Thursday, May 18, 2006

As of Thursday Night

It is the end, God willing, of a very long day. This post will either be brief and leave out many details or be super long and share too many details given my state of sheer exhaustion.

We arrived at Hopkins' ER around 10 a.m., and it was surprisingly empty. Judah was seen right away. He was given an IV, and blood was drawn. He had a head CT scan a little while later, the results of which looked good overall. He was seen by the opthamologist, a neuro. resident and then took a pretty good nap. Upon waking, he was taken into the ER's OR for a lumbar puncture, the results of which were not so reassuring. Once back into our room, he slept some more on daddy's chest. We had more doctors come in to see us, talk with us, confer with all the other doctors involved in Judah's case, and eventually it was decided that we could come home tonight, to return tomorrow morning for a consult with Dr. Ben Carson, another opthamological evaluation and an MRI scan in the afternoon.

Things that were a challenge today:
  • Judah screamed at nearly every medical staff who walked through our door, did not cooperate well for most of the evaluations and proved to be one of the most resistant and strong patients the medical staff had ever dealt with in pediatrics.
  • The doctor went through two lumbar kits.
  • Even with a double dose of sedation medicine, Judah not only remained awake for the lumbar puncture but also fought through the entire procedure.
  • I (Briana) had a splitting headache the entire day which only worsened as the day went on.
  • At the end of the day, there is still no firm diagnosis to coincide with the findings of Judah's tests. (Sound familiar, Emily and James? Interesting to see how God is choosing to keep these things hidden in both our children. Won't it be amazing to see how He brings glory to Himself through this?)

In the midst of these and other challenges, Lawrence and I were amazed by the many evidences of God's mercy and care for us today. Some of those were:

  • Judah's nurse got the IV in with one try. Judah was actually thrashing about and in his thrashing managed to push the IV right into his vein. The nurse exclaimed, "that was a miracle." We know it was the mercy of God to Judah!
  • The opthamologist was able to get a good look into Judah's eyes to confirm our local opth.'s findings from yesterday even while Judah kicked and screamed.
  • Judah took a great nap.
  • Radiology was able to fit Judah in for a CT scan unusually fast.
  • While the test results today were not necessarily good, they did not warrant an overnight stay at the hospital or any immediate intervention.
  • Dr. Ben Carson requested for Judah to be squeezed into his clinic schedule in the morning which is a tremendous blessing given his reknown and demands on his time.
  • The staff was able to schedule an outpatient MRI for Judah for tomorrow which allowed us to come home tonight. Most of you reading this simply will not know what a true miracle this is. Typically one must schedule outpatient radiology procedures months in advance.
  • And, probably the most unheard of blessing was that the ER attending allowed us to take Judah home with his IV in tact. This is never done for patients for a variety of reasons, but liability to the hospital is probably one of the greatest. This requires a little maintenance over night for me, but I was well educated in what to do and what complications would look like with it. The reason this is such a blessing is that Judah won't have to go through the process of being stuck again tomorrow for the anesthesia for his MRI.

We definitely felt tangibly the truth that God goes before us and comes behind us found in Ps. 139, probably the most cherished passage of scripture to me from the time I became pregnant with the boys. The day was not without its stress. Judah's anxious response to the medical staff, the equipment and the evaluations is upsetting at best, but we are trying to entrust his precious little heart to God's care as we are simply at a loss to know well how to bring understanding to his mind and comfort to his heart.

Among all the evidences of God's care, the care expressed by many of you, our friends, is among the most treasured. Our good friend, Dr. Aaron Chambers did not pass up the opportunity to come and see us while he was on duty at the hospital. He came and spoke with us, prayed with us, read over Judah's charts, and made sure those who were caring for Judah knew that he was a close, personal friend of ours, further ensuring quality care for Judah! Thank you, Aaron. And, thanks to your wife, Lori, who calls to see if there's anything she can help us with, who takes our calls when we discover something she can help us with and who faithfully waits at home, praying on behalf of us and our sons.

Thank you to all who called or sent messages to our email, home phone or this blog: De, your encouragement to sing our way through the day was so timely and helpful and Spirit-inspired for sure. We did indeed find ourselves singing our way through much of our day. Thank you, thank you for that encouragement to praise Him through song. Thank you Phyllis, Marie, Gretchen (how incredibly wonderful to hear your voice on our machine when we got home), Jo, Jason and Laurie, our parents, Yvette (who also came to see us in her scrubs before her shift and has made herself available to us tomorrow, too), Michelle (thank you for being so thoughtful to take a caregroup responsibility off my plate. Wow, what a blessing your thoughtfulness is to me), and Marlowe (thanks for leaving a message even though we missed your call. We know how much you love our little guys.)

I must single out one gal in particular though, who simply blows me away again and again with her tangible expressions of love for us. Not just in this instance, but all the time, Heather Griger finds some way to communicate her heart for our family. Sometimes, I'm convinced she sits up at night just thinking up all kinds of creative ways to bless us, but I know this is simply an evidence of God's amazing grace in her life, enabling her to be such a good friend not just to us but to many others. Heather not only kept Tucker all day today, but is keeping him overnight and probably all day tomorrow, too (This is while she has her own 16 month old at home and is 6 months pregnant). She brought a great big firetruck helium balloon for the boys to play with last night and a sweet sign/card for Judah. This morning when we dropped off Tucker, she gave us a little goodie bag with a hysterical card (made me laugh so hard, I cried), 2 pears and a container of trail mix (the only thing I ate all day today). And, if that wasn't enough, she took the liberty to make some calls, pulling her "clout" as a Hopkins nurse, to try to ensure we see Dr. Carson tomorrow morning as soon as possible. Heather, there is simply no way I can ever repay you; I only can be grateful to God for you and spurred on by your example of what covenant friendship looks like between believers. Thank you, friend!

So, the bottom line re: Judah's status:
There does appear to be some measure of intracranial pressure going on in Judah's brain.
There does not appear to be any outward manifestations of that pressure as of yet, which is great news. This gives us an opportunity to be pro-active rather than reactive and hopefully spare Judah from any ill effects from the increased pressure in his brain.

We will be going back to Hopkins tomorrow morning to see the world reknown neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, our opthamologist at Hopkins, Dr. Parsa, and to have an MRI done in the afternoon.

Please pray that:

  • Judah will cooperate for all the evaluations tomorrow.
  • There will be some decisive diagnosis and plan for intervention as a result of tomorrow's tests and evals.
  • Strength and grace for Lawrence and me.
  • Tucker will have another great day with Heather and baby Rudy; strength and grace for Heather who is caring for Tucker.
  • We will not have to admit Judah to the hospital for any reason.

Thanks so much. Feel free to call Lawrence or me on our cell phones. We may not be able to answer or return your call, but will try to if we can. Even if we can't, we appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern on our behalf.


Beth said...

Briana, we are really praying for you. I have been calling Heather checking up on the situation. She is a blessing, isn't she? Even more so, you are a blessing to your son, Judah. Someday he'll come to know it. God is faithful to answer our prayers.

Good night.



Tori said...

Hi Bri. I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you. I have been reading your blog as well as Emily's. How precious it is to see you two encouraging each other through this difficult time. You are both glorifying our Lord in your care for each other. I pray you will feel carried by our Savior and rest peacefully in His care. Love, Vicki Gold

Jen Clemmer said...

I will be praying for you, Lawrence and the boys. I wish I could give you a hug! Reading your blog puts tears in my eyes. Sister, you have more strength than any person I know, and that credit of strength is from God above. I hope Tucker is feeling better and the vomiting was just a one time thing!
Love you Bri and sweet dreams,