once the Life Flight Team arrived, things moved very quickly. The ER staff gave the Life Flight Team all the information about Peanut and they switched her over to their monitors. They explained where they were going to my dad and husband so they would know how to find us. Then, we were on our way to the ambulance. I climbed into the front and began praying like I have never prayed before. It was so difficult to think anything at all that I prayed the same thing over and over: "God, please don't take my baby. God, please don't take my baby." The drive was long and I spent the majority of it crying and praying for a miracle. I was also able to text some family and friends but did very little - leaving it up to those I had contacted to get the info to anyone they thought needed to know about it. The drive was a tense one but the driver handled it very well. We made it to the hospital and were taken to Peanut's room in the ICU. I was given a chair in the hallway as they got her into the bed and hooked her up to the hospital's monitors. Once again, I sat and cried. The staff was wonderful, attentive, and very caring. They got Peanut all situated and allowed me into the room. Peanut continued to occasionally awaken and try to remove the tube in her throat. We would do our best to quiet her, she would receive some more meds and fall back "asleep". My husband and dad arrived shortly after Peanut and I had and we talked quietly in her room. They took us down with Peanut for another CT scan. We were pleased to learn that she showed some improvement from the initial scan. In a short while, 2 of my sisters and my niece arrived. We hugged and cried and tried to explain what we knew. My sister gave me a bag of  some of Peanut's favorite things - packed by her brother, Pumpkin which again made me cry. We put her favorite blanket on her and put her stuffed Minnie Mouse at her side. Since only 2 could be at Peanut's bedside, my sisters and niece headed down to the waiting room. Our pastor arrived and came in to talk with us. Because Peanut was still not sleeping quietly, the nurse ordered us out of the room - there was too much stimulation for Peanut and she needed to sleep so she could heal. We talked in the hall for a few minutes and then prayed together. We finally settled in for the night - me at Peanut's bedside (since they only allowed 1 parent overnight) and everyone else either sleeping in the waiting room or at the Pastor's parents house about 5 minutes from the hospital. It was a tense night and difficult to sleep but we slept as much as we could.

Our baby, with all her monitors - Minnie Mouse at her side.