Have you ever had one of those weeks? You know, the kind where you just try to make it through each day, thinking there's got to be some light at the end of this crazy tunnel? Well, our family had one of those last week.
It all started with a phone call I received from my husband last Sunday evening. Our Sunday evening schedules are rather crazy...I have handbell practice, my husband is partipating in a study of the book "Radical", and Bethany has been taking part in block parties which have been sponsored by her youth group around the city of Hot Springs. All of these events start and end at different times, so we end up taking three vehicles to church. I had already arrived home and was looking forward to a relaxing remainder of the evening when I received said phone call.
I knew it was Brad calling by the ring tone, but when I said "Hello", all I could hear was a bunch of commotion in the background. As I was trying to piece together what I was hearing, he said, "Hey, Bethany hit her head at the block party, and she's kind of confused." About that time I figured out what the commotion was...It was Bethany, crying, and saying, "What's going on? What's happening to me?" After a few seconds of this, I told him to bring her to the hospital, and that I would meet them there. He quickly agreed and we hung up.
I changed out of my pajama pants (so much for my relaxing evening) and whipped the car out of the garage. I drove to Hot Springs with my flashers on, and Bethany's terrified voice echoing in my ears. Thankfully, I am not someone who "freaks out" easily, and I am able to remain calm even when I'm extremely worried about something. This ability has served me well over the last few years! I arrived at the emergency room at the same time they did, and hugged her in the parking lot. She was scared and completely and totally disoriented. She had no idea why we were going to the hospital or what had happened to her. We got her checked in, while she asked me questions like, "I've been out of town, right?", "Did I miss school today?", and "Am I on break?", all through tears.
As we sat in the waiting room and then later went to a room, she began to calm down a little bit. She showed off her new "watch" (her hospital bracelet!), told all the nurses that she had strep throat, and talked about the dinosaur on her finger (the pulse-ox device). She also insisted that she had been to the eye doctor that day. As far as what had happened to her at the block party, she still had no idea. The doctor recommended a CT scan, which thankfully revealed no bleeding or other problems. After a couple of hours, she was a little more oriented, and they sent us home with a concussion diagnosis, and directions to wake her up every few hours, watch for signs of seizure activity, and to be sure she could move both sides of her body.
OK......With those instructions, I wasn't about to let her out of my sight, so she slept with me that night, while Brad camped out in the guest room. I didn't have to worry about waking her up every few hours, because she basically didn't sleep at all. She talked and talked all night...some of it making sense, and some of it not. By the wee hours of the morning, she finally conked out.
I kept her home from school on Monday, and discovered through our conversations during the course of the day that not only did she not have any memory of the incident the night before, she had very little memory of the events of the last two weeks. She did not remember going to Hannah's grave on her birthday or spending the night with Brittany at the dorm that night. A couple of weeks ago she had hyperextended her big toe in basketball practice and had even been on crutches for a few days...she had no memory of any of that.
On Tuesday, she went back to school with a splitting headache, only to be faced first period with a Trig/Pre-Cal test that she had no memory was coming up. Nor did she have any memory of learning any of the material covered on the test. Needless to say, she bombed the test! On Wednesday morning, she went back to school, only to come home in the early afternoon with a fever of 102 degrees.
We called our doctor, who told us to immediately bring her in. He explained to us the possibility of meningitis occurring after a blow to the head, due to leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. He sent us back over the hospital for another CT scan, which thankfully was good, and did bloodwork, which did not indicate a high white blood cell count, a harbinger of meningitis. So back home we went, with instructions to return the next day for more blood tests.
Her fever was still high on Thursday, her head still pounding, but again her white cell counts were good, so the doctor told us she probably had a very poorly-timed virus, completely unrelated to the concussion she had sustained on Sunday evening. Boy, was he right. Over the next 36 hours, the fever morphed into a full-blown stomach virus, almost sending us back to the ER on Friday night to be treated for dehydration. We decided to give it one more night, and bring her in Saturday morning if she was still sick...but thankfully, she woke up and asked for toast that morning...and things have been on the upswing ever since.
So why am I spilling this whole story to you? I guess it makes me feel better to vent about the week. Like I said, I'm not a "freaker-outter"...I tend to hold my emotions very tightly inside during a crisis situation. And this week felt like one crisis situation after another. Seeing Bethany lying in a hospital bed not making sense, having brain scans done, and wondering what was going to happen next brought back some all-to-familiar feelings. It feels good to let some of that out!
But, in spite of all the nerve-wracking events of the week, some good things came out of it, too. For one thing, we have two clean CT scans of Bethany's brain....a nice reassurance after you've lost a daughter to a brain tumor. It also brought our incredibly busy lives to a grinding halt, and gave us the opportunity to spend some quality time together. Bethany and I had some great conversations this past week, and once the initial crisis passed, we had some really good laughs about her behavior immediately after the concussion. And it was a great reminder of what I talked about in my last post about Glory....that we need to appreciate every moment we have with our loved ones. Life can change in the blink of an eye.
Thankfully, our Savior is with us every step of the way!