Thursday, December 11, 2008

12-11-08: Shifting Ground

Sarah was released from the ICU tonight and returned to the children's inpatient section at Dartmouth Hitchcock. The ICU team did a great job getting Sarah's blood pressure stable. Sarah will not be sent home until her blood pressure is manageable with meds Susan and I can administer. We are hopeful she will be sent home over the weekend. We are ready for it!!

Sarah was fairly unresponsive today. Speaking was labored for her. She is having difficulty getting words out. She also has hand tremors and difficulty grasping and holding things. She did this Wednesday evening and most of today (Thursday). Interestingly, she was normal Thursday morning and the symptoms appeared sometime before lunch. One of Sarah's oncologist told us it was due to the 4 doses of Oxycodone she received to today to manage her headaches. Susan and I really want to believe that's what's going on. We are going to avoid giving her the Oxycodone and see how she does Friday.

I stayed with Sarah Wednesday night. It was very difficult to see her lose touch with reality so strongly and for such a prolonged period of time. Susan and I had a lot of anxiety over the same behaviour Sarah had today. I'm staying with Sarah again tonight and it was particularly hard after Susan left this evening. Sarah struggled in vain to answer when I asked her if her head hurt. She could not get the words out. She just barely eked out two strained words "I want...". She tried many times to express what she needed, but could not tell me. I decided to just give her a dose of acetaminophen, but her nurse said she could not have it. The doctors were concerned about liver related complications. I could not bring myself to give her more Oxycodone. Sarah was tired so I managed to get her to sleep with a little physical comforting. I have to say, this tore me up inside. It also resulted in much prayer by me that Sarah not suffer. Please do the same.

It definitely feels like Sarah and her family climbed a steep mountain only to find the ground shift and we are at the bottom of the mountain again. I'm not convinced yet that knowing the path up the mountain this time will make it any easier the second time around. It seemed surreal the first time, but to be asked to do it all over again just sounds impossible. Faith in a God that does the impossible comforts me.

Good news on the playhouse the Make-A-Wish folks are doing for Sarah. They finished the groundwork and a number of my colleagues at DEKA went to our house and unloaded the playhouse parts (thanks guys). Check out the link to see the progress.

I dropped the traditional BMT counting sequence in the post titles. It just doesn't seem to work any more. I suppose I'll start using it again as the second BMT starts approaching...

-Ben
Hebrews 11:6

1 comment:

mary said...

Ben and Susan, it's after midnight and I'm reading your Thursday, 11th
update, Ben; and my heart and prayers go out for all of you. I can not even begin to imagine what all of you are going through. Yout description is so powerful and painful and I admire your ability to say so in depth what is going on medically but more preciously, what is going on with our thoughts and feelings for Sarah and each other. Sending love, energy and prayers as the two of you are making such immense moment by moment decisions. mary