Monday, March 25, 2013

Radiation day

     Well, we made it through the day. The morning went quite well. Peanut's halo was put on and her CT scan was completed and all seemed pretty good. They put her in a PICU room and allowed us to sit by her bedside. While it was rough to see her hooked up to everything it wasn't as hard as the first time we saw her this way. The "halo" looked nothing like the name suggested. She was intubated and had the standard IVs and all sorts of monitors. 

     The toughest part of the morning was when they decided they needed to do a chest x-ray to check her right lung. As soon as they started moving her, she woke up and grabbed her tube and tried to pull it out. She was coughing and gagging and breaking our hearts. We held her down while they ran for some medicine. Of course, the meds did not sedate her. She continued to gag and fight while we held her down through 2 more doses of meds. It took about 15 minutes for her to calm down. That was a terrible 15 minutes for us. We just didn't want her to remember any of that and here she was, awake and fighting. It was also difficult because it took us right back to our first hospital stay after her aneurysm bled. They had to work very hard to keep her sleeping. As she finally calmed down this time, the nurse said, "She won't remember this but you get to." While it was less encouraging, it was said more in the spirit of sympathy. Once we got past that, the time went by much smoother. And eventually, the X-ray showed that everything was perfect as far as her lungs were concerned.
     During the afternoon, I even managed to sleep for a bit. Peanut was taken over for radiation about mid-afternoon. A couple hours later, we were at her side and she was awake but very groggy. She could barely form words and found it difficult to move her arms - especially her right arm. Her dad and I, of course, were a bit concerned knowing that the AVM is on her left side and could negatively affect her right side. It wasn't long and she was talking a little better and moving her arm a little better. By the time we made it up to her hospital room, it was clear she was having visual disturbances - double vision and hallucinations - including seeing someone we couldn't see. I asked her if that person was wearing white. She said, "Yes. And blue pants. And socks." After spending a couple hours in her room we noticed depth perception issues as well as double vision issues that were strong enough to make it difficult for her to grasp something we handed to her. She also had trouble getting her food to her mouth. She occasionally would grab for something in front of her that wasn't there. She told us she could see purple sparkles above her. And when she began to fall asleep she would grimace then relax her face then grimace, then relax over and over for a couple minutes then she would awaken. While we were able to occasionally laugh off these issues (Like when she looked at her dad, giggled and said, "Daddy has two heads." so matter of factly), we are a little concerned. The nurses have assured us that this is normal after being under anesthesia for so long. To top it off, Peanut has not been able to keep anything down. She's been sick now twice and it's looking like it could be a long night. I know we will get through this but here's hoping she manages to fall asleep, stay asleep and stop getting sick. Through it all, God is with us and we are trusting Him to carry us through whatever may lay before us.