Sunday, November 01, 2015

Life can be so unpredictable.

I've been MIA again for quite some time. I debated explaining why. It has been the worst/best month of my life. I think writing about it will help me to process things

My beautiful baby sister has been fighting what seemed to be an impossible battle. On Sept 27th, Linds suffered a hypoxic brain injury, basically her brain had little to no oxygen for an undetermined amount of time. After a crazy few hours of trying to stabilize her, she was admitted to the ICU  in our hometown. She was septic, had pneumonia, and was put into an induced com and onto life support). After 3 days (and a staph infection added to everything) it was clear that our hospital couldn't do anymore for her since we don't have a neurologist, so once they had her stable enough she was sent to Kelowna by air ambulance. My parents and her fiancĂ©e (Brody) flew up the next morning, and my brother and I, along with our families drove up the next day. The news we got was not great. The neurologist had performed an EEG, and there was little brain activity. They would repeat the EEG again in 3 days, and if there was no change, that meant there would not likely be a change, and even if she did survive she would most likely have severe brain damage.

The next 3 days were so hard. We were only allowed to go sit with her for short amounts of time, as too much stimulation would make her blood pressure and heart rate sky rocket. We saw small signs that made us hopeful, but once they took her off the meds that were keeping her sedated, there wasn't much going on. She eventually opened her eyes, but wasn't focused on anyone. She sometimes would look towards Brody's voice, which was encouraging, but other than that there wasn't much change. She was in Kelowna for a week, and by the end of the week she was off the life support machines. When they repeated the EEG there was minimal change. She was sent back to our local hospital, and the prognosis was basically that she would be in the ICU until the pneumonia was cleared up, then move her to palliative care until we decided how to let her go. 

Once we were back in town though, we started to see little signs that Linds was still in there. She would sometimes squeeze a hand when asked to, and she started following people with her eyes sometimes. She especially liked to follow Brode's voice, she seemed very concentrated on him when he was in the room. She would also smack her lips when my mom would put Chapstick on them. 

About a week and a half after she was home, a very crazy thing happened. My mom made a fart joke, and she smiled, a real Lindsey smile! My mom and Brody started killing themselves laughing, and then she started laughing too! She laughed again later that afternoon. It was like a little glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe she was still in there.

The next few days were hard, her eyes were becoming more clear, and it looked like she was inside but just didn't know how to get out. It was extremely hard to watch. She was squeezing more and more when asked too, and really seemed focused on people when they talked if she wasn't tired. She would also pucker for a kiss if you told her you were going in for one!

After another week in the ICU, they moved her up to one of the wards. The same day they moved her was the day our miracle happened. My brother and Brody were visiting with her, and my brother was showing her a song about bacon pancakes on his phone. He was bugging her for a kiss when he left to go back to work and she wouldn't pucker up. After he left, Brode asked her if he could have a kiss, and she replied "of course!" Then he said "I love you" and she said "love you too". 

I'll always remember when my mom called to tell me, I could not stop crying. Linds went on to do more talking that day, including telling Brody to "show Carson (his dad) bacon pancakes!" By the time I got up there to see her she was really tired, and only said yes and no while I was there. Later that night she told my mom which button to press to get her IV to stop beeping (Linds is a nurse). There was quite the delay between asking a question and waiting for a response, but it was there! I went to visit her again the next morning, and I was jiggling the bag for her feeding tube accidentally with my leg. Will told her it was like a milkshake, to which she replied "my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard". At that moment I knew I was getting my sister (and her strange sense of humor) back!!

Fast forward to a week later, and she hardly has any delay when she is talking now. Her voice is quiet and a tiny tiny bit slower, but the improvement in a week has been phenomenal. She is moving one of her hands now, and can hold her head up on her own for a short period of time. She also lifted one of her legs a tiny bit today! It's going to be a long slow road to recovery, but if I think about where we were a short month ago, this seemed impossible. Her neurologist can't believe the progress she's made, he said he's never seen anything like it. 

All that being said, any prayers and positive thoughts that can be sent her way would be so appreciated! Her brain is back, we are now hoping that she gets her body back as well :) 



Now that she is on the road to recovery I am hoping (hoping being the operative word) to try and start blogging more regularly again, starting with a Luke update! The little guy is growing like a weed :)

4 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, but glad things are starting to look up for her! Sending her healing and strong thoughts during her recovery. Do they know what caused it?

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    1. Hey Leigh!
      They are still not sure exactly what happened, but they suspect it was a seizure caused by a fever spike (she had been really sick for a couple days and had a super high fever when they got her to the ER). The seizure caused her to become unconscious, and then she started vomiting and aspirated it, and she essentially drowned. She was home by herself for 3 hours before her fiancee found her, so we aren't sure how long her brain wasn't getting oxygen for, she was unconscious and only gasping about every 7-8 seconds when she was found.

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  2. Danielle this is awful. It breaks my heart for you guys. But I tested up hearing about her coming back to you guys!! Keep us posted on how she is! Thinking of you all.

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    1. Thanks Alison! I will definitely keep updating on her progress :)

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