Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Seizure, EEG

Denise had a seizure approximately 3:15pm. I was with her through it, as was her wound care specialist (and a batch of nurses & doctors toward the end). I regret that I didn't remember to look at the clock at the onset, but I would estimate perhaps a minute in length. She was laying down to have her bedsore checked, and appeared to be reaching and looking up behind her and to the right, as if trying to grasp something at the head of the bed. I asked if she was trying to look at something, and then noticed that her eyes were rolling up, arms & hands contracted toward her body. I told the wound care tech that she appeared to be having a seizure, she concurred, and called for help. Anticipating being asked to leave, I quickly grabbed my things as people poured into the room. Nobody asked me to go, so I spent a little more time with Denise. Toward the end of the episode, she relaxed and I got into her field of vision to let her know I loved her & knew she loved me, even if she might not be able to respond at that time. Right about that point, I was asked to leave the room. I appreciate the stream of communication I received during the few minutes I was in the waiting room, as well as the quick-acting chaplains. Nurses & doctors poked their heads in to keep me up on what they knew. A few minutes later I went back into the room and Denise said she remembered blacking out.

Before that episode, a nurse called to ask if I could bring some food that Denise would like to eat, and maybe see if I could sooth Denise a bit, as she seemed anxious. Denise said that she likes the food, but just can't eat much, both because of appetite & so much to do during the day. Denise thought that maybe some non-perishable snacks would be good, and she asked for Fig Newtons & protein bars. I bought some and arrived while Denise was eating lunch. Our pastor was visiting, and he noticed that Denise seemed anxious. She was imagining that she had messed herself and it was all over her gown & sheets (that belief persisted right up until her seizure). The PT came in and, with me holding her gown so it "wouldn't get dirty," Denise stood up twice. We got to hug each other while standing up for the first time in months. When PT was over, we ate lunch together for the first time in months (she ate a Fig Newton, a Strawberry Newton, and about a fourth of a protein bar). In addition to imagining the soiling, she continued to be slow to respond in conversation at times, and was also talking about numbers again (2, 7, 39, and 100 being the most popular, try them for your lotto tickets & see what happens).

After the seizure, she received Cerebyx (fosphenytoin? dilantin? I heard 'em all). She had dizziness & a headache. The creeping numbness that she experienced the other day came back, and she was anxious about the feeling that her throad was constricting. In order to convince herself that she could still breathe, she would drink water or nibble on food. She drank a LOT of water this afternoon & evening. She was able to hold a conversation, but increasingly would repeat numbers or phrases ("Praise God" & "Heaven") over & over. By the evening, seldom could she answer a question appropriately (she'd keep repeating whatever number or phrase she was on). Sometimes she'd stop & stare off for a moment. It got to the point that a neurologist thought it best to sedate her with some Ativan, stating that until proven otherwise, he's going to count the repetitive behavior as seizure activity. She was, however, able to follow commands to raise her right hand and show two fingers, as well as answer "How do you feel?" (her answer was "Good."). As I left tonight, she was getting an EEG and resting fairly well. So while we're waiting & seeing, would you mind tossing up some extra, extra, extra prayer? I was ready long ago for Denise to come back home to us.

Here's what else my weary brain is able to remember... They're going to measure cardiac enzymes, EKG again in the morning, just to rule out a highly unlikely heart attack. MRI showed nothing new... some meningeal swelling from the cocci, but not bad, nothing otherwise notable. There was some concern about the ventricles in the brain being dilated (or not... I can't remember and probably wouldn't understand anyway), but any concern was laid to rest. I don't know... maybe they thought that the ventricles from the heart were there instead. Speculation on the causes of the confusion & seizure ranges from electrolyte imbalance to the liver not being fully on-line (and thereby allowing meds to have an amplified effect) to the meningitis.

Finally, some lighter stuff: I just found out that a charge nurse in the rehab, the one that gave us the tour of the facility, is the mother of one of our school secretaries at Pasadena Christian School. One of the nurses that Denise had today attended PCS from kindergarten through sixth grade, leaving in 1969, I believe she said. And my long-term sub in the computer lab (who was first one of Denise's college buddies), is also super-handy with kids while outside the classroom... she took care of mine in a pinch this afternoon, as did some some of my neighbors. Thanks, everyone!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Williams, you have my prayers. May the Lord's peace be with you and an extra portion of energy. May the Lord's presence be with you and your wife as he keeps healing her. Blessings on both of you and glory to Jesus. :c)
A PCS mom

November 17, 2005 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all continue to be in our prayers. We love you all.

Bob & Rose

November 17, 2005 12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are lifting up Denise's name and pray that God hears our cries. We have seen Him deliver an abundance of grace and mercy in these past few months, and we are encouraged that He can and will do it again.

We love you,

November 17, 2005 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am here in Coalinga, praying for Denise!!

November 17, 2005 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying....Praying....Praying..... that Denise will cont. to get better....She is strong and i pray everyday that she will get better soon. We love you in IL.

November 17, 2005 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying...Praying...Praying is what I will continue to do for Denise and you, Phil.

Lord, please help the Doctor's to know what is happening with Denise and how to address her special needs. Comfort Denise and Phil and family during this time.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Love from Athens, GA.

November 17, 2005 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is a blessing to be found in all this, it is that she is at Huntington and not Casa Colina, and that you were there when it happened. May God make more good times than bad, and may this be just another bump in the road to good health.

You continue to be in our prayers.

November 17, 2005 9:06 PM  

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