The NICU Team

October 6, 2011

Meaghan visiting a few of the wonderful NICU nurses at Norfolk General: Terri I, Robin, Deborah, and Caitlin (not a nurse). 

Bumps in the Road

October 1, 2011

I look forward to the day when I will never need to write another update to this blog.  But, until then, there have been some developments.  This past Tuesday, Meaghan woke for school complaining about some tingling and stiffness in her left arm and hand.  She thought she might have slept on it funny and went ahead and got ready for school.  When she came down for breakfast she also complained about a headache and some stuffiness.  Tracy thought that perhaps she was just coming down with a cold, and after some pancakes, sent her back to bed.

A little later on Tracy went to work as I was working from home preparing to leave later that day for Winchester (about a 4 hour drive) in order to attend a business meeting the following morning.   At around 10:00 I heard Meg get up and I went upstairs to check on her.  She was putting on her makeup and she asked if I would take her to school for her next block. I asked how she felt and she said her left arm still felt a little stiff.  I said I hoped it wasn’t some sort of weird complication from her brain injury.

Shortly after that she came downstairs and I could hear her heating up something in the microwave while I was working on the computer in another room.  From this point on things moved very quickly.  I first heard Meg cry “Daddy, Daddy” in a tone every parent recognizes and I immediately jumped up and ran into the kitchen.  Meg was standing there with a horrified look on her face as her left hand was curled inward and rapidly opening and closing.  Meg screamed; “I’m not doing that! I’m not doing that!”  My immediate response was to hug her in what I guess was an instinctual response to somehow protect her. Not knowing what was going on I tried to calm her saying that maybe it was just some sort of muscle spasm. But then Meg’s voice changed and she started speaking in flat monotones just like she did when she first woke from her coma and was getting ready to go to rehab.  Now I was horrified.  It flashed in my mind that all that progress she had made over the last three months was gone in a heartbeat.  Meg started to cry; “Take me to the hospital, take me to the hospital now!”

I immediately told Meg to sit down on the couch and I called Tracy.   I suppose I thought this all might be just some strange  transient thing that was, God willing, going to quickly pass.  Almost as soon as I started to tell Tracy what was happening, Meg started to convulse.  I told Tracy I was calling 911 and to come home.  As I cradled Meg’s head I kept her telling her she was having a seizure (not she could hear me, but what did I know), the 911 operator gave me a series of instructions assuring me that the paramedics were on their way.  The seizure itself probably took less than a minute, even though it seemed much longer.  Then, almost on cue, Meg fell into a deep stupor exactly as the 911 operator said she would.    Read the rest of this entry »