December 19, 2009


One of the worst things in my estimation about being confined to a hospital bed is not being able to take care of your personal hygiene by yourself. Last night I brought Elliott to the hospital with me and together with my father we washed my mothers hair. They have this cool shower cap type thing that has warm shampoo in it that you don't have to rinse out. You put it on the head and then let your fingers do the massaging. She loved having her hair combed afterward and it felt nice to be able to do something for her.

My mother is having periods of time where she is "better" but that better is far worse than anything I've ever seen of her before. Better means that she is able to talk however garbled that may sound. Her doctors are unsure of what is really going on with her. Her MRI, EEG and CAT scans are not showing why she has had 10 seizures in the past 3 days. Yesterday morning was the worst. It lasted one hour and forty minutes. I left after one hour and 15 minutes. Jocelyn was getting very cranky and the neurologist had come. I thought it was only fair that the doctor not be distracted with a bawling baby :o). In the afternoon they did a spinal tap to see if there was an infection. Results should be in today. The unknown is so scary and frustrating. I just want them to be able to assess the problem and work to fix it.

The doctor told my mom she wouldn't be able to drive for 6 months because of the seizure. I'm not sure that's the way I would have put it. Or really even mentioned that at this point. How about taking a video of my mom to show her  later. It would include some of her seizures. Then ask her if she thought it was wise to let her on the road with thousands of pounds of weaponry (a car) at high speeds. No, instead she perceived that the doctor was taking away one of her freedoms. And that's just not the way it is. My mother would be devastated if she had a seizure while driving and seriously hurt or killed someone.

Our thoughts and prayers are still with Nana and her team of health care professionals. We are grateful for all of you who have put her in yours.

6 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. How thoughtful of you to take care of your mother in that way. I pray they'll be able to figure out what is going on.

  2. Brid, I am sorry about your mom. We'll be praying for her and the doctors.

  3. As bad as this may sound, but I hope one of the tests comes back positive soon, so that proper steps can be taken... Keeping you, your mother and the rest of the family in my thoughts.

  4. I am so sorry Bridget, grandmothers are so important!

    But when this is all fixed and she's on the mend you can tell her that the shower cap looked cool! :)

  5. I am revisiting your post after almost three years. Your mom's hair is still clean. Thanks for all your help. She recovered from the seizure with powerful medicines they gave her, including Dilantin, soon cussed as the drug from hell.

    The drug was good in that it stopped her seizures, but it pretty much incapacitated her for weeks until her doctor weaned her off the Dilantin and weaned her onto another drug which she used for a few more months.

    She lasted about 4 or 5 months not driving (I was her chauffeur) until we had a driving trip to Utah. She didn't want to waste time in the car occasionally waiting while I napped during the trip, so we decided we would chance it letting her drive, having had no seizures since the end of her five day stay in the hospital. She has been driving fine ever since.

    I am ninety nine percent sure the seizure was caused when she went to the Virginia Mason Lynnwood clinic for bronchitis symptoms, but her favorite doctor wasn't in that day. I wasn't there with her as I had always been since her stroke almost a year before. Another doctor gave her a antibiotic for the bronchitis and then strongly suggested she have a flu shot. Pat and I have never had flu shots, but they convinced her it would really help. It wasn't just the regular flu shot in one arm, but they gave her in the other arm the H1N1 Flu shot which was pretty much untested but was politically correct. It was almost exactly 24 hours later that Bridget noticed Pat's vacant stare during a family meeting, her first seizure.


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